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Thread: **Official User Reviews Thread**

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Thumbs Up **Official User Reviews Thread**

    Here is a place for you to give your Official User Reviews on Tomb Raider Underworld, once you have picked up your copy of the game!

    Give the game an overall score.
    Tell us what platform you played on.
    What you liked/disliked about the game.

    Feel free to give ratings on anything else like:

    Thanks in advance.

    Crystal Dynamics
    Christopher Bruno ~ QA Manager ~ Crystal Dynamics ~ Mastering ~ Eidos Inc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris@Crystal View Post
    Here is a place for you to give your Official User Reviews on Tomb Raider Underworld, once you have picked up your copy of the game!

    Give the game an overall score.
    Tell us what platform you played on.
    What you liked/disliked about the game.

    Feel free to give ratings on anything else like:

    Thanks in advance.

    Crystal Dynamics
    Overall score: 9

    Platform: XBOX 360

    Liked: Loved the music,environments,enemies,Lara(of course), voice acting was top notch,storyline was great, puzzles were fun,love the different outfits you can pick at the start of the level, treasure hunt mode is awesome

    Dislike: Amanda lol i still dont like her,she still doesnt come off as a believable villain to me,sticky bug..which sometimes Lara got stuck it seemed while walking across a beam/platform.

    Music/SFX- 10,music and sound were top notch

    Puzzles - 7,they were pretty decent, no real complaints here,even got stuck on a few

    Graphics- 10, not much to say, they were just amazing

    Environments - 10,again, I love all environments, favorite is by far Thailand

    Enemies/Combat- 8, stereotypical type white man enemies were great, especially throwing stickies on them and hearing them scream, thralls are extremely fun to kill as well

    Controls- 8, Controls were very good, sometimes they felt slippery but most of the time they were very good and don't really have too many complaints

    Camera - 7, Camera at times would turn the wrong way or a way I didn't want to, but it didn't hinder the game play at all for me, as the game went on it was easy to adjust to and early on I didn't even really notice it as a problem anymore

    Overall I think TRU delivered a great experience and was amazing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Here's my impressions. I don't want to call it a "review" until I finish the game, but I'm about 4 hours in right now... (360 version)

    The first thing that strikes me is the presentation. Both the environments and Lara herself have never looked better. Especially impressive is the lighting. If you like games that lay on a thick atmosphere, you won't be disappointed here. The music is also spot-on, pleasant to listen to without being invasive.

    The game feels like a great mix of old and new for Tomb Raider. Most of my time has been spent on puzzles, which is a good thing. The puzzle complexity feels about right. Perhaps a little on the easy side, but then, (1) I've been playing TR for a while and am pretty good at this, and (2) I've still got several levels to go, so things are likely to get harder.

    If you've played TR before, you'll mostly be right at home with the controls. However, there are a few niggling issues or things that are not well explained.

    For instance, it took me a while before I realized that that the blocks Lara picks up could be thrown using the grenade button. A minor issue, but it wasn't readily apparent. Also, the detection when jumping against walls can be touchy. Sometimes Lara will plant off a wall (for a wall-jump), rather than grapple up, despite the fact that you're standing right against a climbable surface. At one point, I didn't even realize I could climb onto a ledge because Lara kept planting off it (had to use the jump button without pressing forward at all, and then it worked).

    Combat has some issues. Humans soak up WAY too many bullets (on the "normal" damage setting), leading some battles to feel drawn out. Constantly flipping and rolling while trying to unload an entire clip of assault rifle ammo to take down every merc is a bit annoying, and really left me wishing that Lara could use a cover system. Yes, there are a lot of health packs, but I hate the feeling of having to rely on them.

    The camera has some flaws, but this is actually a minor detail for me. When puzzle solving, you can always move it how you like without any pressure. During combat, it can be more of an issue, especially if you need to make a lot of evasive maneuvers, but frankly, I can live with a less than perfect camera (heck, I played through Ninja Gaiden 2).

    A small, but extremely annoying detail for me is when the animations glitch. I guess this stands out more because the rest of the game looks so great. When Lara is walking or creeping slowly (when you're going easy on the analog stick), her animation virtually always becomes jittery. I'm sorry, but an animation as common as "walking" should be smooth at all times. Sometimes Lara's arms and legs will shake as though she's experiencing convulsions. When jogging along at full speed everything is fine, but I really hope this gets fixed.

    I'm liking the plot so far. Yes, there is the standard "how the heck did these bad guys just get here after I went through all that" aspect, but that aside, it's fun and keeps me wanting to see what happens next.

    I've spent most of my space harping on a few negatives here, but I'm still enjoying the game a lot. Right now it's falling solidly into the "flawed, but fun" category in my mind. Anniversary still strikes me a more polished title, but I don't regret picking this up.


  4. #4
    well i got tha game at 3 and played it when i got home from skool and im in tha middle of thailand and tha game is good but a little glitchey
    Ya Lose Some Ya Win Some, Long As The Outcome Is Income!

