Game-A-Week: Tomb Raider: Legend

Title: Tomb Raider: Legend (PC)

The Gist: Tomb Raider: Legend is the 7th Tomb Raider game in the series and takes Lara on another adventure in which you’ll learn about Lara’s past (specifically regarding her mother), and seek out an artifact. The game requires you to solve puzzles such as placing boxes on tiles in order to open doors as well as navigating dangerous traps such as pits or Star Wars-like crushing walls. You’ll occasionally be greeted by the baddies who open fire on you for simply being you, under orders from the big baddie who is after an artifact that you want all for yourself.

Pros: The game starts off with an interesting title sequence reminiscent of a Bond film, this was fairly amusing to watch and made me wonder if many of the Tomb Raider games feature an intro like this one. The game is fairly straight forward in its mechanics, requiring Lara to jump up to ledges, jump off ledges, swim and swing on conveniently placed poles. I played the game using an Xbox 360 controller and found that the dual analogue was a lot nicer to control the character with as opposed to my keyboard. I recommend anyone with a 360 controller to hand to use it!

The environments are well designed; I especially liked the backdrop showing off a skyline in the starting area. It was nice being able to explore Lara’s mansion separately from the main game, and that it was virtually identical to my memories of the mansion in the Tomb Raider movie. The puzzles aren’t too difficult but do require a little thinking in order to solve them and at times reminded me of my beloved Portal. If only Lara had a portal gun…maybe we’ll see a mod somewhere down the line! I really liked the binoculars that allowed me to literally scan my surroundings, revealing what my environment was. I was able to scan a box and identify it as a moveable object, and a large gear as a mechanism.

Cons: The AI seems a little basic; I think the developers were more interested in creating puzzles than interesting combat. It’s fairly easy to just constantly jump around your opponent whilst firing your dual pistols, dodging their bullets and chipping away at their health. This tactic even worked at the end of the first level where I was fighting against at least 8 enemies, which felt a little unchallenging. I guess I could turn up the difficulty and find them to be Terminators but I doubt I’d find much difference.

Musical Note: The soundtrack for the game is very appropriate for a Tomb Raider game, echoing adventure films such as Indiana Jones, Bond, and even Star Wars at times. There’s cultural music for each country Lara visits, although this is only done lightly. The tracks blend well together keeping an overall theme and feel for the game, culture mixed with action and adventure.

Hunger Level: It was nice playing an original style Tomb Raider game in a third person perspective again as I’ve not played one since a Tomb Raider and the Last Revelation demo many years ago. I definitely enjoyed the classic Tomb Raider concept and look forward to not only playing more of the game but trying out the other games in the series as well.

Conclusion: Definitely had a nice time playing this one even though I was a bit apprehensive about playing a game that seems to have been done to death over the years. It’s got some good content and some bonus content such as time trials, extra costumes and such that allow replayability. I always like a game that lets me revisit it rather than something that’ll stay locked away for eternity once it’s been played.

If anything I played this game because of the recently released concept art (left) for the upcoming Tomb Raider game titled erm…’Tomb Raider’ which reboots the series.

One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum

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