Visually, Tomb Raider: Legend is exceeding our expectations. Our start point overlooked an imposing view into a desert valley, miles below our lofty position, while other areas offer some brilliantly organic, believable environments to explore.
But right now there's a lack of atmosphere, and Legend doesn't manage to pull off the same moments of awe as early Tomb Raiders, with their winning combinations of well-executed audio, teasing glimpses of a distant ledge, or the camera taking in the enormity of your surroundings. When we entered one huge cavern there was nothing in the way of clever scene-setting. Legend feels like it's impatient to get you into another fight, when all you want to do is savour the scenery.
The game isn't finished yet though, and all it needs is a few tweaks to pump some wonder into the exploration. We're also hoping that the later bad guys will be bigger in personality and fewer in number, so it's not a case of just blasting down endless drones. If Tomb Raider: Legend manages to accurately balance the adventure with the aggression, then this will be the new highlight of a once great series.