Tomb Raider: 5 Reasons It’s Better Than Uncharted 3

3 min

The recent reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise has been well met by many. Lara Croft’s new adventure has been compared numerous times with the Uncharted series, which itself was initially compared to earlier Tomb Raider games when it first came out. Now that the game is finally in our hands, we get to make the comparisons ourselves and see that there is quite a bit of difference between the two games/series. Ultimately, in my eyes, Tomb Raider has succeeded in outperforming the Uncharted series in a number of areas. For this article’s purpose, I’m comparing Tomb Raider to Uncharted 3, given that game is the latest evolution for that series.

Tomb Raider: 5 Reasons It’s Better Than Uncharted 3

5) Better Platforming

One of the major consistent arguments made against the Uncharted series is that the platforming sections are usually very linear and nigh impossible to fail. Very rarely do you ever die from the platforming sections in Uncharted 3. In Tomb Raider on the other hand, platforming is more interactive. You’re more likely to fail a platforming section in Tomb Raider and suffer for it. In addition, there are some moments where failing a platforming section results in Lara taking a different course through an obstacle, providing variety within the platforming aspects. Lara also gains extra skills and equipment to help her perform even more platforming maneuvers, whereas Nathan Drake never gains any new abilities over the course of Uncharted 3.

4) More Involving Characters

Don’t get me wrong here, I love the characters in the Uncharted universe. The problem arises when most of these characters only interact during cutscenes. Sometimes they interact with each other during gameplay moments, and these banter moments are great too, but Tomb Raider takes it a step further. Lara is constantly in contact with someone during her adventure. Whether friend or foe, helpful or annoying, there’s almost always someone around her. She also interacts with them outside of cutscenes, mainly with her walkie-talkie. An additional bonus to Tomb Raider is that during exploration, Lara comes across many diaries and documents featuring thoughts of either her travel mates or of the enemy. You gain more insight into these other characters and learn how they truly feel. This was a major problem in Uncharted 3, as the main villains in Uncharted 3 were sorely underdeveloped. Lara herself has little moments where she writes/talks for her own journal, again providing more insight into her character.

3) Seamless Open World

Tomb Raider takes place on an isolated island, reminiscent of Far Cry 3. The best thing about this is that the environment is seamless and your transition from one area to the next feels relevant. The island also reminds me of Dark Souls’ world, where areas are interconnected and Lara can traverse between areas that she has been before. The fast travel mechanic helping this concept significantly too. I always love seeing how game design relative to the environment gets unraveled in game. You, as the gamer, slowly get to see the vision within the game’s design by how the levels are created. In Uncharted 3, you don’t get this feeling as everything is linear and straight-forward. You never get to return to an area nor do you expand on the environment through exploration. It’s just one scene after another.

2) Better Cover System

Tomb Raider has an awesome cover system. No longer do you have to press a button to enter/exit cover, Lara does so automatically when she’s behind an obstacle like a wall. She’ll automatically peer over or to the sides of cover whenever you take aim to shoot too. Covering doesn’t make you invincible either. You really have to get up close to the wall to be in proper cover and even then, you can still be shot at from different angles should your enemy be in a good position. In Uncharted 3, the cover system is a mess. The problem arises by NOT having a button dedicated to entering/exiting cover. This button also maps to dodging. Countless amount of times I would accidentally enter cover when I wanted to dodge, and vice versa. You also have the issue of consistently entering/exiting/entering cover as delayed responses mean that you aren’t too sure whether Nathan is actually going to use cover or not, especially in the heat of battle.

1) Tighter Controls

This takes cue from the point above. By having a better button map to the gamepad, Tomb Raider becomes the better game from a gameplay perspective too. Controls feel intuitive and tight. Dodging works really well and allows you to regain control of Lara really quickly, meaning you’re more proactive during shootouts. The dodge and counter system is great too coupled with a much better melee system than in Uncharted 3. Uncharted 3’s essentially QTE melee moments was a weak point to the game. In Tomb Raider, you also gains skills throughout the game to increase your melee abilities and your countering abilities. Overall, Tomb Raider feels smoother in terms of gameplay.

So there you have it, 5 reasons Tomb Raider is better than Uncharted 3. Do you agree? Or do you feel that Uncharted 3 is the better game?

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  1. I enjoyed Uncharted, and LOVED Uncharted 2…Uncharted 3 however, not so much; 3 had some nice moments, but overall I found myself not immersed in the world at all and instead simply just playing to get through the game. I hated feeling like most of the game was staged set pieces with no heart…like a Michael Bay flick. I look forward to trying Tomb Raider, once I finish a couple other games I have on the go right now.

