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Tomb Raider Legend is the 7th game in the series featuring adventurer Lara Croft. We are all massive Tomb Raider fans in our house and this game is one that gets used a lot.
The game was the second one to come out on the PS2 platform and is a lot better than the first one Angel of Darkenss. It is easier to move her about and there are more places you can move about to. The controls seem easier to use as well as the first one.
There are 8 levels on this game, here are some quick overviews of each level.
Level 1 Bolivia
This level you are making your way through different areas which have a good learning curve so that you get used to doing all the moves. You find out how to make Lara climb up ropes and poles which she couldn't do before, plus how to swing on ropes and other cute moves.
You have to find the Temple by following the route. It is quite easy to find your way around, you need to look our for obvious edges that have a distinctive line on them that she can use to grab hold of to get herself up and across. Once you get used to looking for these tell tale marks you can usually see where you have to go.
You get to fight against some soldiers on the way before you are able to enter the Temple. All through the level there are special things you can find that are like the secrets you used to find on the previous Tomb Raider games but this time they are just artefacts of some kind and you collect them up to win special items at the end of the level. I will explain more later.
Once you get in the temple there are many challenges to overcome to make your way through the area including some good puzzles to work out how to do things like unlocking doors to get to the next room.
At the end of the level you get a harder bit which is like a boss ending, you have to shoot lots of mercenaries which just keep coming but its not too hard to get through it.
Level 2, Peru
In Peru she starts off in a town that looks abandoned but as she searches around the buildings she finds more men firing at her. She needs to find her way through the area and then she finds a motorbike which she gets to drive. This is quite good fun but it is a challenge to get through the area as you have to make sure you do not hit the obstacles in the way and you have people firing at you at the same time. You can not just go where you want to on the bike, it is a set pattern and the scenery keeps refreshing until you have killed enough of the baddies to get you to the next part. You get check points along the way so once you get through one of these it is a relief as you know if you fall off the bike you only have to go back to the last one and carry on from there.
Next you are down under the ground in some ruins and you have to find your way through there escaping from a monster on the way. You also have some more puzzles to solve to get through some of the rooms. To finish the level you have more mercenaries to fight like at the end of the last level.
Level 3, Japan
his level Lara starts wearing an evening dress which is quite novel for the adventurer but it is not long before the dress gets torn and she is back in her normal mode again. You need to find your way up inside a tall building to the roof and then find a way of getting across the roof tops to another building which includes having to ride a bike across at one time jumping the gap between buildings. Once in the final building there are more men to get rid of before she ends up having to fight Takamoto to get to the end of the level. He is the big boss on this level and you just have to fight him but he is not so easy to beat as he keeps firing weapons at you that take your life down really quickly so you have to be fast on the buttons to get out of the way and be able to shoot him back at the same time.
Level 4. Ghana
This level is quite pretty at the beginning with lots of greenery and a large waterfall. You need to find away through the waterfall to find the ruins behind. Once inside you have more puzzles to work out like how to get the water wheels working to open the doors you need to go through.
The end of this level you have to fight another big boss this time called Rutland and he is harder to fight than the last level as he can recharge his life so you sometimes feel you are flogging a dead horse but once you work out the knack as to how to kill him you can finish the level.
Level 5, Kasakhstan
This level starts at a military compound and you need to find ways of getting from one area of it to another without the men killing you. It is quite a fun level with zip wires and other leaps and jumps. You also get to ride the bike again, this time you need to ride the bike along again killing the men who are shooting at you but there are more of them in this level and more obstacles in the way. When you get through the first bit of the chase you get to jump over ramps and things and then you need to land the bike onto the top of a moving train. This then takes you through to the next bit of the level.
You end up in a lab and you need to find ways to get the equipment working again. You have places where you need to get through without touching the floor escaping trailing electric wires and poisonous gases.
At the end of this level the boss is a big creature that feeds off electrical currents so you need to be fast and get rid of it all before you can actually kill it otherwise it keeps renewing its energy.
Level 6, England
In this level you are back in England this time at something like a museum for artefacts relating to King Arthur. It has been abandoned so you need to get some of the bits working again and get through the rooms to the tombs underneath.
Once down there you get to drive a fork lift truck which is a new vehicle although you dont have it for long. You also need to find a way through some areas with grids and fire coming out of them and walls that close in and out on you.
Later on there are flooded passages and under water lakes and some good puzzles to work out to get through the area. Halfway through the level you need to fight a large creature that comes out of the water. You need to find a way to kill it as shooting it doesnt work. Once you have worked out this puzzle you can get to the next area which has more fire traps and some spinning blades to steer clear of. The end of the level is fighting more mercenaries.
Level 7, Nepal
In this level you have to find your way down through the mountain to some caves below. Once in them you need to find the Monastery. Once in there you have some more good puzzles to solve, the one with the weights is really a good one to work out. You dont really have a boss at the end of this level, just some hard jumping things to do with the platforms crumbling under your feet so you have to be really quick with your reflexes.
Level 8, Bolivia
This level you are back in Bolivia again. It is only a short level but there is lots of fighting to do, first you have to fight the mercenaries and then you get to fight the big boss of the game which is a monster not a person (well it was a person but they transformed). There is a trick of killing this monster but I wont divulge it on here, you just need to try all your weapons until you find something that works.
This is the end of the game but its not the end if you get what I mean. There are lots of other things you can do after you have completed it. You need to make sure you save the game after finishing the last level then it will give you other things opening up to do.
