The original Tomb Raider, which I first played on a PlayStation (the big bulky grey thing) and it was something else. A woman, raiding tombs, in hot pants, with guns, what a strange combination but it was a formula for success. This was followed up with the second game that once again was a classic, adding more moves and vehicles to Lara’s aid. The third game was a PC version for me, this added even more to the mix with a quest for four mysterious artefacts from around the world. The next game ‘Last Revelation’ was very short lived and the game was wearing thin with me. I never even bothered with 'Chronicles’ as I could not see the benefit. Lucy tried the last incarnation; Angel Of Darkness and reported that it was pants! What were Eidos doing with Lara, they had taken one of the world’s most forefront gaming characters and slowly killed her, they were mad!
Now enter Tomb Raider Legends, the latest multi platform Lara Croft game.
What a difference time makes, Lara is back!
Of course I’m currently playing the 360 version, well would you want to miss out on screens like that just because you bought the PS2 version?
The graphics are stunning with the water effects being top of the list, but then that was one of the best items in the original games. But the best part of the game is that we are back to the raiding of tombs rather than wondering around environments shooting and being shot at. That said there is always your fair share of opposing raiders out there to make life difficult but you have your trusty pistols at hand.
The most noticeable part of this game is the change in controls and methods, don’t worry change is good this time round. Where as before you can draw your guns and walk around and when an enemy came into sight se would auto target. This time you get a reticule around each enemy and holding a trigger will target that enemy, you can select another by releasing and holding again. Once targeted is the same old kiss kiss bang bang affair. Now to help you out you can destroy certain set environment features to take out your woes, shoot that pillar to fall on the truck, job done. You can always fall back on the precision aiming of a first person style, handy for shooting those special panels to activate that puzzle or even the crate to collect the various awards.
Lara is on top form again with a beautiful selection of moves and vehicles to play with. One of my favourite so far is the Max Payne bullet dodge slow motion jump back when you get close enough to enemy. One item you get to use quite a bit is a magnetic grapple, which you will find invaluable. The usual suspects are still there, the medi packs and collectable weapons, however the standard flares have been replaced by a PSL (Personal Light Source) which is a very Doom/Half Life style torch.
There is a pleasant mix of game play with some vehicle blasts but also a nice mix of cinematic with button pressing to advance; press B now style. This really adds to the game play and gets you involved. Of course it would not be Tomb Raider if there was not a vast range of puzzles to solve. This time around you get a lot more movement with everything. Those large creates are not restricted to a linear line, they are free moving and able to be pushed in any direction. You really get a feel for this with those large stone spheres that you need to move around. You will find your RAD mode really handy at times now because the path to success is not always as visible as it could be.
The puzzles, the tombs are back, Lara being her good self, it all adds up to a very good game. But also if your on the 360 the visuals are just stunning and if you are in a need of a fix of how games should be done pick up a copy of Tomb Raider Legends, you will not be disappointed!