Review by Blitzspeed

"The First in this famous and challenging adventure series"

The Tomb Raider franchise is becoming more controversial with each next game, mini-game or even movie. It's at the point where quite a lot of people consider it the most run into the ground franchise ever. Perhaps it's because that the games bring not much new to the series, or how extremely difficult the games can be (Tomb Raider 3 anyone?) or perhaps the over-the-top hype of Lara Croft (the series lead character).

After hearing and then watching a clip of Tomb Raider Anniversary, which will celebrate 10 years of Tomb Raider with a game that is inspired by the original, I was curious to see how the original played again and look forward to playing classic levels, such as ‘The Lost Valley'.

Story

As you know by now you play as Lara Croft, a famous adventurer, athlete and Tomb Raider, who has been hired to recover a mysterious artefact, known as the Scion.

Gameplay

If you are a gamer that likes to walkthrough a game with ease and are easy frustrated then this game is probably not for you, as it is a game that actually provides a challenge.

The games physics are basically moving around levels in a third person, 3D environment. Therefore you walk, run, jump, swim, climb, activate switches, find keys and avoid all sorts of hazards. This can be anything from shooting darts, swinging axes, pitfalls and even running lava.

The controls can be pain to get use to and require concentration throughout the game, it's easy to relax a bit and then by running off the odd wall you get killed by finding that you clumsily fell down a pit. That's where the frustration kicks in for gamers, by doing these stupid manoeuvres you lose about 15 minutes of play from where you last saved.

Your ability to save is limited to crystals that are placed in certain areas and can only be used once in that place. However this may seem bad but sometimes the crystals are placed in relevant areas, i.e. before a really hard section of traps or enemies.

Taking on enemies is cool; you have to fight lions, bears, crocs and other animals of prey that guard the tombs. To do this, you collect weapons and ammo as you go along, but to start off with you have Lara's dual pistols that you can battle with.

Graphics

This is where the game takes a lot of flack these days, with people usually complaining about the amount of pixels or polygons in the game. True, the game is now considerably dated but considering that the game was made in 1996, being one of the first 3D adventure games ever and a first-gen Playstation game, there not that bad and great for the era. You have to consider that a year before we were still gaming in the 16 bit era, where games consoles only had enough graphical power to play most games in a 2D fashion. Still locations and characters are done to a good enough realism to make the game enjoyable.

Sound

Not much to say here, gun, environment and enemy noises are done to a good standard. There is a lack of background music, which is either good or bad in terms of realism. Still, you get the odd orchestrated sound in dramatic or amazing places.

Replay

Playing the game again will give you all weapons in the game with unlimited ammo and also the chance to play any level you want. Also you can seek out secret areas in a level to find, for example extra ammunition.

Overall

This is fantastic first-gen game for the Playstation, considered by some as the best Tomb Raider in the series. It's a game that will provide you a challenge and has a good storyline to match. If you enjoy puzzles and adventure this game is right up your street!

Story: Good adventures plot, simple but unoriginal = 8
Gameplay: Difficult to master but a challenge all the same = 10
Graphics: Good graphics for the time not the best on Playstation = 7
Sound: Realistic, perhaps lacking in background music, some may disagree = 7

Overall = 8

In one phrase...

A challenging, frustrating at times, but enjoyable retro adventure game


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/07/07


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