  2. Funny really because your one of the only articles which believe’s Tomb Raider is better than Uncharted; I could give you 100 reasons why Uncharted is better than Tomb Raider but I won’t lol. Tomb Raider is good, but good is as far as the game goes, it hasn’t revolutionised and it hasn’t broken new ground, Uncharted on the other hand did revolutionise and set the bar for third person shooters and cinematic sequences, and has that bar been set by Tomb Raider, “No not a chance”.

    You mentioned ‘Open World’, this is a typical argument from certain gamers where they believe that a bigger game is a better game, I can tell you now pal that is certainly not the case with these two (That’s like comparing the size of Crash Bandicoot & Skyrim, quite silly really); You can’t dictate how good a game is based on it’s size, Uncharted is linear ‘Yes’ but it’s linear to give a better story and cinematic feel, Tomb Raider fails at that.

    But is that a good thing? Surely that takes away the player’s sense of control with Lara ‘Automatically’ doing as she pleases. Uncharted does something similar where Drake peers randomly over a cover area or glance slowly while hugging up against a wall which so it’s fare to say that Tomb Raider doesn’t hold the candle at that point either.

    Another point you made:

    Better Cover System
    “Lara does so automatically when she’s behind an obstacle like a wall”

    But is that a good thing? Surely that takes away the player’s sense of control with Lara ‘Automatically’ doing as she pleases. Uncharted does something similar where Drake peers randomly over a cover area or glance slowly while hugging up against a wall which so it’s fare to say that Tomb Raider doesn’t hold the candle at that point either. This was one of the praised moments in Uncharted (Can I ask have you even played it?) The melee felt realistic an allowed the player to block, grab and even interact with objects and environments in the same combat sequence

    Tighter Controls
    “Uncharted 3′s essentially QTE melee moments was a weak point to the game.”

    This was one of the praised moments in Uncharted (Can I ask have you even played it?) The melee felt realistic an allowed the player to block, grab and even interact with objects and environments in the same combat sequence, how exactly is that weak?

    “you also gains skills throughout the game to increase your melee abilities”

    So something that is heavily used in other games unrealistic and quite frankly not needed is good? How does that overshadow the fact that one game can pull it off effectively and smoothly? I myself wouldn’t consider that good, that to me sounds as-if your trying to build the next Superwoman, what wrong with combat being combat and using it from the get-go without having to rely on ‘Abilities’

    More Involving Characters

    Completely disagree, this is what made Uncharted the game it is today, having such loveable characters that kept the game fresh and involved in the game was the pinnacle point of this game.

    “The problem arises when most of these characters only interact during cutscenes”
    Not at all, let me remind you that the likes of Chloe, Elena and Sully would be helping to take out enemies, look for clues in puzzles, help drake get to unapproachable areas and would use funny and quirky dialogue to help the player out, hardly uninvolved? In fact let me take you back to ‘Uncharted 2’ a sequence later on in the game where you need the aid of a character called ‘Tenzin’, because he can’t speak English, you have to go by his influence and gestures which really draws the players into this unusual character, you have to work with Tenzin to solve puzzles and take down enemies, even segments where Teznin was the only character who could help you, so again that point was slightly overlooked on your part.

    All in all I respect you points but I don’t agree with your points, it just seems like you raise more about the fact the Tomb Raider is ‘Open World’ to try and overshadow Linear games. Good article, well written but as a said before you have overlooked some points.

    1. She also will brace herself against cover with her free hand and occasionally other things especially if she’s hurt… I really like those little touches and the game looks amazing on PC

  3. Thomas is right Uncharted is way better you get more in depth in uncharted i found tomb raider being a boring crapy game no offence but not one thing you named up there is better in tomb raider even when tomb raider showed up to e3 for gameplay littterally no one clapped because no one gives a shit about the games any more point being a reboot of a game series is bound to suck.

  4. Uncharted’s combo system is not QTE it’s contextual. Square is to punch, Triangle to dodge and “O” to grab, push or hit with an object. -__-

    “Countless amount of times I would accidentally enter cover when I wanted to dodge”

    Just press “O” 2 times consecutively and that was it. Now please stop grasping at straws. Especially with point #4. lol

  5. I completely agree, the latest Tomb Raider is way better than Uncharted 3 (which left me a bit disappointed). You make very valid points, especially the ones about exploration and controls. I’m not quite sure TR is better than Uncharted 2 though, that one might still be unparalleled, mainly due to its superb story and visuals. Anyway, Lara comes back with a bang and now she’s toe to toe with Nathan Drake. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

  6. He lost me at the “more involving characters” point. Uncharted is Uncharted bc Naughty Dog was able to create characters we care about. They are some of the best realized characters in gaming. And not just Drake. Sully and Elaina are extremely well fleshed out. Also, Uncharted has the best voice acting in gaming. Everyone delivers a great performance, not just Drake. Tomb Raider has good voice acting, especially Lara but the rest of the crew is good, not great. Also, the characters in Uncharted do Not only talk in cut scenes. They share a lot of banter throughout the campaign, and it’s quite good to boot. Sorry guy, Tomb Raider is good, but Uncharted it is not.

