Tomb Raider Reloaded, on paper, seems like each cell gaming detractor’s worst nightmare. A profitable IP coming to cell through a easy gameplay loop, coupled with a currency-laden enhancement system, ought to be the method for an additional instance of the worst of what cell gives. Why then, after hours of preventing by means of dungeons and avoiding traps with Lara and her crew, am I so eager about coming again for extra? Tomb Raider Reloaded sounds prefer it ought to be the following cell disappointment, however as an alternative it gives loads of dungeon-delving enjoyable.
Tomb Raider Reloaded follows longtime collection lead Lara Croft as she plunders for hidden treasure all throughout South America. Every location on the world map gives a number of stages–from 10 to upwards of 50–where gamers should assist Lara dodge traps and/or struggle enemies with a purpose to get from the underside of the stage to the door on the prime. Swiping on the display could have Lara transfer by means of the stage within the route of the swipe, and every time she stops transferring, she’ll open hearth on the closest enemies to her. After each stage is full, a number of rewards are given to the participant, who can use them to improve Lara and buy provides earlier than transferring onto the following location.
It is a easy construction, however that simplicity belies a devilish problem as Lara runs by means of every stage. Well being carries over between phases, which implies Lara cannot heal until she finds a therapeutic merchandise. Typically the randomly generated room will likely be a “protected room” the place Lara’s companion Anaya will supply a fast heal, however it is a momentary oasis. There’s additionally no approach to predict when a crewmate may present up, as every stage is procedurally generated, which implies no two visits to at least one location will ever be the identical. What’s extra, as talked about earlier than, Lara solely assaults when she’s standing nonetheless, so conditions the place enemies get too shut for consolation are widespread occurrences.
All of those elements, when utilized in tandem, makes it really feel like I am truly exploring a hidden dungeon. There is a prevailing sense of curiosity, with each accomplished problem resulting in the following probability to find one thing new. I am reminded, in a way, of the primary time I performed The Legend Of Zelda: A Hyperlink To The Previous, the place each door I walked by means of got here with an equal sense of surprise and dread. Now, these dungeons will not be practically as complicated as these in Hyperlink To The Previous, and I don’t wish to give the impression that that is Tomb Raider’s model of it. Moderately, whereas taking part in by means of a set of phases in Tomb Raider Reloaded, I used to be reminded of that basic title and what feeling it evoked.
Hyperlink To The Previous is not the one recreation I used to be reminded of whereas taking part in Tomb Raider Reloaded, nonetheless. Finishing particular person phases grants expertise and when leveling up, I am ready to decide on a power-up from a number of three, with some being stackable all through the run. If this seems like one thing out of final yr’s smash hit Vampire Survivors, that is as a result of it’s extremely related.
Mixing and matching these power-ups by means of the completely different phases is extremely enjoyable. Watching Lara flip from a slow-shooting, restricted damage-dealing explorer to an unstoppable killing machine due to my decisions all the time gave me an actual pleasure, particularly when a power-up I did not suppose I would really like ended up being the strongest in my arsenal.
The place Tomb Raider Reloaded begins to grow to be much less fulfilling is in its foreign money system, because it applies among the worst parts of the stereotypical “cell recreation.” There are currencies that may be earned in-game and people that may be bought, with repeated “gives” on “offers” sprinkled all through. Some rewards are free after agreeing to observe an advert, which often takes up the complete display and might solely be skipped by tapping a logo the scale of a pinhead.
Maybe the worst of the bunch are the “tickets,” which appear like aircraft tickets however are literally the dreaded vitality mechanic from different cell titles. Tickets are a finite useful resource, and after they’ve run out no progress could be made till they regenerate or I buy them with Gems, which in fact are the sport’s premium foreign money. It is all icky, predatory cell shenanigans, however admittedly what’s seen right here is tame in comparison with different examples I’ve seen. Tickets all the time appeared to final so long as I wished to play every session, and I by no means felt like I needed to pay actual cash with a purpose to progress in a significant approach.
These currencies can be utilized to purchase different currencies or to unlock and improve completely different items of substances, together with new outfits for Lara, helmets that allow final assaults, and amulets that provide stat boosts. Weapons will also be bought and upgraded, which supplies Lara choices like double pistols, a shotgun, double SMGs, and many others. There’s so much being provided, and quite a lot of other ways to pay for it, and whereas it’s disheartening, it is at the very least not debilitating.
Whereas advertisements are annoying and pop-ups after accomplished missions could be irritating, whereas I am navigating by means of the sport’s monsters and traps, the built-in microtransaction system feels extra ancillary than important. I have not spent a cent within the app as of this writing, and but I’ve accomplished missions, earned a ton of gold and different rewards, and have been capable of improve Lara and alter her arsenal to my liking. Different video games with extra intrusive programs will scream and shout at me to take a look at advertisements or purchase extra provides, however right here, when these advertisements pop up, they do not interrupt energetic gameplay, nor do they linger once I skip them.
Apropos of the franchise it portrays, once I dig beneath the currency-ridden floor of Tomb Raider Reloaded and see what’s actually on supply, there’s enjoyable available. Dungeon crawling with an more and more highly effective Lara Croft is a blast, whereas watching her proceed to develop extra highly effective with every stage up permits for experimentation with fight in a fashion that few different cell titles do. It isn’t perfect–microtransactions proceed to be an annoying sticking level within the cell realm–but Tomb Raider Reloaded does an excellent job of taking the undesirable components and making room for what this recreation does extremely nicely. Regardless of just a few pitfalls, Tomb Raider Reloaded is worthy of the moniker it holds, with enjoyable mix-and-match gameplay and an ever-changing problem ready to be excavated.