  5. #5

    I must say this is such a beautifully made game. I'm in awe! I love Lara's animations, she's very realistic, and it's easier to relate to such an amazing character.
    • Concept art: Gorgeous! CD's concept artists really out done themselves on this one.
    • Render art: I was never attracted to many of the Concept art, but when it was all incorporated in the game in the end, everything just worked out, beautifully.
    • Animation: I love EVERY move Lara made in this one. So much more appealing then in the remake.
    • Attire: Lara's clothing - simple, fun, and suits her so well. I love the fact that the artists went for the casual look for Lara, and not so yuppy and reveling. I didn't really like Lara's clothing in CD's first game. She showed more boob then she ever did! Her main outfit is a bit reveling, though, but it makes sense for the areas that Lara trudges through.
    • Lights and Shadows: To those who don't have those key hard ware--get it! It's soooo worth it! If you're going to play it on the PC. Every detail, every shadow, and light is so worth seeing in it's full potential.
    • Colours: Vivid, and not too bright, not too putrid.
    • Gameplay: Difficult from the start, but you get used to it. The camera sensitive, but you get used to it, especially after 2 games with the same camera. I don't mind it, really.

    Over all, Crystal and Eidos. You have really outdone yourselves, on this one. The hard work, the time, everything was well worth it. Thank you so much for answering those unanswered questions from those last two games. Thank you for those mini artbooks that came with the pre-order, and the many other items that come with a pre-order TR:U game, and collectors edition.

    I really have nothing to say right now. My jaw is still on the floor, and I have a line of drool on my face. (Over exaggerating)

    Music/SFX - 10/10
    Puzzles - 9/10
    Graphics - 10/10
    Environments - 10/10
    Enemies/Combat - 8/10
    Controls - 6/10
    Camera - 5/10


    Edit: November 21st, 2008

    I just finished the game, and I cannot wait to get the Down Loadable Content!

    Seriously, screw X-play's reviews. Yes, the camera was a bit frustrating at times, but overall it was alright. I am a bit sad about a certain death at the end of the game, because that character was a favourite of mine, but I expected it to happen, but more dramatically. Though, a bit sad, that there wasn't much of a boss battle.

    Every level and sub-level was designed beautifully, and the concept of Helheim/Avalon was fantastic.

    Crystal and Eidos, this is such a great game. You really out did yourselves, and I hope there's more then just the DLC. I hope you guys make at least 2 more Tomb Raider games. Many loyal TR fans would appreciate two complete games after the extra chapters.

    Again, thank you so much for making such a wonderful Tomb Raider game.

    Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted.

  6. #6

    Red Face (Embarrassed) My review

    Ok, I turn the fanboy mode off for a moment... and get objective.

    Platform: PC

    After pretty good Legend and truly spectacular Anniversary I thought nothing
    could go wrong with Underworld. Well, I was wrong. Maybe It was the rush to
    get it done before christmas or something else, but the game feels like a puzzle
    with some great pieces that don't quite fit together.

    Plot/cinematics: 8
    Pretty good story with some good twists. Doesn't quite have the emotional
    depth of Anniversary. Toby did the job allright with cinematics and they
    are all well crafted.

    Music/SFX: 9
    Great! Everything works as it should. Only thing missing is the truly memorable
    main theme. It doesn't quite reach the heights of Legend or Anniversary.

    Puzzles: 7
    They're OK. Again, after Anniversary a bit of a disappointment. Pretty simple and
    sometimes repetitive. After succesfull use of physics in puzzles in Legend, I was
    a bit suprised there wasn't more of that in Underworld.

    Graphics: 10
    Very good. Excellent design on characters and environments.The design balances
    succefully between comic-book-look and Pixar-animation-look. Clever use of effects
    hides the fact that there isn't that much real time lighting.

    Animation/moves: 5
    Laras moves look too fast. They lack the sense of mass and grace they've
    used to have, especially swimming. Laras legs don't work well with variable
    surfaces. On some levels it's impossible to even walk without leg twitching.
    (edit: If there is any decent animation to be found, it is very well hidden
    with all the collision errors, twiching and too fast transitions.)
    I liked the Legend/Anniversary animations better... Hell, I even liked the
    Core's girl-on-rails moves and animations better. Not good.
    Time for the Euphoria-engine?

    Enemies/combat: 6
    It's 1996 again. Dual targetting and lasting corpses make comeback...
    and you still see floating corpses that you can walk through... so 1996.
    Where's the working physics? Time for the Havoc-engine?
    Adrenaline stuff is cool though.

    Controls/camera: 7
    The plus side of quicker animation-pace is better response times in controls.
    The controls work ok. The camera has somewhat more troubles than usually
    in a third-person-view game. Lara gets stuck easily.

    General gameplay/levels: 8
    Good pacing and level structure. Some weird repetition with the fire escape and
    especially with the second "identical twin ship". Some de ja vu -feeling
    from Legend in general structure of levels. Adrenaline moments dont quite work,
    I even liked the quicktime events better. The lack of extras suprises.

    Overall: 7.5
    It's back to level of Legend then... and I even might like Legend more.
    If the "A-team" in Crystal Dynamics did this and the "B-team" did Anniversary,
    maybe it's time to give the reins of next game back to "B-team".

    But I still think most of the flaws could and would have been fixed if they've had
    more time. This must have been one hellish year for Eric Lindstrom.

  7. #7
    Okay .. I'll write a whole new review, whithout that much emotions
    First and main thing, the game is awesome ... really!
    I know how hard it is to make such EPIC, really, thing and I bring my hat down for the team at CD
    Now for some statistics ...
    Music/SFX - 10/10
    Adorable tracks ... So good! I can't believe that such game can have that good music score Really can't find the words to describe it

    Puzzles - 7/10
    I don't know .. As I've said before the game was pretty easy for me, although I've played it on MASTER SURVIVALIST and on hardest Player Tailoring ... Well maybe here and there I had little problems, but then I've laughted on my stupidity on how couldn't I see something when it was right infront of my eyes
    Only the RELICS findings I think were the hardest part I still haven't collected them all :)))
    Overall I think that the game needs more fresh ideas as for the puzzles part ... Not only things depending on Lara's weight or gymnastic skills ... Something more Unreal i suppose (Take a look at the old TRs and you'll get my idea )

    Graphics 15/10
    I have nothing to say, but one big THANK YOU for the beautiful grapics, envoirments ect

    Environments 10/10
    So big, so EPIC, sooooo Beautifuly maded! You all are total freaks in computer graphics Nothing more to say

    Enemies - 4/10
    Not very good enemies ... I mean ... there are only .. dunno 5-6 types ...
    Sharks, tigers, humans, spiders, bats and thralls?!?!?!
    Come on! WE neeeeeed MORE! No variety Absolutely no variety!

