Tomb Raider: Anniversary - hands-on

We get our feet wet in the redesigned version of the original ruin-delving classic

Once we'd made it to the top, it was time to climb again, this time using crumbling, man-made ledges and rocky outcroppings to reach a switch at the top of the gate. Unfortunately, opening it spelled doom for Lara's guide, as a pack of wolves immediately streamed out and attacked him, giving us an immediate introduction to the game's rapid-fire combat.

The action here hasn't changed much from Legend, unsurprisingly. Locking onto the wolves was simple, as was rolling and leaping around to dodge them while pumping them full of lead from Lara's twin pistols. What's cool, though, is that combat isn't just a matter of plinking away with your guns until your adversaries die. Since most of your foes are animals - which in Peru meant packs of wolves (usually three to five at a time), solitary bears, pain-in-the-ass bats and squads of velociraptors - they'll sometimes get it in their heads to bull straight at you in a deadly, slow-motion charge.

Once we'd made it to the top, it was time to climb again, this time using crumbling, man-made ledges and rocky outcroppings to reach a switch at the top of the gate. Unfortunately, opening it spelled doom for Lara's guide, as a pack of wolves immediately streamed out and attacked him, giving us an immediate introduction to the game's rapid-fire combat.

The action here hasn't changed much from Legend, unsurprisingly. Locking onto the wolves was simple, as was rolling and leaping around to dodge them while pumping them full of lead from Lara's twin pistols. What's cool, though, is that combat isn't just a matter of plinking away with your guns until your adversaries die. Since most of your foes are animals - which in Peru meant packs of wolves (usually three to five at a time), solitary bears, pain-in-the-ass bats and squads of velociraptors - they'll sometimes get it in their heads to bull straight at you in a deadly, slow-motion charge.

Lucky for you, this is where you can instantly turn the tables. If a little symbol flashes above their heads, that's your cue that they're about to charge, briefly throwing the action into slow motion. If you're quick, you can dodge to the side and - once a couple of floating crosshairs have automatically aligned on the animal's head - fire off a lethal shot for a quick, humiliating kill. It doesn't dramatically change the fighting, but it's a cool addition nonetheless.

Unfortunately, we can't yet talk about the one fight you most want to read about: the reappearance of the colossal, thundering T-Rex that arguably provided the original game's most memorable moment. Suffice it to say that its new incarnation is big and nasty, and that fighting it will be remarkably different from what you might remember.

Lucky for you, this is where you can instantly turn the tables. If a little symbol flashes above their heads, that's your cue that they're about to charge, briefly throwing the action into slow motion. If you're quick, you can dodge to the side and - once a couple of floating crosshairs have automatically aligned on the animal's head - fire off a lethal shot for a quick, humiliating kill. It doesn't dramatically change the fighting, but it's a cool addition nonetheless.

Unfortunately, we can't yet talk about the one fight you most want to read about: the reappearance of the colossal, thundering T-Rex that arguably provided the original game's most memorable moment. Suffice it to say that its new incarnation is big and nasty, and that fighting it will be remarkably different from what you might remember.

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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