With her trademark grace and charm, Lara Croft has completely reestablished herself as the supreme heroine of third-person adventure gaming. Whether solving mind-wracking puzzles, gunning downfoeswith chilling ruthlessness,or exploringeverything from steamy jungle waterfallsin Ghana toa frigidmilitary basein Kazakhstan, the ladywho vaulted the PlayStation into stardom has returned to recapture our hearts.
Throughout Tomb Raider: Legend there is a palpable sense of a perfected experience. Lara feels on target all the time - she's a whirling dervish of gunplay, gymnastics and personality unleashed with the flick of your finger on the controller. Lara's controls are so refined that the early tutorial-style levels are predominantly geared not toward teaching you the controls, but to training you to look for cluesto solve the game's myriad puzzles. Only a few techniques take practice. Finally, Lara is as responsive and agile as her occupation requires, and developer Crystal Dynamics' experience with third-person action adventures (Soul Reaver and Whiplash, to name a mere two) is evident in every jump and roll.
Everything about this game pushes you towards the conclusion of Lara's ever-expanding quest. Each puzzle room has a little hint-movie that pans the camera around, showing off some of the room's points of interest (usually the path you'll need to follow to get out). Ropes, grappling hook attachment points and interactable objects get a shiny sheen to highlight them as possible solution options. Legend wants you to beat it - it wants you to restore Lara Croft to her position at the top of thetomb raidingheap.