Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary - first look

The landmark adventure series goes back to its lonely, exploration-focused roots

Although Lara will be able to strategically tear the levels apart, you'll still be able to explore the old-fashioned way - by leaping around on narrow ledges and ferreting out hidden fissures to slip through. Tomb Raider is really about exploration and discovery, after all, and so Anniversary will be crammed full of out-of-the-way caves, secret items and less-than-obvious alternate routes to keep players scouring. It'll also feature puzzles similar to the first game's - i.e. of the "find the little gear to make the big gears open the door" variety - although players won't need to backtrack endlessly through each level to solve them.

Although Lara will be able to strategically tear the levels apart, you'll still be able to explore the old-fashioned way - by leaping around on narrow ledges and ferreting out hidden fissures to slip through. Tomb Raider is really about exploration and discovery, after all, and so Anniversary will be crammed full of out-of-the-way caves, secret items and less-than-obvious alternate routes to keep players scouring. It'll also feature puzzles similar to the first game's - i.e. of the "find the little gear to make the big gears open the door" variety - although players won't need to backtrack endlessly through each level to solve them.

That doesn't mean it'll be easy, of course. Anniversary still features traps and potentially fatal jumps to trip players up. Lara's much more agile now, what with her more fluid jumping and ability to perch on tiny platforms, but these should still pose a big challenge. And Lara will have to rely on her guns to deal with one other significant hazard that helped the first game stand out: ornery wildlife.

As she made her way through the demo, Lara was repeatedly attacked by wolves, bats and one slavering bear, all of which were a far cry from the chunky, relatively cuddly creatures of the original game. These animals are faster and a lot more vicious, although luckily for Lara, they still hunt alone or in pairs (or in slightly larger groups, where bats are concerned).

That doesn't mean it'll be easy, of course. Anniversary still features traps and potentially fatal jumps to trip players up. Lara's much more agile now, what with her more fluid jumping and ability to perch on tiny platforms, but these should still pose a big challenge. And Lara will have to rely on her guns to deal with one other significant hazard that helped the first game stand out: ornery wildlife.

As she made her way through the demo, Lara was repeatedly attacked by wolves, bats and one slavering bear, all of which were a far cry from the chunky, relatively cuddly creatures of the original game. These animals are faster and a lot more vicious, although luckily for Lara, they still hunt alone or in pairs (or in slightly larger groups, where bats are concerned).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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