Tomb Raider Anniversary - sexy new impressions

In terms of Lara herself, she's an open-and-shut hybrid of her Tomb Raider 1 incarnation and her Tomb Raider: Legend equivalent. So we see the return of the grappling hook and auto-grab from Legend (hooray), while the newer, stupider, crappier hair has been replaced by the original braid from Tomb Raider 1 (double hooray). There's only one new move of note - the ability to leap from pole to pole in the manner of a certain Persia-based prince - and while it seems unlikely to have a major impact on the nuts and bolts of the gameplay, it represents at least a token gesture to keep the dedicated Croft-watcher interested. Or so we think.

But the key to New Lara isn't what the Crystal Dynamics team has added, it's what they've taken away. Namely, Lara's headset, the in-ear device that enabled her mumbling, half-brained colleagues in Tomb Raider: Legend to dribble a constant stream of verbal slurry into her ear while she tried to concentrate on the important business of not dying. For Botta, removing this was a vital in restoring the Tomb Raider atmosphere: "The sense of isolation was one of the key components that we wanted to keep from the original game. So there's none of that chatter we had in Tomb Raider: Legend. There's nobody talking to Lara. She says the odd comment to herself, but other than that it's just her and these big environments."