I’ve had both the game and the strategy guide for Tomb Raider for awhile, but I was scared to try the game for a number of reasons. One, I was nervous it would have as much platforming as the Tomb Raider games of old, and two, I was pregnant when the game released, so I was strictly warned to avoid the game during that time since pregnancy makes me have a very sensitive stomach to violence. When the Extra Life marathon came up, I put Tomb Raider up on the poll of games to play, and it got a resounding majority of the votes. I am so glad that I finally played the game (even more glad that I didn’t play while pregnant), and I am thrilled I had the Tomb Raider strategy guide available to help me through this game. Even though my goal was to burn through the game and not explore every nook and cranny to its fullest, the Tomb Raider strategy guide was invaluable at helping me get through several sequences, especially when I got lost in a few areas.
When I first looked at the strategy guide while getting ready to play, I was honestly nervous that the strategy guide would frustrate me more than help me. The guide is really focused on walking players through getting everything the first time–challenges, collectibles, and optional tomb raiding. I have typically found that when strategy guides are constructed in a way to lead you through getting collectibles while playing through the story, it’s easy to get lost in what the guide tells you what to do if you are not collectible hunting. For example, the guide may tell you to journey down this one path that’s really out of the way and then guide you back to the main path via a shortcut. If you don’t go down that collectible path and you need help finding the main path, the strategy guide will only confuse you and not help. The Tomb Raider strategy guide was not like this at all.
It was incredibly easy to both instantly find where I was in the written walkthrough and then interpret the guide’s instructions to help get me on the right track. It didn’t matter if I was hunting that collectible or completing that particular challenge or not. I could still find where I needed to go in the middle of all the completionist info.
And thank God it was easy to look up help, because I got turned around a lot as I ventured forth with the determination to grind through the game as quickly as I could.
The strategy guide also helped me get through combat situations that got me stumped nine times out of ten. Of course, I usually wanted to smack myself with the guide after learning how to, as it was usually something simple and very easy. Shoot a fire arrow into the gas, kill everyone instantly before they can call for help. Oh, silly me.
Not to mention, a couple of the puzzles had me absolutely stumped at what to do. Since the guide was so helpful with the puzzles, I know I’m going to heavily rely on it to help me when I go back and complete all of the optional tombs.
And yes, I want to go back to the game at one point and actually hunt around for the collectibles, challenges, and the optional tombs. And yes, the Tomb Raider strategy guide will be at my side the entire time.
This may be really late in the game, but I still can’t recommend the Tomb Raider strategy guide enough. It’s the perfect companion for both the completionists and those who want to burn through the game. It’s not often you find a strategy guide that is good at doing both in the main walkthrough. It’s so good, in fact, I’m not sure how much I’ll use the appendices when I go collectible hunting.
SGR Rating: 5/5