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yesrushdt 02-08-05 17:45

This was translated by someone else so if there are any inaccuracies, don't blame me. :D

The last Tomb Raider game, Angel of Darkness, did spoil the reputation of the once so successful gameseries. However, with a new developer at the helm and the promise to return to the roots of the series, Jan and Niels began with a positive presentiment on their review of Tomb Raider Legend. There I stood, on a Tuesday in July, playing the role of girl with guts Lara Croft, in the middle of a jungle and that while I actually was sitting casually in a chair in front of the television. The warm light fell through the foliage on ‘my’ tight skin and I saw wild flowers and long grass wherever I looked. A promising soundtrack was preparing me for what would lie ahead. In 99% of the cases, an Eidos-employee would now have taken the controller from me to make Lara run down the path towards the cliff. But then I would have seen only a glimpse of the well grown environment, the little birds flying about, the smart lightning, the eye-catching glow-effects, the stairs chiselled out in stone, the blurred background and somewhere far away an enormous waterfall with fitting rainbow.

Fortunately the guy of Eidos next to me gave me all opportunity to admire all the aspects of the demo. So instead of a rushed peek of the environment I took my time to examine everything carefully. I turned the camera around Lara and began to investigate her new looks. Here I noticed that the perfect looking Lara who was winking to me on the titlescreen is identical to the figure that is running through the game. After a moment of staying put, Lara started to look around and stretched out what made her breasts to wiggle a bit. Those new breasts, a lot has been written about that already. And most of the time about the fact that they are a bit smaller now. I can assure you though that there’s nothing wrong with them. Or as Jan put it: “A C cup with a push-up bra, and nice and round also!”

Now I had hesitated enough and dove off the cliff and climbed ashore in a new area where the first environmental puzzle was waiting for me.
A dramatically turning camera gave me a subtle hint on how to solve this problem. Climbing was allowed already, some rocks took me high enough to reach a dangling rope. After I jumped with the X button on my controller I automatically grabbed and hanged on the edge of the rock above me. Holding the button longer resulted in a well balanced handstand and an elegant flip.

It may sound a bit ordinary but the difference with the previous Tomb Raider games is huge. In 2003 we were already playing Prince of Persia as fluent as a ballet dancer, but in Angel of Darkness we, as a figure of speech, still needed to hold two buttons, steer upwards and press a third button to perform a jump. That’s old fashioned and way to mechanic to make any fluent gameplay possible, especially if you are used to better controls. For Legend the controls have been changed hugely. Accordingly the feeling of the game is much more natural. However, in this demo some analogue movements seemed still a bit rusty and the timing for some jumps could be too precise. But the direction the developers have chosen is very promising for the final game.

Well, I was still hanging there on that rope and made swing right into a strange looking rock. The whole thing started to turn. I had put an imposing mechanism into process. The music began to play louder, chains moved, wheels were turning, shapes and figures shove in and out. The splashing water of the waterfall spread and revealed an ancient temple. The first shock came in the deep in the dungeons of the temple. I was just admiring the details of the decorations and vegetation on the walls, the special atmosphere (things like light-effects with twirling pieces of dust) and for example the fact that Lara is actually looking at every object or interesting view she is passing. (We saw that before in ‘Grim Fandango’ and ‘Zelda: The Wind Waker’) What the shock was about? In that ancient network of corridors I met a gentleman. A gentleman with a gun…

That was of course the chance to test the new aiming-system. Because they finally dropped the idea of holding R1 to tab the square button, didn’t they? The change isn’t that big actually. R1 does now lock your view on the lost baddie. That means you will still press that shoulder-button if you are shooting around. But this time you don’t necessarily have to. And if you do, you have the extra advantage of being able to strafe around your enemy. Combine this with the possibility to slide towards the badguy, using the circle button (if you hit him he flies up in the air) or making a John Woo-like jump while shooting and circling around. Now you have combat that is simple to perform and feel very powerful. Also on this point Tomb Raider is hugely modernised and much more fun then before.

