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Maybe it’s because it was my first Tomb Raider title, but I have a huge soft spot for Tomb Raider 2, first released in 1997 for Windows and PlayStation. The variety of moves was significantly increased from the original and bizarrely I had a lot of fun just exploring Croft Manor whilst being stared at by the butler.
bizarrely I had a lot of fun just exploring Croft Manor whilst being stared at by the butler
The puzzles were also harder this time around, and backtracking to discover things was not uncommon. TR2 was a massive commercial success and with its varied gameplay and charm I can see why.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary is definitely a game for diehard fans of the franchise, and that means I ate it up. Released for consoles and Win/Mac in 2007, Anniversary is a worthy remake of the now ancient (in the tech world, anyway) original Tomb Raider game.
Remade using the Legend engine, fans collectively breathed a sigh of relief when we discovered this wasn’t sacrilege, it was an improvement.
Bringing a much loved title up to date whilst making it better is something that is often deemed impossible but this is proof that sometimes it’s worth the risk. The puzzles and exploration are right up there with the best of them and I loved every moment of it… even the unlikely T-Rex!
The 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider series also had the fans biting their nails down to their wrists as Rihanna Pratchett took our beloved Lara back to her younger years. A radically different look and more adult tone meant this title was either going to crash and burn or revive the series for another few games.
Luckily it did the latter and despite my initial anxiety I’m pleased to report it’s still my Lara in there. The gameplay definitely feels a bit different but it was an origin story, and as origin stories go this one is very enjoyable.
Even the best and brightest get it wrong sometimes – a fact that is proven by the existence of abomination The Angel of Darkness. Released in 2003 for PS2 and Win/Mac the sixth Tomb Raider was intend to be different from earlier titles to allow it to compete with newer action titles.
Well it certainly was different.
Riddled with bugs and fraught with problems during development the title was delayed twice, and frankly should have been panned. Once released it was highly criticised for its poor controls, bugs, camera and combat system.
I’m pleased to report I’ve never played it, and if you’ve got any sense neither will you.
I’m pleased to report I’ve never played it, and if you’ve got any sense neither will you
Now I know a lot of people aren’t going to agree with my choice but I utterly adore Legend. From start to finish it just flowed really well and I didn’t have a moment’s frustration with it as the difficulty curve was perfect.
I know it was a bit girly with the immense wardrobe Ms Croft had at her disposal (Goth Lara for the win!) but at the heart of it was a super game.
It was definitely a different style of game, almost feeling a little arcadey at times but if you’re willing to try something a little different from the other titles in the series then this is the game for you. The collectible hunts were great fun, the story compelling and I felt constantly rewarded for my actions by how cool the sequences looked.
It may have been a little puzzle-light but it was still a joy from start to finish.
I wouldn’t want the whole series to be in this vein but it’s testament to how sometimes unexpected things can come together to make something surprisingly good.
When Legend came out it was exactly what I wanted, executed perfectly and that’s why it’s my number one.
So, what’s your view on my choice?
I’d love to read those comments below!