Summary Adventurer, Lara Croft has been sent on a mission to find mysterious artifact pieces of the ancient Scion; problem is, she's not the only one after them. Help her find and protect the artifacts on an exciting adventure.
Description Type: Action
Platform: Playstation One, Sega Saturn, DOS, Playstation Network, iOS, N-Gage
Players: 1 player
Age: 15 plus
Game Time: 15 - 24 hrs
Developer or Designer: Core Design
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Female action hero
Lara has lots of moves
Few save points
One of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time, Tomb Raider was first released in 1996 for the Playstation One, Sega Saturn, DOS. It is so popular though, that it has also been adapted for newer systems, such as iOS, N-Gage, and the Playstation Network. Not only does Tomb Raider feature eleven games in the series, it has a whole franchise of comic books, action figures, and is one of the very few games to successfully be turned into a film (actually two).
So what made this game so great? Well, although the original PS1 game looks very pixilated to today's critical eye, back in 1996, the vast 3D world was a revolutionary step that allowed players to roam freely through different environments.
The game also manages to appeal to both genders. Before Tomb Raider, action games with lots of shooting featured big muscular men blowing everything to hell (that's still generally the case today), but the protagonist of this game is a heroine. Lara Croft can shoot the place up as well as any bloke, and on top of that, she has some killer moves too. Running, jumping, diving, backflips, forward rolls, floor kicks, climbing, free falling, etc, etc. In the first game she was not a sexualised figure either. Her body proportions were average, and she didn't look drop-dead gorgeous.
What I also find a breath of fresh air is that Lara Croft is British. Core Design was a British game developer, so it is nice to see a game come from home soil rather than it always being from America or Japan.
Lara's initial mission is to find an ancient artifact inside a lost tomb, but when she discovers that it is only a fragment, she has to go in search of all the other pieces, while in pursuit - or being pursued - by corrupt villains who crave the power it will give them.
Before starting the game, you can visit Lara's House, which she uses as a training camp to practice all her moves. Despite there being a lot of different actions that she can perform, the controls are relatively simple and easy to use. I must also praise the camera. Unlike many games, where the angle of the camera is a player's constant bane, here it works perfectly.
The game is challenging, particularly because of the lack of save points. I think in many ways that could be considered a good thing though, because it is often the case that the people who play action-shooters are usually hardcore gamers, and want something difficult.