Today I will review
The game was released in 2008.
If you have played one of the previous TR games, then there is not really much new there…
The game is still an Action-Adventure. You control Lara Croft with the left stick of your Joypad and the camera with the right one. The “A” button lets her jump, “X” fires the grappling hook, “Y” pulls stuff with the hook back to Lara and is for melee combat, and “B” lets Lara crouch or releases the hook from its target. The left trigger is for aiming (Lara automatically aims at the nearest target, at least in theory… but more about that later), the right one for shooting your weapons. You can also throw grenades with the right bumper, the left bumper is for sprinting. The “Back” button opens Laras PDA-Menu where you can equip different weapons, look at a sonar map, or get hints on how to solve the current puzzle. In some parts of the game you are able to ride Lara’s motorbike, which is really funny.
The game is all about climbing around in ancient ruins, solve puzzles, and fight off a variety of foes (animals, humans, mythological creatures).
The story starts with the destruction of Croft Manor and Lara getting shot at by a friend. Then the game takes you back three weeks and you will find out how it came to these events. Lara is searching for her mother in this game, who disappeared after a plane crash in Lara’s youth. Lara heard that her mother is in Avalon now and so our heroine sets out on a journey to get there. But in order to get there she needs to finds Mjölnir, hammer of Thor first…
Tomb Raider: Underworld is a pretty good game, but it has some severe issues. First of all the controls don’t work very well. Sometimes they are oversensitive and on other occasions they don’t react at all (especially in narrow hallways or at ledges). The camera works OK most of the time, but sometimes it turns to an angle where the player can see nothing at all, and exactly at those times you can’t adjust it properly. So at some points in the game the player has to jump to a place he can’t see, which results in a quick death. Luckily the respawn points are very well set, so that you can start at the point right before you died. The auto-aiming-feature aims almost never at the nearest enemy, but at a foe behind the nearest one, which can be a pain in the ass.
The story is OK but nothing special and it helps if you played TR: Legend and TR: Anniversary before, because the game continues their story, but it is not necessary because there is a summary you can watch in TR: Underworld.
The graphics are really good in this game. I love how the whole environment looks, it is quite realistic at some points, for example I never saw an ocean so perfectly rendered in a video game. Another new thing is that Lara now gets dirty when she climbs around or rolls on the floor, and she gets clean again when she gets wet.
As I said before, it is a pretty good game, but it could have been better if the programmers had managed to get the controls working properly, because as it is, the controls add quite some difficulty to game, but it is still playable and enjoyable and that’s the most important thing I think.
I recommend this game to fans of the series, but everyone else should play the demo first and decide then if they want to play it.
Rating & Summary:
Graphics: 8,5 – Graphics look really good but there is some clipping and strange stuff happening sometimes.
Sound: 8 – Voice acting is good, background music is very subtle, hardly noticeable.
Gameplay: 7 – Controls don’t work to well in narrow spaces, camera does as it pleases as does the auto aiming feature.
Story: 8,5 – Story is nice and is actually the one thing that pushes you to finish the game.
Overall: 8 – Not a bad game, really enjoyable actually. If you can live with its flaws you will have a good time with miss Croft.
That’s it from me, till next time.
Keep Playing 🙂