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There was a time when the name Lara Croft commanded respect. A time before Lucazade commercials, when dodgy Angelina Jolie vehicles were considered fantasy, and everyone''s favorite Brunette found herself spending more time raiding ancient tombs than she did posing for tacky lads magazines. I am of course referring to the ancient days of the 1990''s when the entire world was blown away by the first release of Tomb Raider. The following 5 years saw 5 increasingly lackluster sequels to a game that had originally taken around 4 years to develop. Things were looking bleak, and as the consoles power grew larger the situation just grew bleaker. Lara''s first entry into the (at the time) next generation; Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness, was hampered by a development team who wanted to upgrade the series, but didn''t seem to have any idea what had made it so popular in the first place.
This is where Crystal Dynamics enter the fray with Tomb Raider: Legends. Core''s lazy approach of simply rehashing the same old game engine with a new poorly scripted story has come to an end. Crystal Dynamics have scrapped the more RPG aspects of Angel Of Darkness and restored the series to it''s Indiana Jones esq. roots, but at the same time they have taken the innovative to rebuild the dated game engine from the ground up.
For a start they''ve set out to actually tell an interesting story with Legends. They start to explore Lara''s past, and the reason''s behind her thrill seeking life style. It opens with a brief cinematic of Lara''s childhood as the plane carrying both herself and her mother crashes into the Himalayas. After taking shelter in a nearby cave Lara''s mother is killed in an explosion after the young Lara touches a strange sword that she finds stuck in a mysterious stone dais. She has spent her entire life since searching for answers. The game takes place in the present day after Lara discovers a second, identical, dais in Bolivia, and must traverse the globe hunting fragments of another mythical sword in a stone if she is ever going to find those answers.
Of course if Angel Of Darkness tought us anything it''s that Lara needs a lot more than a decent story if her games are going to find acceptance. Even I, who has enjoyed all of the games to some degree, will admit that the grid based control scheme had worn out it''s welcome by the second game. That''s why Crystal Dynamics have scrapped the system in favor of a similar engine to that of the Prince Of Persia series. Lara no longer moves about in the same rigid manor (a hop back was the exact same distance as 2 running steps forward) as before, leaving you, the gamer with a greater sense of control over her platforming antics. This does mean that the old tactic of walk to the edge of a block, hop back, then perform a pixel perfect running jump, is no longer required. Lara no longer needs to jump from a specific pixel in order to survive, but rather if you find yourself jumping slightly early she will stretch out her arms and grab the ledge. All you have to worry about then is hitting the Y button in time to restore Lara''s balance, and as a result the game flows much smoother, and becomes much more fun to play through.
In line with this new engine comes a fresh approach to the level designs too. Again the poor level design of the sequels (at this point I would just like to note that I do actually love Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation too, but that remains the exception rather than the rule) that contributed to the series waning sales. Crystal Dynamics have, once again, taken note of the Prince Of Persia school for fantastic level design. In Legend every room you encounter is a puzzle unto itself. Among the levels you visit will be everything from the old abandoned tombs, the icy peaks of the Himalayas, a dangerous Yakuza office block, and even a quick trip down the M5 from Glastunbury. Like the good Prince Lara has to utilize the different aspects of these environments if she is ever going to find her way out of a level. So sometimes she may be required to scale a series of rooftop signposts in order to reach a ladder that she can jump from to reach the exposed wires she needs to swing on if she wants to reach the door at the top. A long sentence perhaps, but one I feel perfectly captures the frantic nature of Lara''s new style, which in itself feels much more intuitive than the old ''fetch the rusty key, that opens the rusty gate hiding the shiny key'' type of puzzles that littered the older games.
That''s not to say that all of the games puzzles are directly ripped from Prince Of Persia though. possibly the best innovation the game makes is in a selection of James Bondish gadgets that Lara is now geared out with. Most, such as Lara''s waterproof PDA are purely aesthetic. However 2 of these gadgets are genuinely integral to the games puzzle solving. The smallest of these items is a set of military grade goggles with built in scanning features. If you''re just planning on playing the story then you may not use this item, however if you want to discover all of the games hidden rewards then using these goggles at least once on every level is essential. The other item is Lara''s new magnetic grappling hook. Throughout the game this can be used in a number of ingenious ways that I don''t want to spoil here. What it does though it attach itself to any magnetic surface (surfaces that glint) and allows you to swing, pull, or otherwise manipulate these surfaces in ways that bridge the gaps between 2 puzzles.
