Lara Croft is known for many things, for the men, its probably her male pleasing body parts, but back in the glory days of the Playstation she was actually involved in some pretty good adventure games. Countless sequels later and some crap movies starring equally male pleasing actress Angelina Jolie, we have come to the point where it is hit or miss for Eidos and their Tomb Raider franchise. Enter Tomb Raider Legend on the XBOX 360…
What you will notice about Tomb Raider Legend is that from all the videos Eidos have revealed up until this point, the graphics are simply phenomenal. Eidos have really gone to town with the lighting effects; Lara’s way will be shown by single strands of light breaking through small cracks in caving. Lara is also now equipped with a shoulder torch, allowing her to navigate her way through labyrinths in the darkest of areas.
This game is no different from any other Tomb Raider game in that it pits Lara in a tomb, expecting her to get from A to B while solving various puzzles along the way. Early video’s have shown the reliance on other methods of play that Eidos have incorporated into the Tomb Raider mould; a prime example being that in tricky situations the action will divert to an “interactive cutscene” whereby the player will have to rely on pressing the correct button combinations in order to get Lara to safety. (Like Shenmue on the Dreamcast -ed) While this is not exactly the most original method of play, hopefully it will add some more character to the Tomb Raider experience. Interestingly enough, Eidos confirm that every single “interactive cutscene” will have its own “death sequence” whereby the player will be shown this if they mess up at all.
In Tomb Raider Legend, Lara will be presented with a number of new weapons in her arsenal, including a magnetic grappling hook and a pair of binoculars with analysis functionality. The binoculars will come in useful when planning your next form of action. The binoculars will show whether an object is (for example) “flammable”; while this could bring a tactical element to the game Eidos need to be careful that the scanning device doesn’t make the game too easy and linear.
Tomb Raider Legend will be a lot more precise than other instalments of the game, for example, when you are hanging from the ledge of a platform and require to strafe across that platform; there may be a crack in the ledge which requires Lara to jump across. Mis-timing the jump will not send you plummeting however, as you will be given a split second chance to catch onto some rock before you fall, all in all resulting in a more realistic experience. The level of accuracy required when pulling off various moves will frustrate many gamers, but others will enjoy the challenge.
Eidos promised that although the camera in Tomb Raider Legend would be able to be controlled manually, the gamer would never need to use this, and from early demonstrations the 3rd-person camera angle has been very impressive, never failing to keep up with the on screen action that Lara is participating in. Also occasionally the camera would reposition itself, allowing important objects in the room to be in focus as well as Lara.
In terms of graphics and potential, Tomb Raider Legend could well be on it’s way to reclaiming the crown of the Tomb Raider series. However, the jury is still out on Lara Croft and will continue to be unless this game is nothing but a triple-A title. Expect a review here on 360monster when this game launches.