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38
3.5 out of 5 stars
Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PC DVD)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 6 March 2008
Re-making a classic game like Tomb Raider is an inspired move and sure to bring back some memories for older gamers. Using the Legend engine, Tomb Raider Anniversary is a good looking game and runs at a very quick pace even on a modestly powered PC.

It doesn't seem quite as polished as Legend, Lara seems to have less animations & costumes and the enemies you come across are often very bland. The environments are generally OK and the lighting & effects are good. Music is sparse and sound overall is minimal, with the odd grunt from Lara as she jumps about the level and that's about it.

So to look at and listen to, Anniversary is OK but it's not going to give Gears of War anything to worry about. But how is it to play? The combat mechanic is virtually identical to that used in Legend but doesn't seem to be quite so good. It maybe mimics the dodgy combat from the old Tomb Raider a little too much.

There is not the same level of variety as in Legend, the levels are much longer and there is more repeated running backwards and forwards. This is a fair representation of the original game, but it does show that games have moved on. They may not be so long nowadays, but the experience is better and less laborious.

TRA is a decent game, but overall it's not as polished or as much fun to play as Tomb Raider Legend. It's a good trip down memory lane and perfectly playable, but even with a fresh coat of paint it's easy to tell that the Tomb Raider series has moved on in recent years.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2007
As a player of tomb raider since it was first released on a pc I have always used the keyboard to control Lara, on the later games this has become more difficult and spoiled the game since they moved away from the block grid approach.

Changing to a USB gamepad has been a revelation. Controlling Lara is much more intuitive and allows you to enjoy the game once more. They have brought back the feeling of isolation and the tricky puzzles in 'Anniversary'. Graphics and music/ effects are top quality. Gone are the annoying chats with your 'support crew' and 'bad guy shoot outs'...for the most part anyway.(A demo of the game is also available online if you want to have a try before you buy).

It's just you and the Tomb.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2007
I almost gave this 3 stars not 4, but in the end thought I was being too harsh. First of all this is a great remake, all the old scenes are there, the graphics are fantastic and its back to the basics that made the first game great. Its not a FPS, but then it doesn't try to be.

Why only 4 stars? In a word frustration. It uses a console-type saving system, so no matter what, you have to replay some tough bits again, and again...and again....and again. For the most part the checkpoints are well placed, but even so, you find yourself repeating bits more than you would like. Secondly, the controls. Many parts of the game require some quick leaps and jumps in exactly the right direction at the right time. Difficult enough, but when the camera angle and controls don't synch right, then Lara daftly jumps into open space and dies. Combine that with frustration 1 and well, I ended up quitting this game several times in pure frustration.

That said, it wasn't enough to make me give up and overall its a good game, just not a great one like it could have been.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2009
Firstly, I'm a huge fan of the first 3 Tomb Raiders, like so many those games will always have a special place in my heart. I bought Tomb Raider: Anniversary just praying they didn't screw with a classic. Thankfully not only did they do the original justice they managed to improve it! In terms of pure enjoyment, Tomb Raider: Anniversary is the best in the series so far.

The game has great atmosphere and graphics. The puzzles are more realistic and varied. The big moments in the game, like the T-Rex bit, have been made into a wonderfully cinematic experience. Interestingly some of the levels have been expanded/improved, whilst some have been shortened. For example St Francis' Folly is very reminiscent of the 1st game but even better in my opinion. The Coliseum has been shortened way down, a little bit too much in my opinion.

The bosses are hard to kill and require a) the mastering of the slow motion head shot feature, as well as b) some out of the box thinking. The slow motion head shot is a little frustrating in it's application but none-the-less satisfying when you manage to pull it off. Fighting the two horsed centaurs (Level 8) was my favourite battle of the game, simply because you've got to do something a bit clever to beat them. Constant shooting gets you nowhere!

Like a lot of people have said buy an Xbox 360 controller if you wanna give this game justice. Although the new control system is good, the game can get very difficult/frustrating at times and with a keyboard I'd imagine it would be near impossible to complete some sections.

Overall, a brilliant game that I really enjoyed completing. Hats off to the makers, they've done a great job. Here is a game that will appeal to the new generation of gamers whilst pleasing the original Tomb Raider generation no end.

Hopefully they'll remake TR2 sometime in the near future. That would be simply amazing!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
After the slight dissapointment of Legend, mainly that you could finish it in 15 hours, TR:Ann needs a lot to impress and lara does it in spades. Having only played so far (the end of the 1st Peru level) I can tell you that the PC version is gorgeous (not DX10, but the best 9C has to offer), the control system is fluid and easy to handle, the puzzles range from jumping, looking for ledges and ways to get from A to B and some back tracking, but gone are the box moving after box moving affairs.