One of the other things you can do is go into Lara's home at Croft Manor. This opens up fully after you finish level 1. You can explore the rooms at will but there are puzzles to do in there which are really good, there are shields hidden all over the place, some in view others you need to solve puzzles to find them. You want to try to find all of them in the level, the bronze, silver and the gold. Once you have found all of these you open up other things like more clothes for Lara to change into. You also can earn these through out the game by finishing the various levels and finding the hidden artefacts on each level. There are also time trials you can attempt where you only have a set time to finish each level in and then you get some more special things opening up.
I enjoyed playing this game a lot. It took me a while to do it on my own as I am not that good at using the buttons these days as I used to be. My grandson came round during half term though to stay over and he started playing this game on the morning he came and he had completed it by the next evening although he hadnt done any of the treasure hunts or any time trials. He went back in to the first level and found all the artefacts in there and he managed to complete everything in Croft Manor but there are still plenty of things to be done on the game and he said next time he stays he wants to do some more.
I think the game does have longevity as even if you are super at gaming and manage to finish everything you could always start again from scratch. I dont know whether we will ever be fast enough to finish the whole game with the time trials as they seem really hard to do but its good to keep trying at it.
Also on Ciao under username Harveydog52
Tomb Raider Legend is an action platformer for the Playstation 2 developed by Crystal Dynamics.
Lara returns after the decidedly poor attempt at a reviving the franchise in Angel of Darkness. The story starts when Lara is a girl, she andher mother are involved in a plane crash, they become trapped in a tomb, her mother picks up the legendary sword Excalibur which makes her disappear. Flash forward and the adult Lara finds some clues that her mother may have been sent to the mystical world of Avalon and if she puts together the pieces of Excalibur she may be able to rescue her. The story is actually very good and brings backs some characters from Laras past for her to conflict with.
The gameplay has received a total reworking from the Angel of Darkness,
Lara now controls smoothly and accurately, no longer the tank of old! She is agile capable of jumping to any ledge with ease, the platforming sections have you scale ancient ruins, natural wonders all the way to warehouses and military bases. It is really satisfying to do and looks great aswell. The games puzzles are rather simplistic but this just keeps the pace of the game flowing along very well.
Combat has been reworked too, Lara still is armed with her iconic dual pistols but in addition can pick up enemy weapons and perform a slow motion kick off them to take them out in a really cool looking move, long time fans of the series may not like the amount of combat that they work into the game however.
Lara also gets to hop on her bike in a couple of levels but these are the weakest of the bunch, you can accelerate but there is no freedom, you just head down a small path while holding the fire button to take out any enemies that attack you. The driving model is also very poor and fails to capture any sense of speed or excitement despite throwing in some cool jumps.
Graphically the game is reasonable, Lara looks good and the environments are usually decent too, honestly it isn't to far behind the Xbox 360 version.
The platforming and combat have really been made alot of fun and the story is good too which makes this one of the better Tomb Raider titles.
I bought this game when it first came out in 2006 for PlayStation 2. I had previously played the older games on the PlayStation and being a fan of tomb raider I was hoping this game wouldn't be a disappointment since the Angel of Darkness game, and im glad to say it wasn't.
The game is really good, there is 8 levels but the levels go on for ages but the game is shorter than other tomb raider games so if your good at adventure games like this then your probably going to complete it very quickly which can be disappointing.
The graphics in Legend are very good and much more better looking than older games and this is just on a ps2 especially when your in Bolivia.
There is a variety of different environments from jungles, deserts, cities to wintery mountain sides.
The controls are very easy to get used too and make the game enjoyable! You can lock onto enemies and shoot them which does make it easier, this could be a good or a bad thing depending on the gamer. The downside about this is you need to press it again to change who you lock onto which can get annoying if two people are pretty close and it locks onto one you didn't want to shoot at that point.
You can unlock many outfits by collecting hidden treasures on each level and completing time trials.
Even though the game could have been much longer I still recommend to buy it if you haven't, you can sit and play it for hours straight because it has all the aspects of an adventure game. It makes you think (not one of them extremely easy games with no point to it!) and the fight scenes are brilliant. Overall I really enjoyed this game and have played it more than once because it has loads of puzzles and you get to do a variety of things! my favourite being when shooting/riding from a motorbike.
Tomb Raider: Legend is the 7th installment of the Tomb Raider series of video games that has spanned way more than a decade and has also spawned a movie franchise. I received this game though one of the game trading websites that I am a member of.
As many people who have played the previous Tomb Raider games will know, when Laura Croft was a young girl, her and her mother were in a plane crash in which Laura was the only survivor. This game deals with that story. Laura is searching for certain artifacts that have something to do with her ordeal when she was young. They can be found all over the world, but, as usual, she has to work against someone else's evil plans to get the artifacts. This story takes Laura all over the world in search of her artifacts and answers to her own past. The base story, where Laura searches into her past, is great, and there was one cutscene that both shocked me and made me almost cry (I don't cry for fictional people, but this was gut-wrenching).
Tomb Raider: Legend probably has better graphics than all of the other tomb raider games combined (though I have yet to play Anniversary and, as I write this, Underworld still hasn't come out yet). A person could get lost in the scenery. There is some diverse scenery, such as jungle ruins, urban skyscrapers, a military research lab, and the Himalayas. The detail in these areas is amazing! One problem, though, everything seems to be giving off it's own little bit of glow and as a result, the scenery looks a little too soft. Because of this, some of the detail can be hard to see except from certain angles.
