Review by Tenshi No Shi

"Lara needs a face lift!"

I've always liked the Tomb Raider series, as it brought about a sort of revolution to video games, and I own the first two games. I'm not a fanatic about Tomb Raider though (I wouldn't even say its one of my favorite games), but I do know that it was a quality game. Enter Tomb Raider III. What happened?

Um, story? Basically, Lara is a thrill seeking adventurer. This time around, they have her in some pretty bizarre situations to make her seem like more than just a female Indiana Jones. I don't think it washed too well.

Okay, I don't know what to make of this. The first game had a small selection of textures with okay detail. The second game had a bigger selection of textures, with slightly better detail. Now this one has a large variety of textures, with crappy detail. What gives? The animation is also a tad bit of a step back as they seem to have cut some things in order to give Lara new moves. Hmmmmm.

It might be just me, but none of the Tomb Raider games impressed me in the sound department. Sure, it was in stereo and all, but its just a variety of grunts and gun shots (the same variety found in the first two games). Lara's voice is still sexy sounding, but its a game, nothing to get excited about. As for the music...uh...music?

These controls are another step back in the series. If you found the controls of either of the other Tomb Raiders a chore, then the very limits of your sanity will be tested here. Its a pain in the arse just to get Lara to run in a straight line, let alone fight anything. Okay, yeah they added a few moves (borrowed, no doubt, from Metal Gear Solid) but what;s the point if Lara gets stick in a corner and it takes five minutes just to turn her around (longer if you have an enemy beating you mercilessly).

The level designs are good, and as always Lara looks good (I think they toned her down a tad to make her seem more physically realistic), but the exploring aspect has taken back seat to a more action approach. Lara fights a lot of enemies and flips fewer switches. In the end, you become frustrated with the whole thing.

As I mentioned before, Lara got a few new moves, but this only puts Tomb Raider up to a standard that was set months ago. Nothing new here.

I have mixed feelings about the outcome of this title. I was expecting so much more than what I got. Sure it still looks impressive, but I think now Tomb Raider is catering to the whole male hormone thing rather than to improving the series. As or 'more action / less puzzle' I'd rather play Duke Nukem : A Time to Kill if that's the type of game I wanted. To quote Lo Wang from Shadow Warrior, 'He he. I think she's raided her last tomb.'


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/05/02


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