Now Playing: Tomb Raider (2013)

I have a complicated relationship with the term “gamer.” Specifically, referring to myself as one.

I am quite confident in my geek bona fides, but gaming is another thing. I grew up playing PC games like Oregon Trail and Carmen Sandiego, but I never owned a console until I got a used N64 in college. (This was mainly used to play drunk MarioKart with my roommate.) I would never have considered myself a “gamer.”

It was my husband who really got me into gaming. He showed me the Star Wars RPG Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR), he bought me a Wii, he let me play his account for the beta of my first MMO, SW:TOR, and we watched the Overwatch World Cup together.

So, now I’m a gamer, I guess. Except…I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that he hasn’t played first, or with me. That still makes me feel lacking, like I’m just…borrowing his hobbies, or something.

In my inane desire to change this, I somehow became fixated on Tomb Raider. The original game is a classic, and the 2013 reboot has the dual benefit of being both more feminist than the original and getting good reviews. Also, we already owned the game, and my husband never got around to playing it. I would be on my own.

So, I set the difficulty to “easy” and gave it a shot.

Tomb Raider follows a young Lara Croft on an expedition to find the lost kingdom of Yamatai, but her ship is wrecked and her crew is stranded on a mysterious island with a creepy cult and a strange reluctance to let anyone leave. Lara must crawl through gross caves, explore dark tombs, and go down a lot of zip lines in order to find her crew and get them all off the island.

Lara is exactly the kind of female main character I’ve been waiting for. She’s tough and scrappy, yet fiercely loyal to her crew, especially her best friend Sam. (Sam is a girl; there’s no romance here.) Lara’s got brains, brawn, and heart. Plus her costume redesign is spot on.

The gameplay is fun, and has plenty of assists like auto aim and copious checkpoints to keep it from getting frustrating for n00bs like me. The puzzle-type challenges are my favorite, figuring out how to get from once place to another. Lara gets to use several different weapons and tools, so you can kind of figure out a combat style that best for you as well as best for the situation.


Yeah, I’ve hit a couple spots I’ve had trouble with. I’m really bad at timing button presses. I also have a tendency to start combat by rushing in and just shooting at stuff without considering options. Usually I’ll hit a “tough combat” and die five times before I realize I was supposed to sneak around, or shoot an explosive to kill all enemies at once, or some other strategy that was obvious once I thought about it for two seconds. This gives me the strange feeling of both chagrin for having to die at least five times before I catch on, but also pride for catching on in the end.

File:Tomb Raider (2018 film).png

I’ve enjoyed the story so much that I’m really looking forward to the new Tomb Raider movie coming out this year, which seems like it inspired by this game. Action movies with females leads are still relatively rare, and it would be really great to see this iteration of Lara on the big screen.

So, has playing Tomb Raider made me feel like a real gamer? Actually, kinda. As stupid as it sounds, I do feel more confident in my gaming abilities. Once or twice my husband has actually watched me play a video game for a change, instead of the other way around. I’m never going to play ranked PvP in a first person shooter or anything, but that’s not required and it’s not something I want to do anyways.


11 thoughts on “Now Playing: Tomb Raider (2013)

  1. Madame Writer February 22, 2018 / 5:34 pm

    Like you, I’m not sure if I would be considered a gamer, though I do enjoy gaming once in a while. The Tomb Raider reboot was the first first person shooter I ever played back I love the game, and even recently I went back and played it again. But I think I enjoy it more because it incorporates real Japanese myths (like Yamatai itself). I love the game…except for any level with wolves (I did not like the wolves). I’m excited for the new movie, but also super worried Hollywood is going to ruin it! Great post, btw!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei February 25, 2018 / 8:47 am

      I agree, I’ve really enjoyed all the story stuff about the Sun Queen Himiko. It’s really interesting and fits the game well. I could definitely see the replay value for this game. Did you ever play the sequel?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Madame Writer February 25, 2018 / 10:52 am

        Nope, but I did watch it on YouTube. I’m just not a huge fan of playing first person shooters (I prefer strategy survivor games like Don’t Starve). I definitely liked the second Tomb Raider game, but it did jump around from place to place, whereas I prefer games centered around one location.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Mei-Mei February 25, 2018 / 11:32 am

        My husband was just telling me about Don’t Starve, it sounds really interesting!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Madame Writer February 25, 2018 / 11:56 am

        It’s such an addicting game! Don’t play it! You’ll never be able to stop.


  2. Kariyanine February 23, 2018 / 11:43 am

    I’m glad you liked it, it’s one of my favorite action adventure games from the last gen.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei February 25, 2018 / 8:42 am

      That seems to be the consensus around here. I’m so glad I picked it!


  3. blogturtle February 24, 2018 / 8:15 am

    I’ve also played Tomb Raider for the Xbox and really enjoyed it. The story and mechanics are perftect. Your post is reminding me that I didnt finish it though. (I was almost done too) I’m gonna return to it! The movie looks good too. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mei-Mei February 25, 2018 / 8:41 am

      Haha we can finish it together! I’ve really been enjoying it. Happy playing!

      Liked by 1 person

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