Unfortunately once you''ve gotten over the spectacle of the games new engine you begin to notice a key flaw. There''s just no sense of scope any more. For a start the levels themselves are far too small, with fairly frequent check points throughout. On top of that is the fact that combat has been simplified beyond belief. Lara can carry 3 medipacks, and 2 weapons (one of which has to be her trusty pistols) but can easily dispatch a group of enemies without any of these, and most of the time they will only appear in one or two locations a level. It''s the same thing that happened with the first Prince Of Persia title, Crystal Dynamics have spent so long on the puzzle solving, platforming aspects that the combat has been thrown in as an after thought. It''s never boring combat, but still it''s never all that exciting either. Even the bosses are too easy, and as a result the sudden panic of being charged by a Gorilla, or the underwear staining fright of a T-rex attack, is an aspect of the series that has been excised. It was this epic feeling of exploring dangerous locales that made the flawed series so much fun, and now that feeling is just gone.
Still it''s at least a step in the right direction. If Crystal Dynamics can just open the levels up a little more, and implement the combat better, then the promised sequel could potentially be even better than the first Tomb Raider game.
Aesthetically it''s not an easy judge. As an X-box PS2 title the game looks absolutely stunning. There are some amazing water effects, and any of the out door locations look stunning. The levels set in the modern world don''t look as good, but for the most part it''s hard to imagine a better looking game on these consoles. Unfortunately this is the Xbox360 port, and we''re used to a little more in these parts. The water effects are nice, but not quite as nice as we''ve come to expect. There''s not much of a draw distance, and as nice as the textures look at a distance they do tend to get a little blocky on closer inspection. Also Lara''s facial features are a little hard, looking like a distinct step down from the crisp look of her new outfit. In the end it really comes down to the fact that Tomb Raider is either a stunning Xbox game, or a good looking Xbox360 game. it depends on what you''re used to.
The audio is a different matter entirely. The music was quite good, building up the levels nicely, and adding a very different feel to the different levels. It''s just that the voice acting, outside of Lara, ranged from passable side characters, to 2 extremely irritating partners who converse with Lara over her mansions radio system. I just really disliked them, both because they were annoying at the best of times and only proved to further reduce the sense of isolation the Tomb''s should have invoked.
What it really comes down to is the fact that while Tomb Raider: Legends has not exactly revolutionized the genre, it has taken a step in the right direction. The series is finally growing up, and I have high hopes for the next game.
It''s also worth noting that, while the main game is quite short, the X-box live achievements do add to the replayability. Each level hides a number of secret items that add a bit of exploration to the game. The hard difficulty setting was a disappointment since there''s so little action to make harder, but doing every level on the time trial added a whole new dynamic to the game. In the end, getting all of the achievements added up to around 17 hours of play (give or take) which for a game of this genre is not that bad at all.
This was one of a couple of games that came with my XBOX260. The cost at the moment is from £3 used and £10 new including delivery on amazon. I think it is worth £10.
The game came about after the Tomb Raider films and you play the main character Lara Croft. From the start I found the game a bit confusing, you are in the middle of a jungle, the mission objectives are vague and I found myself wandering around aimlessly for a while.
Then I realised that you need to use items in the environment to help you to move around, you need to climb up and swing off vines, move and jump over rocks to access certain areas of the game.
You can pick up health packs and use them when you need to, the maximum you can carry is three though.
The game involves you shooting people, figuring out ways to gt through the jungle, buildings and finding hidden rewards. Some parts are difficult and need some logical thinking. Sometimes you have to run away from falling rocks by pressing the right buttons that appear on the screen. If you don't do it fast enough you will have to try again.
There are checkpoints often through the game and you can save it at any time and start from your previous checkpoint upon loading.
This game was on the whole very good but there were a few things that annoyed me about it, the first was the cut scenes. I found they gave a good story to the game but they couldn't be skipped and on one level I was stuck on every time I died (lots of times) I had to watch the cut scene all the way through again before attempting the level again.
Another thing that annoyed me was that I didn't find the aim of the levels very clear. Also you often need to use the flashlight which runs out and you have to stand around like an idiot doing nothing waiting while it charges back up.
Upon completion of each level you will be given a time, a time trial time and any bronze, silver or gold rewards you have picked up.
