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  Tomb Raider Underworld -360

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Posting Rank:Trooper Candidate

Posts : 39
Join date : 2010-12-27

PostSubject: Tomb Raider Underworld -360    Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:03 pm

Tomb Raider Underworld (Release Date - 2008)

I enjoyed this game from start to finish. Playing it for the first time gave me the same chills, spills & thrills feeling I got from playing the original Tomb Raider back in 96'. I honestly thought I'd never see such debt in a TR game again, but this game proves that TR still has a lot of life in it yet.

The Story
I don't want to give too much away on the story. Tomb Raider Underworld is a direct sequel to Tomb Raider Legend. Lara is on the hunt for Thor's Hammer, Mjölnir, which can open the gate to Helheim so she may get revenge for a friends murder, this friend is murdered during the game itself so I'd rather not spoil. There is a returning character as Lara unravels the truth about her parents, and Amanda's goals ....

I found the gameplay to be rather fun. The control system works fantastically and co-ordinates well with your commands. Along with the usual trigger happy pistol whipping, Lara has a few new tricks up her hot pants, and some returning abilities.

She now has the ability to wall jump, much like Samus Aran did in the Metroid series. This is fun, but limited in some way, because some of the alcoves aren't that high enough. Wall Jump is a key of getting out of certain situations aswell, which I like, because it makes it a part of the puzzles.

Lara can also hit her enemies with melee attacks, this can be better than shooting and causes more damage up close. It also helps build up the adreneline meter a lot faster. The adreneline attack is somewhat similiar to the adreneline attack in Legend rather than the Adreneline Dodge that was in Anniversary. Takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you do, you rarely ever miss and it kills any enemy, no matter how big, instantly. The grapple hook returns, and this time it comes in more useful ways than swinging and climbing.

You get to select a power gun at the start of each mission along with your pistols, but you can select another weapon if you want during gameplay by opening the inventory menu in your PDA.The motorbike again returns this time, and for a few stages. Only now you have the freedom to hop off the bike anytime you like, mostly to solve puzzles that open a path for you and your bike, or to collect treasures.

Like in Tomb Raider Anniversary you can jump poles, climb them and swing. Some poles are switches and require a timed run. You can also balance walk on poles and ruined ledges. There's also some fancy footwork added with flipping and kart-wheeling to dodge enemy attacks. I never bothered with this, and feel it's just for showing off.

It's mediocre in difficulty in normal mode, it's, most of the time, smoothly paste, you can take your time with most of it, and give yourself time to think, while puzzle solving.

The Environments
The environments work well with gameplay like a fusion, you look at something in the distance and it turns out to be a part of your adventure. The atmosphere can get clostrophobic in some areas, especially when enemies attack, which can get annoying sometimes as they can knock you off ledges when you time the jumps wrong.

As you progress through this amazing game the environments just become even more incredible. Some places are exotic, while others are ruined, then there's the deep sea stages, which I'm glad to say, have a snorkle, so Lara won't drown this time. There's a lot of beautiful scenery. I'd rather not mention the locations you visit, takes the fun out've it.

The puzzles are a part of the environments, and the game seems to be revolved around them mostly, rather than the action, they're not really that difficult to figure out though, which lets it down slightly.

The graphics can be slightly blocky sometimes, while in other parts they take your breath away. The camera angle can get twitchy and Lara does fall behind, what's supposed to be, solid rock. It rarely happens though, unlike Anniversary, which had glitches all over it. As for Lara herself, they polished her off nicely, she gets dirty, you can also hear her breathing as she moves. The enemies look so realistic in movement. They've added a motion blur effect when they attack, which is a nice touch.

Body Movement and Voice Acting
Body movement and Voice Acting are absolutely superb, I honestly don't see any flaw with the animations in cutscenes what so ever. The character movement in the cutscnes are slightly similiar to that of the Devil May Cry series. They're enjoyable to watch.

This game has been a delight to play and I really hope that Crystal Dynamics keep taking it in this direction. It feels like a breakthrough. Tomb Raider Underworld was designed specifically for next-gen consoles and I believe this is probably where they went wrong by focusing the series too much on last gen gameplay.

It has a lot of dept , exploration, adventuring along with a couple of puzzles to solve. There's action, but little which is where Tomb Raider belongs in my opinion. Tomb Raider games often get frustrating eventually and I find myself yelling at the screen, but I'm surprised this time it didn't happen, because they finally did it right.

If you're not a TR fan, and like adventure games with some puzzle solving, then why not make this your next purchase.

Tomb Raider fans who've enjoyed Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider IV and Legend will possibly love it!

A well deserved ...

[SIZE="4"]GamerScore - 9/10[/SIZE]

[SIZE="3"]Written by[/SIZE] - Neptune's Bounty

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