November 6, 2008

Tomb Raider: Underworld Demo Review

Andrew Weymes Says—Lara Croft is a part of video game history. Many of us have fond memories of her original large breasted adventures on the PS1. The Playstation 2 wasn't as kind to Lara. Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness was a good game in my opinion, but it suffered from a lack of tombs, and decent gun play.

The current generation already has one Tomb Raider game entitled Tomb Raider: Legend. I thought it was an alright game. The graphics were decent, Lara was placed in a more classic environment for the series, and once again the gun play was decent. Tomb Raider: Legend wasn't a failure, but it's not very memorable. It just seemed like a fun game to play for fans, or for people with few choices on what to play next.

I feel that Tomb Raider: Underworld is going to suffer from the same fate as the previous game. There was a lot to like in the demo. The platforming was rather clever in my opinion. It didn't seem too painfully telegraphed, and I would say that once again the platforming will probably be the most enjoyable aspect of the full game. You are able to shimmy from ledge to ledge, jump from small platform to platform, and there is even a grappling hook this time!

Sadly, the gunplay in this game is almost exactly the same as it's always been, and for 2008-2009, that's pretty bad. I don't think every game needs a cover system. If every game had a cover system, an enjoyable run-and-gun genre would die. However, if you're not going to incorporate a cover system, at least make the gun play exciting and stylish. There was none of that. Just a simple bang, bang, do a flip, bang, bang, the tiger is dead.

The graphics in the game were decent. It's hard not to compare this game to a little game called Uncharted: Drake's Fortune for the Playstation 3. The graphics are no where close. Textures, and effects in Tomb Raider: Underworld are all around average, while Uncharted excelled in these areas. It's a shame really, because without Tomb Raider, we wouldn't have Uncharted. Oh well.

It looks like Tomb Raider: Underworld is going to be another average outing for Miss Croft. I had a good time with the demo, and I wouldn't mind picking up the full game if it drops in price for the platforming alone, but I'm in no hurry, and I don't think anyone besides the Tomb Raider die hard fans are going to be in a hurry, either.