Review by Sitorimon

"An Atmosphere All Of Its Own"

You’ll either love it or hate it, no in between. I personally love it to bits. Tomb Raider is one of those games that requires, skill, patience and you mind, and for some that’s too much to ask. If you like quick thrills then go elsewhere, this is a thinker’s game.
You are Lara Croft, an adventuress that finds lost artefacts. Armed with a couple of handguns and medipacks, you go off to retrieve them. For the next 15 hours or so, you’ll running, jumping, rolling, jumping some more, shooting, pulling levers, swimming, jumping again and shimming you way through caves, mines and pyramids.
The controls get a bit tricky at the beginning as you learn them, but Tomb Raider comes equipped with a training level in Lara’s house, which lets you get up to speed quickly.
Once that’s done then it’s onto the real game, and things get scary, very scary. With top of the range for that time (but slightly aged now) graphics, there’s a very eerie feel as you descend down your first cave. It’s then you know you’re in the game, not playing it. You’ll gingerly take every corner hoping not to find another savage beast waiting for you. The ambient sounds of creaky walls, and rocks falling make you shudder and the fantastic music score sends you into blind panic as when the music starts, you know something big is going to happen. You really do feel the emotions flow through you.
The puzzles are quite tough on the brain. They range from pulling levers in sequences to moving blocks around to make the room move so you can access somewhere new. A lot of the game requires nifty finger work that can isolate those less dexterous with a controller and when the two elements are combined, you’ll find yourself looking at the game over screen an awful lot! But then that’s what either puts you off or makes it so compellingly addictive. The AI of the enemies isn’t too fantastic for these days but they don’t show up too badly.
The only couple of problems with this game are that sometimes the enemies can go through walls and on the odd occasion you meet a human, they can shoot through walls at times too! The only other possible problem is the difficulty curve shoots straight up very quickly and with you having to get from save crystal to save crystal, you’ll die far too often just in sight of one and be extremely frustrated. But then that’s what its all about isn’t it? One giant challenge. See, you’ll either love it or hate it.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 08/01/02, Updated 06/30/03


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