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Trinity34
7th Sep 2005, 02:44
LARA CROFT LIVES ON
Why Tomb Raider: Legend might not suck.
by Ryan Scott

It's an understatement to say that Tomb Raider: Legend has had a tumultuous existence thus far. With a new design team, a desperate publisher, and thousands of jaded fans, Legend has a lot of work to do if it's going to impress anyone. Can Lara Croft still wow the the few fans she has left in the wake of the unmitigated critical flop that was Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness? After what we've seen of Legend, our answer is a pleased - but reserved - yes.

The design team over at Crystal Dynamics (best known to PC gamers for the recent Project: Snowblind) appears to have risen to the occasion, taking the series back to its dungeon-delving roots while updating Tomb Raider's look and feel to take full advantage of the latest-generation PC hardware. The game is now fully rendered using Havok physics, and - as we showed you in our June issue - Lara herself is cuter, softer, and more realistic than before. Her movements are much more agile and fluid this time around, thanks in part to an overhauled control system that looks to provide a considerable change of pace from the clunky mess found in Angel of Darkness.

Lara Croft 2.0

But make no mistake: Crystal Dynamics isn't cut to "fix" anything here. Legend has nothing to do with Angel of Darkness; it's a completely new product built from the ground up and designed with the series' classic gameplay in mind. As associate brand manager Mike Schmitt put it, "[We took] some time off after the release of Angel of Darkness and essentially [did] a brand audit - we've mad a conscious attempt to get back to some of the things that made the first game so special." Of course, this means some good old-fashioned acrobatics, high-tech gadgets, and dual-pistol firefights, but there's more to Legend than gunplay and hot pants.

Central to the game's design is the incorporation of new puzzle elements into the action. Crystal Dynamics is trying to move away from the "find the key and throw the switch" puzzles found in previous Tomb Raider games, instead focusing on environmental-oriented challenges with multiple solutions. For example, while searching for a hidden passageway, Lara might be able to kick over a statue to uncover the entrance or perhaps blow the passageway open with a gun emplacement or a grenade. We're assured that a lot of effort has gone into making fun, exciting puzzles with minimal frustration.

The Plot Thickens

With both new and classic elements in place, what direction can the series possibly take to tell a good story that isn't just another by-the-numbers artifact-hunting plot? Unfortunately, Eidos still has its lips sealed about story specifics. "We're not giving too much away yet," remarks Schmitt. "Lara will encounter a nemesis long thought dead as the [game] unfolds. Let's just say we'll learn a lot more about Lara's past... and what makes her tick."


Computer Gaming World, September 2005.
Transcribed by Trinity34.
http://www.cgw.1up.com


There is a picture but I do not have a scanner... its a new pic also but it is kind of small and has writing on it. Sorry. :(

Trinity34
7th Sep 2005, 02:57
For those of you that don't know what Havok physics is... including me.... take a look at the site below. I also noticed under clients is Ion Storm who developed the Thief series. :)


http://www.havok.com/company/index.php

MissLara2U
7th Sep 2005, 14:36
Nice article. Thank you.

imported_Mark_
7th Sep 2005, 15:17
Thank you for sharing the article! :)

Alti
8th Sep 2005, 01:00
Thanks for posting Trinity! :)

John Carter
8th Sep 2005, 01:41
That's a very positive preview article for CGW, which traditionally disparages Tomb Raider games following TR 1.