59 of 63 people (94%) found this review helpful 3 people found this review funny
14.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 9, 2014
At the tender age of 9 years old, Lara Croft and her mother Amelia, survive a plane crash in the Himalayan mountains. Taking refuge in an old monastery, young Lara, already with an adventurous heart, discovers a stone dais with an ancient sword in it. This triggers an event that leads to her mother disappearance, and is the premise to Tomb Raider Legend.
This was the first Tomb Raider developed by Crystal Dynamics, Eidos Interactive switched the development of the next Tomb Raider game away from Core Design (the studio was shut down a little while after this decision) after the poorly received Angel of Darkness failed in the eyes of most Tomb Raider fans, and professional critics. Tomb Raider Legend was/is an excellent Tomb Raider game, with the perfect balance between puzzle solving and combat, and an intricate story that mixes myth and marries it with real exotic locations to explore.
Graphics wise, this is a game from 2006, but it holds very well to this day. The textures are well detailed and the particle system and animations are particularly impressive. The music in the game is on par with other Tomb Raider titles, which means that it's very good as well. Orchestrated music that kicks in at the right time to give an extra dose of suspense never gets old, and it's classic Tomb Raider in that regard.
New mechanics were also introduced this time around. Lara now has the ability to slow down time versus human enemies, but you can only use it when at a real close range by double pressing the jump button. When it's active time slows down and your aiming is more precise and you can target and damage more than one enemy if you are fast enough. A flashlight was also introduced and you can manually turn it on or off, and it is essencial in dark areas. You can carry only 3 medkits at any given time, and you can choose to use them whenever the situation calls for it. The amount of weapons you can carry is limited to only 2, your dual pistols and an extra slot for whichever weapon you want to carry. For the first time in a Tomb Raider game, you can pick up weapons from your fallen enemies, and there is some variation to them, from a shotgun, to an SMG, a rifle and a grenade launcher, plus a surprise weapon close to the end of the game. Another franchise first is the abbility to carry grenades. The binoculars are also very important, specially for helping you out with puzzle solving, with the ability to enter RAD mode and identify movable objects, destructable structures and mechanisms.
The characters and voice acting in the game are top notch. The script is well written and very well executed by the voice actors. They do a great job with emotions, the way the lines are delivered and acted make you feel in empathy with the characters, either it's a dramatic moment, or a cheerful one. Lara is not alone in this adventure, as her companions Zip and Allister always provide insight and advice through her intercom. These characters are not particularly deep, but they serve their purpose well and without getting in the way. Lara however is not the only true "deep" character in the game, as some characters have real motivations as well (can't really say much more without spoiling it to anyone) that make perfect sense in terms of story.
The puzzles in the game are logical and challenging for the most part, without ever becoming frustrating. The combat is fun, but the controls are a little clunky, and the enemy A.I apart from boss fights is just way too easy and not all that great. There is some texture distortion on this particular PC version, but it is rare and does not detract from the experience. I have read that some people have had some issues with this game under modern Operating Systems, but having played the game on Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit, I never encountered any issues or crashes of any sort. It runs like a charm on my OS. Also worthy of mention, and in my opinion a negative aspect of this version is the lack of the Steam overlay, meaning you will not be able to shift+tab to access the steam community while playing, your only option is to alt+tab, and doing so never caused the game to crash for me. There is a workaround to this issue, so I am told, but I did not try it out, and therefore can't really say anything on that aspect.
Tomb Raider Legend is an amazing Tomb Raider game. While not perfect, it is well worth playing. For it's current price, it's a steal (even more so when it goes on sale, it can go as low as 1,50$) and well worth it. The game is a little short compared to other Raider games, but it is a fun and thrilling ride from start to finish.
Graphics still hold out well today Lifelike animation, truly great music and sound effects Voice acting and story are top notch Some extra stuff to unlock which adds replayability Good selection of guns, fun and logical puzzles, exotic and mystical locations to explore Challenging Boss fights Motorcycle sections are fun
Some texture distortion Combat is a little clunky Enemy A.I is not very smart No Steam overlay without a fix
53 of 61 people (87%) found this review helpful 9 people found this review funny
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
From all the Tomb Raider games, this one is my personal most favourite! I have played the game before I had Steam account, when I got Steam account and I even have the game in Box DVD version. I love everything. Really. This is the first Tomb Raider that I play it with such a joy and happiness. The model of Lara Croft is gorgeous! Many years after the release, she looks amazing! When you enter water and come outside, she will be wet and will dry in time, but the effect is awesome! Her outfits are cute and they fit her body perfectly! She is really a strong woman, because of her skills and great mind! This is how real women should look like. She is deadly and if you are a bad person, she will put you in the right place.
The level design of the game is awesome! From jungle terrain, to village in the desert to the snowly mountains and underground caves- there is much variety. Some of the puzzels could be challenging to you, if you are new to the game, but overall, they are not hard, and they are enjoyable so you will have fun with them! Climb, run, jump, shoot- you will do everything!
Nothing is more badass than riding a motor-bike on top of skyscrapers.
