Review by KasketDarkfyre
"Which way to go....let me just take a look at the camera angle again of Lara's...."
Tomb Raider just doesn't stop with the sequels, and brings with it the game of exploration and true adventure. In this outing, Tomb Raider 3 takes the well developed Lara Croft and sends her across the world after fragments of a giant meteorite that supposedly brings eternal youth! You'll travel and explore through several different stages that range from the streets of London to caverns deep in the earth, with nothing more than a pair of huge guns, handguns that is. CORE brings back the tested exploration of different locations through several adventure type settings, all of which are extremely detailed and lit perfectly to best suit the mood of the game. Fans of the series will find that nothing much has changed since the original Tomb Raider, in which you still roll through the stages, jumping, climbing and killing off anything that happens to get in your way while discovering secret rooms and picking up a vast multitude of weapons to help you on your quest!
-Game Play 7/10-
You'll find that the actual exploration hasn't changed, and in fact, you can hone your skills via the mansion training grounds that allow you try out all of the different moves and such that you'll need in order to advance! The puzzles, which made up a good portion of the first game have come back, and with a vengeance in terms of the difficulty, and even the timing that you need to get through some of the more basic puzzles. You'll find that the battles are easy enough to get through, and the aiming system that locks onto the nearest target will give you plenty of opportunity to get used to the different gunfights. Something that has changed however is the fact that instead of taking a more linear approach to the exploration, you'll be allowed to pick and choose your destination after a boss battle or otherwise! This opens up different venues of play in terms of never really taking the same path twice, and even though there aren't much in terms of differences between what paths you take, it does open up some new possibilities in terms of how you play through the game!
As with the previous Tomb Raider games, you have to take into account that your aiming as far as jumping from place to place takes near perfect timing. The PSX control is widely known for not particularly making this an easy task and you'll find that over shooting the different plat forms that you have to use is a common occurrence! Gamers of the series will find that all of the controls that appeared in the previous games of the series are back again and perform the same way as they have before. Gamers who are new to the series though will probably find that the controls are extremely extensive and in some cases, down right hard to learn and use effectively!
Stunning in the way that detail and design comes in, you'll find that the same problems that plagued the first Tomb Raider are back. While the locations are huge and expansive, it does suffer from camera angles that don't improve but hinder the action, and several cases of polygon break up when you're moving through the stages! Other various problems occur when you're moving through the stages, and the three dimensional objects don't quite look the way they are supposed to. However, you'll find that the FMV sequences have been seriously toned down in favor of using some real time sequences that only show the visual problems of the game! Like watching an old kung fu flick, you'll see that when characters speak, the words don't match up with the lips, and this can be a little disheartening. You'll also find that CORE hasn't done much to improve the overall look of the game, with several blatant instances of image break up and the same camera angle mishaps that plagued the past couple of games!
Sticking to the general theme that Tomb Raider doesn't need music, you'll find that several points are emphasized by adventurous music! However, this part of the game, for fans of the series, is getting a little old, and listening to water dripping and Lara running around on rocks and otherwise gets on a persons nerves after about an hour of play! Something that is new to the series, is using voice actors in the real time sequences to help move the story line along, but in the end, it doesn't make much of an impact on the game overall, and is too far and few between to make it much of an improvement.
CORE is still running this series, but with the lack of overall improvements, Tomb Raider is quickly becoming a cash cow that is revolving around exploration and a virtual bombshell in tight clothing! Fans of the series will probably find this game to be a small upgrade on the previous Tomb Raiders, with the choice of different paths that you can take, but in the end, there isn't much here that you haven't seen or played before. Pick it up if you're new to the series, or if you're a die hard fan, but anyone else, rent it for the weekend and play through once or twice just to get a feeling for what Tomb Raider is all about!
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 10/13/01, Updated 10/13/01
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