Review by Ultraman950

"Puts a Clean Definition on the Term "Weekender""

This game is at home with the definition of "short, but sweet". This is more of a weekend flick than a real honest-to-goodness keep-you-going-all-night kind of title. Unless you enjoy going through the same ten levels over and over again, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Gameplay: 7/10
This game is notoriously easy to play. That can be good or bad: If you're the kind of person who likes real brainteasers on par with, say, Legend of Zelda, you're gonna be disappointed. But if you're more the casual "Oh, I'll do a puzzle game here and there" type of gamer, this is for you. The controls are simple to get used to: R-trigger to shoot, L-trigger locks on to targets, Y is your action button, A jumps, and X launches the grapple, Black fires grenades, D-pad Up uses Medpacks, Down switches between your pistols and a second weapon (If you don't have one, it just reloads the pistols, which have unlimited ammo), Left turns on Lara's PLS (Personal Light Source; it's basically a self-charging flashlight), and Right activates the binoculars, which you don't really need, unless you need RAD mode, which identifies certain objects.

Sound: 10/10
I'll admit it: This game had me going. I remember, the first time I popped it into the disk reader and started my first firefight, I looked over my shoulder twice because I thought someone was really shooting. The sound of the grenades as they blew and sent the hapless mercs down on their faces made me lean back and scream "WHOA!" Even the footsteps were convincing. The voice-acting was excellent, especially for Lara herself. Some of the mercs could do better, but you're gonna end up killing them anyway, so it doesn't really matter, does it? Plus, the ambient dialog between some mercs are just plain funny. "How's the knee?" "How's my ass."

Graphics: 8/10
To be perfectly honest, I thought the graphics could be better. They're great, but they could be better. You rarely see games that show the highlights in a person's eyes when seen up close. Okay, so that's only in the cut-scenes, but still. Some of the environments seemed just a bit repetitive, but only in the tombs, and then only in the wall design and color. Outside of that, the graphics are excellent. Lara herself looks stupendous, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a guy. I could, though.

Story: 9/10
I'm a sucker for family love stories. I've written short stories on them. Shows how much of a life I have. I'm also sold on the idea of sweet vengeance. Oops, did I say that out loud? Anywho, the story was convincing and well played-out, helped tremendously by the great voice-acting. This game's story delivers.

Replay-ability: 6/10
I'll be frank, this game could do better in this particular field. Once you've gone through the game, there's not much else to do other than... go through again, only it might take you longer, searching for "artifacts". Don't get me wrong, this can be challenging by itself. Plus, the Time Trial, that can get hectic if you have short-term memory loss. Outside of that, there's not much else to do. Sure, you can knock around Croft Manor and find more secrets, but after that, you're done, unless you like going through the same missions in a different outfit. Guilty.

Overall: 8/10
It's fun, but it could be even more fun. Give it more levels, more costumes, side-missions and multi-player, I'll never get off. 'Til then, this is a weekender, worthy of purchase from only the most dedicated. If you're dedicated, by all means, buy it. Hell, buy two, it's your money. If you're more of a casual fan like me, it's best just to rent it every once it awhile. If you don't like Tomb Raider at all, what the hell are you doing here? This is not your review. Go away.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/16/07

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