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Tomb Raider: We go hands-on with Lara's darkest game yet

Exploring uncharted territory, dodging traps and testing out the deadly new bow and arrow

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What happened to the people on this island? Why are they insane and so eager to kill Lara? Why have so many ships ended up here? These are the initial mysteries that are apparent from the offset but there's a deep story to delve into. After snatching the bow from the poor dead chap's skeletal cadaver, we stumbled upon an overturned truck, unnoticeable from one side due to the overgrowth of foliage covering it.

Climbing into the back of its rotten wooden trailer we find a weathered old diary detailing the last moments of the bow's previous owner, a Japanese soldier, sent to the island during World War 2. Later on, as we make our way up some oddly placed stone steps, we find a letter written by a father, searching for his missing daughter, who ominously disappeared in the direction you're heading. Lara mentions a Queen Himiko, as she passes a large stone effigy.

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Not only are these snippets of story enticing, but the environments you traverse tell their own story. We enter a decrepit bunker, covered in moss. Grabbing a lit torch from a mantle (who lit that?) we climb down a pit into a hidden tunnel, covered with odd paintings, only to emerge into a rotten meat filled den of debauchery, littered with discarded beer cans and rife with flies.

A lot has been said about the violence, and the bloodthirsty finale, culminating in a do-or-die gun shuffle with a freakish survivor with something other than Lara's axe on his mind, is certainly hard hitting. But it's not without context and it's not frivolous or light-hearted either. If it's shocking, that's because it's supposed to be shocking. This isn't a game about titillation or a big-breasted heroine posing for the cameras. This is about a woman discovering her own strength to overcome adversity and become a legend. No one said she was going to have an easy ride.

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