The sound quality of this game was great. I rarely have any problems with sound, probably because I don't pay a whole lot of attention to it, but even I noticed that every sound I could want was there, from the noises that Laura's movements made, to gunfire sounds, creaking items, and anything that falls (like dust).
This installment of Tomb Raider was really short, I played it in just a few hours, probably 8 or 9 hours(not counting time I spent stuck on a couple of the puzzles, the good ones always leave me scratching my head for a couple of days), but I lost track of time, so I couldn't tell you for sure. Despite the gorgeous scenery and all of the other great details in this game, it lacked in imaginative enemies. They were all pretty much one type of human shooting at you, even the supposed bad guy, who really was bad, but there was no imagination in him. The only exception was one enemy, Amanda. I cannot tell too much without giving the story away, but what she is capable of is cool.
Most of the traps were pretty much the same thing over and over, but I thought a couple of the puzzles were cool. There was only one really good puzzle, though, where Laura has to hit three pressure pads at once to get out of an area. It took me a lot of time to figure out that one, until after the third day, when I was getting ready to cheat and look up a walk-through, I was messing with the binoculars and found the last piece of the puzzle.
As far as puzzles go, I never got lost in an area while playing this installment of the Tomb Raider series. This is a drawback to me, because I feel that the Tomb Raider series is all about the exploration of various areas and that these areas are not straightforward.
Speaking of the binoculars, as anyone who has played even one Tomb Raider game will know, Laura carries a backpack full of the things she may need on her trip with her. These things include health packs, weapons, and ammunition, just to name a few things. However, in previous games the backpack was seemingly bottomless, I remember having thousands of rounds for one of my weapons and a dozen health packs in Tomb Raider 1 and scrolling through an incredibly long list of things I didn't even need anymore in Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. In Tomb Raider: Legend, this problem is no more, you have a grappling hook (a very useful tool), the aforementioned binoculars, a personal light source, your pistols, one alternative weapon (like a rifle, grenade launcher, or shotgun), and you can carry up to three health packs. That is all you need.
In previous Tomb Raider games, there were secrets to be found all over the place. These were always just for the sake of finding them, as they were always just some ammunition and maybe a health pack. The secrets are back in this game, but they are different. They are called rewards and they unlock such things as outfits that you can try on in Laura's mansion, development artwork, and other behind the scenes things. some are pretty cool to look at.
One thing that I am still trying to figure out is the action sequences. When I was playing the game and came across the first one, I thought it was just a cutscene, but when the button promt came (it was an X, telling me to hit the X button), I missed it because I was not expecting it. Because of that, I had to watch Laura's legs get cut off! There is no warning that what you are watching is not a cutscene until you get the button prompt. These promts change depending on which platform you are playing, but since I was playing on my PS2, the prompts were as follows: X, circle, triangle, and square, the same as the buttons on my controller. I did not like this part of the game and have never seen anything like it on any other game that I have played.
Overall, this was a pretty good game. it could have been better, but every game I have ever played could have been better in some respect. Tomb Raider Legend deserves a 4.5 on the strength of its great parts. I would give it a 5, but the action sequences, the odd glow that everyting seemed to be giving off, and the too much straightforwardness of the levels keep me from giving it that honor.
Name: Tomb Raider Legend
Released: April 2006, PS2
Developed by: Crystal Dynamics
Average Professional Score: 8 out of 10
RRP: £19.99 - cheapest online store is play.com at £6.59
You may like Tomb Raider Legend if you liked:
Uncharted: Drakes Fortune (PS3)
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (PS2)
With Underworld released literally weeks ago, I thought it appropriate to take a look back at the last game in the series (excluding Anniversary) and anticipate what fans could expect from a next Gen outing. Lara Croft is a Legend herself so it's a fitting title. Critics were pleased with this game overall following the disappointing Angel of Darkness, but is this one game too many for Lara or is it the phoenix we've always been waiting for by rising from the ashes of obscurity?
This seventh instalment of the franchise follows a much more personal story for our heroine as she is forced to relive the memories of her mother's death. As their plane crashes into the Himalayas, Lara and her mother take shelter in a temple only to discover soon after that it is in fact home to a stone dais. As Lara touches this her mother seems to see into another world and as a result 'sacrifices' herself to save the young girl and she disappears forever.
In present day, Lara hears reports of another stone dais discovery and sets off for Bolivia in search of answers. There she meets a rival hunter called James Rutland and so the race begins to discover the remaining pieces of the dais and what connection they all have to Lara's mother. It is a journey that spans the globe from Cornwall to Peru, from Ghana to Tokyo and if rumours are correct, it could all lead back to the Arthurian legends of Excalibur and who is Rutland's 'co-worker'?
The personal approach most definitely works well here as the story itself is interesting, easy to follow and has the exact right balance of action, emotion and character involvement. It also has a strong sense of purpose which ultimately means that you care about Lara and her quest for the truth about her mother's disappearance. Despite its paranormal and supernatural elements, what perhaps is most beneficial is that it is believable in a down to earth way.
For the most part, it is a very coherent story, one that gels together in an addictive, entertaining and emotional way. You really do want to play on to find the answers, but at certain moments within the story the events seem a little obscure. They either seem out of place or added in for extra playing time not really having the feel that the rest of game has and most gamers will tell you that a game is more successful when its quality over quantity.