    1. And you forgot, the best facial animation seen in a Videa Game.. really the looks reallly well animated, I haven’t seen any better afacial animation ever!

      Well, I haven’t played This Tomb Raider, when I pley it I’ll compare then…

  7. I love the new Tomb Raider. But the only things it really have over Uncharted which is my favorite game is, skills and weapon development. The games are very similar and I agree with the point of the cover system. Tomb Raider basically mimicked what Uncharted became known for. The games are so similar I can see the Nathan Drake character meeting Lara Croft in a game as a cameo.

      1. yes, but the uncharted developers were surely inspired by the old tomb raider games, so its a stalemate arguement.

  8. Uncarted is much more refined being as its an exclusive. The controls are NOT better in Tomb Raider and neither is the platforming. That being said, you can’t compare the two and say one is better than the other. They aren’t even close to being the same game. Tomb Raider has a lot of survival and even a bit of horror thrown in. Also, th eone very annoying thing about Tomb Raider are the stupid QTEs. I’m not usually too against quick time events, but Tomb Raiders are a bit much.

    1. No horror in Uncharted? Really man? I recall being chased by way too many zombies at one point in during the first entry. I didn’t know that didn’t count as horror. I can’t wait to tune in to AMC tonight and watch my favorite romantic comedy : “The Walking Dead”. And the QTEs were so few and far between that it shouldn’t even of mentioned.

      Another maddening (not by you) line I’ve read a few times is how Tomb Raider steals aspects of Uncharted when it’s obvious that Uncharted took the basic aspects of TR and improved on them. I also prefer the easier cover play in TR. I know I’m not the only one that became frustrated with the accidental jumping in and out of cover in Uncharted. Of course I adjusted and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.
      These are both great series entries in an awesome genre and should be enjoyed not pitted against each other. Play them and enjoy the time played. It’s not often that we get well made games like these to enjoy.

  9. Looks like a great adventure, but no 3d. Those of you who don’t play 3d games just don’t know what you’re missing and Uncharted was off the chain.

  10. Obviously everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and that’s one of the key things I like about the gaming community (swapping and sharing views). But most of the points raised in the article aren’t essentially ‘Good’, it seems more to be about ‘IF’ Tomb Raider can top Uncharted.

    The new Tomb Raider is played out very differently to Uncharted, almost in the sense of comparing apples and oranges; the old Tomb Raider games where more like Uncharted, but this new Tomb Raider seems to be very different and that’s why I’m curious as to why the person who wrote this article deems it necessary to compare the Open-World aspects with the Linear.

  11. C’mon…really…which is better? Uncharted or Tomb Raider? >.<….if you are a true adventure genre fan of these type of games I say both are great!!!!

    I am a huge fan of the Uncharted series and played and finished them all. Being a fan of Uncharted and devoted player I can tell you I loved the reboot of Tomb Raider. If it wasn't for the original Tomb Raider, I probably would have never gotten into the Uncharted Series in the first place.

    I have played the original Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider 2 on the old Playstation console back in the day and because of that experience I am huge fan of the adventure genre type of games.

    I whole heartily welcome the reboot of Tomb Raider….the reason being it keeps the competition going between Naughty Dog and Cryptic Dynamics and that means more adventure games for us to play.

    Screw the BS which one is better Uncharted or Tomb Raider….both are great games that have their own right changed the way we play adventure games and set the bar high along the way.

    I say to Cryptic Dynamics good job! I just finished the reboot Tomb Raider game and it was awesome. Truly a great cinematic movie like experience on par with the Uncharted Series and a most welcomed and needed change to keep Tomb Raider fresh and relevant for the future of the franchise.

    Can't wait to play the next installment, and as for Naughty Dog I also can't wait to play Uncharted 4! Keep em both coming, I would gladly pay out my hard earned cash for both franchises.

    Hell maybe one day we can see a Uncharted meets Tomb Raider team up game…by Naughty Dog and Cryptic Dynamics…that would be AWESOME!

  12. Besides the open world point (which for now I’ am going to let him get away with it) these are completely stupid points. So apparently the cover system is better because you don’t have to click a button, and it has tighter controls because the dodge and counter system is great (which is just a QTE which Uncharted wasn’t) and the platforming is better because you die more. And don’t even get me started with the characters point, I’ve played Tomb Raider almost twice and almost have the platinum and still don’t know half of the crew’s name. Uncharted’s characters are just some of the best in the industry. Shame on the writer of this article.

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