To be honest, I cant see that much of a graphical change, its the Legend engine, less the bugs. Yes, this game has been polished and sleeked so bright and clean it shines in the dark. CD have really done well.

The game itself has all the old places (what ive seen so far).. the fantastic City of Vilcabimba, The lost Valley (Jurassic Park Anyone) amd St Francis Folly to name a few and yes Kurtis Trent, Pierre du Pont and Natla are back, but in shiny 3D glory as are the Gorillas, Lions, wolves and various monsters that inhabit the tombs that Lara traverses to find parts of the mysterious Scion.

Basically, I love this game because CD have done a fantastic job and deserve praise for ironing out the bugs that plagued the short and million times done before lame non-coherent knights templar, king arthur plot of Legend.

So, go get it and relive that year when Tomb Raider wow'd us all with its unique 3rd person view point, puzzl swinging glory and if your too young to remember, go and check out what we older gamers were all on about and where the ideas for your 3rd person PC/Console games originally came from.

Have fun and live the legend that is Tomb Raider.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2009
You would have thought that a player would be equally able to control a game on any platform and controller combination. Apparently not. After the disaster that was the keyboard/mouse control system in Legend, you would have though Crystal Dynamics would have cared enough to overhaul it and make it more player friendly. Apparently not. Given the number of people suggesting that players buy an "X-Box 360-type controller" to play this game, I am left with no doubt that the designers care little for the PC market: Anniversary, Legend and Underworld are so obviously designed for the consoles that those people might as well have said "buy an X-Box 360".

Question: why should I be forced to buy a game-controller I don't need for any other game?

As a player on PC, without an external controller, I find the game infuriating. The official positions for medipaks are just above the space bar used for jumping, so if you jump but get your thumb in wrong place you hit B and waste a Large medipak. Remapping is no use here: it seems to leave the original buttons with the original function unless you reuse them for something else. You also have to press the buttons repeatedly to keep jumping/firing/etc, unlike previous games: the keyboard is notoriously bad at achieving this. Also, the Legend camera-based movement is still often a nightmare: she runs in a certain direction then suddenly the camera shifts and she runs into a wall or off a cliff...

There are numerous obtuse situations in this game which seem to be difficult just for the sake of being difficult. In particular, there is one battle near the middle that is near impossible with the PC keyboard/mouse. In fact, I gave up and committed the cardinal sin of downloading a save file... Not because I couldn't do it, but because I gave up caring. There have been other tough battles in the series, but I have always beaten them. The final boss in TR3 was a nightmare that took me 2 weeks to master. However, I wanted to beat it because it was interesting, and there was a purpose: you had to retrieve the crystals you had been playing the entire game for and use them against the monster. In this newer battle, however, there is no purpose other than escape; the creatures are not central to the plot, they are there merely to create a difficult battle. No wonder one player unlocked the cheat that gives you a one shot kill, shot the stupid creatures and moved on.

My frustration with this game is exacerbated by a return to that Checkpoint system first used in Legend. OK, perhaps I am being a little over-critical here: console players have been lumbered with that system for time immeasurable. But then again their checkpoints were usually in more helpful places. In this game, you end up having to go over and over the same moves time and time again just to get to that little ledge with the next checkpoint then having to go over and over the same moves time and time again just to get... Worse, you beat a particularly difficult timed run to find no checkpoint until you beat an other especially difficult timed jump, mess up the jump and have to beat the run again only to miss the jump again. Worst of all, you end up close to killing that difficult-to-beat creature that you've spent half an hour on only to be kicked in the head and go through it all again... but with the one you killed half an hour ago having returned also, there being no checkpoint until both are dead. (These are the creatures I gave up on, BTW.) After all that, it feels as if the fun has been pummelled out of the game.

Ultimately I have mixed feelings for this game. On the one hand, there are some fantastic vistas and brilliantly conceived puzzles and the Artefact/Relic system is well planned (despite the Secret Chime often sounding on ordinary pickups but not on some Artefact/Relic pickups); the graphics are wonderful, and the characters, especially Lara herself, are beautifully rendered. Maybe if I played the game on a Wii - that version has extra features and puzzles - I would enjoy the game enormously. On the other hand, Crystal Dynamics appear to revel in those anachronisms - the Checkpoints, the repeated button pressing, the horrendous keyboard/mouse combo, the camera-based controls - that previous games so brilliantly shunned.

