The Tomb Raider franchise has always boasted its protagonist’s survival and acrobatic skills, but no game in the series has ever managed to explain how she got the way she is. This is where the 2013 reboot comes in the picture, serving as Lara’s origin story – an enthusiastic adventurer dealing with extraordinary situations.
Tomb Raider – MacOS Game Review
Developer: Feral Interactive Ltd
Size: 12.27 GB
Version: OS X 10.9.1 or later
In-App Purchase: yes
Last Updated: Jan 23, 2014
Version Of App: 1.0
After a shipwreck, Lara and her crew are left on a mysterious island, with nowhere to go. Lara is then abducted, with her injuring herself during her escape. This new side of Lara shows a scared individual doing whatever it takes to deal with different trials and situations rather than giving up. One thing is for certain, the reboot manages to bring new life to the character, while the story remains engaging and emotional from the beginning to the end with its 18 to 20 hour single player campaign.
The gameplay mixes puzzle solving, exploration and combat, with the island serving as excellent backdrop. Exploring new areas is simply a delight, but that comes nowhere near to the real reason why this reboot is appealing – the way Lara is beautifully animated with her movements being natural as ever; although level design is in no way to be taken lightly either.
While progressing through the story there are numerous challenges that need to be dealt with, which are neither repetitive nor boring. Said challenges never for a second feel out of place and serve as an excellent way to encourage gamers to complete more of them to gain items and experience point to upgrade Lara’s skill set at campfire sites littered throughout the island, which by the way also serve as fast travel points.
This time around, the reboot places a lot of focus on combat, although the game manages to keep it fresh. It is safe to say this is the most action-oriented Tomb Raider game of the entire franchise. Everything about this reboot not only keep things fresh but it feels right with the new direction it takes.
There are new weapons to choose from, with the longbow being the most versatile out of the lot. The shotguns, handguns and semi-automatic rifles offer more flavor for players that prefer to go in guns blazing. Each weapon can be upgraded, much like Lara herself, using salvage and parts that can be collected from different parts of the island. The enemy AI is clever and will keep you at the edge of your seat while you fight back using tactics of your own.
The puzzles, as mentioned earlier, do not seem out of place and complement the story and the surroundings. They do not seem as though it they had been placed there by an ancient civilization, and seem natural, which should explain why exploring tombs is fun. The tombs may be placed for players to raid, while serving as optional challenges, but with great rewards upon completion.
Multiplayer – hit or miss?
For the very first time, the game comes with a multiplayer mode. Interestingly, it is only available through the Steam version of the game. Despite the fact the multiplayer mode allows players to take a break from the single player campaign, it does lack in many ways. Simply put, it is pretty standard stuff for anyone that is familiar with multiplayer games and their workings. The multiplayer mode is average and does not in any way add value to an already spectacular game.
From the various modes and loadouts, you get to choose to play as the survivor or enemy character, which also determines your appearance and the weapons at your disposal. As for the loadouts, you can choose from two weapons along with an attachment and a perk to best suit your style of gaming.
The reason for the multiplayer mode for lacking is because how at times you may have to wrestle with the controls. But the real problem lies in how there are not enough players as there should be for an unforgettable experience. The multiplayer mode is something noteworthy to look into for those interested, but it does not bring anything new to the table.
Feral Interactive has done an outstanding job with its port for macOS. It looks extraordinary on Mac, and is even considered one of the best looking games out there for the platform in question. The setting is gorgeous, while effects like water and fire feel realistic.
The game makes excellent use of the OpenGL 4.1 update to offer visuals that were never seen before. There are so many options for the PC version, including the hair-rendering made possible via TressFX, more specifically optimized for AMD-based systems. There will be instances where you will just want to stop and admire the surroundings, which too is an understatement.
The soundtrack is no different from how effective the rest of the game is. It is fantastic, and will switch from low-key to high-key depending on the different situations you come across. The experience is undoubtedly immersive especially due to the game’s sounds. The voice-work is second to none, with the actors adding more value to the script and essentially bringing it to life at the same time.
Taking into account the visuals of the game, the system requirements are high for those that want to run the game in the highest possible settings. A 2010 iMac with an AMD Radeon HD 5750 with 1GB of VRAM can easily run the game in High settings without a drop in framerates. Feral Interactive has at the same time made sure the port works on all Mac setups without faltering or compromising on performance.
The port for macOS has a benchmark tool much like the Windows counterpart, making it easier for players to see how far they can push their Mac setup without losing out on precious framerates per second.
All in all, the game is not for Tomb Raider fans alone. It features an extraordinary story while being an amazing action-adventure game that will appeal to all audiences. Seeing Lara progress from a naïve explorer to a battle hardened survivalist is a story for the ages. The port for macOS may be expensive, but it is by far, the best game to have on your Apple machine.