Tomb Raider: Legend

Lara Croft is back doing what she does best: raiding tombs! No more James Bond type adventures for this girl, it’s back to what put her on the map!
This game has been described by many as the best Tomb Raider game since the original game, and with good reason too. A heavy emphasis of the game has been put back into exploring, and not the action. While there are a few missions where she’ll be strutting her stuff in the city (the Japan levels), the game mostly sees her exploring ruins and searching for clues to the disappearance of her mother. With a good mix of gun play and puzzling solving in between.
First off the graphics are beautiful with lots of color matching to the environments. The newly remodeled Lara also looks great and more “real” compared to previous game incarnations. A great amount of detail was also added, like the color of her clothes getting darker to show water absorption after taking a swim, and the way water reflects off her skin before drying off. Even the weapons and items she carries are visible on her character model! The audio also matches the game’s ambiance as well as the mood of the moment, picking up tempo along with the onscreen action. And the voice acting are all pretty well done also.
Gameplay-wise, the controls might take a little getting used to, but plays really well. She has all the acrobatic ability you’d expect her to have, and the only flaw I could find with the controls was a lack of a wall running mode ala Price of Persia, since everything else feels almost like the Prince games. She has some new items and abilities, like a grappling line she can use to swing accross large gaps or pull objects and enemies towards her. She can also go into a Resident Evil 4 type over the shoulder aiming mode to shoot more accurately, although headshots don't really count in this game.
The only small problem with the gameplay might be the camera angles. While you can spin the camera around to give you a better view, you don’t have full 360’ degree rotation, which can be a hassle sometimes when you need to jump accurately.
The only other flaw in the game itself is probably the length. You could finish the game in a day or two, but luckily there are incentives to play the game again to unlock the many bonus items like Lara’s outfits and finding all the hidden items in the game. There’s even a mini-game type level where you run around Croft Manor honing your skills and looking for hidden objects throughout the mansion.
Overall, this really is a fun, albeit short, adventure worth investing some time on. The game even ends with the hint of a follow up, and that’s something I’m really looking forward to.

Graphics – 9
Sound – 8
Gameplay – 7
Lifespan – 7
Overall – 8


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