The Tomb Raider franchise has had its up's and down's over the years, and now it seems they have gotten some of it right. Tomb Raider: Underworld from Eidos Interactive is a huge game, graphically beautiful and full of challenging puzzles just like you would expect from a Tomb Raider game. Laura Croft is beautiful, athletic, witty and clever just like you expect. Everything seems to be in order right? Wrong. Well, not totally wrong. Let me explain.
I'll start with the things that are wrong with the game, and end with the things that are very right with the game. This game is huge. Some of the levels are down right gigantic. This might not seem like and bad thing, and normally I would agree. The problem is there are no "road maps" to nudge you in the right direction and I found myself wandering around not really knowing what to do next. The camera that follows Laura has been a problem for years, and Eidos still hasn't fixed this. I don't know if anyone ever will. There are times when I felt sick from the camera jumping around, bumping into walls and generally making it difficult to enjoy the scope of the game.
Then there is the scope of the game. What is Tomb Raider? Is it an adventure game? Sure. A puzzle game? Yes, that too. A platformer? Sort of, but a sophisticated one for sure. A shooter? Well, it would seem. Do I have to collect a bunch of stuff? Yes. And that's the biggest problem for me. The game is trying to be so many things, that they tend to water it all down. As a shooter, Tomb Raider: Underworld falls flat. Hold the targeting button and pull the trigger and enemies are taken care of. No skill needed. I played through the game and on one level, found everything. I have no idea still, why I bothered. But, instead of focusing on the shortcomings, let's check out why you want this game.
Tomb Raider: Underworld is one of the better Tomb Raider games I have played. That being said, I have not played all of them, and am not an authority on Laura Croft in any way. This game is fun and challenging. The puzzles are difficult and beautifully planned out, but not so difficult that you will be searching the Internets for what to do next. Graphically, Underworld is gorgeous. In HD the views in this game will blow your mind. I honestly found myself just stopping to look at the views on several of the levels. And lets face it, the bottom line is, Laura Croft is hot and kicks ass! Sometimes frustrating but overall enjoyable.
Tomb Raider: Underworld
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
ESRB rating: Teen for
Published on Dec 31, 1969