Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Tomb Raider: Legend

I looked at Tomb Raider: Legend (thanks, Gamefly) over the weekend.

"Looked at" means about an hour of play, at which point I was no longer interested. That doesn't mean that the game is a disaster--it's not, by any measure--but it's also not something I'd ever spend sixty dollars on.

If you like the Tomb Raider series and were brutally disappointed by the last game, then this game should revive your interest. If you weren't interested before, though, I doubt this game will change that. Lara runs and jumps--I originally typed "humps" there. Freudian slip--and swings on ropes. It's a nice looking game--not spectacular, but solid--and it's animated well, although a few of Lara's animations seem sped up to the degree that they feel out of place. The camera is a problem, as it often is in third person games, as it's relatively claustrophobic and can make it difficult to see what the hell you're supposed to be doing next.

I think the bar has been raised significantly for 360 games with the release of GRAW and Oblivion. It's not the greater power of the next-gen console that's driving our expectations--it's the giant increase in price. And for sixty dollars versus forty, we expect a much more polished and complete experience than we would have before.

So if "Seeing is Believing," as the titillating ad copy said--I've seen it, and I believe it's a rental.

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