You'll beat the T-Rex, but you'll also rip your shirt in frustration, like you're at the end of Planet Of The Apes.
COME AND HAVE A GO
There was talk about Anniversary being harder than Legend, in response to the demands of the fans. It's not. It doesn't quite fall into Legend's trap of putting a bullring through your nose and dragging you - compliant, dumb and drooling - through obvious paths.
However, the hangable ledges are obvious in white, and grappling points are emblazoned with an unmissable blue circle. What's more, they've kept the Dragon's Lair 'Press Up Now To Not Die!' cinematics that add very little. It's frustrating to not be trusted by the developers to solve their puzzles. We've got websites with fan-contributed walkthroughs available the day after release, for god's sake. If you do beat us, we'll just ask our friends, or cheat.
That said, the levels are fair, and boss battles aside, you never feel cheated, except by your own stupidity. The checkpoint system of Legend is intact - no PlayStation save crystals and no quick-saves - and if you foul up a jump, landing you in a previous part of the level, you might like to know you can reload a checkpoint rather than do all those fancy jumps again. Hell, you've proved you can do it, it makes you no less of an explorer.
It's this sense of exploration that's been missing of late - having four or five levels in the same tomb creates a better illusion of depth. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that playing Anniversary was definitely enhanced by that experience. To see all those half-remembered scenes with particle effects and no ugly joins in the textures - well, it felt like vindication of the fact I've stuck with playing videogames all these years.
If you haven't played the original, then don't play it just to enjoy this; Anniversary stands up as a decent game without the benefit of going, "Oh my god, I remember this bit, hang on, it wasn't like that," for 15 hours.
WHAT WE MEAN IS...
Let's attempt a summary, then. Tomb Raider: Anniversary is the game you think you remember playing. By taking your memories and upgrading them, it works in the real world like a cross between Total Recall and Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. It brings a good dose of the strengths from the original and adds a couple of the strengths and weaknesses from Legend. It's a good game, a solid remake, but having said that, 11 years on, it was never going to garner the awe-struck plaudits of a gobsmacked world. We're used to it, now.
Keep on raiding
- Nostalgia without wallowing
- Enough new stuff to justify its existence
- Some gorgeous scenes
- The Lara revival continues
- Fighting is rubbish
- Now make a new one