posted by Ivellias (HIGHLAND FALLS, NY) Sep 14, 2009
Member since May 2005
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
I remember playing the original Tomb Raider games for the playstation fondly, back when analog sticks were still the big, hip new thing, and 3d graphics were coming into full swing. I picked up Tom Raider: Underworld to see if the game held any of that nostalgia, and unfortunately all it did was make me remember what I -didn't- like about the games in the first place.
Graphics - The graphics on the 360 version of the game are servicable, but not overwhelming. The first level, a burning mansion,is done up rather well,and look pretty. Unfortunately the levels are still designed like the original resident evil, i.e., you can only move down certain paths, and there's very little interaction with the environment that aren't pre-scripted. Lara herself is quite well done(to cater to tastes like mine, hur hur hur), but the enemies(starting with sharks) are horribly rendered and look like plastic toy models.
Gameplay - The gameplay stumbles right from the get-go. Instead of a nonlinear, open environment(which just begs to be created with all the visible things you encounter), the differing levels all more or less run you a relatively straight path, with confusing or otherwise annoying ways to activate objectives and puzzles. Most of the time you can simply throw yourself off a ledge,or die at a particular objective, and magically appear past it. The camera controls are simply horrendous, slow, and unwieldy, as is Lara herself. They crammed so many action moves to a scant three or four buttons that sometimes you end up doing the wrong thing at the wrong time, and the way it happens endlessly does not inspire one to continue.
Still, the objectives are fun(in one part, you dive underwater, and slip into an abandoned temple, where you have to kill a massive, but blind squid), but even the thrill of a LAra Croft Story(and her tight bikini-clad pixels of course), can't help shore up an otherwise frustrating, and boring game.
gamers (85%) found this review helpful
Some Tomb Raider titles arent without their merit, but this one captures exploration in almost the same way the original did, which is both fun AND frustrating! A couple of good keypoints.
Storywise: It has a plot, a good one too. A very adventure movie quality type.
Graphics: VERY good, this game has the water effects done well, and the lighting and shadow definitely sets a good atmosphere.
Now you cant have the good without the bad and unfortunately, this game hits me where it hurts the most... play control. In a game where you HAVE to be on point for your jumps, this almost fights you on it. Lining yourself up for most of the actions (jumping and grabbing mainly) is often unpredictable. And the camera does little to help you, often making the second issue I have with Underworld even worse... the lost feeling you get way too often. Here's the overview: You climb up a set of rocks to get into a part of the cave you havent been at before, and... the game basically abandons you... good luck on finding out what to do next. Lara's voice recorder tells you nothing helpful, so you're left standing there scanning the walls and floors for ANYTHING to give you a clue. Many times I found myself jumping blindly HOPING to grab something, only to fall to my death. At least when this was done before (in prince of persia) you could reverse time! Dont get me wrong I'm not totally against using my brain to figure out what to do, and that lost feeling does add to the exploration part of TR, but it happens TOO many times and more often turns this into a blind-luck-strategy game rather then a fun action one.
Issues aside, it does bring back the classic feel of the original Tomb Raider, so if you're a die hard fan or in need of some old school game frustration moments, then I would say this could be a rental for you. If what I mentioned above would make you turn this game into an expensive frisbee then pass this one by and lose no sleep over your decision.
gamers (83%) found this review helpful
I'm trying to recall the last time I found a game more tedious and less fun. This beautiful looking game with incredible potential is hampered by relentless camera issues, aimless wandering, countless restarts, and quirky control problems. It's highly possible that I have grown out of the excellent Tomb Raider series and its wondrous legacy...alas, I regrettably found this one very disappointing in spite of the talented creative team's efforts.