Tomb Raider: Legend
Score: 7.0 / 10
what seems like an eternity, it looks like the folks at Crystal Dynamics
are finally getting their groove back with the Tomb Raider series.
For years now, the games have been getting lambasted for being
little more than ill-conceived cash cows trying desperately to make a
buck off of the franchise name. These
games suffered from everything a critic could possibly complain about: poor
cameras, crummy controls, bland story, et cetera.
Now, with Tomb Raider Legends, things are finally on the up and
up. Itís not perfect, as
there are still the occasional times the camera and controls go wonky,
and the game is ridiculously short, but overall the game makes for a
While a lot of the media focus in terms of visuals has been on the Xbox 360 version, and to a lesser extent the PC version, of Legends, it should be said that the PS2 version of the game is quite pretty. The character models are well done, and many of the environments, especially those with a lot of water or foliage, look very good. Also, unlike the other aforementioned platforms that the game is available for, the PlayStation 2 version of Legends does not suffer from noticeable frame rate issues.
the visuals is Legendsí audio, which performs quite nicely.
The ambient noises do a nice job of adding atmosphere to the
game, while the music finishes the job.
For the most part the voice acting is quite good, though there
are a few lines in the dialogue worthy of a cringe or two.
However, while the story is engaging, the whole thing is way too short, and feels like it was made so for the sole purpose of leading into a sequel. While this is quite normal in any story-based medium, the
which it is done here feels a touch insulting.
The story could likely have been wrapped up in a few more levels,
but after about eight
hours of play: WHAMMO! The whole thing is over.
It was fun wandering ruins, snow-swept mountains, and what have
you, but if I were to have paid $40US for this game, Iíd be pretty
damn pissed off that I could have finished the game and seen everything
worth seeing in Legends for a $5 rental.
the game being so short, what is there is entertaining.
The controls are tight, the cameraís usually behave themselves
(though they do have their moments), and the gameplay provides a good mix of puzzle solving, and
running around, shooting at bad guys. Thereís even some Shenmue-inspired Quick Time Events, where
players hit corresponding controller buttons when prompted.
Compared to other recent installments in the Tomb Raider series,
Legends is a big step forward. In a lot of ways the gameplay has returned to the core
elements that made early chapters in the series so popular, and done
away with much of the superfluous crap that critics and fans have been
complaining about in the latter games.
The whole point of Legends is to traverse tombs, stop your evil
competitor, and unlock a mystery. No
more, no less. The only things that didnít need to be present were,
firstly, the Quick Time Events, which were extremely rudimentary, and
would not have been missed if not present, and, secondly, the vehicle
sequences, which felt tacked on to make the game longer.
One interesting addition, though, was the added interactivity
with the environment during combat, as sometimes players can shoot at
objects, helping to more quickly dispatch enemies, whether through
blowing up oil drums, or causing stone pillars to collapse.
While not necessary, it did add to the pace of combat, and
brought a little bit of zazz.
itís impossible to overlook just how short the game is.
Forking out forty bucks US for Legends is just not a good deal
unless youíre a truly diehard fan of the series.
One could play through the entire game, and derive all the
pleasure they possibly could out of it in a weekend rental.
Less than ten hours of content simply doesnít justify the
gameís price, regardless of how improved Legend is over the last few
Tomb Raider games.
- Mr. Nash
(May 15, 2006)
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