For a PS2 outing, visually, Tomb Raider Legend is a rollercoaster of astounding highs and ghastly lows. Perhaps character design is a fitting example of this, with Lara and other main characters looking royalty with realistic line, wholesome features and in depth clothing appeal whereas general enemies look almost rag dollish and animals straight from a child's colouring book. Its effective and a put off all at the same time.
The same goes for backgrounds and location design as well really. Places such as Tiwanku and Ghana all have breathtaking atmosphere with an ambiance of style. Waterfalls plunge to the ground in front of you with expertise finesse and cliffs and heights all transcend an artistic appeal of colour and depth. On the other hand however more compact locations such as Kazakhstan and the rooftops of Tokyo all fall into a pit of blandness and result in being dull and under bearing aesthetically.
Animations works well with fluid movement all with a gymnastic edge, but lets face it, they would have to wouldn't they or the very essence of what Tomb Raider is would have failed. There is nothing more satisfying than diving off a cliff in Africa with flora decorating the precipices as you glide through the air like a swan . . . or looping over outcrops in an underground cavern full of mythological allegory and lore.
There are movements of dud fluidity however, namely the levels where you take control of vehicles. Kazakhstan is a prime example of where upon a motorcycle the frame rate becomes sluggish and gritty often ridden with graphical glitches. All of this doesn't ruin the gaming experience, but they are heavily noticeable and may be of significant let down.
One of the many changes Crystal Dynamics implemented in Tomb Raider Legend was a more action orientated game engine and to match that pace, huge musical scores have been gelled in that create an atmosphere so surreal. Its heavily effective at creating the momentum in some of the levels, especially the more up tempo ones where it also creates a tense situation making the gaming feel more genuine, more remarkable and more concentrated.
Great elements of sound effects within the game are the simple bytes of dripping water and animal howls. This is hugely efficient because with simple echo effects that reverberate around a level such as the underground cavern it really does sound realistic and 3D. This may sound silly and probably will go unnoticed but it is a highpoint of detail.
Keeley Hawes heads the team of voice actors in the game and does so superbly. Many will recognise her from her TV outings such as Spooks and Ashes to Ashes. She also has been renewed for Underworld and the choice is profound. Her voice suits the exact British tone perfectly with poise so charming with an added spice of sarcasm. The dialogue is witty, quick and amusing.
Other noticeable actors are Kath Souice who plays Amanda and Rino Romano who plays Rutland. Souice is a highly recommended Disney Voice actor and many may recognise Romano's role in resident Evil 4. With many exquisite quality actors, Crystal Dynamics have pulled no strings in making sure this game is so packed and polished.
I actually didn't mind Angel of Darkness, but mind you it was full of glitches and a tad bit boring. So it is no wonder a complete re-think was needed to make a great Tomb Raider game. One of the many improvements to this is the change in pace. With a quickened frame rate so many more improvements were added such as bigger and more frequent gun fights, which also brought in a more adaptable combat system creating a more varied approach to the game play.
However, no matter how many changes were made there is one vital element that needed some serious attention, and that was the exploration that makes Tomb Raider games so recognisable. Climbing up a rock face now has never been so thought provoking. Dead ends, crumbling ledges, disguised crevices and gaping holes now litter the scenery making many moments in Legend less linear, tenser, and scarier and requires a more precise timing to make it across those bottomless pits. This is exactly what Tomb Raider should be and it's a fantastic enjoyable relief.
A little disappointing however is the mix of, at times, awkward controls and off camera angles. Is it me or has this always been a plague of previous instalments? Don't get me wrong it has seen a new face lift tweaking bits here and there but there is nothing worse than needing to jump over a pit full of spikes to a ledge the size of your little finger, but the damn camera wont shift from Lara's arse.
Even though some could argue that it adds a variety between some of the larger levels, areas such as Kazakhstan just simply feel a little out of place amongst the backdrops in Africa and South America. It feels a little more like a setting from a James Bond film adding a lacklustre espionage feel, one that could have been left at the drawing board.
What the larger levels do however is transform the game back to its origins with dark, eerie caves, sturdy rocks and lack of lighting takes away some of the technicalities of other levels. With this it strips away some of the level and allows a more focused approach to finding all of the artefacts hidden in each of the areas. And what fun it is . . . as well as frustrating. Puzzles feature throughout each level like a plague as well, some nice and testing but others pointless and easy.
I don't think there has ever been a Tomb Raider game that allowed so many rewards including unlockable cheats, costumes, cut scenes as well as an extra time trial mode. Not forgetting the ever famous Croft Manor side level where fans will no doubt head straight to the gymnasium for an acrobatic delight of challenges. Adventure fans can complete this in roughly seven hours but layman gamers will take no longer than ten. It is on the short side but a sweet slice of pie is better than a thirty hour hindrance.
It is no question that Tomb Raider Legend is a massive improvement upon Angel of Darkness with much better graphics; a more engaging action orientated combat system as well as simply playing much smoother. Hawes really does fit the bill of creating a blockbuster Lara Croft and with a fun entertaining storyline, Crystal Dynamics have placed Lara right back up there as one of the gaming icons. It does have it faults, messy controls, out of place moments and bike rides as well as an awkward camera, but if this is what Crystal Dynamics can do with its first try, I can't wait to get playing the next gen adventure. Bring it on!
