Review by Morbydd

"Lara Croft returns in her third adventure, but is the magic wearing off?"

Seeking out rare artifacts, killings animals and people, and solving puzzles. That about sums up Tomb Raider 3. And you do it all while controlling a beautiful woman. While that may sound like a lot of fun to some folks, it is by no means leaps and bounds above it's predecessors.

There are two things that have always kept the Tomb Raider series from being true classics: the control and the innovation (or lack there of). The control is fine while your running, but when you try to jump a series of platforms it can be downright frusterating. Aiming is also a problem: you can't pick what you aim at! Luckily, there aren't a lot of enemies to slow you down.

The need of some more innovative aspects has weakened the game. "Pull the switch, move the crate" puzzles are beginning to get tired. However, variety is present in the form of new vehicles to ride around in, like and ATV. This keeps the game from becoming stale. New weapons, such as the desert eagle and rocket launcher, are a blast (bad pun intended).

In short, those two factors, combined with deathtrap,s are what contribute to the game's biggest flaw: extreme difficulty. I've literally thrown my controller at the Playstation itself in frusteration. I have actually been on the verge of exacting retribution on the disc itself. Almost, until I realized it costs $50.

The sound effects are all done nicely, from the explosions to the sickening thud of falling from a high place. The guns all sound real. The musical scores, few and far between, are good.

The new hi-res graphics are a sight to behold. From the frozen Arctic to the hot Nevada desert, the lush outdoor environments are breathtaking. The indoor environments absolutely demolish those in TR2, and the city environments, like London, are much nicer than the Venice levels from the previous game. Lara herself has received a facelift, as all of the jagged edges are absent from the new installment.

I'm still giving this game an above average score due to the fact that it outperforms most 3D games on the system. It's still a good game, but I much prefer Duke Nukem: Time to Kill. The levels aren't that memorable, and it is full of bugs and glitches, but it's still Tomb Raider. Even though it has it's shortcomings, it does get most everything else right.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 11/01/99, Updated 07/05/02

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