The sounds and the music is in very high level. Your ears and brain will like them very much. The environment is awesome and you can interact with it to achieve your goals. There are hidden and not so hidden artefacts in the game and collectables for you to find and collect.
I would gladly play this game many more times in the future!
Tomb Raider Legend was the return of the TR series after Eidos had successfully torpedoed it into the garbage can during the PS2 Generation. It's the first game in the series by Crystal Dynamics, and the big difference between it and the originals is the style of platforming. It no longer uses tank controls and the grid/tile based movement that the originals did, but rather goes for more like a Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (and it's sequels) style of platforming.
It's the only game of the Crystal series that they were able to go with a bit more of a lighthearted tone, so it leans heavily into the James Bond style globetrotting adventure, with the headset banter from your assistants. The levels are pretty good, with the standouts being Japan and England. The downsides are the combat sequences that are too frequent for a TR game, and some overlong motorcycle sequences that are in there to break up the pace. The majority of the game though is still based around puzzle solving and platforming which is what I wanted from a TR game.
19 of 19 people (100%) found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
12.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2015
I think the game looks better with next gen content off. You can go in and delete the keyboard mappings and leave controller mappings to fix tutorial text. No achievements or steam overlay. A variety of costumes are available for unlock during stage replaying.
It's a nice throwback to ye old days. Wish more good old console games got Steam ports.
19 of 19 people (100%) found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
12.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
Legend has it that the fabled Tomb Raider series was doomed to a life of purgatory, after the unfortunate creation of a buggy, rushed but well-meaning mess of a game called "The Angel of Darkness", and the franchise was to remain stagnant for many eons. Alas, a hero named "Crystal Dynamics" emerged, and a mere 3 years after Core Design's unsightly and depressing demise, brought Lara Croft back to life. The name of their triumphant return? The short, but incredibly sweet, Tomb Raider: Legend.
Oh, how I love this game. It got me into the Tomb Raider series way back when it was released in 2006. I'd dabbled in the older entries on the PlayStation but could never beat them (until recently that is. Check out my reviews for them! No shameful self-promotion here!), but Legend piqued my interest in the series and alas, $20 later, I have the entire series on Steam. And what a brilliant way to start again. Tomb Raider: Legend is precisely what Lara Croft needed: a beautiful, seamless and user-friendly transition to the (then) next generation of gaming.
The majority of Tomb Raider's lore is retconned, but the essentials are all here. We still (of course) have Lara Croft, and man, has she recieved a facelift. And a boob job. And a butt job. I'm gay and even I can't stop staring at her. She's still the kickass, no-nonsense, incredibly acrobatic, academic and elegant explorer who we've come to know and love. And the same applies to the gameplay; you still raid tombs, you still discover hidden treasures while globetrotting, and shoot the ♥♥♥♥ out of bad guys and angry cats. All in a beautiful new engine.
Man, this game is pretty. It just looks phenomenal. It has a unique, semi-cartoonish style in terms of character models, but the environments are bursting with detail and realism, and the use of effects like bloom and motion blurs are used just enough not to take away from the experience. Textures are crisp, ragdolls are hilariously bouncy, animations are smoother than jelly, and the detail is immaculate. The first time Lara emerged from water, actually visably wet and her clothes drenched, I was in awe.
It sounds amazing, too. The effort that went into the soundtrack is very admirable. Troels Brun Folmann has crafted a dynamic, unique to each level musical score which only adds to the already excellent atmosphere. Voice acting is also great, a tad unbelievable but very cinematic. Keeley Hawes brings a regal and more mature tone to Lara which I was very glad to hear.
Plot-wise, it's good! I mean, nothing really new or special here. It's the typical "artifact in multiple pieces go around the world to collect them and then something happens when they're all together then boss battle". But there are some lovely villains, there's traitors, there's emotion, there's consistency, and there's enough to keep you interested in what's going on. I don't think as much effort was put in here as in The Angel of Darkness, but it works and it wraps up nicely, hinting at a sequel without resorting to an irritating cliffhanger. That said, the research that Crystal Dynamics did into ancient lore, such as that of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, do give the story a lot more depth.
The gameplay itself? Stellar. It feels so incredibly natural when Lara is rope-swinging, vaulting, shimmying, dodging, shooting, pole-climbing, swimming, and even riding a Ducati™ (yes, there's product placement) motorcycle. The levels are incredibly varied, and I don't miss the older blocky engine one iota. Movement and combat is far less restrictive, control is pitch-perfect, and the addition of Lara's grappling hook adds a lot more than one would think to the game. It's very smooth and well done. There's also tons of unlockables, which I absolutely LOVE. What happened to unlockables?! There's (many) costumes, weapon upgrades, art, models, cheats and a video to unlock, and all this encourages replayability.
Which brings me to the few negative points I have about this game. My main gripe is the length: there are only eight levels in Tomb Raider: Legend (nine, if you count Lara's Mansion, which makes a welcome return), and even with the added collectibles and time trials for each level, the game is over quickly, especially for people who don't care about 100% completion. The fact that it's quite easy (regardless of the difficulty setting) also adds to this; the game is constantly providing you with tutorials, even in the sixth level of the game, and you can utilise Lara's magical binoculars to help you solve puzzles (none of which are remotely complex).
