Tomb Raider: Anniversary - hands-on

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

Aside from a sense of isolation - which comes naturally when your guide is dead and the only other living creatures nearby are occasional packs of vicious predators - Tomb Raider's focus is on exploration, something Anniversary does beautifully. The Peru level alone is intricate as all hell, filled with all kinds of cool stuff to jump, climb and swing around on as you try to navigate its traps and solve its massive puzzles. More than once, we even had to destroy bits of the environment to make a path; shooting down a crumbling rope bridge, for example, might open up a ring that Lara can swing from Indiana Jones-style with her grappling hook.

It isn't just entertaining, either; finding our way through the treacherous caverns and tombs verged on sublime, and finding each new handhold, puzzle solution or piece of treasure was satisfying enough to make us want to hunt for the next one. It was the fun of discovery that made the original Tomb Raider great, and what we've played of Anniversary so far did a great job of recapturing it. Toss in some interactive cutscenes, a rewritten storyline and some of the best PS2 visuals we've seen outside of God of War, and we're already looking forward to seeing more. For a general idea of what to expect when the game arrives at the end of May, check out this video:

Aside from a sense of isolation - which comes naturally when your guide is dead and the only other living creatures nearby are occasional packs of vicious predators - Tomb Raider's focus is on exploration, something Anniversary does beautifully. The Peru level alone is intricate as all hell, filled with all kinds of cool stuff to jump, climb and swing around on as you try to navigate its traps and solve its massive puzzles. More than once, we even had to destroy bits of the environment to make a path; shooting down a crumbling rope bridge, for example, might open up a ring that Lara can swing from Indiana Jones-style with her grappling hook.

It isn't just entertaining, either; finding our way through the treacherous caverns and tombs verged on sublime, and finding each new handhold, puzzle solution or piece of treasure was satisfying enough to make us want to hunt for the next one. It was the fun of discovery that made the original Tomb Raider great, and what we've played of Anniversary so far did a great job of recapturing it. Toss in some interactive cutscenes, a rewritten storyline and some of the best PS2 visuals we've seen outside of God of War, and we're already looking forward to seeing more. For a general idea of what to expect when the game arrives at the end of May, check out this video:

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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