Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tomb Raider is the REAL Resident Evil 5 (in my heart)


I've transformed into a semi-hardcore gamer lately, or at least someone with the reckless budget title spending habits of such a nerdy fellow or fellete.

While I've had a lot of fun with various titles,* nothing gave me that special feeling. By that, I mean, that Resident Evil 4 feeling.

One could say it was MIND BLOWING. (eh? ehhhh?)

Though it doesn't fill me with quite the same sense of dread (not to say there aren't a couple jumps) and admitting that it handles like a Ferrari to RE4's jalopy, I realized after playing two or three more hours than I originally planned of "Tomb Raider" tonight that it scratches that specific itch better than any game since RE4.

(CERTAINLY better than the disappointing and icky-racist fifth edition and leaps beyond the train wreck of part six of Resident Evil itself.)

Many compare the "Tomb Raider" reboot to "Uncharted," yet my heart says it should be called "Resident Evil 5: The Version That Should Have Been."

Let us count the ways.
  • As you can see from the two screenshots, both have evil wolves.
  • Each title could be considered a serious "reboot" of a series that first gained traction on the original Playstation.
  • Tomb Raider doesn't really have a choice when it comes to making Lara Croft the star, but RE4 also returned a popular lead character in Leon.
  • Each game seemed a little obsessed with hair.

  • Each involves an island/town full of mysterious inhabitants who want to kill you. (Note: I've only played about 25 percent of TR, so the plot parallels might go even deeper.)
  • Both games were sequels, yet they represented significant departures from the series.
  • Quick-time events annoyed, but not to a game-breaking extent.
  • Each game have pleasant rest stations where you upgrade weapons and your skills in surprisingly satisfying ways.
  • There's a really appealing loop that basically goes: confrontation, then exploration, then item collection. You even break boxes to get money/stuff, although there aren't any rattle snakes bursting out from those item boxes in TR (yet?).
  • More broadly, they're both third-person action games where you go from feeling frail to like a killing machine.
  • Each protagonist dies in remarkably gory and elaborate ways.

Now, there are certainly differences (Leon's way hotter, amirite?), but even so, "Tomb Raider" feels like the spiritual successor to "Resident Evil 4." To me, anyway.

* - I cannot say enough about games as different as "Deus Ex: Human Revolution," "Hot Line Miami," and "Critter Crunch."