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jso2897
18th Jul 2003, 01:19
From the Los Angeles Times:
More than just a game
This 'Tomb Raider' edition won't just take over the TV, it may take over your life.


By Pete Metzger, Times Staff Writer


How do you do it?

Just how do you explain ignoring your 6-month-old child while Daddy spends a few months playing the wildly engrossing "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness"?







This is my dilemma.

The latest installment of the successful franchise, "Angel of Darkness" makes use of platform advances — nerdspeak for better graphics, sound and game play — to create an interactive movie, something that might be directed by David Fincher ("Fight Club," "Alien3"). Only instead of Brad Pitt or Sigourney Weaver, you guide the voluptuous Lara Croft through her dark, moody environments by jumping, shimmying, climbing and running.

But that requires some getting used to. Because of the way the camera follows Lara, it takes awhile to get comfortable with which buttons to push — and when — to get that perfect running-jump-to-grab-the-ledge-then-pull-yourself-up-and-over move you need to learn early on. The good news is you can save your progress in the game anywhere you like. Miss that jump and fall to your death? No problem. Just load your saved game and try again, little buddy.

The graphics are as strong as you'd expect if you played any of the first four "Tomb Raider" games. Although the story-enhancing movies are technically beautiful — no weird polygonning or jerky movements — they kind of remind me of those "Fabulous Thunderbirds" puppet shows from my childhood (with their creepy, jerky movements).

One improvement over Lara's predecessors is forcing the heroine to choose how she interacts with other characters. I'm choosing all the polite answers in a conversation with a character named Margot Carvier so she gives Lara clues to what's ahead and slips Lara an all-important notebook, crucial to the plot of the game. Then I reload that level and this time play Lara like a big meanie: The lady won't give up the notebook, kicks her out and then calls the cops. Sheesh.

And remember when a game was just a game? This one comes with a stylishly produced "making of" segment that offers insight into where the story is headed and a trailer for the live-action "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life" film opening July 25. (Imagine that.)

I just wish it came with instructions for cuddling a 6-month-old while you play the game.

John Carter
18th Jul 2003, 01:29
Written by an obviously well-satisfied casual gamer and fan of the series.

Guess you need a really in-depth and graduate-level expert knowledge of computer gaming to hate the thing deeply, unless it's just not your cup of tea anyway.

owen10
18th Jul 2003, 01:36
I agree, though I've read some positive enough reviews from more experienced corners (Official UK PlayStation 2 Mag - 8/10, www.gamesradar.com - 78%).

jso2897
18th Jul 2003, 01:37
Something I determined to my own satisfaction quite a while ago is that I seem to be quite capable of determining what I like without the benefit of any "expert" advice. Most of the serious gaming fanatics who write for the gaming mags strike me as guys who don't get enough. :D

owen10
18th Jul 2003, 01:41
Erm, suppose. :) Trouble is, you've got to fork out the cash to make such judgements yourself, whereas the odd click here and there can save you the financial burden.

Raven
18th Jul 2003, 01:59
I do read reviews, but I find them more useful for getting an idea of the actual content of a game than for determining whether or not it's going to be any good. They're all subjective, and I've read quite a lot of TR reviews where the reviewer has complained about features of the game that I personally consider to be good things-like the slow start, the urban locations and the graphics (someone said they look dated?!)
People have such wildly varying reactions to the same game, it's best to at least play a sample yourself before deciding.

numb
18th Jul 2003, 03:29
Because of the way the camera follows Lara, it takes awhile to get comfortable with which buttons to push — and when — to get that perfect running-jump-to-grab-the-ledge-then-pull-yourself-up-and-over move you need to learn early on.

this is owing primarily to the fact that, unlike the previous games, 'the way the camera follows lara' is that the camera doesn't follow lara!. iow:


Because of the way the camera no longer follows Lara, it takes awhile to get comfortable with which buttons to push — and when — to get that perfect running-jump-to-grab-the-ledge-then-pull-yourself-up-and-over move you need to learn early on.

better...

Justin888
18th Jul 2003, 05:59
I'm still waiting to see what PSM gives AoD...Game Informer gave it 5.5 and 5 (out of 10). "Their fingers look like breadsticks." Lol.