    Combat - 9/10
    There's a liiittle something that wasn't exactly right ... You know .. that feeling inside your mind that tells you it's not very perfect ... But I'm a gunfire fan so loved that part .. with all of the jumping, shooting and kicking asses around

    Controls - 10/10
    Nothing to say, the score is clear enough

    Camera - 4/10
    Totally bugged! On the motorcycle it gets HELL! Annoying! When Lara is hanging off a ledge and the camera gets too close when she's taking a curve the whole picture goes wild and spining around .. And she magically (Lara) passes to the other end of where I wanted her to be ... And some other little glitches with the camera that are so annoying! You shouldn't have touched the Legend/Anniversary cam .. it was the best so far!

    Other thoughts:
    Glitches - Annoying, annoying, annoying ) LIke in the old days )) She gets into the walls, into the floors ... Awful ...
    Bosses - There were none! The Kraken was such piece of cake ... Phahhah! MORE! ))
    PROS - Everything else :: ))))) The EPICNESS is gorgeous ))) The last level was the most unspoiled level and most interesting, hard(if I can say so ) ... Dunno .. The idea of Thor and the whole Norse mithology is great and very well interpretated

    That's all! I really hope that you will read this, because since I know myself I'm a fan of this game and I will be no matter what! Even AOD I find adorable! Actually my favorite among the older games

    Thank you!
    I told you not to play your music so loud, because you might wake up the dead

  8. #8
    I adore this game so far - but i detest the camera issues!!! We are only on the God of Thunder portion still - so there is much yet to go for us. My 10 yr old son and I play together.

    I am glad to see they brought back the plentiful artifacts (ala TRL), although TRU reminds me a lot of Zelda with the pottery. I am sure some hardcore fans are gonna hate that. Also, what's with the Spiderman touching of the walls and all? I mean I get why but was more reminiscent of Spiderman to me than Lara Croft.

    I think by and large, if you were a TRL fan, as was I, you will not be disappointed here in TRU. I was a bit pensive going in regarding the musical score but find it quite appropriate and lovely. Now that I have the game and see the context, it's wonderful.

    Lara has never looked better. Can't say enough great about the environments and Lara!!

    I do not like that there is no Croft Manor to play around in!!!! I loved that in Legend and TRA. Oh well - all good things have to come to an end, no?

    I love Natla's makeover. She looks SO MUCH BETTER!

    Someone pointed out on here that all (shooter) enemies look the same. Good point. Why do they? This isn't a Robert Palmer video.

    Also, can I not take dead enemies' guns like in TRL? That stinks - love the machine guns.

    All in all, major applause for Eidos and CD. I cannot imagine the time it took to put a game like this together!

    More editing of this post and adding to it, as I continue the game. I hope others are enjoying their games as much as we are!

    Christmas came early this year! Thank you, Eidos & Crystal Dynamics!!!

    11/21/08 - update

    My son and I (me, with the flu) took the day off today and stayed home and raided. I feel so old explaining to my son why exactly the graphics of this game are so wonderful. I go back to Pong. Nuff said.

    My son loves the motorbike as do I. I hated it in TRL. This is more manageable. There are lots of unexpected pleasant surprises. I had an easier time w/ the bike and swimming than I did in TRL / TRA (where applicable.) Perhaps, though, this is because we're now on XBOX 360.

    Our fav level thus far? We have not yet decided. To me, this game was like mixing TR, Star Wars & Zelda TP. Very grand scale, indeed.

    Music/SFX - 8.5/10 - See above comments. Very nice. Would I buy the score? Probably not - but it was very nice.
    Puzzles - 8/10 - Varying difficulty.
    Graphics - 9/10 - Quite excellent! I couldn't be happier. loved the textures w/ the "climbing stones".
    Environments - 8/10 - Very liniar, though still adding alot to the atmosphere. Would have liked to have seen something besides the bike in way of transportation.
    Enemies/Combat - 5/10 - At the risk of sounding ungrateful, yeah, I'm gonna have to bid low on this one. Perhaps there just wasn't enough room for development of henchmen - I guess I was spoiled w/ Rutland in TRL... We dug the doppelganger.
    Controls - Generally nice, though at times Laura just won't look / jump the way you want her to. LOVED that Lara can now lower herself via grapple and climb w/ it.
    Camera - 5/10 - too much of it not doing as it's supposed to, I think.
    Storyline - 9/10 - predictable but very well presented.
    Replay factor - 10/10 - ABSOLUTELY!
    Outfits: 6/10 - Someone pointed out here we're not playing Barbies (lol). I liked the TRL outfits better, but these are nice too.

    Did I like it better than TRL (my sentimental fav?) - Yes!
    Did I like it better than TRA? ABSO-freakin-LUTELY!

