Review by oldbill
"A difficult game with a spooky atmosphere"
I like what they've done with this Tomb Raider. Most of the earlier games relied on an Indiana Jones atmosphere to get thrills. This game relies on fear to keep you on the edge of your seat. Later in the game you enter a very Resident Evil type atmosphere and it's REALLY creepy.
I know Eidos was just trying to make a challenging game but making it IMPOSSIBLE didn't help at all. This game is extremely challenging especially with all the traps and invincible monsters you encounter. The fact that the controls are difficult doesn't help either. Taking a running jump is definitely one of the hardest things to do. The puzzles in the game are usually easily solved which takes a very small amount of challenge out of the game (much needed relief). The final things I will comment on are the weapons. Lara will start out with two pistols which are very weak against anything larger then a spider or scorpion. Then there's the shotguns, uzis, and grenade launches which are somewhat effective for dispatching larger enemies. If you enjoy an extreme challenge then this game is for you. I enjoy challenges but this is just too much!
I really enjoyed the story in this game. You start off as a young Lara with the famous tomb raider Von Croy. Croy teaches you all the basic game controls and how to interact with important objects. Eventually Von Croy in his greed gets trapped in a huge globe and then the scene shifts to the future where Lara, now a grown woman, is raiding the usual tomb. The story rolls onward and it is very effective in getting you to hate the main villain in the game. The story also introduces a new character, which Lara is good friends with. You will meet him every once in a while. The story is very good but the only thing keeping it from getting a ten is the fact you have to hack your way though the very difficult levels to get the story.
Lara is very well animated right down to her ponytail. I wish I could say the same for the characters. Whenever they talk the mouths move but all that happens is a black hole appears in their heads where their mouth is. Otherwise the character movement is pretty solid and smooth. The environment graphics are not very good though. Walls often disappear when you get close to them. The fire graphics are pretty good. The levels are well decorated with hieroglyphs and statues that you would expect to see in an Egyptian tomb.
This was a very hard thing to score. During the game play there is no music unless something happens (cut scene, area with monster in it, etc.). I personally think the music on the title screen is incredible. There's not much to judge other then that.
Not many good things I can say about this. Maybe a year after beating it you'll pick it up and play it for a little while but it'll probably just collect dust.
Buy or Rent
Buy it. If you rent it you'll NEVER be able to finish it on time and it only cost ten dollars. Cheapest game I've ever seen.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 08/09/01, Updated 08/09/01
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