Tomb Raider Underworld: Beneath the Ashes

To the manor, yawn…

When Lara pirouetted back into our hearts last November, she also seemingly closed the chapter on the Tomb Raider: Legend story arc. Not so, as this %26ndash; the first of two %26ndash; of 360-exclusive downloadable content reveals.

Dispatched into the deepest recesses of the char-grilled Croft Manor in search of a means of controlling the evil doppelganger who%26rsquo;s out to kill the first lady of gaming, this is a straight-up devious catacomb of tricky leaps, clever new grappling hook puzzles and lots of scary undead thralls and giant arachnids to reduce to piles of bones and icky goo. As a bonus, Lara herself has never looked lovelier %26ndash; especially when decked out in her Princess Leia-alike itsy bitsy, teeny weeny golden bikini and splattered in mud%26hellip;

Beneath the Ashes certainly caters to the Croft hardcore then, but is it honestly worth the delay/800 point combo? That%26rsquo;s rather more debatable. As part of the prologue to Underworld, it%26rsquo;s intriguing (though PC and PS3 owners can consider themselves cheated that they%26rsquo;re only effectively getting half the story without this DLC), yet taking it purely as an isolated Tomb Raider level it%26rsquo;s middling at best. The fresh puzzles hint at lofty potential, but they%26rsquo;re sporadic and frustratingly underdeveloped. And while snagging all the hidden treasures will take even seasoned raiders a while, we%26rsquo;d personally rather have had a larger level to romp around.

Apr 2, 2009

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