Game review: Tomb Raider, various platforms

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THIS reboot has a lot of expectation weighing on its shoulders, given the iconic status of the Tomb Raider franchise.

Tomb Raider

£44.99, PC/PS3/Xbox 360

Luckily, developer Crystal Dynamics has created a wonderful, fitting re-telling of the legend of hardened adventurer Lara Croft. She starts off as a young archaeologist who is shipwrecked on a perilous island off the coast of Japan.

The island is teeming with savage cultists out to kill Lara and her crew, so she must brave the elements, environment and her attackers to become the survivor we know. Progression sees Lara exploring a large interconnected world full of puzzles, gun-fights and collectibles, delivering a dense jungle terrain.

Visually stunning, the game uses every trick in the cinematography book to frame up grand vistas, ensuring that no climb or trek across the world looks drab or uninspiring. When engaging enemies, Lara can unleash a range of upgradable firearms as well as her trusty bow.

Salvage found on enemy corpses and in hidden caches can be used at camp fires to augment weapons, reducing reload time and increasing fire-power to name a few upgrades. Camps can also be used to fast-travel around the world.

Tomb Raider is a sturdy mix of separate mechanics rolled into one accomplished package, delivering solid platforming and action set pieces that will hold your attention across the lengthy campaign.

When that’s done you can turn to the functional but largely tacked-on multiplayer, pitching survivors against each other in quick, arena-based combat. Simply superb.