Does Tomb Raider Reloaded Improve a Classic?

The long-awaited release of Tomb Raider Reloaded brings Lara Croft back to life, but was it worth the wait? Since the game’s full release on February 14 this year reviews have been mixed, so does it represent an improvement on the 1996 original or not?

A New Look Based on the 1996 Original

The general idea is sure to appeal to fans of the original Tomb Raider, as Reloaded is based on the version of Lara Croft that appeared in the original game in 1996 rather than in the grittier versions in the Survivor reboot. However, since this is a free-to-play mobile game long-term fans of the franchise may worry that the gameplay is boiled down to something too simplistic to be satisfying.

There’s a huge global market for Tomb Raider products, as that original game in 1996 spawned many sequels and reboots, as well as movies and other spin-offs. Not all of these attempts have been successful, but Tomb Raider remains one of the most–loved franchises and sits at 39th place in the list of the best-selling game franchises in history.

We can see an example of the Tomb Raider appeal by looking at the best apps out there for mobile casinos. The likes of Party Casino and LeoVegas have big selections of slot games covering a huge range of themes, with this game covered in slots such as Tomb Raider and Lara Croft Temples and Tombs. These games feature some of the most recognizable images from the franchise and add variety alongside other casino games like baccarat and blackjack.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider / Which Way” (CC BY 2.0) by Stefans02

The Early Reviews and the Microtransactions Issue

The gameplay sees her look for treasure across more than 50 locations on a world map, and each location has various stages in it. It’s reasonably varied and difficult enough that even players who’ve completed Tomb Raider games in the past could struggle more than they expect to.

The controls are simple, as you only need to move Lara around the screen and avoid traps. When she stops moving, our heroine targets enemies and shoots at them. While the mobile version of this classic hasn’t been out long enough for everyone to try it yet, the early reviews paint a picture of a good idea that has arguably been let down in the execution.

This review from GameSpot is largely positive about the game, pointing out the pleasures of exploring dungeons and mentioning that the microtransaction system isn’t too troublesome. On the other hand, this Forbes review talks about a poor user interface and the incredibly high number of microtransactions and in-game collectibles that ruin what was a good idea for a game. This review also suggests that later levels are set up to be almost impossibly difficult to complete.

There’s no doubt that fans of Tomb Raider will be keen to give this mobile version a try. It’s certainly visually reminiscent of the 1996 original, while the gameplay is challenging enough to keep players coming back for more. Ultimately, your opinion on Tomb Raider Reloaded will probably come down to how you view the microtransaction approach and whether you’ve got the patience to work through all of the different stages.