I have never kept up with the series of Tomb Raider. The previous Tomb Raider game I played before this was Tomb Raider II on the PlayStation. Apparently this is much better than the other games on the PlayStation 2 because of a new developer, Crystal Dynamics. Well, the developer has done a good job in turns of gameplay, graphics and sound. I think the future's bright for them with the Tomb Raider series.
Learning the controls is easy and shouldn't take that long. In Bolivia (the first environment) you should pick up some moves from the tutorial such as jumping, swinging and grappling. You'll also be facing enemies bigger than your house and dozens of men. Tomb Raider is all about climbing and working out how to progress through the level. You'll need to work out how far it takes to jump from one ledge to another. The puzzles will probably puzzle you at first but after a while you should get the hang of them. Boss battles are good as each one is different. You don't just keep shooting the boss until they die. You will need to work out how you can destroy the boss. Like for example, one boss requires you to drop cages on its head in England.
An aspect of the gameplay I encounter sometimes is death. Some levels may require you to be extra careful (falling columns, rocks) and if you do not react quickly you shall die or take a health hit. So long as you have reached a checkpoint in the level you should be able to go back to where you were if you died.
One major change to the game is Lara Croft. She is more sexier than ever in this game. Her face has had a lot of effort put into it. When you move the camera around her face there is no flaws. She will look as she does on the game cover - even in gameplay. Down a bit has had some changes. She is certainly more bustier in this game. Whenever Lara dives in water and comes back out you will notice she is wet. The water on her body is a good element to put in as it adds to the realism of the game. Depending on what environment she is in she will wear different clothes. When she is on a motorbike she will be wearing leather, when she is in really cold conditions she will be wrapped up well. Eventually, all costumes will become available for use in any environment. Each costume has had a great amount of detail put into it.
The environments are impressive. I think the hot environments look the best. When you play through the first environment you'll probably be amazed to see how they have evolved. My favourite environments are Bolivia, Ghana and Nepal. You won't be avoiding traps and enemies in tombs all throughout the game, though. One level set in Japan will have Lara Croft in a totally different style. There is one level I do remember in Tomb Raider II where she had her own mansion. This is where you could practice your moves and climbing skills. Well, in Tomb Raider: Legend there is an enormous manor. There are loads of rooms to explore (and some hidden too). The swimming pool looks very pretty and in general, the whole manor looks outstanding. If only it was real?
The voice acting is clear and fits in well. Lara will also reply back with sometimes sarcastic comments and saying she isn't afraid of anything when she is on top of a cliff too high for me to believe. This commentary doesn't really get in the way and can often help you progress through the level.
The soundtrack is like something from a movie. The main theme song on the user interface is probably my favourite. It is like an adventure themed soundtrack. Each environment will have background music suited for it. I noticed that it gets intense at different parts. So, whenever you are in a quiet part of the level you will notice the music is calm but when you have several men after you it will get very intense.
If you have not played Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend yet then I highly recommend you do. I think you'll enjoy it as a Tomb Raider or no Tomb Raider fan. As I mentioned earlier, I have only played Tomb Raider II before this. You are looking at less than ten hours of gameplay here, however. It may take you a bit longer depending on whether or not you can solve the puzzles. Some of them left me puzzled for quite a while. Some may say ten hours is a bit short and I agree. You may probably play through some of the environments again to get 100%. I rented this game out and got 90% in about two days of playing. I suggest playing on at least normal difficulty. Easy is a bit too easy I think.
It has a good story, good graphics, great sound and great environments for you to explore and despite you probably finishing it in a matter of days it's worth having.
8 / 10