I just got the game and only got to the M O U N T A I N V I L L A G E (apparently the first really large open area). AND DAMN, this game is *bleeping* amazing. The "tutorial" sets the tone for the game. Its intense and keeps you tense with suspense all throughout the game. And the game is SO brutal to poor Lara. I really like how her visuals change based on the beating she takes in each area.
And man does Lara Croft know how to take a beating. I wonder how many times I'm going to ask, how did I live through that? And forget dual pistol, the bow has just become Lara's iconic weapon.
Also, I like how you see Lara go from panicking, to building up her courage, to kicking ass. It makes her seem more real than the standard fearless protagonist we typically see in action video games.