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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poised for greatness, but slips off a wet ledge
Another exciting adventure for Miss Croft in her new designer outfits, boasting motion-captured movements modelled from gymnast Heidi Moneymaker (no pun, real name), she runs, climbs, swings, swims, swishes at undergrowth, chimney vaults and fights her way dirty kneed through a maze of jungles, caves, glaciers, ships and strange ancient machinery ... but Lara need never...
Published on 21 Jan 2009 by Mark R. Bannister

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tomb Raider Underwhelmed more like!
Since I first saw Tomb Raider running on the Playstation 1 on its release, I have been a huge fan of the series. There has been a great atmosphere to the games although nothing has ever quite matched that first playthrough where it was all so new. I enjoyed Legend and particularly Anniversary, I liked where Crystal Dynamics were taking Lara. Adapting the Prince of...
Published on 11 Mar 2009 by Just-my-opinion


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tomb Raider Underwhelmed more like!, 11 Mar 2009
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
Since I first saw Tomb Raider running on the Playstation 1 on its release, I have been a huge fan of the series. There has been a great atmosphere to the games although nothing has ever quite matched that first playthrough where it was all so new. I enjoyed Legend and particularly Anniversary, I liked where Crystal Dynamics were taking Lara. Adapting the Prince of Persia style mechanics to the series fit very well and was great fun.
So now as the very proud owner of a Playstation 3, I was very excited at the release of a new Tomb Raider built for the 360/PS3 generation.
Let me tell you that a good test of a game is my wife's opinion. Sometimes she likes to watch me play (Portal being one of her favourites) and will let me know what she thinks. At first she was rightly surprised at the poor graphics. Fair enough they are good sometimes but a lot of the time they just look like a high-def Legend with identical animation. The puzzles are as good as ever but I couldn't escape the feeling that I'd played this before, a sentiment echoed by my wife who points out that it's just like the last one. It's short too, it took between 7 and 8 hours to complete the game and I was exploring pretty thoroughly as I went. I have to add that I'm only average at gaming so it wasn't skill that got me through it so quickly.
My biggest problem with it though has got to be the combat. It is absolutely dreadful. I even felt it was better in Anniversary, like this was a step backward. There is a scene where Lara gets onto a big ship and blasts her way through a small villages worth of rent-a-goons. I was just so desperate to take cover and shoot round the corner but no! You have to expose yourself to gunfire to proceed and so you jump around hoping that hitting a moving target will be too much for the poor souls. It was awful and tedious and I just wanted to be raiding a tomb somewhere instead. The worst part of it is that (SPOILER) later on in the game you have to do it again on the sister ship. THEY MAKE YOU PLAY THE WORST PART OF THE GAME TWICE!!! To be totally honest, it's an ok game but it could and most certainly should have been a lot better. I wouldn't compare it to Uncharted although Uncharted is by FAR the better game. Uncharted is more a shooter with a small amount of platforming. Lara is mainly a platformer/exploration game (but not enough of that) and when it steps out of it comfort zone into shooter territory it gets it totally wrong. With the new Uncharted on the way and offering more platforming, Lara might be made redundant. At least she knows that a certain Prince of Persia messed up this time too...
By the way, my wife agrees with all this.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poised for greatness, but slips off a wet ledge, 21 Jan 2009
By 
Mark R. Bannister (London, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
Another exciting adventure for Miss Croft in her new designer outfits, boasting motion-captured movements modelled from gymnast Heidi Moneymaker (no pun, real name), she runs, climbs, swings, swims, swishes at undergrowth, chimney vaults and fights her way dirty kneed through a maze of jungles, caves, glaciers, ships and strange ancient machinery ... but Lara need never feel alone out there in the middle of the Mediterranean, or in Thailand, Southern Mexico or Jan Mayen island in the Arctic ocean; for around any corner there is bound to be another adversary, mercenary or Colin O'Malley orchestra.

Underworld is poised for greatness, but with yet another new graphics engine developed especially for the game, fresh with the latest bugs, it presents the gamer with yet another bag of niggles. The character animation is better than before, indeed it is excellent and you have to see it to believe it, but Lara has forgotten how to walk or creep. The best she can do is run in slow motion, or at least that's what it looks like to me. Perhaps walking was not in Heidi's contract ... this practically forces me to run around everywhere, giving me no time to really absorb the fantastic artwork and impressive scenery, and possibly as a result I discover that the puzzles require no thought whatsoever. If you can press it, push it, switch it, rotate it or climb it - do it. You don't need to know why, you don't need to examine the mechanism.

Long gone are the days where you need a piece of paper to write down clues or figure out how to solve puzzles. I didn't get stuck once playing this game. This was the most disappointing aspect of the release. Despite promises of non-linear gameplay and while the graphics are generally superb (with the few usual bugs such as Lara floating in mid-air in some camera angles), the sound effects and music heart-pounding, and while the story sets up the adventure excellently - the main reason we keep coming back to Tomb Raider is for the puzzles. In Underworld, they are simply far too easy to solve by anyone's measure.

