Tomb Raider: Underworld - Beneath the Ashes

Tomb Raider dev investigating multiplayer

Crystal Dynamics hiring risk takers.

Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics would like to employ a lead designer to "effectively create and lead the multiplayer vision and design effort" of an unannounced "AAA title".

Next Tomb Raider film to star new Lara

"It's not full-on action, it's like Terminator."

Dan Lin, the producer of Terminator Salvation and the forthcoming Tomb Raider film, has been discussing his plans for Lara's next big screen adventure.

Tomb Raider Underworld: Beneath the Ashes

With Tomb Raider, it's always been the moments that matter: those brief stabs of clarity when the towering clockwork starts to turn, when a dense tunnel of jungle gives way to an unexpected view of something massive and mossy, and when the last nagging part of a puzzle finally slots into place. These fleeting instants ground you in the game in a way few other titles manage: you understand, you act, and for a single second, you're not just moving through carefully choreographed spectacle - you're a part of it.

So, while one random trinket is exchanged for another, the exotic locations get a quick shuffle, and the thin back-story slowly bloats into a deranged yet forgettable soap opera, each subsequent game is measured not by its plot - Tomb Raider's never been brilliant with plots - but by the handful of vivid snapshots it adds to the scrapbook. Previous instalments have set the bar high, leaving you quaking before a T-Rex, scrambling up the forehead of a sphinx before leaping from its placid brow, and swinging through the neon latticework of a Tokyo skyscraper. Last year's Underworld provided its own handful of additions too: plunging you deep into the roaring flames of Croft Manor, and letting you move huge hefts of ancient stone with a single swipe of your hand.

So perhaps that's the best way to examine Beneath the Ashes, Underworld's first DLC episode. Forget the pricing and the length - at least for a moment. The most important question is this: does this new chunk of adventure have anything to add? Are there any moments that will make you gasp, wince, or gawp as the best entries in the series have?

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FeatureTomb Raider: Underworld - Episodes

Ron Rosenberg on Beneath the Ashes, and playing as the Doppelganger in Lara's Shadow.

Once regarded with uniform suspicion, premium downloadable content for console games has thrown off some of that stigma in recent months, as the likes of GTAIV: The Lost and Damned and the Mirror's Edge Pure Time Trial Pack have advanced the original games in directions influenced by critical and community response.

Tomb Raider episode out next week

Beneath the Ashes passes certification.

Tomb Raider: Underworld's first downloadable Xbox 360 episode, Beneath the Ashes, should be released on 24th February following its unexpected delay earlier this month.

Tomb Raider: Underworld DLC dated

First lot in February, pictures inside.

Eidos has announced that Tomb Raider: Underworld downloadable levels Beneath the Ashes and Lara's Shadow will be available on 10th February and 10th March, respectively.