    Another reason I enjoy playing these games w/ my son is that he gets to learn about other places (even if it's a video game, it sparks his interest.) I wish TRU did not use "blood"!!!! That was one thing about the others that I did enjoy (no blood) but hey, if you're going to get realistic, I suppose you need to stay on level w/ today's games.

  9. #9

    Rolleyes Good Game.

    Amaging Graphics. Also i am shocked when this game run with my 8600M GT Graphics card. Smoothly running on Windows XP SP3.
    Nice support for older graphics card.
    Don't like shooting/killing animals in the game.

    Overall 9/10.

  10. #10
    I bought the ps3 version. the graphics are amazing!!! the gameplay is awesome too.. but lara, when swimming or walking often gets stuck and starts stammering around in circles. Anyone else have this problem? i also find the camerea annoying sometimes.. but great story line.. *spoilers bellow*

    Dont kill a cow, eat a cowboy.

  11. #11

    the First Hour

    Platform: Windows XP
    CPU: Intel Core2Duo E6550
    GPU: NVIDIA GeForce 8600 GT

    I have just got my copy so obviously I don’t know enough to score the game as a whole
    but here is my very first impression.

    Graphics: 9
    As the others on this board already pointed out, the graphic looks great even with a lower
    class graphic card. Although I would like to get GF 9600 level card someday to see how
    detailed its graphics really are.

    Control and Camera: 7
    On PC, a mouse does a whole lot of work. Pointing the direction you want to go, aiming
    guns at things, look around, change view points and so on. The camera angle issue hasn’t
    really bothered me much just yet. Lara doesn’t run off the edge of the cliff any more, she
    hangs on to the edge and she can climb back up, which is kind for a soft core player like
    myself but it gets annoying when you are meant to run and jump off the cliff.

    Environment: 8
    It seems there is more than one way to get to the point you want to go. Tomb Raider
    series always provided us with a variety in a way you can solve puzzles. Underworld also
    allows you to solve puzzles in various ways. Your objective is not too obvious but it slowly
    becomes clear what you are supposed to do as you explore the stage left and right.

  12. #12
    I have been playing on the PS3 and I thought every thing about the game was awesome it was just too short!!! I have had the game for about 24 hrs now and I am on the last level. I need more I know I played it too much over the past day but it was too simple there wasn't much combat the levels just didnt have bosses like they usually do. I mean I was very Impressed by the graphics the movement of the characters and the music. I read something about downloadable content whats up with that???

  13. #13
    Basing this solely on the demo, though I don't see it changing much from the demo to the retail version.

    Music/SFX - 8/10 - Very atmospheric, though I'd like some more dynamic sounds from Laura other than the usual moans.
    Puzzles - 8/10 - Varying difficulty, though generally a bit too easy in the demo.
    Graphics - 9/10 - Really adds to the game.
    Environments - 8/10 - Very liniear, though still adding alot to the atmosphere.
    Enemies/Combat - 5/10 - Controls ruin it, and frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing it gone completely.
    Controls - Generally nice, though at times Laura just won't look / jump the way you want her to.
    Camera - 6/10 - Still leaps of faith

    Suggestions for improvement:
    1. First person camera - And for gods sake, don't make her bodyparts invisible if you do make First person.
    - Would add more realism
    - Could fix leap of faith issues
    - Would make getting a lion on you a bit more of a shock
    2. Add getting incrementally hurt while climbing - Her knees are uncovered when she climbs, so it's only natural that they will get damaged and she'll have to bandage them.
    - Add damage penalties to large jumps, shoulders could go out of sockets, etc.
    - Falling without dying would make you limp for some time, penelizing your jumps so you can't jump that much.
    3. Either lose the combat system, or make a complete overhaul. It sucks.

  14. #14
    Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Please take all comments (even the negative ones) in the context of I want Tomb Raider to be the best and lead the industry.

    Platform: PC

    Music/SFX: 8
    Didn't intrude. Complemented the game. Fulfilled its role. But didn't “Wow.”

    Puzzles: 6
    The puzzles were fine but too few. I realize that the gameplay focus is "ancient mechanisms" and exercising the physics engine. I agree with making a vast physics puzzle the centerpiece of each level. And I know how much video game designers hate the arcadey "go from point A to point B but to get to B you have to flip a lever at point C."

    There were too few puzzles, not enough diversity in puzzles, and the puzzle "density" was too low. The original Tomb Raider had climbing puzzles, jumping puzzles, block puzzles, and pull-lever puzzles. This Tomb Raider only has climbing and physics puzzles. I would like to see more lower-level puzzles including the arcadey puzzles. Think of the grand physics puzzle being the “puzzle boss” of the level but you have to go through many smaller puzzles to get there.

    Puzzle density is also important. I recall the original Tomb Raider escaping Natal's mines after defeating the big enemy (but before battling Natla). That level had incredible puzzle density—a challenge every few feet—while the mine is crumbling down. That was a great level that put the player under tremendous stress at a very appropriate time (end of the game). It's probably the smallest level of the game in terms of size but is one of longest levels in terms of time. That is a very exciting level. Once the focus of the gameplay became the physics engine the puzzle density dropped immensely (starting with AOD and accelerating with Legend and Anniversary). I think that is a mistake. I challenge the game developers to make the arcadey puzzles but modernize then and disguise them enough that they don't seem arcadey.

    I think the complaints about how short the game runs is directly related to the diversity and density of puzzles. We are rocking through these levels way too fast because there is too much simple movement and too little puzzle density and diversity.

    Graphics: 9.5
    Only reason not a 10 is that I am in-love with the sheen and reflectivity in Legend running on Nex-Gen graphics.

