… Cameras were not allowed inside the attraction – this is a promotional photo and not the New Journal team inside the caves
We went, we raided and now we review – following in Lara Croft’s footsteps left us delighted, but in all honesty also confused.
Buried in the Stables Market in a site formerly home to an indoor retro clothes market, the Tomb Raider Live experience game sends teams through a series of mental and physical challenges, from shooting arrows from the back of a truck, to jumping off a ledge in the dark onto what felt like a big bean bag.
A little different from the traditional night out in NW1, then. We began at the Croft Manor library, before “teleporting” to a forest in Finland and then being transported to the Costa Rican jungle by truck and sinking ship.
We’re not in Camden any more. . .
The sets were detailed and immersive, but the storyline was thrust into our ears and often hard to grasp: we were told to hunt for weather-controlling orbs, but not how or why.
Instead we were rushed from room to room in a state of frantic confusion, given vague instructions and then sent on our way again.
Luckily, this didn’t hold us back and we were able to collect all but two of the multi-colored treasure balls.
One highlight was the entrance to the tomb, which involved crawling through a long, twisting dark tunnel on our hands and knees, with no visible exits and plenty of hidden turns to bang one’s head on.
One of our team was left behind and emerged shaking.
It became clear as we progressed through the experience why we had been asked to sign a health and safety waiver – and to wait for an opening night cocktail – before we began.
The leap of death onto a crash mat preceded a zipline (no harness) and then an obstacle course.
Our editor fell to pieces on the assault course, and narrowly avoided hitting his head on a big rock. The actors gave it their best go.
The final performance by Aidan was notably energetic but, throughout, they didn’t always have the time (or in one room, what seemed like the will) to help us with the challenges.
When there was another group coming up behind, we were ushered onto the next instalment.
At other points we were held behind doors, presumably while all the parts disrupted by the group before us were put back in place.
As we boarded a private jet to return to Camden and be told how we scored, we were at last permitted a drink.
All in all, it was a strange, occasionally frightening but overall fun experience.
And I imagine if you were a big fan of the game and the franchise it would prove even better – or if you were given more time and guidance.