Pros:Innovative new 3D exploration format
The Bottom Line: To re-iterate popular opinion, Tomb Raider DOES provide a rare balance in an industry full of 'one or the others' - in this case Action and thought.
A catalyst for a billion discussions in a billion bedrooms worldwide, this seemingly 100% commercial idea of planting a female heroine in an Indian Jones' style video game is a great success. Lara Croft is a warming presence in even the most dangerous of situations. And what a game she has to run around pouting in!
Recommend this product?
"Tomb Raider" has some of the most interesting level designs I've seen in over ten years of gaming. They're not the endless Einstein maps of some of the lesser budget RPGs usually seen on the P.C. But in the context of what this game is about, I don't honestly think that highlighting Lara's 'debut' was the best marketing ploy to go for with this game. The structure of the game itself is too good.
Of course, not everything can be perfect. The graphics fall far short of what should be expected in this day and age. And the final FMV you encounter on concluding the game is short and hurried to say the least. I actually only counted five or six in the entire game. Given the obvious appeal of Lara's sultry personality, more effort could have been made with scripting.
In completely the opposite direction of the praise/
criticism scale, TR's music is exquisite. The timing of the short orchestral pieces that crop up now and again are second only to the quality. From sharp and jolting bursts of pace whenever Lara is in imminent danger, to creepy, mystical ditties in times of curious discoveries, this games' music is something the owners of a Hollywood movie wouldn't mind possessing. I personally stuck the game C.D in my hi-fi one morning whilst getting ready for work.
If we're going to go self-referential in the light of the concluding sentence to the previous paragraph, then I will finish by saying this. I have completed this game four times in two years such has been the desire to go back and experience it again. The level quality, music, replay value (helped by the existence of hidden 'secrets') all make it a classic to line the shelf with.
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