Review by Obsolete PC
"Tomb raiding? Count me in!"
Eidos and Core really have made themselves a top notch action title with Tomb Raider. Before this and Super Mario 64, there were not very many good 3d action games that had come out. When Tomb Raider was first released it got a lot of bad press because of Lara Croft's breast size. While they are quite huge, that has nothing to do with the actual gameplay. But to Eidos' credit, they did at least have a dominant female lead character in a game for once. Since Tomb Raider's release, Eidos has churned out sequel after sequel and since Tomb Raider 2: Starring Lara Croft (Imo the only decent follow-up) they have pretty much milked dry any dignity the series might have had. Anyway, now for the review of Tomb Raider.
You control the character of Lara Croft, an adventurer hired by a mysterious woman to find a lost artifact. There are 4 areas of the world you progress through: Peru, Rome, Egypt, and Atlantis. The level design is superb and moving through the levels will take some thought as well as your ability to take on the many foes throughout your adventure. You start out with dual pistols that have infinite ammunition, and throughout the levels you will also come across dual uzis, a shotgun, and dual magnum pistols. If this is your first time playing a Tomb Raider game then you will really need to get used to the controls. Because (to the best of my knowledge) no other game series has a control setup or movement system quite like Tomb Raider. Don't fret however, as there is a very helpful training area available on the main menu. Here, Lara takes you through her large mansion. Complete with an obstacle course and swimming pool, you should get the hang of the controls by the time you finish the tutorial. And once you do, the controls become second nature.
When this game was first released it was pretty good looking for it's genre. Since then there have been obvious major improvements, but (Imo) they still hold up quite well. The enemies look like what they are supposed to, and the levels are enormous and (as mentioned before) designed very well. There are plenty of different enemies to encounter here as well: Wolves, alligators, bats, bears, lions, gorillas, a couple of humans, jackals, raptors, and a T-Rex (there are others, but I can't remember them). Some may consider the inclusion of a couple dinosaurs to be kind of corny and lame, but they only appear in a few levels briefly. And you must also consider that Lara does explore a few previously undiscovered areas through her journey. And besides, it's a game people! There are also a few bosses, some of whom are very odd in design. The CG cinemas are done really great, with fluid animation and brilliant colors. Excellent job Core!
I personally thought the music in Tomb Raider was great. The main theme on the title screen is beautiful, and the striking score that starts up when there are surprise attacks bring plenty of suspense. The voice acting is done very well too if I may say so. Overall Tomb Raider is wonderful in the sound department.
If you are a fan of action games and own a Playstation, then you would be crazy to pass this gem up. It is on the Greatest Hits list so it costs only $20 at the most. And while you're at it you may want to pick up the sequel Tomb Raider 2: Starring Lara Croft.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/02/02, Updated 11/02/02
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