Tomb Raider: Anniversary Review

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Graphics: 7.0
Sound : 7.0
Gameplay : 8.0
Multiplayer : N/A
Overall : 6
Review by Kerim Senkal
Tomb Raider fans rejoice, everyone else, move on. I suppose it goes without saying that a Tomb Raider remake would really only appeal to people that appreciate the series, of which, I, am not. Regardless, in my unbiased opinion, this game just does not stack up to some of the more recent RPG’s. Slow moving with endless mazes and complex puzzles that lead you in circles, it really packs a lot of bore for the buck.

While having played the original Tomb Raider, way back in ’96, I must be completely forthright and divulge the fact that I don’t remember much of it, nor have I played any of the subsequent T.R. titles, nor have I ever really had the urge to. So, with that said, I thought it would be irresponsible, or perhaps even negligent, not to take the collective temperature of true T.R. fans to offset my general feeling of yawn.

In scouring threads and threads of gamer forums and blogs I’ve discovered several interesting things. First, it seems that this latest offering from Crystal Dynamics and Edios has been somewhat underrated by most reviewers. Throughout my travels I’ve found that “those who know” really enjoyed T.R Anniversary and the resulting time warp back to the future brought on by playing this classic of a decade past with the benefit of today’s graphics, sound, and higher quality imagery. Apparently this game is basically the original Tomb Raider, reissued using the very popular Tomb Raider Legend engine. Not so surprising was the overall opinion that there is a much more realistic feel to the control of our bold bombshell as she maneuvers through the treacherous landscape. Reacting to her surroundings the way one might anticipate results in a more solid bond between you and our favorite heroine. Not having a firm basis for comparison, I though the control of Lara was fair to good.

The story isn’t very intriguing, it doesn’t really get you into the game at all. As a matter of fact, in the beginning of the game, the only information you get is that you are searching for the Scion of Atlantis which is a relic that Lara Croft and her father were hunting for previously. And then you're off! The requisite training section in Lara’s mansion is your basic tutorial level, meant to familiarize you to the controls which are standard. One feature of T.R. Anniversary is that Lara has the use of her grappling hook, which puts a new spin on conquering some of the challenges one might recall from the first Tomb Raider. After, you advance to a mountain level where you eventually and up scouring through some caves. Then, a jungle level with some Mayan style temples where you encounter the first big boss, a giant T-rex. Running around, shooting endless rounds into this big brut that really has no tricks up its sleeve. Every once in a while your countless bullets will raise the dino’s “rage meter” causing the beast to charge you and triggering another new feature; ‘the adrenaline rush”. I wasn’t impressed with this very much, comprising of little more than a dive in either direction, it seldom even worked to escape a hit. Then, more puzzles, more caves, more shooting creatures that are easily defeated by getting to higher ground and raining bullets down on them. But hey, this is Tomb Raider, you know what you're getting yourself into. Me? I’m getting sleepy just thinking about it. I did read in some of the forums that people were having a real hard time with some of the challenges encountered later in the game. Who knows, maybe I’ll play it long enough to find out.

I can’t help but feel bad in having really nothing good to say about this game. Perhaps it’s just not my cup of tea, perhaps I don’t have the patience, perhaps I’ve been spoiled by God of War. In the end all I can say is that a Tomb Raider remake is for Tomb Raider fans. Everyone else, move on.