Potentially the game is amazing, perhaps the best yet. That's why I have made so much of the frustrations that PC players experience: hopefully, Crystal Dynamics will read our criticisms and improve the controls. Or maybe not: apparently Underworld is just as infuriating. At least fore-warned is fore-armed...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
If you enjoy sitting next to your PC trying to complete a section over and over again, then this is a game for you.

The game gets progressively worse as you progress with rooms looking increasingly similar. The section I am on at present is called Sanctuary of the Scion, and you go into one room and raise 4 columns, and then go into another room and, er, rised four columns. Only slight differences between the two.

On the plus is the graphics which are on a par with Legend, and there appear to be no bugs. Downside is some of the controls and the repetitive nature of the levels.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 3 June 2007
I didnt think I would ever buy another Tomb Raider game after being so disappointed with the Xbox 360 Tomb Raider Legend, but I love this to bits.

The original 1996 PSX version has been given a 2007 makeover, and the result is a title that every gamer should try out. It truly is a gaming work of art - the eye candy & fancy effects shown off in Legend have been applied to the far superior level design of the first incarnation.

I've played the original several times over the years just to re-experience what kept me awake for all those nights exploring Midas Palace, the Colosseum, St Francis Folly etc. It was one of those 'I'll just see what the next level is like before going to bed' titles that you see so few of these days.

I think this version is brilliant - the levels are faithfully reproduced but with new puzzles and surprises that dont spoil the original's balance. It also keeps the old foreboding atmosphere and excellent ambient music and effects, to add to the feel of exploring an ancient and lonely archaeological site.

This should be played with a joypad, preferably a duel analogue stick as in the console versions. Some purists might still insist the originals charm makes it remain the top title, but in my opinion, this one is the greatest Tomb Raider ever produced, and worthy of the title 'Anniversary'.

Come on Eidos - bring on a remake of Tomb Raider 2!
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on 29 April 2010
Played this game when it first came out on the original playstation... About 20 years ago! This was the ONLY Lara game I ever played as usually I`m not into such games, but this one had me hooked after I impressed myself by getting pass some of the puzzles as a young 19 year old. Never did finish it, which has always bugged me, so why not buy it now while it`s so cheap?

Well, it`s very nice graphically and Lara, although now her boobs have shrunk are more `realistic` in other ways. Ah hem! That aside, she moves and jumps like the expert athlete she always has been with extra moves to her arsenal. Considering it`s been a long while, I found adapting to her moves really easy, even on Keyboard, after that, I configured her controls specifically to my liking (as I do with all the ladies! :P) and it feels almost like I never left. Even that `jump, throw rope, grab` routine was easy after a couple of goes.

I tried the mansion first which was pleasantly nice, then started the main quest which really bought me back. It was familiar, yet not, as everything was bigger, wider and more real looking. Getting round the puzzles and shooting wolves was again very easy. I have to ask, have they made Tomb Raider EASIER for the modern gamer? I am certain it was MUCH harder than this when I was originally playing this, much harder, but it seems almost too easy now, even on Keyboard. If they have made it easier, that`s sad, that a 40 year old can play a game better than a 19 year old because games are actually easier than they used to be. My daughter`s amazed I play it so well for an `old man`.

Anyway,one thing that hasn`t changed is the AI of enemies. Wow, 20 years and they`re still as dumb as ****! A wolf sees me and runs into a wall and can`t figure how to move round it to get at me. They get stuck on anything and everything- They run in a straight line and if anything is in their way they`re flummoxed. When the bear first appeared I was about to run, but it got `stuck` and stood there until I filled its empty head with slugs! Rinse repeat with every other creature. This was ok 20 years ago, but in the 21st century come on! Couldn`t they have put even a tiny bit of effort into making the AI at least navigate obstacles so it`s not so easy to shoot them to death?

Still, it`s a good trip down memory lane and it`s really cheap anyway. Worth a gander. I`ll finish it this time!

Works on Win 7 too!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2007
I loved the graphics in this game, it had the old feel, but a better look. Some of the old levels have been cut down a bit but then others were enhanced for better playing.

If you hated those apes and lions in TR1 then brace yourself they're back. And the T Rex is meaner and far harder to kill than before.

In TR1 you had a slim chance of escaping him by cowering like a scared rabbit in a cave or two. Not here, he's big bad and there's nowhere to run except stand and fight. All your old enemies are there, bats, wolves, bears, panther, the lot, and if you thought the rabid mummies in TR1 were scary, wait till you get a load of these mummies, yikes! they scared the bejesus out of me, I needed a cup of tea to calm my nerves after two of them suddenly made an appearance.

I'm glad they didn't make it an exact copy of the original; there are plenty of new bits to keep you happy. Don't over analyse it, just go back in time and enjoy the nostalgia of how it all started. Great Fun.
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