It would be very easy, in this review, to get carried away and wax-lyrical about just how good this latest tomb raider is. However when compared to her last attempt at a game (Angle of Darkness) even i would look good running and jumping in tombs with hot pants on !!!!
So down to the game itself. At first glance everything seems to be in place and working as you would expect. The environments look lush and lara moves around the screen with a fluidity you would expect from a ps2 (or xbox game). The tombs are very dark and atmospheric and contrast well with the wide open spaces such as those in the training level and deserted village. Another aspect i was plesantly suprised at was the diverse range of environments, even tho the original classics focused purely on tombs, it was nice to see lara in variety of atmospheres such as tokoyo sky scrapers.
You realise very early on in the game that control system has finally had the "next gen" update it desperatly needed (all be it towards the end of the console's life). Lara can easly be manipulated to run, jump, climb, shoot without frustratingly having to mathmatically line up every jump. All of this means you can focus on the puzzles which i would say (without giving any spoilers away) are set at a good level. The majority are not bindingly obvious but dont make you want to throw your controller across the room either.
The designers have tried to exstend the game life considerably with a few insensetives to play the levels over and over again. Unlockable secrets can be achieved by completing each level within a time trial mode. There are also numerous "statues" hidden away to collect in exchange for more extra. Finally the well established croft mannor "level" also hides a number of nice secrets.
The are only two real downsides to this game that have annoyed me enough to comment on. Firstly although i appreciate the attempts to make the game life longer, they are all very repetative and become annoying. Secondly the plot lis not particually strong and does not really have you gripped on the edge of your seat. However it does keep the game moving at a good pace and serves a purpose at the very least.
Overall I would recommend this game as a strong return to form of Miss Lara, even if it does not quite reach the level of the early classics on the PS1. Definatly worth a look at ebay / second hand prices.
(please note i first wrote this review for another website before the release of the recent and truely excellent anniversary game. Expect a review from me very soon for this game)
Lara Croft is back in Tomb Raider: Legend (TRL), the seventh game in the highly popular Tomb Raider series. This action adventure game was developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos Interactive. TRL was initially released in Europe April 2006 for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, PC and Xbox 360. Since then the game has been made available for the PSP, Gamecuibe, GameBoy Advance and Nintendo DS formats. Today we will be commenting on the PlayStation2 version.
The previous Tomb Raider game, Angel of Darkness, was such an appalling gaming effort. It must have set some sort of world record for the number of bugs in a game; it was literally infested from start to finish. TRL was the game released in the hope of revitalising the series. The main issue we will seek to address is whether this objective was achieved.
The plot in TRL is not bad by any stretch of the imagination, albeit hardly original. The game starts with a flashback of a young Lara (9) and her mother on board a plane that crashes in the Himalayan Mountains. They both survive, but we later witness the disappearance of Laras mother when investigating a mysterious sword. Unfortunately, the most logical explanation seems to be that Lady Croft died. Later in life it is Laras mission to collect pieces of the now broken sword, which can be found in various locations around the world including Bolivia, Tokyo and Ghana.
Being an adventure game, there are many platforming sections to enjoy. As you might expect Lara can perform a vast selection of moves including jumping, swimming, swinging on ropes, climbing, and shimmying across cliffs. A poor control system has been an all too familiar feature in past Tomb Raider games. This time however, Lara controls remarkably well. For instance, no longer do players have to go to the edge of a platform, step back, run up and achieve a precise jump. Such rigidity is gone, and the game is a vast improvement because of this. If you do not jump quite enough when pressing the X button, Lara will grab the ledge with one hand, and players have to quickly press Triangle to make sure she does not fall. It is fantastic how Triangle can also speed Lara up when shimmying and climbing. One moves the more flexible Lara with the left analog stick, whilst the right analog stick rotates the camera. Having pressed L1, a target is locked-on, and R1 will fire your weapon. The weapons in TRL include Laras traditional dual pistols, as well as shotguns, and grenades that can be thrown with the R2 button. R3 is used for more accurate aiming with an over the shoulder camera perspective. Lara can perform all sorts of acrobatic rolls with the Circle command, a button also used for crouching.
TRL contains an array of melee attacks. One can Slide Attack enemies, Power Kick foes when pressing down L1 and Triangle, or activate slow motion when shooting (Aerial Attack). Players can now use a grappling hook on specific metallic surfaces with the Square button. For example this can be used to swing over deadly spikes, or to pull enemies or objects towards you. Adding some realism to the series, Lara has a limited number of items she can hold at a given time. She can only carry a maximum of three health packs, and two weapons. Additionally the D-Pad has been cleverly implemented in the control system. It is extremely simple to use a health pack by pressing Up, and Down will switch weapons. Left turns on/off Laras Personal Light Source which is basically a device on Lara to brighten up any dark areas. In order to activate binocular view to take a look at your surroundings, the Right command is pressed. When using binoculars one can press Triangle to scan an environment for clues if you are stuck.
Puzzles provide a decent challenge in TRL. They never involve anything particularly innovative, instead opting for the conventional, such as box pushing and lever pulling. Still, they are not always obvious to solve so players will have to use some brain cells to progress. When completing a puzzle one will feel a sense of achievement, and likely remark, of course, now why did I not do that straightaway?
