Eidos – Tomb Raider III review

Photo of Eidos – Tomb Raider III
£35

“Tits”. There, I’ve said it. Now I don’t have to beat around the bush with phrases such as ‘Her two most distinct assets’ or ‘Her pneumatic appeal’. Because Lara Croft is back. Again. As if two Tomb Raider action adventure games were not enough, part three reintroduces us to the most lethal young lady ever to don a pair of skimpy shorts and tight T-shirt before leaping blithely into some of the world’s scariest and unfriendly places.

This time around the action takes place in India, at least to start with, as Lara searches for a legendary artefact. She doesn’t know that this artefact is probably a powerful alien device. But you will, because you’ll have read the introduction. There’s plenty of the usual Indiana Jones-esque action, following Lara through locations urban and jungle, and no shortage of enemies to battle either. So it’s fortunate that this time round Lara has a shotgun in addition to her two trademark pistols. As usual you control Lara from behind, although the viewpoint will change from time to time depending on the action (cue several sad players trying to back her into a corner to get a close up of her pixellated protrusions). The control system works as well as it did in the previous games, and only becomes slightly irritating when you have to navigate a particularly tricky obstacle.

Tomb Raider III is different to Tomb Raider II in roughly the same way that Doom 2 was different to Doom. In other words, not a great deal. It’s true that the gameplay is a little more smooth, and Lara seems to have even more fancy moves at her command. There are more items with which she can interact, such as boats and quad-bikes, but on the whole this is like a data disk of new levels rather than a completely new game. That’s no bad thing, mind. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it, and there’s certainly no sign that the Tomb Raider franchise is anywhere near breakdown.

Company: Eidos


Verdict
Marketing is saying "90 percent fat-free" when you mean "10 percent fat". The Tomb Raider series has been excellently marketed, using Lara as its main focus. Some of Tomb Raider III's buyers would probably be just as happy with a top-shelf magazine (if they could reach), but the game itself is a good one. Even if the main character were a skinny bloke with acne, it would still be a good game, with in-depth gameplay, good graphics and an established, unique theme. It just might not sell so well.