    Could amp-up the “dirt on Lara” feature that was commented-on prominently prior to release but was barely noticeable. It didn't look that great either. Made her look scaly

    The choice of environments was very good. Mexico. Thailand. You almost can count on having a tropical level, a snowy level, and an underground level. No desert level this time.

    However, one of the hidden benefits that the crude “block structure” of older games gave was that you could climb many places that had no bearing on the game. You didn't understand the lack-of-bearing at the time but that was part of the exploring. In this game, if I tried to jump on a random boulder in Mexico, if it was not part of the path then I could not jump on it. It made the game very linear and narrow.

    There also was not any interaction with the environment. I distinctly remember seeing a locker with a sticker “First Aid” on it. But I could not open it.

    There is a path that new features take. A new feature starts out as an innovation. It then moves to a competitive advantage. Finally it becomes a minimum ante (also called table stakes...must have just to play). “Sandbox” levels are quickly moving from competitive advantage to minimum ante. I did not think that Tomb Raider was sandbox. It was very hallway and linear much like the original Doom.

    Spectacular “vistas” are also moving from competitive advantage to minimum ante. Play Halflife 2 and HL2 Episode 1 with the commentary feature on to hear great perspectives on this. Tomb Raider had intricate detail on its tombs and environments but no spectacular vistas. Which is a shame because that was the innovation brought by the original Tomb Raider. Who didn't get vertigo when Lara stood on the underground sphinx and the camera panned out? Much of Halflife 2 had this spectacular and menacing building off in the distance. It was a spectacular vista and made for good plot foreshadowing. Mass Effect used similar devices as you drove to Lab 15 and as you carved a path to Sovereign. These games are incredibly high selling, highly rated, and considered to be pushing the envelope on game design. All other game designers should play them and take notice.

    Sandbox levels and spectacular vistas that contribute to plot were, IMO, missing from Tomb Raider.

    Enemies/Combat: 4
    Honestly, I really hated the combat system. I miss not having the option to toggle holster and draw so her weapon(s) stay out. I navigated through vast quantities of the game with the right mouse button held down to keep weapons drawn.

    I also didn't like the wave after wave of enemies (bats, spiders,
    ). I felt like reaching for my super nail gun. Make the enemies smarter instead of tossing waves of them at us.

    I really don't look to do all of the slo-mo and adrenaline dodges. I am more of a seeking cover, find the exposed-out-of-position baddie, and fire-and-maneuver to pick them apart. The Paradiso level in Legend is my all-time favorite replay level in TR and I usually am shooting from all the way across the room/street/etc.

    I did not feel confident enough with the controls and the combat system to be aggressive during the combat portions of the game. The combat felt uneven, ungainly, and unfun.

    I also did not feel really in-control during combat. I prayed for a red lock-on and then pressed left mouse button as fast as I could. I felt I had much more control in Legend.

    I know that “dual pistols / dual Uzi” are a staple of Tomb Raider and you just worked hard on the 2-pistols / 2 targets code but I really think you should reconsider adopting a more tactical style of combat system. The rise of “tactical gaming” has happened since the original Tomb Raider and lots of gamers have seen “the real deal” as feeds from Iraq and points-east enter our living rooms and you-tube queues.

    I am arguing that the gaming public taste has become more discriminating and the desire is for something more realistic. Let's face it, Brat Pitt looked cool in “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” because he actually knew how to hold and employ a 1911 and MP5. Angelina Jolie looked silly with her ancient John Woo -style. The trailers for “Casino Royale” have Daniel Craig moving through doorways with a suppressed pistol at the ready. It looks like he knows what he is doing giving the potential audience confidence in Craig as Bond (which was needed at the time). Lara needs the same makeover.

    Besides, has John Woo done any interesting movies lately? Any commercially successful movies lately? Nope. That says a lot. The John Woo genre has come and gone. Good riddance.

    Lara climbs with the authority and moves of an expert climber. I think if she fought with the same realistic combat tactics that it would make us more in-awe of Lara's persona.

    The best “casual” combat system I have seen (because I know that you don't want to graft Rainbow 6 into TR) is Mass Effect. You could clone that, call it a day, focus on other parts of the game, and have a third-person combat system that rates 9.5 out of 10.

    I solved most of the issues that I complained about in the “First Impressions” thread. I still don't like having to hold my right mouse button down to keep my weapons out. It just makes the combat seem so random.

    It still didn't feel good.

    I probably used about 25% to 33% of the controls. WASD, CTRL, Space, Tab, Q and E. Occasionally Caps Lock (which I had to look-up to throw a block—a training failure—V, R, and F. If there are other important buttons I didn't use them.

    Camera: 5
    Detracted from the game. I felt the camera was too close to Lara which made camera movement seem abrupt.

    Could not recenter it.

    A couple of times it made really bad decisions where to position itself.

    Too jumpy.

    Too unpredictable

    Cannot explain how to fix it but didn't like it.

    Extras: 6

    The chief errors here was not enough back story and not enough cinematic and dialog to involve them. Who were these mercenaries other than random fodder to wade through. We knew who they were in Legend. We knew Natal's cohorts in Anniversary. I did not know who I was shooting on boats and in Mexico. Random baddies I guess (see story below).

    We should have had to do more to kill
    . We should have had a skirmish against
    That would have made their semi-reconciliation at the end much more cathartic at the end of the game.

    Repeat Play: 7 (I added this one.)
    I don't know if I am going to play it again now that I have finished it. With Legend and Anniversary, I knew what I was playing for...outfits and cheat-codes. The concept art is nice but I am not sure it's worth playing it again for.