There are a few other features not seen in previous Tomb Raider games. Reminiscent of Resident Evil 4 there are Quick Time Events (QTEs). This means that during some cut scenes, players have to pay attention and press specific buttons or Lara will face an untimely death scene. QTEs fit the game well, and are well implemented ensuring that they prove to be a welcome gameplay addition. Some levels contain sections where you will have to drive a motorcycle. These involve avoiding obstacles, as well as defeating foes on vehicles by shooting them. On her adventure, hacker Zip, and archaeologist Alister assist Lara via a headset. Primarily they seem to have been included so that Lara does not have to speak to herself.
--------Graphics, Sound and Music--------
The character models in this game are very impressive. You can really see the care the developers took with TRL when observing Laras ultra smooth, realistic animations. Tombs make a return to the franchise, and look absolutely delightful. Other gorgeous environments include snowy mountaintops and jungles. There are some neat effects such as Lara looking shiny and dripping water after taking a swim.
TRL features sufficient sound effects such as exploding barrels, tumbling rocks and powerful gunshots. With a well-written script it was vital that the voice acting was of high quality. I am happy to report that the voice work is top notch. In the lead role Keeley Hawes excellently voices Lara. She speaks in a sarcastic manner when required to which provides a little comedy to proceedings, and sounds appropriately tough when things get heated between Lara and major adversaries. The music is superb throughout the game. It is fittingly at a higher tempo when confronting hordes of enemies or a boss fight, and more soothing when working your way through a puzzle.
TRL is a rather short, linear game. It should take between seven and eight hours for most players to complete the main game. After this you can replay the levels to find some hidden artefacts, or participate in some time trials. Doing so will unlock some new outfits, character models, along with game art. Also noteworthy is that Croft Manor (Laras home) can be explored, and there are some secrets to uncover in this optional level. Nonetheless such extras do not take many more hours to successfully navigate. The developers have focused on ensuring the levels included are free of glitches, as opposed to providing great longevity. In my opinion it is imperative that future games in the Tomb Raider series offer more depth as a way to stand out from the competition.
Moreover TRLs quality is hampered by some significant weaknesses to the combat system. AI is rather lacking, meaning that when fighting enemies it is exceptionally easy to beat them. Aim, lock on to a target, shoot, jump around to avoid incoming bullets, and then they perish. Even the few boss fights feel very similar and short-lived. Whats more, in accurate shooting mode, enemies do not react according to where you shoot them. The principal enemies in the game seem to have perfected clone technology, since they all look identical.
In principle including Ducati motorcycle sections sounds like a reasonable idea. However, in practice they are not much fun to partake in. The motorcycle controls terribly, and these sections of the game are far too long. Omitting them, and creating another tomb level would have been a far more rewarding experience.
Furthermore the load times in TRL can be rather annoying. When starting a level or dying during a mission, a loading screen appears. I can recall struggling a little with a fidgety platform section on the last main mission of the game. Having seen the load screen for the fifth time in quick succession I thought to myself, I wish there was a Prince of Persia, turn back time feature. A couple of other complaints would be that there is no multiplayer, and in a couple of levels there are some jaggies.
Thankfully TRL does put life back into the Tomb Raider series. Accordingly it is definitely a game worth checking out. Nonetheless due to the games shortness I would recommend one of the following options: (a) borrowing TRL from a friend for a couple of days; (b) renting the game over the course of a weekend to complete it; or (c) buying it for less than a tenner. Anything over this figure might not represent good value for money. At the time of writing, the cheapest I could find the game online was £13.98 (including delivery) from gamestation.co.uk. Therefore options (a) or (b) might be best, although you could always look on ebay, or the high street for cheaper prices.
- Gameplay: 8/10 - Finally the control system feels modern and responsive, the bugs are gone, and the game is well designed. Crystal Dynamics will hopefully address some of the criticisms we have addressed, and create an even better game come the inevitable sequel.
- Graphics: 8.5/10 Great visuals add to TRLs overall quality. The Xbox 360 and PC versions may look superior, but the graphics on the PlayStation2 version should still be applauded.
- Storyline: 8/10 This is a well-developed plot, which provides players with more information over Laras past. Despite the fact it will not win awards for originality, it will grip you until the very end.
- Sound: 8.5/10 TRL gets a thumbs up for some fine voice acting, splendid sound effects, and atmospheric music.
- Longevity: 6.5/10 The game comes to a very abrupt ending, not many hours into the adventure. Extras add a little length to TRL, but I wanted a much greater total playing time.
Final score: 8.3 out of ten
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed.
Released far back in 1996 and became a pretty decent Playstation hit, its transfer to the Playstation 2 did not do too well. Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness seemed pretty dull and boring. Personally though, I never got into them because of the control system. One analogue stick to move forwards/backwards and strafe, and one to move left and right. When I heard of the re-vamped control system though, after those months of waiting, reading the previews paid off.
A change of developer also helped revamp the series, with Crystal Dynamics replacing the creator of Angel of Darkness Core Design. A change of publisher always gets me excited because it's interesting to see what else can be done with such a superb idea, and this game has turned out nothing short of superb.
At the age of nine, Lara and her mother survive a plane crash. She, at the time of the game, is, as the title says, a Tomb Raider, who, in this particular game is in search for the ancient sword Excalibur, the same sword that she accidentally activated after the plane crash that made her mother disappear.
The story itself plays though pretty well, with the only drawback being the length of the actual story.
