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Tomb Raider: Legend review

Lara Croft was much better off before she wound up in the clumsy palm of your hand


  • Exact replica of the console versions
  • The story is gripping
  • Lara's sexy wardrobe


  • Lousy
  • sluggish controls
  • Gameplay slows when things get hectic
  • The PSP's analog stick

The release of Tomb Raider: Legend on the consoles marked the momentous return of Lara Croft to both our screens and hearts at the same time, so why does shrinking her adventures into a handheld version critically damage such an excellent game? The answer is that the PSP is ill-suited to the kind of fluttery thumb gymnastics that result in Lara's well-timed acrobatics.

An almost exact copy of the TV-tethered console version of Tomb Raider: Legend, this PSP title tries to accomplish a little too much and ends up mucking up the whole affair. Most of the trouble comes from sluggish controls that frustrate the crap out of you every time you try to make one of the precise jumps that are the hallmark of this adventure. Even getting the camera to obey your commands becomes a herky-jerky exercise in funneling your hatred for the PSP's worthless analog stick into more productive areas. Unfortunately, there's just no place for the anger to go except squarely at Lara and her inability to look around without flailing wildly.

Built for the responsive controllers of the consoles, Tomb Raider: Legend requires reflexes that the PSP has no chance of accommodating, so even attempting to pass spear traps in the verdant Ghana level descends into futile swearing at the tiny, low-res Lara. This problem is only made worse by the fact that the PSP sometimes chokes on the massive amount of information it has to process and slows down all of the action on the screen to relieve the pressure on its belabored computer brain.

More Info

DescriptionBullets, breasts, and brain-busters thrust Legends back into classic territory.
Franchise nameTomb Raider
UK franchise nameTomb Raider
PlatformPSP, Xbox 360, Xbox, PS2, PC, GameCube, DS
US censor ratingTeen
Release date20 June 2006 (US), 30 June 2006 (UK)