11 Reviews

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

Review: Ten years in the making

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Weapon-based combat is back in a big way too and there's plenty of nature's finest to off. Bats, wolves, tigers, raptors and the T-Rex are just some of the specimens you'll unload endless clips of pistol ammo into. You press L1 to lock-on to enemies, circle to dodge and R1 to fire your weapon. Nothing dramatically different there but to give the combat a true 21st century feel Lara can also perform head shots and a new Matrix-inspired 'adrenaline dodge' move. The more you shoot an enemy the more it gets annoyed (obviously). When it makes a charge for you, hit circle and the whole game slows down giving you the chance to score a headshot. Smaller enemies are easy to deal with as long you jump around but the bigger enemies require a little more patience and strategy.

A special mention has to go out to the Lost Valley level, which was breathtaking at the time on PlayStation. The cog puzzle is now much bigger and the area around the open valley. You only really see the Lost Valley while dealing with the T-Rex. But that in itself is a huge challenge as the confrontation is now a serious boss battle where you have to use your bullet-tie move as well as the environment. Originally you could just fire several bullets into it while hiding in the rocks. Not this time...

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While each level is bigger and more complex than those from original, you never feel lost or disorientated. The re-designed levels and puzzles have all been well thought out and implemented perfectly to suit Lara's smooth new moves. Tomb Raider: Anniversary's content might not be new, but at the same time it is. Crystal Dynamics has done a great job of brining the original back to life. It looks great, plays great and remains as faithful to the original while still coming across as a fresh experience.

Some will say Anniversary feels similar to Legend (and they'd be right) and some will say that it's better. Personally I prefer the real back-to-its-roots tomb raiding gameplay. If you're a fan of the series then you should take a look at Anniversary.

There's enough action, unlockables and extras as well as Croft Manor to keep you busy for weeks while Eidos and Crystal Dynamics draw up plans to take the series to greater heights. If the true next-gen debut of Tomb Raider is as similar to Anniversary as Anniversary is to Legend, there could be trouble ahead for Miss Croft.

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The verdict

Everything the original was and so much more.

  • Emphasis back on tomb raiding
  • Lara looks and controls superbly
  • Cracking looks for a PS2 game
  • Great re-imagined puzzles
  • Feels too similar to Legend in parts
8.5
Format
PlayStation 2
Developer
Crystal Dynamics
Publisher
Eidos Interactive
Genre
Action, Adventure

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