The gameplay is remarkable. As already said, the game is short, but it does lead you all over the world through temples full of water, to snowy mountains and main cities, including both on foot and vehicle parts. What surprised me most, probably due to the fact I have not played a Lara game at all in years, was how little shooting was involved with the majority of the tombs you are raiding having far more puzzles than enemies, all of which take some thinking...
The 'tombs' are both indoors and outdoors and they will mainly involve working your way through each room of a tomb and trying to get to the next place solving the intricate puzzles. They involve needing to press buttons, transfer items up a floor or dodging sharp items with some flips.
The puzzles do require some thought, but never are you completely clueless for what to do because, since you have a choice of exploring only 1 or 2 rooms at a time, everything you need to get the next room is either on you (weapons), or is around the room so you are never stumped with what to do, more of how to do it.
There are weapons at your disposal, such as grenades, pistols and other types of weapons, which have an auto aim feature. There is still quite a bit of shooting to be done whether it is predatory animal, enemy or to solve a puzzle and the combat is wonderful. When locked on you can dodge by doing a series of flips and that never look stupid. The best weapon is no doubt the grapple which you can use to swing and pull items towards you because it is pretty unique to games (this was out before Just Cause)
All of this is made far better because of the new control system. Out is the old one where turning and running was done separately and controlling her with one analogue stick is far better and you feel more free to run, jump and roll everywhere at ease an the controls are easy. The old control system that put me off Angel of Darkness was dodgy because you had to line up your jumps and a running jump would let you jump a certain difference, with a standing one letting you jump a smaller difference. Now you can jump at ease though because if you're going to fall to your death a triangle will flash up and pressing it will save your life with a last-chance ledge grab. It just gives you a sense of adventure.
Then there are the bike parts of the missions. The bike controls with ease and so does the gun you can fire at the same time. The bike isn't used much and is used for getting away and catching a train and considering how little you use the bike, the controls are surprising and I would not complain if a racing game had the same controls. If only LEGO Star Wars II did the same thing...
One thing I didn't enjoy too much was the bosses. I thought they either seemed the same-being normal people with a speciality that you had to somehow beat, or a huge monster. The majority of them were quite good but one of them I found extremely hard because I didn't know what to do. I went for the obvious thing, it didn't work, so I was left clueless only to find I had done it right but not fast enough. Very annoying but the only annoying bit in the gameplay.
The only disappointment in an otherwise perfect game. There are difficulty settings but getting you through the main story once on easy will take you 6-7 hours and medium level doesn't give much of a longer gameplay. It is the sort of game that you will complete more than once because it is so good but completing it again doesn't offer much new, as 8 tombs really isn't enough. There are attempts for the gameplay to last longer but none of them worked for me.
Firstly in dungeons you collect artefacts-loads of bronze, a few silver, and a gold one. Going through the tombs normally will not let you find them so playing through the game again and exploring in a bit more depth will take a lot of time and will add hours to the gameplay. However, you don't really get much for doing it except for a bit higher accuracy and costumes for Lara-with the last one being a bikini. It may get some people to double their gameplay to find, but I don't think I am sad enough to do so just to unlock a costume. Meaning only hardcore gamers and people a bit too obsessed with Lara will be fully completing it. For me it is the main game then and a pretty good exploration in Croft manor, not part of the main game.
Now this does add to the gameplay. Although is still involves collecting the bronze, silver and gold rewards, its fun to just explore. You have to find the weapons and can go to the room to choose a costume out of the ones unlocked and can explore the mansion and find a way how to get from one place to another. This does add a bit to the already wonderful gameplay, and adds a little to the abysmally short lifespan.
There are also time trials. However, I don't see the point in these. Quite a few competitive people might want to race through the tombs but then you wont get to see the wonderful work put into the game, nor find the rewards to unlock items and if I play through it yet another time, I'll want to actually find rewards instead of racing.
Superb and makes the most out of the power of the PS2. Everything looks almost really, with the water sparkling, the rocks and land with huge amounts of detail and it just looks perfect with not a glitch to see in site, and most of it is explorable. The graphics are even better in the cut-scenes, which have shock moments like Resident Evil 4 when a button flashes up and you have to press it. At least it keeps you focused.
Memory on PS2 official memory card: 155kb minimum
Released: April this year
Amazon price: £29.99
Formats: PS2, PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PSP. Soon to be on Gamecube, Nintendo DS and GBA.
Although an excellent game I don't think it is worth £30 because of the lifespan and I got it close to release date for £20 when on offer. I'd try to get it for £20 if you want it, just to justify the lifespan of the game.
A superb game and one of the best out there on the PS2, all except lifespan and it's just a shame that it took so much time for her to make her mark on the PS2-it's final year. I'm expecting her jump to the PS3 to be much faster, and am hoping for yet another wonderful game. For now though I will have to stick with the 10th anniversary game coming out which will keep fans happy until a proper new game is released.
If you like any type of action-adventure or are just looking for a great game this is for you. If you have liked the original Lara's but have not got your hands on this one yet, you will be pleasantly surprised.
Genre = 3rd Person Action Adventure
Developer = Crystal Dynamics
Publisher = Eidos Interactive
Players = 1 Player
Online = No
Age = 12+
Memory Usage = 155KB Minimum
Released = April 2006
The first Tomb Raider game was released in 1996 on the PS1, from this the game had make many fans and grew with another 4 PS1 games released once a year and first one in 2003 for the PS2 which may of lost some of there fans.
Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh game in the series. The publisher Eidos had dropped the previous developers Core Design after the very disappointing last game called Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness and is now instead handed over to a US studio named Crystal Dynamics.
The story first starts by looking back to where Lara was aged nine, the plane crash that she survived, had killed her mother in the Himalayan Mountains. Then brought up by her father Richard Croft until the death of him when Lara was eighteen. Now inherited the Croft mansion, she searches the world for loss artifacts and treasure. Here in TR: Legend she is looking for pieces of a sword, which you later find out is the Excalibur, the sword of King Arthur.
The graphics has been much improved over the series but even more so from the last TR game to this. From the off, the first level is as stunning as all of the others are. High up above the ground below, with the rocky and dusty area around up, plants and flowers growing in places with the small waterfall up ahead, gives you the feeling of peace and as if your in heaven.
Quiet area, that looks like there's not been a human set foot in this place. The detail of the rocks, water, plants and everything was so extraordinary and dazzling, I just had to stop and have a look around way all I had a mess around with the controls and learnt a few new moves of the very detailed realistically looking character of Lara Croft. Sexy: if you had to think of one character that would fit the word she would be the one
The sounds of the game is pretty much dead on all the guns fire as if there were real, the rumbling of rolling rocks sounds real and the klunky rattling sounds of the rusty traps and machines tells you if there working, even when you can't see. Also with the music that plays with the boss battles, shoot outs with the enemies and also the calm and peaceful tunes that follow when adventuring around the cliffs and puzzles, all fits in with the atmosphere of the game to make it more enjoyable.
The final thing to add in this section is the voice acting which is played prefect by Keeley Hawes, who is an English actress that appeared in a BBC One drama series Spooks. Another 2 characters are at times annoying and say the same lists twice thought the game but this many not be down to the actors but many the script.
The control through the whole series has been basically the same and has been needing a long awaited redesign. Crystal Dynamics have been playing games and test the difference in controls and movement and found that the "Prince of Persia" games was the best suited to the way they wanted Lara to move. So base in it on that and fine tuning it for TR, Lara now can quickly move and turn on the spot and can jump directly as the button is press unlike before where you have to line up every jump perfectly or fall to your death. Now if a jump is not dead on she can angle herself and grab on to a ledge with one hand, while a triangle icon appears to indicate that you much press that button for her to grab a holed with both hands.
Swan dives are easier to perform and other moves. Triangle can also be used to do actions faster by which I mean if climbing a ladder or rope, pressing triangle will make her move faster. The d-pad is now used for media packs, light, scope and change weapon. Which leaves L1 to do an automatic lock on and R1 to fire and again triangle is used to shoot other objects like exploding barrels or other breakable things.
With the new controls the moves seem to just flow from your fingertips and makes a much better game because of it.
As Lara you get to adventure across different lands like icy mountains, rocky cliffs, cold snowy army bases, underwater caves that's has secret and hidden places full with traps ancient machines. You get to visit Peru, Japan, Africa, England and a few more around the world that not only offer you gorgeous scenery but also a fantastic place to adventure, climbing up high cliffs with the only equipment you have is Lara's cleverness and skill. Swing from ropes to bars in an almost ape state really shows what Lara can do with her capability along with her grabbling hook that can attach to other objects for you to swing off in a Indiana Jones type of way.
Not only you have a new control system but there's also new ways of taking out the enemy other than just shooting them. Along with the grappling hook can be used for puzzles you can also grab your enemies with it and pull them of the edge of the cliff or towards you. You can jump and roll to dodge the bullets when reload and even do a slide towards them and flip them up, other moves include is a close range kick and double jump that makes you flips off your opponent and shoot while your in midair. Many games that are adventure and puzzle orientated that also have shooting in it can be boring but with the new action moves you can perform makes facing the enemy quite fun.
There are a few levels where you get to use a rally bike which adds more fun and change of action from the adventuring. There are some bosses through out the game that are not that difficult to work out but some can still be hard, where you most of them you ether shoot them and dodge there attacks or use the surrounding area to your advantage.
The levels are reasonably big and can take from about 30mins to 2hours to complete each level first time, but as it seems as more and more of the newer games are short and have fewer levels. I'm quite disappoint to say there's only 8 levels thought the last one has only a boss on it. It should take within a week to completed but for those who like extra can be playing for an extra week or so as there not only hidden rewards to find on each level that unlocks character profiles, new costumes, cheats and other things but also the Croft mansion to explore with its own secret hidden rooms and treasures.
There's more replay value to be had with the 3 difficulty settings, easy, normal and hard plus time trails to completed that unlocks extra costumes which some are very nice and sexy like the ripped evening time dress that reminds me of "Mr and Mrs Smith" film. Levels can then be replayed from the main menu screen from which you can use any costume you want on that level.
==BUY OR NOT TO BUY==
This is not only the most gorgeous looking Tomb Raider game but also has excellent gameplay to it and should be bought by any fan though I find the ending disappointing as it did not finish the story off.
Graphics - 9/10
Sound/Music - 9/10
Controls - 9/10
Gameplay - 9/10
Replay Value - 7/10
FINAL RATING - 8.6/10
Amazon.co.uk = £29.99
Play.com = £29.99
I Paid = £21 New (Ebay.co.uk) May 2006
Thanks for Reading.
Lara Croft is finally back in the first game to do her legacy justice since the days of the original PlayStation. With updated graphics and gameplay, and a whole new suite of moves and equipment this is the sequel fans have always demanded.