In all I found the game quite good, although I thought it had the potential to be even better. I found the graphics very good and the game lasted me a long time before I completed it, I did lose patience with it and had to put it away for a few times on several occasions due to the annoying cut scenes and difficult levels that seemed to have no help at all. On one level I was in a pitch black room swinging from pole to pole for around an hour before I spotted a ledge and even then I had no idea how to reach it. I did it in the end though but I was ready to pack the game in so I cheated and found the solution online!
I don't think there's anything in the game that makes it unsuitable for under 16s. I would think over 12 would be more appropriate.
I first played this game in my 1st year of university, whilst studying to be an archaeologist which seemed very apt. I had not seen any of the films or played any of the games beforehand so this was purely a curiosity purchase and it was relatively cheap for an Xbox game at the time. I particularly enjoy quest and thriller games, books and films and this game certainly had these elements in it. The journey begins with a scene in which Lara's mother is killed by some bad folk for secrets and knowledge she holds and thus the tale escalades from this. Lara is only a child but once she has become older and taken up the role of adventurer she soon sets off on her mission to find out what happened to her mother and who-dunnit.
There are a lot of levels in this game, each one being a different country and theme. It is not at all easy , being Lara Croft none of these levels are simple and tasks have to be completed, puzzles are present throughout and you also have golden sculptures and treasures to find in each level which accrue you bonus points and special features throughout the game. I found it could sometimes be frustrating trying to figure out all the codes and methods to open tunnels and release rivers into ancient cities, but I often looked these up online and some of them I had to as they were pretty complex.
One of the great things about this first person games is that you can pick your own outfits as the game progresses, secret doors in the introduction and practise areas are fun as well and often have more clues available for her mission. The Baddies in the game are not only people; she has some truly frightening creatures she has to sort out throughout the levels, which truly gave me the shivers at times. You can often just hear their scratching or groans and then they'll suddenly jump out of nowhere at you.
This is not a multiplayer game, which I feel is always a drawback, it would be quite fun to have a helper in your missions and watching your back for you. The controls are relatively easy once you get used to her movements and especially the technique for successfully jumping cliffs and walls which is pretty much how she gets around in the entire game. She also picks up and has items such as guns, keys and ropes that you have to use throughout the game, again these are controlled pretty simply. The graphics are pretty much stardard for its time.
The main skills in this game are timing and puzzle solving with adventure thrown into the mix. I know this is a pretty old game now but I still whip it out every now and then and still find it challenging even having completed it. I would definitely recommend buying this game, I imagine it can be picked up for close to a fiver too nowadays and for that price you can't go wrong.
I have never really been a fan of computer games to be honest. I don't like fighting games, not because of the violence or anything like that. Its just I don't find it fun blasting someone with a gun...I know I'm such a girl haha. On the other hand I do like tomb raider. I like problem solving games and this gets you figuring things out which I find fun.
We have many games consoles in our house. I have a WII which I really like due to how different the games actually are. We also have a Playstation. I wasn't too bothered about getting an Xbox 360 but my sisters partner's one broke and he just ended getting a new one. So with the offer of trying to fix the old one. I had to accept. I contacted Microsoft and they actually got a brand new replacement one for free so I got an Xbox 360 for nothing. I was thrilled. Much to the horror of my brother in law as he had spent money that he had needed too. But hey his loss my gain eh? Wooo Hooo A free Xbox.
I looked around for games that I found appealing and one that caught my attention was "Tomb Raider" I have seen people play on this and it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a go. I am usually only into games like Harry potter etc... as I never have a clue how other games work and the thought of the puzzles in Tomb raider game gave me a push to buy this. It cost me £20 which I thought was a fair price to pay.
I wont try to do an in depth review like some of the reviews on dooyoo as I haven't got a clue about computer games to be honest and don't really see the big fuss but I do like to spend the odd hour playing them every so often and as I have a new Xbox I thought I'd best review one of the games I have actually bought for it.
The main character is a girl called Lara Croft. The game is based on and revolves around the King Arthur myth and the death of her mother and friend.
I found the controls a bit hard to handle as the camera angle seems to control the characters' movements rather than the actual controller. I did get the hang of it after a while and found this no longer to be a major problem.
The graphics were great and I found myself being caught up in the game quite easily. Every last detail was spot on and the game was very life like.
The puzzles in this game are quite challenging at times but I found that Lara actually looks at the area you are meant to be concentrating on making it easier for me to suss out what I was doing. I liked the idea that I was using my brain and figuring things out rather than just shooting everything. One of the disturbing things that I didn't really like was some of the things that you actually had to shoot. I mean endangered species!. I felt totally horrible even though it is only a computer game.
