The title that claimed the best launch week of 2013, Tomb Raider, hits back with a next-gen Definitive Edition to claim the top of the UK chart. FIFA 14 (-4%) is less than 500 copies behind in second place.
Much of the top ten falls one place to make room for the top entrant. Call of Duty: Ghosts (+19%) registers a significant increase in sales at third. Battlefield 4 (-5%) is still ahead of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (+11%), despite the latter title also picking up sales this week at fifth.
Assassin’s Creed IV and Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition both fall one place each to sixth and seventh respectively.
Grand Theft Auto V and Need for Speed: Rivals remain in place, as Killzone: Shadow Fall falls from seventh to tenth.
BioShock Infinite (-75%) remains atop the UK chart for a second consecutive week, ahead of Tomb Raider (-34%), which sits at second for its third week.
New entry Defiance takes third, dropping Gears of War Judgement (-67%) to sixth, as FIFA 13 (-15%) and Luigi’s Mansion 2 (-46%) stick at fourth and fifth respectively. Defiance is the first console release for Rift developer Trion Worlds, which has its first foray released before the TV tie-in hits later this month.
Call of Duty: Black Ops II (-24%) maintains its position at seventh ahead of several titles on the rise; Assassin’s Creed III (-26%) up one to eighth, Skylanders Giants (-15%) up six from fifteenth and Need for Speed Most Wanted (-12%) up seven from seventeenth.
Bioshock Infinite strikes the skyline of the UK chart at launch week, toppling Bioshock 2’s launch sales by around 9000 copies.
Bioshock Infinite’s chart-topping release has failed to topple best launch of the year so far: Tomb Raider, despite a mid-week release. Tomb Raider sticks at second with promotions lifting weekly sales by 45%.
Tomb Raider remains at the top of the UK Chart for a second week despite new competition.
God of War Ascension marks second, claiming the second most successful début of the series, behind God of War III with around half the sales.
StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm is another new title, with an extra three days of sale this week leading it to third. Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is the last new release in the top ten as it takes fourth, making it a successful chart endeavour as its predecessor only ever managed eighth.
SimCity (-50%) cannot keep up with new entries as it falls three places to fifth. FIFA 13 (-14%) drops one to sixth and Far Cry 3 (-3%) gains one to seventh, ahead of Crysis 3 (-42%) which falls from sixth to eighth. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (-14%) is another to drop two places, ahead of The Sims 3: University Life (-57%) which plummets from fourth to complete the top ten.
Lara Croft hasn’t had the best of times in recent years. The Tomb Raider series found itself slowly declining in popularity, following a handful of games that failed to capture the magic possessed by the original titles.
Not only that, but when Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series arrived in 2007 it quickly took the crown as gamers ‘tomb and treasure’ game of choice.
Now, developers Crystal Dynamics have gone back to the drawing board to bring Lara Croft and her escapades back to their former glory.
Tomb Raider, the franchise reboot from Crystal Dynamics has shot to the top of the UK Chart at launch, overtaking Aliens: Colonial Marines by more than double as the best launch title so far this year.
In turn, this sets a new launch record for the franchise, passing Tomb Raider: Legend, the first game from Crystal Dynamics. The Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 are also the top selling launch platforms for the rebooted series so far, besting the PlayStation 2 version of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness from 2003.
Despite rocky server issues preventing play which also led to the removal of game features, the SimCity reboot also has a strong start sales-wise, coming in at second. Highly publicised teething problems during the early US release obviously didn’t bother many of us here in the Europe.
Third and fourth positions also hold new titles with Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 and The Sims 3 expansion pack The Sims 3: University Life taking each spot respectively.
As a result from the highly-placed new entries, FIFA 13 (-32%) is forced down three places to fifth. Crysis 3 (-55%) tumbles from the towering position of first, landing at sixth. Call of Duty: Black Ops II marks seventh as it drops from fourth, staying ahead of Far Cry 3 at eighth and overtaking Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance as it falls from third to ninth. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim pops into tenth to complete the top ten.
Tesco were told to remove copies of Tomb Raider from selves after the Supermarket had the latest title on sale before its official release date, MCV UK reported.
A re-imagining of the series, Tomb Raider is one of the most anticipated games of this year. It is due for released on March 5th, however some customers came across copies on sale from March 2nd, three days before its meant to be on sale.
Some online retailers have also reported they began shipping copies on Friday, which meant some customers would have received the game on Saturday.
Before Tomb Raider was officially released, Jon Moss, Tesco’s games buying manager told MCV
“We take any street date break extremely seriously and are in the process of contacting stores to reiterate this message and ensure the product is taken off sale until midnight.”
Tomb Raider is officially out now. Did you pick a copy early? Comment and let us know.
