It's almost ten years since Lara Croft first appeared on our PC screens and her latest adventure, Tomb Raider: Legend is the seventh game in one of the most enduring (if not necessarily, critically acclaimed) videogame franchises around.
Like many a tale, TR:L starts with a flashback and a plane crash, but it's not long before we've got that familiar view of the most famous rear in gaming. Lara herself has never looked prettier, and finally freed of an underlying grid structure she runs, leaps, swings and swims around around the lush environment of Bolivia with renewed vigour.
The game comprises seven main levels (plus Croft Manor) which see our heroine traversing the globe in search of an ancient relic (d'uh) and the truth behind the death of both her mother, and her close friend Amanda. It is a little short and contains a few too many mindless goons to shoot, but overall it's an enjoyable enough journey full of wit and humour, and some quite stunning locations. Each level stands alone and so can be replayed at will, either to find secrets that were missed first time 'round, or for the challenge of the Time Trial mode. Success unlocks a whole host of extras including artwork, models and (predictably) alternative costumes for our sexy adventuress.
True, it's a fairly easy game to complete but in fact my only real criticism is the camera; very few developers manage to get this right but whether by accident or design, whenever you're in a confined space it seems to zoom in for a closeup of Lara's arse, rather than showing the environment through which you're trying to move her.
My head tells me that Tomb Raider: Legend is probably a six or a seven, but I'm going to give it a higher mark than that. I've clocked up over fifteen hours so far (100% completion, a couple of time trials still left to beat) and despite a few moments of controller-hurling frustration, I've certainly had as much fun with it as I did the original a decade ago.
So, a flawed but thoroughly entertaining return to form for the Countess of Abbingdon.
8 / 10