The only real genuine puzzle in the game is why, if Crystal Dynamics focused so much on the WCLD (What Could Lara Do?) philosophy, why did they fail on that point so catastrophically - to the point where Lara still can't jump onto ledges that are only a foot above her head if the game developer hasn't thought about making the ledge "grabbable", and she still jumps off to her death in stupid directions when that's clearly not the direction in which you intended for her to die! The controls continue to be the most troublesome aspect of the most recent Lara adventures, when the puzzles themselves ought to pose the greatest challenges.

Another major disappointment for me is that exploration is not encouraged. Except to find a limited variation of pick-ups and a few bonuses which unlock some rather uninspiring extras, the game is in fact as linear as they come. And with the demise of Croft Manor, there is no escape to Lara's house to take a break from the bats of Bhogavati to practise your pole-dancing skills.

However, that should not put you off buying this game. I've said it before I'll say it again, there is no other game like it on the market. No self-respecting gamer would miss buying Tomb Raider Underworld. It is a marvel to behold, we only wish the developers would go back to basics and create a game that is primarily designed to exercise the grey matter and less of the adrenaline ...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Its okay, 26 Jan 2009
By 
Ian Matthews - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
I got this game for christmas and couldn't wait, the graphics are excellent lara looks absolutely fine but unfortunately i do feel it is missing something.

With the old games there were so many more pick ups, In underworld you don't pick up weapons as you go along you choose them before you go to the next level which i don't like. Finding the pair of Uzi's randomly somewhere is part of the adventure and running out of ammo at the worse possible moment and trying to get out of that situation with some average pistols is part of the fun. The treasures are pointless they are these crystal things that unlock stuff, when before if you did a bit of exploring you'll find the secret and get a medpack and some ammo for a gun you don't have, and that would make you wonder what gun your getting next, but unfortunately you don't get that in Underworld. some of the moves lara does are pretty cool and there are some cool things she does when she's running if you press circle 3 times which are quite cool. i thought the bike part jumped a bit and other times the camera angle screws up, but i found this variable. I think my main bug is the lack of pick ups really all you pick is medpacks and things you need to solve the puzzles, no weapon add ons or anything which is dissapointing really they could of done alot with that.

I'd still buy it but keep in mind it hasn't fufilled its full potentialm, it could be better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars She's lost her touch, 30 Dec 2008
By 
R. Jones "rebeld0g" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
I have never been happy with Tomb Raider since Crystal Dynamics took over and I would stick my neck out and say that this is so far their worst output. Right from the off, with the major underwater set, the controls are over-twitchy and fiddly, and when you finally do get onto a proper level you are faced with all the old problems which, by now, should have been sorted. Problems such as a loopy camera which hardly knows where you are; a stupid fiddly control system which can't make its mind up; old-school pixel-perfect line-ups for jumps and leaps (this really got me mad); oh and the combat system is just awful. After playing games like Assassin's Creed and Drake's Fortune, it is plain for all to see that this type of game has evolved heavily and Tomb Raider has failed to keep up. Despite being such a new game, it feels clunky and old to play and I just couldn't get past the broken controls enough to enjoy the story or gameplay.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Pining for Playstation One., 25 Mar 2009
By 
S. Birds "birdsst" (Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
Tomb Raider has gotten increasingly poorer with every new Playstation model. Lara moves like a drunken waitress on ice. There is no sense of control. True the graphics may be pretty, but the constant falling off non existent ledges, coupled with the nagging feeling your pad movements are not in synch with what Lara is doing on screen makes you lose interest very quickly. So so disappointing. I have played every Tomb Raider game to the end and this is only marginally better than the Angel of Darkness and we all know that was Lara's darkest hour. Look at the price and be warned.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely Lara!!, 8 Dec 2008
By 
Mr. C. J. Becker (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
Ok so with alot of negative reviews around all pointing to an Average or Dissapointing experience i thought i would rent it and give Lara a whirl and i must say that it was the best 6 quid i have spent.

lara this time round looks the best she ever has and i was very impressed buy the graphics and animations and i have to say i have played every Tomb Raider game...AOD being the worst EVER!!!

The levels are amazing and ultra detailed and Thailand was truly the best looking level i have seen in a while and found myself wanting to jump in for a holiday there ha ha. This is one of the first games i have bought that i just had to complete and it kept me wanting more.

The camera only messsed up twice and the game crashed once but overall that was no big deal and i can't say i had came accross any major glitch's (maybe i was lucky) I will say that the game should be twice as long but its not mega short i got three 5 hour evening sessions out of it. The biggest negative for me was that they recycled 2 levels and you play them twice..the beggining burning manor level is played twice, once as you start then again later..also the ship is used twice..the first one sinks and the second is its "sister" ship which was a cop out for Crystal Dynamics.