The game allows Lara to do even the most impossible moves. Besides walking, running, and jumping, Lara can perform side-steps, hang on ledges, roll over, dive, and swim through water. She can hold her breath under water for a good time which allows you to get to different places with ease. There are a lot of traps and enemies which call kill Lara throughout the game but the one I found really annoying and the one that killed me the most was falling off ledges etc.. I also found it hard to do under water tasks without drowning as I ran out of air so many times.
I found a lot of secret locations while I was playing. These are not compulsory and it does not affect the game if you don't find them but when you do a tune is usually played and you are sometimes rewarded with items etc.
There is a wide range of movements in Tomb Raider, such as picking up items, pulling switches, firing guns, pushing or pulling blocks, and grabbing onto ledges. Regular items to pick up include ammo and medipacks. Game-specific items are keys and artefacts required to complete a stage. Any item that is collected is held onto in Lara's pocket until it is used.
A stage is finished when a certain doorway is reached, an artefact is recovered, or a boss is destroyed.
I did cheat a little when playing this game as I had to find cheats on the net, Who doesn't? but I can actually say...I did enjoy this game. I still haven't completed it mind you but I will eventually get round to it . I hope!
Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend is the 7th game in the series. It is the first of these games that I have played and was recommended to me as I enjoy puzzle games and wanted to play a game on the 360 that was more about working out what to do than being able to shoot quickly. I did not know any of the background to the story from the previous games but I did not feel this hindered my understanding of the game. There are lots of cutscenes which show key events in Lara's life and fill in the gaps to explain why she is on her quest. The basic storyline is that Lara is searching for the four fragments of Excalibur to open the portal in which her mother became trapped when Lara was travelling with her as a child. This quest takes her to Bolivia, Peru, Japan, Ghana, Kazakhstan and England. Each country has a very different landscape with different dangers which stops the game from becoming too repetitive. Japan is particularly notable for its night-time cityscape where Lara has to scale the side of a skyscraper. These scenes are quite breathtaking and you really do feel as if you are going to fall when you get close to the edge. The boss battles involve strategy and tactics as well as sharp shooting and they are very satisfying to complete. I played through this game on medium and found it really enjoyable. I would recommend it to anyone searching for a puzzle based game on the Xbox 360.
Tomb Raider Legend is an action platform game for the Microsoft Xbox 360 games console.
In this game you are put in the shoes of everybody's favourite action heroine Lara Croft. In this game there is more story and banter between Lara and friends back at the Croft manor.
The gameplay has been completely changed from the previous games, this is not a bad thing as it is now much more accessible and Fun. Jumping from rock to rock is now much better and is no longer a lesson in trial and error.
The gun play is slightly boring as all you do is hold the trigger and flip from side to side to dodge incoming fire. This game also introduces human opponents for Lara making it more like a traditional action game.
They have also added a bike chase scene which is pretty fun as you ride at great speed while shooting your foes.
This is a great game and a must buy if you enjoy this type of thing, it can be yours for about £20.00.
The woman respondisble for many a male game players wet dreams appears in yet another game which is ver playable and a lot of fun although it fails to reach the heights of previous games in the series.
In this game you take on the role of Lara Croft as she attempts to look into the death of her mother a number of years ago. This involves trekking around the world from her base in England to Peru and Japan to name a couple of locations.
This is a good platform game with a lot of puzzle solving, most of this involves working out ways to progress through the various tombs and labyrinths you find yourself in. At first I found it a little challenging but after a while once you get into he game it becomes a lot simpler.
Lara is certainly an agile character and the controls in this game are very responsive and give the overall play a smooth feel to it. The camera movement is pretty good and I have only come across a couple of occasions where it was a problem although nothing seriu it was a bit fiddly to sort out.
The fighting action is pretty good and you have a nice array of weapons either at your disposal or you will acquire throughout the game. The intelligence of your enemies is not great but neither is it a complete walk over.
To provide a bit of variety you will find a couple of levels where you ride a bike and although the bike controls are not great as you tend to move almost along a fixed position it does make a nice change.
Visually the game is strong with some good backgrounds and a dark feel to the whole thing.
Definately worth getting and the only draw back to the game is that the playing time is a bit limited.
Lara Croft comes to life again - the dual-pistol, wielding adventurer's polygon count and animation set has been increased significantly, presenting Lara in the finest fidelity to date. Visit a vast array of cinematic & exotic locations including ancient tombs, dangerous jungles, snowy mountain ruins and numerous unexpected surprises in between