Tomb Raider Anniversary - sexy new impressions

The secrets of Lara's latest are revealed

Of the levels we've seen so far, our current pick is The Lost Valley. It's here that the free-form level design is most evident, the sheer number of routes through the caves offering a very real hope that Tomb Raider: Anniversary will boast the kind of shelf-life that Tomb Raider: Legend so desperately lacked. The Lost Valley level is also the most impressive in visual terms. Suffice to say, the first time you emerge from the cramped interior of the pitch-black caves into the harsh light of the valley itself is a moment that'll stay with you long after you've dispatched with the Jurassic-era nastiness that lurks within.

And Botta insists that The Lost Valley is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of Tomb Raider: Anniversary's revised, rebooted and improved level design. For his money, the current pick of the crop is Egypt: "It's got a lot of fun traps going on - and it really forces the player to stay on their toes and utilize all Lara's abilities. It's the third chapter in the game, so when you get there it starts to get a little tough. By then we've introduced the player to all the mechanics, they've had time to ramp up on them, and now we force them to use it and it becomes really fun and challenging. Once you try the new system, you won't go back!"

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