A vote is currently taking place in Derby to decide upon a new street name, one of which is named after the Tomb Raider series protagonist, and videogame sex-symbol Lara Croft.
As reported in the Derby Telegraph, ‘Lara Croft Way’ made the shortlist of eight names from over 100 suggestions. The remainder of the shortlist, which can be seen after the break, is made up of some quality suggestion. However, Lara Croft’s appearance isn’t as odd as it seems, as Derby is the home of Core Design, the original developers behind Ms. Croft’s adventures.
Hers was the face that launched a thousand PlayStation’s, in actual fact it was several million worldwide. But while the franchise also appeared on the lowly Saturn it was the PlayStation version that catapulted Lara into the mainstream consciousness on a level not seen since a certain Italian plumber, or blue hedghog bounded onto our screens.
As the video game industry started to grow up it needed a new icon and Lara fitted the bill better than any other character, pushing Sonic and Mario into the shadows as her popularity exploded. Many best-selling sequels and a marketing push that has included two films and a string of Lucozade commercials soon followed and all seemed rosy for gaming’s first lady. Nothing could possibly go wrong could it?
Unfortunately, 2002’s dire Angel of Darkness nearly killed off the franchise and has left Lara in limbo ever since. Even the original development team, Core Design has been stripped of their prized franchise and the reins and responsibilities passed on to Crystal Dynamics. Handing such a well known and thoroughly British (she was just recently named in the short list to find Britain’s most loved design icon) franchise over to a US developer whose CV was a bit of a mixed bag (which included the great Soul Reaver and the not so great Gex) seemed like the final nail in the coffin.
But rejoice one and all, for Lara has completed a glorious resurrection thanks to her new creators. Whether you have been an avid follower of her previous works or new to the Tomb Raiding profession you are likely to find this a unique and thrilling adventure. Crystal Dynamics have done a remarkable job of crafting a game that firmly keeps hold of the spirit of adventure that first brought Lara to the forefront of gaming while at the same time bringing it kicking and screaming into the present. There are no misguided attempts to shoe-horn Lara’s gymnastic exploration into an urban setting and there are no signs of playable sidekicks with ridiculously macho-sounding names.
There has even been time spent on creating an interesting story this time around and a genuine attempt at character development. There are glimpses into Lara’s past which explain why she has developed such a keen interest in exploring dank tombs and has a love of historical artefacts. It’s pleasing to see Lara’s background being explored and fleshed out like this, and coupled with her refined looks and superb animation along with some great voice acting by Keeley Hawes (from BBC1’s Spooks) means Lara has never been more appealing.
But probably the biggest sigh of relief comes from the design of the levels, which actually include tombs this time. To say they’re the best in the series is an understatement; Legend features some intricately designed levels that more than compliment Lara’s expanded move-set and there is a lot of variety between them, not just in looks, but also the types of puzzles found in each one. The traditional block puzzles make a welcome return and are joined by some more lateral puzzles which, while not as lateral or finely constructed as God of War’s, are nicely integrated into the levels and there are very few that look out of place. There aren’t any that will really stretch your brain further than a few minutes but Crystal Dynamics have done well to create a lot of variety and its good to see they haven’t taken the easy route that simple switch puzzles would have provided, although they still make an appearance.
The diverse environments you come across during Lara’s adventure set her apart from the opposition. Newcomers like God of War and old favourite Prince of Persia have taken the genre a long way since her last appearance with a lot of emphasis on finely balanced controls and combat systems; Lara compares favourably in terms of control and level design but unfortunately falls slightly flat when it comes to combat. While it’s by no means terrible (considering third-person gun combat has still yet to be convincingly pulled off) but it is over complicated and clumsy in places. The targeting system has a fit when there are multiple enemies nearby and frequently selects a distant enemy despite having one standing next to you peppering you with bullets.
Considering combat isn’t the main element and enemy placement is generally pretty good you shouldn’t find this ruins your overall experience, and is in no doubt an improvement from past games. What grates even more though is the inclusion of a couple of bike sections that are both unnecessary and utterly frustrating. They are incredibly unfair and having to repeat these multiple times because of faults with the game could be enough to put you off playing any further. It feels like these were made by a totally different team entirely just to pad out the game’s still respectable ten hours of play. Hopefully Crystal Dynamics will ditch them for the sequel and focus their efforts on prolonging the game in a more constructive way.
If you can overlook these issues (and that’s not particularly hard) Lara’s return not only compliments what has been seen before but evolves the series beyond measure. Fans will love some of the little touches included; Croft Manor is once again present and provides a chance to practise Lara’s different moves in your own time. If the next game irons out the poorer aspects of Legend and continues to innovate then the franchise will once again be amongst the elite. As it stands, Tomb Raider: Legend falls short of being one of this generations best games but it still ranks as a must-have whichever system you own.