This episode of Tomb Raider takes places in most famous areas, from the jungle of Peru and up to Greece, Egypt and even Atlantis. Each level has a solid design, complex tombs and detailed architecture make this a real jewel.
For the graphics engine, the team at Crystal Dynamics used an improved version of the one in Tomb Raider Legend. Although it might not be so sophisticated as the one used in Half Life 2 or so, it does the job extraordinary. Impressive blur and halo effects make the experience complete and we have to say we were just stunned by the use of special effects to achieve a splendid gameplay experience.
There are still some small problems with the graphics like fixed camers positions in some places where it's a pain to use it that way, but overall, nothing major to complain about this, top mark for the team.
The soundtrack, although doesn't play all the time, it's simply awesome. It makes you really feel you're in Egypt discovering a long forgoten tomb or in a greek broken down temple complex. Lara's sounds are pretty good as well, nothing major to either complain about or be extraordinary happy though, they're just as they should.
The only thing we can really complain about this is the fact that the team didn't include even more tracks, you just can't get enough of the soundtracks.
Being mainly a series for consoles, the control reflects this fully. Although the use of the mouse as well to improve control was a huge step forward, we have to mention a tutorial on how to perform some complex actions is needed (like wall run and then jump to a ledge opposite to the wall).
However, the initial tutorial and the gym room in the Croft Manor are of good help, so most of the time you don't have to figure out moves and just focus on your puzzles.
The fans always wanted something harder and we think this title will please many of them. It's much harder than Tomb Raider: Legend, but still logical enough so anyone can finish it with some patience and skill.
Although it follows the storyline of the initial Tomb Raider, the much improved graphics make it look like a completely new story.
Of course this is Tomb Raider so don't expect a simple walk in the park, dinosaurs and out of this world monsters will make Lara's life harder, however they don't look too exagerated.
The parts are linked one to another pretty well and it all looks very Lara Croft-style. Although exagerated, the story seems to be pretty credible.
Our impression: 10
We were most pleased by this title and we think it has some very good chances to become the best part of the Tomb Raider series so far.
We hope you enjoy it as much as we did and can't wait to see the next title.