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Trinity34
30th Aug 2005, 16:07
Lara Croft Tomb Raider - Legend Preview:


Genre: Action/Adventure | Developer: Crystal Dynamics | Publisher: Eidos Interactive

Lara croft turned many a young boys head when she appeared on the Playstation One almost 10 years ago in 1996. Big boobs, an even bigger attitude and of course those figure hugging shorts and top. Core Design (the developers) game really did bring a breath of fresh air to gaming as the feisty heroine explored various locales across the globe. Subsequent versions were released propelling Lara as the “it” girl of a whole generation of games players. However it wasn’t all glory for our tenacious lady, as later versions of the game began to feel a little contrived and stale until the ultimate nightmare appeared with the PS2 version of Angel of Darkness; which lets face it was a far cry from Lara’s early days that really didn’t go down too well with gamers and the gaming press alike. Some Hollywood movies helped Lara regain some sort of credibility although I think that was more down to “horny” young men wanting to look at Angelina Jolie (the actress who played Lara in the films). Either way for many games players who had enjoyed the first couple of Tomb raider games and were left bitter and twisted after the most recent outing it comes as light from a dark place that a new game will be upon us in 2006 on Xbox and possibly the Xbox360 (although the 360 version hasn’t been confirmed yet). Cue Tomb Raider: Legend

Having had an in depth look at the game during last weeks Leipzig Games Convention I can clearly say one thing that is for sure. Tomb Raider: Legend returns to the grass roots of the series and unlike Angel of Darkness with its context heavy control, returns full control back to the games player. The developers (crystal dynamics) are keen to stress that 8 months of development time was spent getting Lara’s moves to look and play correctly and boy from what I could see she is a lot more realistic and athletic looking this time round. Unfortunately for big boob guys those breasts have been somewhat reduced but you can’t have everything. Lara not only has a new look and I’m sure you’ve seen her in the many screenshots that have been floating around but she has some minor adjustments to her person as well, namely her utility belt which kind of works in tandem with her famous hold everything including the kitchen sink back pack. That’s right you will now be able to see what Lara has on her person which may be a small touch but adds to the realism of the game.

During the demonstration we were shown part of a level set in Africa and I’m pleased to say once more that this level did look very much like the tomb raiding we all remember and love from 1996 albeit with are far more crisper and detailed graphics engine. The lighting has had a massive face lift and is very dynamic indeed offering much detail and shadows. Lara does has a flashlight and of course those flares, for reaching parts that the flash light is unable to reach and in this case was a pit filled with spikes that were only visible after throwing a flare into the pit. Once again you will have your wide open spaces and rooms mixed with the more confined areas which, and in this case was apparent were laden with the classic tomb traps. Come on, what ancient tomb would be complete without those fiendish traps where the guile and timing of a cobra are required to get past (although I’m sure the person demonstrating the game was using an infinite health cheat).

During the demo we were shown some of the unique effects employed by the game which included some nifty physics which were demonstrated when Lara was swinging from a rope. Don’t expect a single animation here because now Lara has full movement on the rope whilst she swings. The physics were also paramount in solving one of the clever puzzles that will feature heavily in the game and a water based puzzle was a good example to show. Whilst I cannot remember the exact details of what was required I do remember that Lara had to use a combination of moving a heavy stone piece and then using her grapple hook which is a new utility item on her belt to pull a platform towards her so that she could reach the newly opened area. It worked well and we were told that there would actually be more than one solution to the puzzles and routes throughout the game.

Combat has been revamped as now Lara can lock on to enemies with a lot more fluidity and fire at more than one target at a time using more precision than before. Ammo can be found from the fallen who as you would expect come in the form of human and animal adversaries. What is more we are promised a more dynamic user controlled camera which should be useful for those raging gun battles and navigating tricky terrain.

My initial impressions of the game were very good and I’m pleased that the series will return to its well established roots which will no doubt please the fans. It seems the game play has been speeded up a little which is good and those explorative moments remain intact. I think the sense of scale is also as good as it always was and therefore will provide those wow moments during the game that we all love about the series (remember the T-rex?) I think the Tomb Raider series has somewhat taken a back seat especially on Xbox and especially since the remaking of the Prince of Persia games, which are similar in design. But Lara has her own appeal and I cannot stress any more how much she is improved but still retains that old school flavour. The Xbox version will be enhanced over its PS2 counterpart and there is a possibility of down loadable content via Xbox Live at some point after the game is released. Either way Tomb Raider: Legend marks the long awaited return of Lara Croft and let’s hope that the finished version is every bit as good as what was seen at the games convention. Tomb raider: Legend is due in early 2006.

Preview By: Robert Cram

http://www.msxbox-world.com

EvilNessCroft
30th Aug 2005, 16:28
cool thanks trinity34! :)

they say here that it'll come out EARLY 2006? In another forum, it says april-june 2006!... :confused:

Trinity34
30th Aug 2005, 16:31
they say here that it'll come out EARLY 2006? In another forum, it says april-june 2006!... :confused:


hehe http://www.tombraiderforums.com/forums/graemlins/whistle.gif

imported_Mark_
30th Aug 2005, 17:46
I don't think it will be for April/June 2006. They had a 70% of the game done by E3, so basically they only have to fix some bugs and get the game ready for Xbox, PS2, PC and possibly PSP and Xbox 360.

EvilNessCroft
30th Aug 2005, 17:50
I hope you're right TRfans! :)

But in TRforum.com they said Eidos has comfirmed that TRL will come out april-june 2006. That's why I was confuse! :rolleyes:

Alti
30th Aug 2005, 19:10
I'm happy to say that every review I've read so far, everyone has something wonderful to say about the game! Thanks for posting Trinity! :)