Tomb Raider: Anniversary (360)

By Richard Senkel

Published on Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Graphics: 8.00
Sound: 6.00
Gameplay: 7.00
Environs: 8.00
Replays: 5.00
Gamelength: 6.00

Tomb Raider: Anniversary, yet another 3rd person shooter/ platforming adventure of the well known heroine Lara Croft takes everything from the previous games and overhauls them for the Xbox 360. In this case Lara is hunting down a relic called the “Scion of Atlantis”, a relic that her father died trying to retrieve and one of the main reasons she started “tomb raiding.” Her adventures take her to Peru, Greece and Egypt . She has to fight other treasure hunters and make shady deals while she fights for her greatest treasure to date.

Everyone who has ever played a Tomb Raider game knows that the main aspects of Lara’s adventures are puzzle solving and platforming. This being said, the combat department has been almost completely skipped over. All a player really has to do in a basic fight is press the fire button repeatedly and jump a lot. The auto-aim and the fact that creatures almost always run straight at you take care of the rest. If players keep up in the weapons department (gather the shotgun and desert eagle along the adventure) most creatures will drop before getting even a single hit on Lara.

The graphics department was one aspect of the game that was not skipped over. Most games that come out on the 360 are known to have stunning visuals and Tomb Raider: Anniversary does not disappoint the trend. The lighting and textures look amazing as our favorite treasure hunter jumps and runs her way through ruins and tunnels. The graphics get choppy when Lara dies, she sometimes floats on top of spikes and rag-doll physics take over almost every time, but this should just act as incentive for players to avoid death as best as they possibly can.

The sounds of the game can get repetitive and voice acting is just plain bad. Every time Lara does a special jump, lands on a surface, grabs something, or gets hit she will groan. Note: not a sexy groan. It is pretty annoying after a couple hours of play seeing as how she will land and grab things about 5 times a minute. The voice acting in the game sounds extremely scripted and voiced without any emotion. The players might have a better time with this game if they just turn off the sound and read subtitles(what I did).

One downside to the game is the length. It is short. About 7 hours for an entire run-through. If players want to grab every special item in the game it could take a while though. Those gamers who need to get the 100% completion will spend hours searching tunnels for hidden cracks in which treasures are stowed.

The game plays as smoothly as any other Lara Croft game. Fans of the old games will easily be able to pick up the controller and have Lara doing flips in no-time. The only bug in the game is the camera. The camera works well and generally stays on the player, but this might not be a good thing. When you are raiding a tomb, don’t you want to be able to see where you are going to jump next and where the treasure you just saw disappeared to? The manual camera works all right, but you probably won’t be able to see where you want to go from where you currently are. If you are on a wall and are trying to jump backwards onto a ledge, be ready to fiddle with the camera for a while before taking the leap. Otherwise you will probably miss it on your first go. The good thing about the game is that you can generally get back to where you made the mistake in the first place, so if you fail, get up and try again. If players want to really challenge themselves they can turn on manual grab. Now instead on having the computer grab everything for you automatically, you will have to hold the right bumper in order for you to grab things. The problem with this is that the game can be very sensitive about when you can try to grab something. If you grab too early, the game may not recognize it and you will end up falling to your death. If you grab too late, the same thing.

All in all Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a good platforming game that is pretty fun. (I hate puzzle/platforming and I enjoyed it)

Overall Rating: 8.00

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