By now we know that whenever a famous video game saga lands on mobile, we have to worry. It may seem like an exaggerated prejudice, but years of sinister trading deals in titles aimed solely at making money from them brand perception Thanks to an aggressive use of microtransactions, to say the least, they have taught us to be very suspicious of this type of implementation.
This time it was the turn of the gaming world’s most famous archaeologist: Tomb Raider reloadeddeveloped by Emerald City Games is actually available for free download on devices Android And iOS.
We had not followed the run-in phase of the title (started as a test in some markets since 2020) and therefore came to our test without expectations. And maybe it was for the best, otherwise it would have been even worse.
Lara goes back to basics
in a sense Tomb Raider reloaded it represents a sort of return to basics for Lara. First, because our heroine returns to wear his historical dressabandoning the survivor look that characterized the final video game trilogy (all chapters of which can be found on Amazon, including the last).
Even the story, or at least the touch of story present in the game, remotely resembles that of the first unforgettable episode. In fact, Lara is contacted by the mercenary Larson Conway, whose boss Natla wants to inform her about the discovery of the city of Vilcabamba, where a legendary follower of the Atlantean civilization.
The story is just an excuse to send Lara on another adventure; we didn’t expect much of a focus on the narrative, and it was, because after a brief introduction, the storyline practically disappears, giving way to the gameplay. Being a mobile title, that choice is more than understandable, and the lack of narrative glue isn’t felt given the hit-and-run nature of this title.
For what concern technical area, Tomb Raider reloaded he gets away with it without shame and without praise. style deformed of the characters is quite pleasant, while on the front of the settings everything flows unimpressed, but also without particular problems. On the Galaxy S20 FE was the experience completely liquidwithout hiccups during games.
More or less similar speech for the tonal range: The game songs can be heard, no more and no less. Both the settings and the music tracks give the impression that the game has been inspired by what the series has offered over the years, without even remotely being able to recreate the qualitative peaks of the classics.
Temples to explore
We come to playing style From Tomb Raider reloaded. Essentially, we’re going to control Lara with a View from abovewhich leads them to research gods fixed screen levels in which we have to eliminate every enemy present or solve simple puzzles, then move on to the next screen and so on until the end of the temple.+
The controls are very simple: Lara moves Follow our screen swipe and once it stands still, it starts firing at the next target, reducing the inputs the player has to give to the bare minimum.
We have found the functional control system, but definitely not optimal: This is particularly evident when it comes to puzzles that require a minimum of precision, since positioning Lara on a button often takes multiple turns around it.
However, the different stages that make up a temple are procedurally generated, so the pitfalls change with each of our visits. Most often, however, you will be asked to eliminate all enemies present.
Lara fires whenever she stops, we said – but there will be plenty of enemies to hit from afar, so you’ll need to be constantly moving to better take cover before returning fire.
At the end of each room you can choose one of them three different rewards who will offer gods polishing for Lara, by adding different abilities to her arsenal: you can choose ricochet, for example, so bullets can do damage even if they bounce off walls; or you can increase your rate of fire or fire extra bullets to deal less damage, and so on.
Like the rest, the skills that are offered to us at the end of a room are random, allowing us to try different strategies on each of our runs.
In addition to the normal rooms that we talked about, we will also be able to find safe spaceswhere we will meet Lara’s allies – like Anaya, who will occasionally offer us important bonuses to choose from, like a great health care or extra damage for our projectiles.
There are those too boss: Due to the nature of the game, these battles are not hugely different from the standard battles, but still require a different approach, since eliminating a boss requires more time and therefore greater resistance.
We must say that this game system it works in its simplicity; Tackling the rooms is fun, and having plenty of ways to improve Lara’s traits also helps some strategic depthwhich encourages you to try again if you lose.
In fact, Lara’s health does not regenerate from one room to another and in the event of a game we will be forced to do so Restart our run from the beginning. While the first stages are still quite easy, the level of difficulty increases from the third Choose your upgrades wisely for Lara it will fundamental.
Luckily, with every level we complete, we get some too Upgrade rewards for our gear (and also in new outfits reminiscent of other episodes of the series).
Obviously it’s possible to get bigger rewards by completing the classic daily challenges and events that, like in any mobile title, serve as an incentive to keep playing for a long time.
So far everything would be going almost fine, right? Maybe even too good, and indeed…
On the hunt for money
The temptation to make Tomb Raider reloaded A money grinder was too powerful, and the developers jumped at the possibility. The game will desperately try to get you to buy somethingand there are so many collectibles in the game to keep track of that, paradoxically, you soon lose all desire to buy anything (if you even had any).
Tomb Raider reloaded uses two elements that belong to worst kind of microtransactions.
The first are i Waiting time to continue playing; To play a level we need tickets, which are limited and can only be recharged by waiting a certain amount of time. Or of course against payment.
This is an annoying mechanic, even if it’s a free-to-play title, as it risks unduly disrupting the pace of the game, causing you to lose any incentive to play. Normally this problem could be circumvented by only having short game sessions and continuing the adventure as soon as we have new tickets to play.
And here comes the other problem. From the third level, the level of difficulty of the game increases significantly, from time to time there are really noticeable difficulty peaks. Therefore, to face them, we would like to resort to better equipment. To get the gear we need to spend coins. And to have coins we must get them as a reward or buy them.
The problem is that there are so many variables, so many ways to spend the rewards that we have impossible to understand where to focus our spending to pass a level.
This means we will spend hours crafting it Ribbons to spend our rewards something we might not even needand so find ourselves in the next game, ready for more hours Ribbons. The alternative is of course to pay, but even in this case it doesn’t eliminate the fact that figuring out where to spend our resources is almost a gamble.
The only thing we can say in defense of the game is that microtransactions aren’t presented aggressively, but that changes little if Continuing to play in the game just becomes frustrating – also because the imbalance of difficulty here and there goes hand in hand with the promotion of spending to fix the problem.
Too bad, because although Tomb Raider reloaded it certainly wouldn’t have become a masterpiece even without this management of microtransactions, the game would still have been a discreet offshoot of the series, able to keep fans interested while they waited for the next main chapter (in the meantime, you can watch excellent episodes how to catch up Rise of the Tomb Raiderthat you find on Amazon).
Instead, the game evolves entertaining for the first few hours and incredibly frustrating and almost annoying right after. We can always hope for a turnaround on the part of developers and publishers, but as of the game’s current state, even the fact that it’s free isn’t enough of an excuse to justify such management.
Lara definitely deserves better.
Verified Version: Android