The game is also buggy from time to time, mostly in the visual department. I noticed this especially in Kazakhstan, during a motorcycle section in which areas of the map were simply missing or transparent. Turning on "Next-Generation Content" in the video settings adds dynamic lighting and better textures, but kills the framerate (sometimes regardless of your gaming setup) and throws even more glitches into the mix, including misaligned ropes and distorted faces, and even crashing the game on some levels.
One final thing: Lara's new sidekicks bug me, a lot. They just don't shut the hell up. "Watch out Lara!" "Wow Lara, that was great!" "Whoa, I don't like the look of this!". Even Lara herself gets audibly annoyed with them. It's totally nitpicking on my part but I feel it's a valid criticism. Just shut the hell up Zip and Alister! She doesn't need your help!
Do I recommend this game? Absolutely. Legend was the start of something new, a rebirth that Tomb Raider so desperately needed. After Legend came onto the scene, the equally awesome Anniversary, Underworld, Guardian of Light and the 2013 re-imagining followed suit. What an excellent way to get us exploring again!
This is a bit of a lengthy review, but I would reccomend that you read it before purchasing the game.
Tomb Raider legend was the first tomb raider game to be developed by new studio crystal dynamics. After Tomb Raider: The Angel of darkness, Core Design was banned from creating Tomb Raider games, and eidos wanted to continue the series. Most people hated the Tomb Raider franchise when this game was released, and the franchise still exists today, meaning this game is worth playing.
Graphics - 7/10 For a game released in 2006, it has decent graphics. Even though technology was advanced, the developers wanted to make the pc port have the same capabilities as the Playstation 2. Comepared to modern day games, the graphics may look poor, but they were really good for the time. If you have a more powerful PC, there is an option called "Next-Gen Effects" which upscales the textures, graphics, and object models to the same capabilities as an XBOX360. It is easy to see the difference when compared with the playstation 2. The water effects, foliage, and wildlife looks great along with walls floors, and celings. Lighting effects are decent, but nothing special, but the game renders at a smooth 40fps on my slow laptop.
Gameplay - 8/10 While Angel of Darkness consisted of slow animations and clunky controls, along with somewhat unplayable mechanics, Legend has certainly saved the franchise. In Legend, the Action-Adventure experience is fast paced, and animations are smooth and fluid. The player explores a vast range of environments, from the rooftops of Tokyo, Mountains of Nepal, and Peruvian Towns, and each has a certain colour scheme. More realism has been added; limit inventory space alows a maximum of 3 health packs, and up to 2 weapons. However, this has not made gameplay any worse. Gear is not upgraded throughout the game, and there is no skill system. The controls are a huge improvement compared to previous titles, but the water controls can be somewhat irritating. Combat is really easy, and the AI is not very intelligent. There are some powerful combination moves to kill enemies, which I would spoil, but are very satisfying. Platforming is done really well with a huge combination of moves. These include : vine climbing, pole swinging, flips and rolls. You will have a fun time manouvering around the environment. The biggest NEGATIVE about gameplay is that it is really easy and linear. I reccomend playing on the "Hard" difficulty at all times. The Gameplay is very linear, which I like, but some may not enjoy. Another NEGATIVE is that the game is incredibly short. It will give the player an average 5-6 hours of gameplay. Puzzles arecleverly designed, and use physics and objects in the environment, rather that flipping lots of switches. Boss fights are fun and satisfying, and require a strategy, even if they are somewhat easy. Overall, the gameplay is very fun and enjoyable.
PC Port - 6/10 The PC port is done very simply, but very well. The Player can adjust display options easily, via the in-game menu. There are many expected graphics settings, like resolution, ect.... Graphics can also be adjusted externally , bur running " Tomb Raider Legend: Setup" from the steam launcher. One big defect is the fact that there is no windowed mode, but you can download 3rd party software for this.
Extras - 8/10 The game comes with a wide variety of extras/unlockables. These include Outfits, Character Profiles, Concept Arts ect... . However, it would have been nice to add achievements to the PC version of the game.
Overall, this is a fantastic game, pulled together at the last minute. It is satisfying and fun, and reccomended if you are a Tomb Raider Fan, or a Newbie to the Series.
I enjoyed playing this very much, especially now that Lara is a more likeable character.
Short Verdict: Not the best, but a nice, relatively short TR game. Fans of the series will probably enjoy playing it. But there are better games of this genre. By the way, I had played it before, on my PS2, and I still enjoyed it again now.
Nice level atmosphere, graphics and BGM
Good puzzle levels
The platforming part is enjoyable
Voice acting and characters are well done and developed
Finding secrets and doing TTs add to the game
It's TR, so be prepared to get frustrated because Lara decided she didn't want to grab on to something and fell to her death
A bit short (100% in 6.5h of gameplay for me, no TTs)
Next Generation caused the game to crash sometimes (solved with some tweaks, still used NG)
Bought on / for: GreenMan Gaming for US$ 1.40. Yeah, it's worth it, even though it's old.