The environments where I was rushing trough were remarkably changing. I saw traditional tombs, temples and ruins. But modern settings like enormous skys****ers and in Tokyo and a factory in Russia gave a whole other feeling.
The traps and spikes deliver obstacles in the temples and in the Russian factory I had smoking tubes and steamy pipes I had to jump and roll over. Again totally different was the Western-like goldmine village in the background of something that looked most like the Rocky Mountains. Here it looked more like a free roaming element had made his debut in Tomb Raider. Lara could talk with bystanders and other NPC’s. A little sniff of GTA perhaps, or am I getting too euphoric now? The next moment Lara found herself in a moving train with on both sides impressing mountains. Much more then Lara walking around in an empty train I didn’t see. But my imagination took me far away; will this be the Wild West shootout in a moving train? Are we climbing on the roof? Are we jumping and climbing from carriage to carriage? Is the train about to derail and do we have to race to the front carriage to pull the brake? Or maybe the train is just a moment of rest to take a breather and chat with the other passengers? Wild guessing is always fun.

Speaking of vehicles, Lara will at least have a very fast motorbike. She lies completely flat on it while making her way past obstacles, bridges and piled up boxes. While driving, Lara can take out her guns and shoot. This suggests that we will see a combination of race and shooting elements in the final game. The hand-to-hand combat from Angel of Darkness is dropped. In Legend, Lara will have her famous twin pistols again, plus machineguns and rocket launcher. Also here the animations of the shooting and reloading looked superbly.

MizzCroft007 02-08-05 17:57

Sweet, thanks for sharing, gorgous cover :D

interstellardave 02-08-05 17:59

Thanks for sharing! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/images/smilies/wave.gif

That's just the kind of awe-inspired commentary (from one who has apparently played the game!) that keeps me excited! :D

Angel666 02-08-05 17:59

Awesome article. Although I will miss being able to punch out enemies i am more excited to play than ever.

larasformerlover 02-08-05 18:25

So they have kept some RPG elements such as conversing with other human identities. I can just see Lara on a train asking the server for beans on toast...

Greenkey2 02-08-05 18:29

Yay! More good press - and rising expectations! :D

Cosmo 02-08-05 18:29

I translated that. Check at www.laracroftonline.com
I hope i didnt make any mistakes. I typed quite fast.
Hope you all enjoy it http://www.tombraiderforums.com/imag...lies/smile.gif
The text by Niels Roodenburg and Jan Meyroos

[ 02. August 2005, 19:35: Message edited by: Cosmo ]

MikeJM 02-08-05 18:36

More positive reviews! And revealing more locations! How good is this game gonna be! Woo-Hooo!!! http://www.tombraiderforums.com/imag...ies/jumper.gif

FallenxFromxLight 02-08-05 18:43

Okay hold on, this is awkward. Is this magazine 'reliable' because there are a lot of things that were mentioned in this thing, that were not mentioned in previous reports.

For starters, no innovations from AOD are supposed to make their way over to Legend, and yet Lara has clearly been stated as being able to talk to NPCs. Furthermore, this guy played a lot more levels then anyone else got to, granted he got the levels correct and a playable version IS coming out soon, but till now the only demo that existed was the levels of ghana.

Also, hand to hand combat was NOT dropped as a crystal dynamics person said it's there to 'confuse and incapacitate your enemies so you can fire off a shot at close range'.

I'd be extremely happy if a vast majority of this article was true (minus the lack of hand to hand combat) but some parts just dont seem right, such as the using of x to jump. It just doesnt seem like this article is reliable. Do any screens exist in the mag?

We'll have to see.

[ 02. August 2005, 19:45: Message edited by: Derek -FallenxFromxLight- ]

Cosmo 02-08-05 18:46

Power Unlimited is a leading gaming mag in The Netherlands. The writers of this article also have their own television show.
I wouldnt translate anything unreliable http://www.tombraiderforums.com/imag...lies/smile.gif

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