Tomb Raider Anniversary - sexy new impressions

You can apply this '"same only better" soundbite across the board with Tomb Raider: Anniversary. Levels? Same only better. Weapons? Same only better. Enemies? Same only better. And by "better," of course, we mean "bigger." Everything from the original Tomb Raider has been magnified by a factor of ten, from Lara's thunderous bra to the caves of Peru and the sweeping cinematic score. This is a huge game, epic in the true sense of the word, a title that pushes PS2 to the limit, then pushes it a little more until it vomits on its shoes and blacks out. Were the PS2 not slowing dying of old age anyway, it's likely that the demands made of it by Tomb Raider: Anniversary would induce a fatal heart attack.

Even the most cursory of glances at Tomb Raider: Anniversary confirms the gulf in scale that separates it from the original. Take The Lost Valley, Tomb Raider 's signature level. Where the original "cog puzzle," in which you search for missing cog pieces to complete an ancient water-based contraption, was maybe two stories high, Anniversary's equivalent is more like 20.

In part, this Super-sizing process is a direct result of Lara and her increased athleticism, as Botta explains: "The Lara character and her abilities have increased hugely over the years. We did some early tests where we built areas that were identical to the scale of the original. Where it took Old Lara maybe five minutes to get through it, it took our new Lara - being far more nimble - more like 20 seconds." With this in mind, the size of the playing areas had to be significantly increased. Gamers can therefore look forward to the most daunting, eye-poppingly large platform-based challenges ever.