TR: Underworld is a good addition i just hope they make it bigger next time round, i think the Xbox was responsible for the short game as they get an extra 6 hours worth of DLC which if you add to the main game makes a full experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Glitched, broken, and buggy, 6 Nov 2012
By 
Inspector Gadget "Go Go Gadget Reviews" (On the trail of Doctor Claw) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
How fitting that 2008, the year that Lara Croft reached her lowest point, is also the year that gave us Nathan Drake, a far more appealing and engaging treasure hunter/adventurer. The styles of the franchises have oft been compared, but where Lara breaks down and fails Nathan Drake excels.

Core Design had been swallowed-up by Eidos at this point so it was left to Crystal Dynamics and Nixxes Software to bring this to consoles, and they did a pathetic job. Even software students could do a better game than this. The camera is epileptic, which is agonizing for a game that requires precision timing and judgment. The graphics are bland. The action is dull. Levels are long and boring with too much detail on meaningless treasure hunting (the Platinum depends on you getting all 179 treasures in the game, but it's glitched, so you're screwed) and not enough action.

It's time for Lara to hang up her hot pants. Tomb Raider is so 1996.

Graphics B-
Sound C
Gameplay C
Lasting Appeal D
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to the promise..., 25 Feb 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (West Calder, West Lothian United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
I loved the early Tomb Raider games and played `em for hours on the PC. But here we have an example that sometimes more is less.

Graphically pleasing. Atmospheric. Clever. It is all of these, but it is also incredibly frustrating. What finished it for me was the pillar jumps. It just never ends.... One fraction of a millimetre out and Lara ends up dead - again - and you have to go back and do it all again.

It's obvious that you have worked out what you are supposed to do to progress, but just that tiny little bit out and she plummets to her death. Over and over and over.

Frankly, I can't be bothered with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Game-stopping glitches render all else largely irrelevant, 10 Jan 2010
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
Just before the point from which I could go no further because of a glitch, I was going to say...
1) There's more thinking to do than in Uncharted
2) There's less shooting skill required (well, there's no skill required, actually) than in Uncharted
3) The graphics ... bla bla bla ...

...oh the list was going to be extensive, informative and articulate but what's the bl00dy point? If you're playing a game for a few accumulated hours and then have to start again from some checkpoint WAY back (after scouring the internet to find out if it IS a glitch and then what you did to trigger it), it wipes out any other consideration. Every quality of the game is irrelevant because the game is likely to completely shaft you at some point.

The game should be about finding out if the block WILL break that cracked trap door, or whether that rope CAN be cut to release the large weight, for example. In this game, you end up trying to find out what glaring error failed to be picked up by the testers. After all, if you're stuck it might be your lack of intelligence or the testers' lack of industry; you just don't know which. That's very bad. It would be bad even for a new bunch of people trying out a new franchise. But this is Tomb Raider for crying out loud - people will, and do, wait for a working version for something they love. There was no need to rush anything but there was every need to remain competitive with the likes of "Uncharted".

I hate to sound like a teacher, but they let the public down, they let the legend down but worst of all - you guessed it - they let themselves down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1 Level wonder?, 1 Jun 2012
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) (Video Game)
I want to make this quite short so people can read this quickley as I go over the main points.
This game, if described sounds fun and adventurous, however that's where the describtion starts becomming nothing more than a dream.

-The game does draw you in, as the story is quite tense and emotional compared to the oldest tomb raiders, however at no point was anything a shock, or scared me (Unlike the classic originals)

-The game is too linier, just following and almost an invisible line.

- The graphics are amazing, and as I said 'One level wonder', Coastal Thailand is the best level. The music and graphics is truely breathtaking that I actually sit back and listen every time I play it. I actually only reply this game for that one level. That being said, the other levels are hardly 'Tombs' and when they are, it's not as facinating to look at, you can't help wanting to go outside again. It's a shame because Coastal Thailand really showed me what they could of done with this game throughout, but got misguided almost into a pit of dull levels and not much going on.

-The ending is a dissapointment, I didn't feel any closure. It didn't feel like an ending to a game but more of an ending to a level. A tad bit like Legend, however I enjoyed Legend for it's levels throughout were more interesting.

-Too easy. Even on hard. Tomb Raider has always been an auto-aiming gun game, but now that we see her in better graphics and motion, the aiming of the guns seems too stiff. I don't feel like Lara shooting the tigers and men, I feel like I'm watching a film of Lara shooting tigers and men. I don't feel completly in the game. I'm not suggesting that it would be better as a first person shooter, as I despise those games, but maybe a third person shooter with no auto aim. (Like Uncharted?)

Overall this game isn't a complete dissapointed, it's kept true to Lara's personality, however I felt she was more likable in Lengend rather than this game. I enjoyed the jokes between zip on the mini microphone, making her personality have more depth. However in underworld she talks to herself, which seems a bit odd.

I love the Tomb Raider franchise, and the new one is comming out soon which I will not buy in a hurry. Classics are never forgotten, but games like these, are too short to be held in my brain. I think if I were to chose, I'd buy Legend.
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Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3)
Tomb Raider Underworld (PS3) by Eidos (PlayStation 3)
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