Reviews by Torquille

85

Classic remade

Torquille | Dec. 9, 2011 | Review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary DNS

When old Tomb Raider came out, many players spent countless hours in its levels, solving puzzles and battling ancient monsters on the way. When Legend came out seven instalments later, it changed this formula greatly to more action-oriented game, however now we have here as a courtesy of Crystal Dynamics remake of the first game with all its original enthrallment, great for both old and new fans. New fans will find here beginnings of the new Crystal Dynamics storyline presented in Legends, and old fans will be able to play first Lara's adventure in new graphics, without losing its strong points, and remember what Lara used to be back than.

The game itself is not really exact remake, although it looks like it on the first sight, most of the time it takes some basic level layout from the original game, some original videos, and creates the new game around it. You can find some parts of the levels exactly as it were in the original game while others are completely new to make use of the new Lara's moves and weaponry, which are the generally the same like in the Legends. The story of the original game remained without changes though and is still the same fun like before, putting into context some of the events from Legends and Underworld as well. It is also very clear how much had Lara changed in a way of gameplay between old Tomb Raiders and new titles; levels are much larger, puzzles harder and more complicated, often needed to do within specific time limit and even action sequences and boss fights are more riddles of themselves than actual fights.

All in all, Anniversary are really old type of Lara raised from her tomb and with some plastic operation, which is good news for some and bad for others. Do not expect much changes to the Tomb Raider formula though, even with the moves from Legends the game feels old at some points, and as I played Underworld sooner than Anniversary I really missed some of the finer techniques Lara uses there. Some of the time puzzles can be also quite annoying due to the not quite compatible old type of the puzzles and new types of control which anniversary uses - as all old-timers remember, old Tomb Raider's used very specific count for all kinds of jumps, steps and other moves, and you could always knew that for example three steps before the jump means long jump, and it will be exactly this long. New controls are more lively for a fight scenes, but for some puzzles lacks precision and in some cases I needed several attempts on otherwise easy puzzle just because I was not able to do all the jumping and running both fast and precise enough to make it in time. Even with these problems, Anniversary is a fine adventure when you feel for more hardcore experience then Legends and Underworld.

80

Nice new beggining

Torquille | Dec. 8, 2011 | Review of Tomb Raider: Legend DNS

Tomb Raider Legends is a first Tomb Raider game made by Crystal Dynamics.

Eidos removed license from Core Design after the Angel of Darkness, and it meant a big change of playing experience. The game is simply fun, not too hard, not too soft, and much more action oriented than its predecessors; for me, it was a very pleasant change, as after twenty hours of the same puzzles the old games were becoming more tiresome then funny.

It resembles very much other Crystal Dynamics series, Legacy of Kain, and it is mostly an action game. Although the puzzles, acrobatics and tombs are still there, the classic levels the old Tomb Raider used to have are in a minority, which may not suit the more hardcore Tomb Raider fans - practically only the last two parts will strongly remind you of old Tomb Raiders level design (and yes, fires are still pretty deadly). Most of the time you will be shooting, riding and more or less straightforwardly running and jumping through the levels, with only a few parts where you will need to stop and think about what you need to do now. These parts are still there however, and in these moments the game still feels like a Tomb Raider we know.

And although the game as a whole feels different, it does not necessarily mean it is worse. Its length is only about eight to nine hours, which for this kind of the game seems exactly right, and its ending is practically the beginning of the Underworld, which makes the two games practically one split in two. I would give the game gladly higher score, but I had many troubles with the not very friendly camera, which can be a pain in the ass during the fast sequences of jumps in later levels, and some minor graphic bugs, where I suddenly found myself out of the land just because of the missing textures. Other than that, it is a fine piece.