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The Tomb Raider: Tomb Raider

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In the new special, we continue the story of one of the most popular video games ever. After the first part presents the story of the legendary British studio Core Design and their biggest project that brought them worldwide fame, the time has come to look back at the second part of the saga about the most popular heroine in the gaming world.

As we mentioned in the first special, seven years of hard work by the legendary British studio ended infamously in 2003 with an unfinished but also ambitious project called Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. After the not overly innovative works of The Last Relevations and Chronicles, The Angel of Darkness finally played the end of a small British studio that could no longer withstand the deadly pace of preparing new parts of the Lara Kroft saga in a very short period of time. Quite simply, it was time to make major changes to save the franchise (and of course, make money). Publisher Eidos Interactive decided to entrust the story of Lara Kroft to the American studio Crystal Dynamics, and so Lara was resurrected in a new edition that mostly delighted her fans.

– Tomb Raider: Legend (2006) – Lara in a new guise

Ten years after the release of the first Tomb Raider, the first part of a new trilogy about the famous archaeologist Larry Croft came on the scene, published by the aforementioned American studio. Lara’s creator, Toby Gard, returned to the big stage and became an expert consultant. The publishers knew that in order to succeed, it was necessary to bring Toby back to the team. In addition to Toby, significant contributions to the new Tomb Raider have been made by the story’s creator Eric Lindstrom, lead character designer Kam Yu, programmers Scott Krotz and Erinn Catto, as well as composer Troels Folmann. The voice of Larry Croft in the set of trilogies was borrowed by British actress Kili Hawes (Keeley Hawes).

Lara at a gala dinner in Japan. Image: printscreen during the game

The legend was conceived as the first part of a trilogy that introduced a slightly different Lara. This time, the players are introduced to Lara, who, along with her mother, survived a private jet crash somewhere in the Himalayas (Nepal). After seeking shelter in the depths of the mountain, they quickly discovered that the area was hiding some dangerous secrets. Not knowing what it was, curious Lara activated one of the artifacts, which resulted in her mother being drawn through some mysterious portal. Lara never found out exactly what happened at the time or what ultimately happened to her mother.

Curious Lara activates a magical artifact that then creates a magical portal. Image: printscreen during the game

It is interesting how developers from Crystal Dynamics have pulled through the story a lot of elements of British history, including the famous legend of King Arthur and the sword from the stone. Just as in the famous legend, so in this part of the Tomb Raider we encounter an artifact in the form of a sword that is in the stone, which has magical powers. Similarity with the legend of King Arthur will also be pointed out by the main heroes of the story: Zip and Lara.

After this tragic accident, Lara was raised by her father, a famous archaeologist. Very well-read and curious (when you walk with Lara through the crofts’ huge mansion and come across a huge library you’ll hear her say” I’ve already read this”), Lara continued to improve her archaeology after her father’s death. Her interest in an artifact in Bolivia gets a special place in this part, and we learn that this time the fate of Lara’s two good friends: Anaja and Amanda is connected to the story.

Anaya and Lara in Peru. Image: printscreen during the game

Legend finally brought to mb raider fans what they have been waiting for for a long time, at least when it comes to the complexity of the story, the fluency of gameplay, improved controls, a great blend of 3D environment and ambient music, and most of all – Lara in the “HD” edition.

The mystery of Lara’s mother’s disappearance, as well as the strange return of her friend Amanda, who was initially thought to have perished in an archaeological excavation that she and Lara explored together, laid a good basis for the exciting development of a story whose end you can not possibly foresee. A trip to Bolivia, Peru, and even to an abandoned Soviet factory, where you will have the opportunity to revive the famous Tesla experiment, give this Tomb Raider all the prerequisites for an excellent grade.

Tomb Raider: Legend is a ride on the motorcycle of the famous Italian brand Ducati! This addition proved to be perfect for our main heroine who loves adventures, and provides players with a couple of levels with a real adrenaline fight. Riding a motorcycle in Peru is accompanied by great ambient music.

Lara on the red Ducati. Image: printscreen during the game

Of course, the new part isn’t exactly perfect. Interesting archaeological sites and mysterious ancient mechanisms will be somewhat spoiled by duels with rather naïve soldiers, who look exactly the same. It seems to me that the developers could have made an extra effort to present a slightly better gameplay in this field. Otherwise, Lara’s characteristic pistols with an infinite amount of ammunition, as well as other types of firearms with limited ammunition, are present. The fight is a bit boring and predictable, so discovering ancient tombs is a better component of this title after all.

As for the ambient music, I would say that composer Troels Folman did a phenomenal job. A special impression on me, but also the huge community of Tomb Raider fans, was left by the compositions that accompany Lara’s motorcycle ride, as well as a walk through the Krofts’ villa. It is interesting to point out that the music that accompanies the exploration of the Croft villa has become so popular among fans that many have prepared “extended” releases of several hours each for the purpose of learning or relaxation.

The new part of Tomb Raider is rated with high marks, both by experts and gamers. Experts gave the PC and Xbox 360 versions an average score of 82/100, and the PlayStation version 80/100 (Metacritic Metascore). Gamers liked the PC version the most, which they gave 7.9/10, while the PS2 and Xbox 360 versions were given a 7.5/10 (Metacritic User Score) rating.

Tomb Raider: Anniversary (2007) – Ten Years of Lara Kroft

Tomb Raider’s grand jubilee, 10 years on the gaming scene, was celebrated by the second part of Crystal Dynamics’ trilogy, which was aptly titled “Anniversary.” Inspired entirely by the first part of 1996, Anniversary gamers return to ancient tombs in peru, where lara’s search for an artifact from the mysterious ancient island of Atlantis originally began.

You can read the continuation of this story and the rest of the article about further games from the Lara Croft series – Tomb Raider: Anniversary and Tomb Raider: Underworld on the original tehnoverzum article.