Tomb Raider Legend: Everything Is New Again

作者 TombCrow, 2005 十一月 19, 18:30:04

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Holiday 2005 Issue # 105


Whether or not you know it to be a popular videogame franchise, a movie starring Angelina Jolie, or

Or that it\'s dual pistol-wielding heroine is scantly clad and overly top heavy, you know Tomb Raider.

If you\'re a gamer, you also know that the series has been on an unstoppable downward spiral since

The first sequel or second sequel, if you\'re an optimist we can\'t deny that the first game forever  

Changed gaming-it truly did. But in a twist of fatal irony, the series has remained so stagnant, the

Black cloud of flies hovering above its borders on opaque. Thankfully the powers that be have had

The blinding veils lifted from their eyes and have taken the first true step to reviving the series;

Handing the development duties over to crystal dynamics. The almost veteran developer\'s experience

With games shines through immediately upon setting eyes on the game. Sporting an updated look

That's at once refreshing and familiar, Tomb Raider Legend: at the very least looks the part it\'s been

Destined to play. Vast catacombs and lush jungles make their triumphant return, only this time  

Adorned with up to date effects and features. Then there\'s Lara. Sticking with the caricature art style

That's become a staple for the series, the woman who brought girl power to the world of gaming has

Never looked better or truer to form. Taking a cue from perhaps Prince of Persia which in turn owes

Its own debt to the Tomb Raider series, Lara now animates with a natural fluidity and controls just

As well. Gone is that invisible grid you wish would just crumble up and die. In it\'s place... nothing.

You can just run and flip and swing in any direction with ease. In the two levels we were privy to,

One was focused primarily on shooting. Taking place in a ghost town inspired environment, the

Firefight featured numerous enemies onscreen with Lara auto-targeting each and taking them down

With her, yes, dual pistols. An additional over the shoulder view allows for free aiming, the catch being  

You're stuck in place with cement feet. A grappling hook device can also be shot out and used to stun

Opponents before going in for the final kill. But hey, Tomb Raider is more about exploration and crafty

Puzzles than action and the developers know it. In one level we played we couldn\'t help but feel a giddy

Sense of nostalgia as we performed precision jumps, death defying rope swings, and completed a rather

Simple pressure plate puzzle. We\'ll admit, it wasn\'t entirely new, but some hands on game play time

Revealed a few game play details that help flesh out the experience. First off, your little grappling hook

Is more than just a portable rope though it\'s good at that too. We used it to pull down a large boulder

Set atop a high rock cliff that was needed to finish the puzzle. If that sounds like it might be a bit obtuse

While playing, it\'s not any objects that you can interact with have a conspicuous sheen to them. Also

Because 3D jumping has yet to be perfected Lara can, if you\'re fast enough, grab onto a ledge as a last  

Ditch effort to save herself. Just press a button at the right time and voila!, no cumbersome death to deal

With. Convenience must actually be a high priority for the game, because you can even make Lara move

Up ladders and the like more quickly by repeatedly pushing a button. Perhaps the most intriguing new

Feature we got to play was a timed sequence that pays homage to the glory days of Dragon\'s Lair or for

All you new school gamers Indigo Prophecy. It all plays out like a scripted cut scene, only you\'re required

To press a corresponding button direction that\'s displayed at exactly the right time. Foul up and you\'re a  

Goner. Succeed, and be witness to Lara really flexing her gymnastic abilities with a set of moves that

Would be just impossible to implement otherwise. It\'s all good fun really, and breaks up the game play  

While adding some cinematic flair to the game. Lastly we couldn\'t end this without talking about the swimming.

When it comes to most games, water levels become the bane of our existence. It\'s relaxing, beautiful, and

Faithful to the franchise. We didn\'t see any crocodiles this time \"No Comment\" was the phrase of the day  

Especially when it came to T-Rexes, but we\'d be shocked if they didn\'t find their way into the game. While

The story is a mystery; we\'ve been told its web is sure to ensnare some faces of yore. In fact the overlying

Theme that seems to bleed out from every open corner of the game is nostalgia. Not the dreaded memories

Most recently burned into your minds by The Angel of Darkness. No, we\'re talking about those memories

That you hold dear to your heart; the ones created the first time you played the game that changed an Industry;

The begot the first time you played Tomb Raider.


By: Kaiser Hwang PSM Magazine