    If you look at the volume of forum activity by subject area, people are very interested in Lara's outfits. That doesn't mean slutty (I thought the bikinis in Legend were a terrible mistake). Call me what you want but I replayed Legend to unlock all of the outfits. Seeing Lara in camouflage is cool. Seeing Lara in a cat burglar suit is cool.

    I cannot tell what to replay for in this game. Are there unlocks other than concept art? It does not look like it. There are no grayed-out sections for unlockable weapons or outfits. Maybe it's there and I have missed it.

    This next section could easily be in Combat but I put it here...

    Having unlockable weapons would add much to the playability, in my opinion. People would re-play to get the unlocks and to run though the levels using the specialized weapons that have more power but with significant usability challenges.

    You basically want the following weapon categories.

    • Weak short rage base weapon with unlimited ammo (pistol)
    • Short range devastating weapon (subgun—Uzi, shotgun)
    • Medium range weapon with reduced fire-rate (assault rifle)
    • Long range weapon with super reduced fire rate (sniper rifle)

    I think there was too much overlap in weapon categories. A sniper rifle was missing and the assault rifle overlapped too much with the Uzi

    Default = Browning P35, Found = Sig P210 (magnums). Unlock = HK USP Match (power of Sig 210 capacity of P35).

    Short Range
    Default = FN Pump shotgun, Found = Uzis. Unlock 1 = Benelli Super 90 (semi auto shotgun). Unlock 2 = HK UMP SD (suppressed subgun, does not alert other baddies)

    Medium Range
    Default = None! Found = AK47 (ubiquitous in the countries Lara goes to). Unlock = tricked out M4 or Sig 550 series.

    Long Range
    Default = None! Found = Bolt-action with scope (must zoom in to fire). Unlock = semi-auto rifle with scope or .338 Lapua (near 1 shot 1 kill).

    Unlock outfits.
    * Dozens. Just no bikinis. Bikinis detract from the seriousness of Lara's persona.

    Story: 8 (I added this one.)
    You obviously spent a lot of time here and it shows. Connecting all of the myths as well as the prior Tomb Raider games was a delicate balancing act and quite an achievement. Bravo!

    I would have rated this 11 out of 10 except for a couple of things. The teaser leaks talked of Lara making a mistake by raiding a tomb. She unleashed something on the world for which she had to make amends. Where did that go? I was set-up for making a huge raiding achievement early in the game with disastrous consequences that I had to spend the rest of the game fixing. Sort of like unleashing Set in Last Revelation. Was that axed? Or what?

    Maybe I am just on a different wavelength but key storyline elements need multiple plot events to reinforce key elements. 3 or 4 at least. Not just 0 to 1.

    In your defense, Hollywood fails at this just as well. Take Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Why did the movie end there? The plot was that both assassin companies wanted them dead. So they had a big shootout in a department store. They are not dead. The basic conflict was still there. How was the plot solved? Did the companies no longer want them dead? The movie just ended. Almost like the department store shootout spent the remaining budget and the movie had to end halfway through. WTF?

    Or take I Am Legend. These vampires are mindless hulks. Or are they? Why was the male lead vampire so bent on reprisal for Will Smith capturing that female vampire? Were they boyfriend/girlfriend? Was a new type of vampire civilization forming? Why? The movie never answered which is why it was so bad.

    Maybe I am being simplistic but you have the main character (Lara...the protagonist) who has a conflict with the antagonist (Natla? Or Amanda? Or Thor?). Resolving that conflict is the Plot and the resolution is compelling (cathartic). The protagonist changes mindset or world view resulting from the plot and antagonist (who does not change to their undoing).

    How does Lara change here? Or does Amanda? If Amanda changes then she is the protagonist and not Lara. Lara becomes an ancillary part of Amanda's story. (It's actually for this reason that movie villains have become the more interesting character. The villain changes due to the hero...a hero that is a boring unchanging antagonist was the downfall of the Batman and pre-Daniel Craig James Bond franchises.

    The story team should be able to answer the following questions.
    • Lara is the protagonist. This is how she and her beliefs will change:
    • Amanda is the antagonist. This is how she will cause Lara to think differently at the end:
    • The conflict between Lara and Amanda is this:
    • The reason why this conflict is compelling is this:
    • The path to resolving the conflict and, as such the plot is this:
    • The cathartic moment is this:

    Anyway, you need to fill out the story much more. More detail. More context.

    Overall score: 7

    Liked: Story, graphics.

    Disliked: Combat, shortness.

  15. #15
    A few days ago in a post I said I wanted Core back. After playing and completing TRU, I take that back. My score: 9/10

    This is exploration at it's finest. I could not put my control down until the game was finished. Not only was the story intriguing but just moving around in these huge, atmospheric environments made me grin like a big idiot.

    Lara Croft not only looks better than ever she also moves more gracefully and easily. Finally a perfect control scheme for our Lady! Lara isn't the only thing that looks great though, the entire game looks almost photo-realistic. Underworld features some of the best graphics on the 360, especially in Thailand as you progress further and further into the jungle.

    Even the soundtrack is unbeatable this time round. Frequently whilst playing you really feel uplifted by the dramatic score featured in Underworld. What's better is that the music isn't constantly playing, when it shouldn't be, it isn't, leaving the game seem even more atmospheric and bringing back that sense of isolation.

