Tomb Raider Legend Woes

I got a few moments yesterday evening to install and have a quick go at the demo of Tomb Raider Legend. I was hoping to be blown away by the game (especially after its re-make, stunning promo screen shots and considerably less hype prior to release than AOD) and spured into buying the latest in Lara Croft goodness.

Unfortunately I have to say the result was not good. The game loaded fine, and I was impressed with the menus, good design, better than AOD, not the old ring style, but hey, we can live with that. Got the controls configured to my liking (as close the age old controls as I could), and started playing. The cut scene at the start was great and the voices were pretty cool. Lara also looked really good, much more life-like and a good improvement on past games.

So where is the problem I hear you asking? The answer is the controls. My only real gripe with AOD was how difficult it was to control Lara, and the fact you couldn’t explore too much, and it was too obvious about where to go and what to do. These problems still exist in Tomb Raider Legend unfortunately. Crystal Dynamics didn’t listen to Tomb Raider fans. To coin the phrase posted on the Tomb Raider forums; It’s Lara Croft, but it’s not Tomb Raider.

Lara was always very precise, able to go places where she didn’t need to if the player wanted to, able to walk, run, sprint at will in any direction, and TURN SLOWLY. One tap of the right arrow key sent Lara tunring by 90 degrees or more in Legend. Walk doesn’t exist anymore, look doesn’t exist anymore. Its crazy; you create beatuful scenary with your graphics team and then you don’t provide the player with a camera that can be positioned to take it in properly, except when looking through a target. It nearly made me cry – so much potential, thrown away due to poor controls once again. There were crys of needing a game pad to play on the forums and it would be better, but I’m not interested. The first Tomb Raider was good because you were in control. The game has always been linear, but with the option to go wrong, slow (if you wanted to) and explore the levels finding answers.

As a long term fan of Tomb Raider, I’m not even going to buy the game and complain about it. Id rather just stick with level editor and the amazing group of people coding superb levels for it, and have done with it. At least you are in control of Lara then and still have pretty good graphics to enjoy. For me, Tomb Raider never was and never will be a first person shooter with the occasional shot of Lara on camera. Now they have made it like this, I will be saving my money and speaking very little about the disaster that has materialised for the second game in a row. RIP Tomb Raider.


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  1. rachel Said,

    April 25, 2006 @ 5:58 pm

    woh,oh shit,i never expected a review like that ,i was really looking foward to buying the game but might give second thought to it if no good,i like the camera angles in aod,and rely on them to judge gaps etc,what a bummer,cheers for info

  2. Kieran Said,

    May 1, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

    No problem, hope you found the review helpful; I was very sorry to have to make it a negative one being such a fan and all.

    Please do bear in mind though that I based that review on the demo version only and not playing it for very long either. I would highly recommend you obtain the demo download from the tombraider/eidos website and give it a try before deciding 100% not to buy/play the game, after all my review is only my opinions on screen.

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