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Review by: Radu Nicolae
Published: April 12, 2006
- I’m sorry Amanda. If I’d known that you were alive, I swear I would have done anything I could to save you!
- Please… I got over that a long time ago. You know what really used to bug me though? When I got out, I saw that you left without even trying to… what is it that archaeologists do? Oh, right, DIG!
- We thought of it as a memorial.
- Whatever… Don’t let her follow me…
The bridge went down, mercenaries are shooting at Lara and her “dead” friend is alive and walking. Welcome to Tomb Raider Legend! This is what you should expect from the latest game in the Tomb Raider franchise. The first impression when you enter the game is “WoW!”. Crystal Dynamics developed a completely new engine and you can see it in action even in the main menu. If you have an appropriate graphics card, you can activate the “Advanced Features” option and you’ll meet the most beautiful virtual Lara Croft you’ve ever seen.
The game isn’t just for Tomb Raider fans. The storyline is easy to understand and the game even starts with an episode from Lara’s childhood. There are a couple of flashbacks during the game, thus making the player familiar with Lara’s past. The flashback and cinematic design is great. Actually, some cinematics are interactive. When you least expect it, a white arrow appears and if you don’t press the corresponding key, something bad happens to Lara. So don’t rest your hands if you see a cinematic starting. The good thing is that the developers didn’t make this aspect of the game annoying. So, if you’re not prepared and you miss the right moment to save Lara, you just start over from the beginning of the cinematic. And don’t get scared, it’s the easiest part of the game and it’s pretty rare.
The control isn’t perfect, but it causes no problems. The mouse and keyboard work pretty good together and Lara goes where you want to. Control is very important in this game, because half of the game, if not more, is based on controlling Lara on steep ledges or in deep tombs. The environment is really smartly designed, and sometimes you will not see the path you need to follow instantly. Not everything is so obvious from the start, because you must fully use the environment to get from one place to another. You might need to shoot the ropes that hold a giant crate so it can act as a bridge or use an ancient lift system so you can go to the upper level.
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