Tomb Raider fans will get a double dose of Lara this year, with both Legend and a 10th Anniversary Edition arriving on PSP. The latter is set to be a remake of the first Tomb Raider game, but you could say the same about the former too.
That's because Legend goes back to the series' roots for inspiration, crafting a new story that reveals how young Lara became the legendary tomb raider while remaining faithful to everything that made the game so groundbreaking. So we're back in exotic South American locations performing all kinds of acrobatic stunts in order to solve puzzles, as well as shooting the odd enemy or three.
Other things have changed too and not before time. Lara no longer moves in that infamous grid system, which is even more of a blessing on PSP than PS2 when you consider how sensitive the analogue nub can be. She won't automatically fall off the edge of a ledge either when you're trying to line up a tricky jump. There are plenty of one-room puzzles too, to lessen the amount of backtracking involved. And perhaps the best improvement of all is that you're now set back at the last major puzzle if you die, instead of being forced to trawl through an entire section all over again, growing bored and wasting battery life.
Also new to Lara's repertoire are the so-called Super Action scenes. These are basically playable cut scenes in which you must press different button combos as indicated by on-screen prompts in order to get Lara out of danger. This mini-game also crops up when you don't quite pull off a jump correctly, with Lara losing her grip if you hit the wrong buttons or don't press them quickly enough.
This has all the hallmarks of being an inspired Tomb Raider game. Instead of relying on any story gimmicks or being content to rehash levels, Legend takes the Tomb Raider blueprint and updates it while still retaining the first game's charm.
A solid conversion of the PS2 game and a real return to form for Lara.