    Granted, the combat isn't perfect, but considering the exploration is the main focus, this definitely does not bother me. It's not like the combat is painful, it just isn't as inspired as the exploration. Towards the end of the game when we weild Thor's Hammer the combat suddenly feels much more exhillerating, I love watching the mercs get blasted off the ship deck, into the sky and down to the ocean.

    Before playing, I was worried about the story. There seemed to be too many elements to the plot. Luckily it all blended nicely, really nicely. Also I like Amanda now, nice job on her character

    I really can't wait for the DLC now, and of course for the next instalment. Please answer another one of my prayers and remake TR2 with this fabulous engine.

    Thank you Crystal Dynamics, for finally proving that you have what it takes.
    Much Love
    "I've lived many times longer than your entire civilization, but i've never seen such delicious irony..." R.I.P. Natla

  16. #16


    Some of the levels in TRU are very grand & beautiful as is the music, which is stunning! I've reached the last level after about 9 hours of play, which isn't the longest game but it's not bad. There is a solid great game there, sadly just not on the PS3, I think it was only just finished in time because it lacks a final polish.

    The PS3 version feels certainly rushed, hideous camera, loads of bugs. The framerate drops quite a bit at certain moments. It didn't even rain when I played the Mexico level, stopped after I died once.

    The autosave system on the PS3 TRU is flawed, my advise would be only rely on your manual saves. I've just had to stop halfway through the last level because the game went blank even though it was still running as I could hear the sound, tried reloading using resume game but with no luck. After the level loaded I could only see 5 seconds of the screen & then blank accept the sound. I could still call up the PDA but not the main menu? I thought I had a faulty copy! Sadly my last manual save was a few levels back but I tried loading that & thankfully it was fine. I had played it without a break since I got my copy earlier & was enjoying the game despite its noticable flaws then this happens on the last level. It kind of sums up my whole TRU experience.

    The build up to the game over a year has been less then overwheling & so is the game for me. I have such mixed feelings as I see greatness in the game, yet I feel resentment for paying £49 for a CE which is the least polished & bug filled game I own on PS3. Maybe I was expecting to much from my first next-gen TR experience. I can't help feeling I've been ripped off with the PS3 version. Ripped off both in money & time, waiting so long & doing my best to promote it, because I simply love Tomb Raider.

    I'm sadly not satisfyied. I'm sure if other ps3 owners have experienced similar issues then they must feel the same to a degree. It's hard to be honest & frank about something you have loved for so long, some of my passion has gone.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I don't know, some others with ps3 version loved it as well, it will be a mixture of both love/hate on all platforms, sucks your experience wasn't as good as others KB

    but CD can't please everyone

    i might give the ps3 version a rent and check it out see how it differs from the other versions

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Overall a 9.9

    Thus far, this game has given me the TR experience that I loved about the first two games(TR1&TR2) with an outer TRA&TRL coating. It's not perfect though, just shy of perfection. The camera does become a problem after awhile, however if you have skilled hands, it is easily overcome. If you have a PC camera and controls, I'd imagine would be a Larger issue. I don't like how Lara's head turns to look at things. Things floated,the game froze on me 6 times now. Once I mastered the camera and controls, you can actually cut loose and go nuts with what Lara can do. I love the cut scenes, they were compelling. I was playing by the seat of my pants. The music was breathtaking. I love the old school touches, like for instance the chime when you find treasures. The weapons selection For those who say it was too short, well you could have not use the PDA to ask Lara's expert advise.Old school all the way, YEAH This game was better than Legend and Anniversary, that I might just buy a 360 just so I can purchase the DLC, I think it's worth the extra dough.

    I played it on the PS3

    signature image

  19. #19


    CatSuit&Ponytail's lowdown for the brave people at Eidos and Crystal Dynamics who worked on and brought to us Tomb Raider: Underworld.

    Pros - The major aspects of the game are as perfect as I could hope for. :
    ~ Lara is absolutely Gorgeous! The different outfits are tasteful, sexy, and what I want in my own wardrobe.
    ~ Motion capture animations are mostly fluid and beautiful, eg. swimming - dolphin kicking is wonderful, climbing - she is very agile like a monkey!
    ~ Environments are rendered with breathtaking detail and beauty, eg. water - it is clear and yet voluminous, light filters through and reflects off of it like a Jaques Cousteau documentary.
    ~ Animals are very very close to jumping out of the screen now, the panthers and tigers are so majestic and move like frisky kitties should.
    ~ The Tranquilizer gun!!!! A long awaited and much needed option for combatting wildlife in their own homes...a special personal thank you from me for that.
    ~ The Adrenaline Dodge was not a required move! Yay!!!
    ~ Lara's gear and inventory system are good. The grapple is more logical, the PDA helpful, the Scuba device a nice way to let the player actually enjoy the large underwater levels.
    ~ The Levels are vast and grand, the ancient architecture and open water and dense forested areas are wonderful and create the feeling of big space and real fantastical places.
    ~ The non-linear-ish Path is subtle, and not screaming "THIS handhold here, fool!"
    ~ Hints are all toggleable, giving the real old skool TR gamers a feeling of exploration long lost.
    ~ The Music is exciting, lovely, atmospheric and non-invasive.
    ~ Ambient sounds and environmental audio presence fills each area with delightful depth and unique character.
    ~ The Story is multifaceted, with real character development, engaging dialog and gripping cut scenes.
    ~ Enemies are adjustable to player difficulty preferences, those who prefer raiding to fighting, can.
    ~ The Boss fights are.....not. This is a bold and welcome change from the norm. The game carries itself and has a very satisfactory conclusion without the enforced need of a last second huge show-down with the Big Bad.
    ~ Treasures have replaced Secrets to good effect. Some treasures are still hard to find, although even a casual gamer will find a lot.
    ~ The large amount of unlockable concept art is very cool, displaying the hard and long work the artists accomplished in a very beautiful way.
    ~ Although not as long in hours played (first play through) as the first 4 TR games, Underworld seems a very big game, packed full of action, exploration, devious puzzles, a lovely gymnastic heroine, complex villains, spectacular locations, deep magic, long backstory, successful conclusions to many unanswered questions, wild and believable wildlife and the ability to raid as the player sees fit, this latest Lara Croft outing will be cherished for years as a crowning jewel of excellence by this jaded gamer. Finally my personal view of what Tomb Raider should be, who Lara Croft is, is represented not just by my imagination and longing but by the game itself.

