Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Washington Post
Iraq Order of Battle
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News

Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Digby's Blog
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Guess who's back

Developed by Crystal Dynamics and published
by Eidos Interactive for Xbox 360 ($60),
Windows XP ($40) PlayStation 2 and Xbox
($50); for ages 13 and up.

Lara Croft, Surviving Bad Sequels, Returns to Fight Again

Published: April 27, 2006

NOTHING can kill Lara Croft. The protagonist of the Tomb Raider games has been impaled, sliced, shot, crushed and burned alive. She has endured cookie-cutter sequels, an ill-conceived makeover and two mediocre Angelina Jolie movies. But she’s back, and she’s looking good.

For a while, it was not looking good. While the Tomb Raider mix of exploration, puzzle-solving, action and cheesecake was always fun, the games failed to evolve and gamers got bored. A 2003 attempt to revamp the series, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, just made things worse, with a collection of poorly executed ideas pulled from popular games that pushed Lara to the edge of irrelevance.

But the buxom heroine has returned in Tomb Raider: Legend, a game from Crystal Dynamics that fulfills all the promises broken by Angel of Darkness.

Once again, Lara seeks out adventure, this time exploring a series of ruins in search of an ancient artifact that may be connected to her mother’s strange death. It is a search that takes her around the world, a journey made more difficult by armed men who are after the same thing.

The ancient ruins Lara explores are dangerous; columns have collapsed and passageways have crumbled, although surprisingly every booby trap is in perfect working order.

Lara must swing from vines, shimmy along ledges, jump chasms and shoot the occasional savage beast. Tombs are large environmental puzzles that Lara must navigate by shoving stone blocks into position or using a magnetic grappling hook to move a platform.

This is not substantially different from all the other Tomb Raider games. In fact, the designers’ goal was not to reinvent the series but simply to refine the original formula. Lara moves with a fluidity and ease the other games never managed, and her gun battles have been supplemented with melee moves that include a sliding tackle and a flying kick. Legend has smartly modeled itself after games like Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, which was itself strongly influenced by the Tomb Raider games.

While it has modernized the gameplay mechanics, Legend feels like a walk down memory lane, recreating the feel of the original games. This is somehow comforting; no matter how many times Lara misses a ledge, is crushed by a boulder or dies in a hail of bullets, you feel she will always be there for you.

posted by Steve @ 12:22:00 PM

12:22:00 PM

The News Blog home page


Editorial Staff

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans