Electronic Theatre Preview: Lara Croft; Tomb Raider: Legend

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Electronic Theatre ImageFew true gamers will not know of one of the biggest releases to come out this year, it’s an Eidos series that really started what the PlayStation became: the lads’ machine. Its subsequent games in the series, Tomb Raider 2, Tomb Raider 3, and Tomb Raider: Last Revelation were huge hits with the general press and public a like. Then Core Design, the team that originally made the first Tomb Raider and its sequels, left Eidos and the franchise behind. Leaving Eidos to find a new team to make the follow on from Tomb Raider: Last Revelation, which was Lara Croft; Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, and though this game was largely a success amongst the public, it unfortunately received a few unfavourable reviews within the British Press.

            With this release of the huge Tomb Raider name, Lara Croft; Tomb Raider: Legend, Eidos haveElectronic Theatre Image decided to start again from square one, re-doing everything in the game; from the graphics, the physics and the animation to the weapons and fighting abilities. So with everything re-built from scratch the game should now go from a multi-million seller to a multi-billion seller, right?

            Well I have had the joy of playing the very first Preview Code of Lara Croft; Tomb Raider: Legend, and the graphics really have had a gorgeous makeover, from when you first start, Lara, and all of her surroundings look superb compared to anything else seen on the PlayStation2; the size and depth of nature around you really brings a sense of awe to the occasion. Then, as you start to move around the  rocks and ledges around you, you get to enjoy the new fluidity built into Lara’s movements, instead of using the previous system which involved much use of the camera and much cursing to just missed jumps, you can now make Lara jump to which ever angle you press on the left Analogue Stick, similar to that of Shadow Of The Colossus, and the Default Camera will be in a good position to see what you’re doing. Even if you do miss-judge the jump, Lara has a new feature; hanging on with one hand and giving you the option of pressing Triangle to get Lara to pull herself into the two-handed hanging position, should you be quick enough.

            The Enemies have had a large amount of work put into them, showing, at times, quite a large amount of intelligence for ones usually regarded as hired thugs. Lara is encouraged to use her intelligence too, throughout all the Levels everything which is not part of a wall or floor is breakable or movable – puzzles can involve everything from kicking rocks to set off traps, pushing blocks through closing walls Electronic Theatre Image and therefore avoiding death, or even using simple gravity to set-up huge complex systems which end up with enemies being killed or sealed doors opening.

            Combat is a compliment to all the puzzle solving, and Lara can shoot and dodge in completely different directions, without any pauses between movements: giving you complete control over all of her actions and allowing you to do it with speed, Lara also has very fluid interaction, meaning that any obstacle or enemy can be dealt with without pause for thought.

            The sheer size and scale of the new ideas put into this once groundbreaking series really make it stand-out as a refreshed edition of the Tomb Raider franchise in every way. There has been an obvious amount of work put-in to turn Lara Croft; Tomb Raider: Legend into a real iconic moment in the Tomb Raider legacy, and bring the entire series running at speed with the other revolutionary titles released this year.

 

 

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