    Cons - The very small niggling complaints are nothing compared to the greater awesomeness:
    ~ Alternate character outfits not supported eg. Doppleganger (You tease me with having the doppleganger look and dress like me (shiny black outfit, long red braid), then do not allow me to play as her? Naughty naughty. )
    ~ All outfits are no longer available for all levels
    ~ Camera is a bit demanding in places, especially small spaces
    ~ Lara's camera is not a perfect replacement for First-Person view
    ~ Lara's "I am jumping straight up onto nothing" jump seems a bit less graceful than it should be, real mocap or not.
    ~ Are the cutscenes unlockable? Did I miss the place to view them after having played through the game once?
    ~ Keymapping should extend to the mouse buttons: eg. Camera Zooming in and out with the scroll wheel is a basic function of most 3d environment games.
    ~ Zooming is limited to the "Lara's Camera" option, and not to the scene including Lara herself.
    ~ Unlimited Save anywhere system, although understandably problematic for testing, is still preferable to many many save-points.

  20. #20
    Mine is pretty long so I just made it a separate topic.
    It's on the Wii version.

  21. #21
    Mine is pretty short.

    I played on the ps3.

    Good.... but I can never begin to say how much I miss the old music.
    Really cool! But not very hard in a lot of places.
    I loved the environments! I really liked Thailand!
    Really good also. They where some what scary this time. I like scary.
    The trigger for the guns was a bit hard to get used to. But over all, I liked them.
    Great! It did pose a little problem some times though. I could not get it to go where I wanted on a ledge very easy.

    I give the game a 7/10.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Cool Spoilars! - Where are the ninjas?

    I finally finished it. It was pretty enjoyable. Storyline and game itself (not gameplay) is better than TRA and TRL, but it doesn't beat the classics. I would give the game 7.0

    The Ugly!:

    The camera is a perv. It's so unpredictable. When you hang on a ledge, it zooms to Laras hands. When you're standing infront of an wall, then rotate the camera, it focuses on her, 'feminine' parts. And the most annoying, when the game magically transforms into an FPS. Rotate the camera wrong, and Lara disappears.

    Other things that bugged me about the game, was thralls body-parts hanging in the air, spider bouncing (sometimes), Laras hair cutting itself and growing in cutscenes, she holds stuff that isn't there, she climbs on stuff that isn't there and she is Chuck Norris when I command her to pick something up.

    The Bad!

    - The bike-rides were okay, but still bad
    - Amandas face animations. When she's hanging on the rope, she looks bloody awful.
    - In some cutscenes, when Lara talks, Keeleys voice and Laras lip-sync doesn't go together.
    - Some animations were missing frames, and looked unfinished.
    - Lara going trough movable objects (happened in Croft Manor)
    - Easy puzzles. Easier than classics, harder than TRL and TRA
    - no boss-fights
    - Graphics are good, but not that impressive tbh.
    - 70% of everything is for the xBox *dodges tomatoes*
    - can't see cutscenes again
    - Can't replay levels
    - Can't use the camera
    - Can't play as the doppelgänger >_<
    - Combat, but it's something to get used to.

    The Lovely!

    - Kyles name mentioned in the credits
    - Music and sounds
    - Voice acting (sometimes anyway)
    - Lara's anger issues when she frees Natla are EPIC. "And you can die too!"
    - The thralls rise if you don't stomp on them
    - Mexico and Artic actually felt like TR. They were HUGE. Despite not raining i Mexico in some parts of the map =/
    - Amanda turning good at the end (helping Lara to get out of Hellheim)
    - Alister dead
    - Zip not chatting into your ear
    - No linear paths

    Where are the ninjas anyway?
    Villa, villa.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    to be honest, the game is awesome graphics wise, and meh on everything else. Combat was horrible, puzzles and gameplay were simple, and the story somehow still feels incomplete. I do like it, overall 7/10.

    If you take these awesome graphics and redo TR2 I think I will be quite happy. Core's storyies plus CD graphics (AKA Anniversary) equals happy Lara playing goodness

    I played on Nintendo DS and I felt quite satisfied. There were no bugs at all, graphics were suh-weet, cinematics were awesome....also the camera works really good with the 2D engine. That was nice.

    I would be happy to see more TR for the DS system now., WHEN you step out of line, you'll get it!

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    that's because 7/10 means it's good but it just ain't all that.
    It's like getting a C in class. You've passed, but you know you didn't give your best., WHEN you step out of line, you'll get it!

  25. #25
    Music/SFX 10
    Puzzles 8
    Graphics 10
    Environments 10
    Enemies/Combat 8
    Controls 8
    Camera 6

    The game is amazing, except for some issues, like all games have!
    Hopefully the next TR game will be better then this one!

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