The sultry Tomb Raider is back, only this time the Lady of the manor is making her PlayStation 3 debut with an epic adventure in size and scope. Tomb Raider: Underworld, is the third game that developer Crystal Dynamics has worked on after the hugely successful titles Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary.
For long-serving fans of the series, Tomb Raider: Underworld picks up right where Tomb Raider: Legend left off, answering many questions both it and Anniversary raised over the course of their respective storylines. Of course that doesn’t mean newcomers to the series won’t understand what is going on; Underworld itself has its own sweeping story to tell that will have you clinging to the edge of your seat until the final, pulse pounding level.
The story of Underworld sees the high-kicking explorer head off on a globetrotting adventure in search of the hammer of Thor, an ancient artefact that grants unimaginable power to anyone who wields it. Opening on a stunning sequence that sees Lara blow up her famed mansion, the story then quickly kicks into gear as you begin your quest.
Tomb Raider: Underworld features completely interactive environments for Lara to explore. When she explores areas where it’s wet and the mud has turned to sludge, she will leave footprints. Should she kneel, mud will transfer on to her knee, and should it rain, the dirt will be washed away. For those looking to use the environment as a navigational tool, you can push foliage down or smash an object to remind you of where you have been, ensuring you don’t backtrack too much in the spanning environments.
Kill the Kraken
Be careful though, because the environment, as well as offering a helping hand, can become your enemy too. If, for example, it is raining and Lara grabs a ledge, she’ll be much more susceptible to loosing her grip, slipping and in some cases falling to her death. For the first time Lara can now juggle all of her exploration attributes such as gymnastics, fighting and shooting. For example, she can now hang from a rope or ledge and pull out her pistol to shoot enemies from up high. She’s also kitted out with a new, incredibly robust array of combat moves such as dual wielding of pistols that allow her to target separate threats at any one time.
Lara’s grappling hook can now be wrapped around objects or latched on to them and pulled tightly so she can push or pull larger objects off ledges to complete puzzle tasks. And there is certainly a wealth of puzzles as she traverses such exotic locations as Mexico, Cambodia, the Arctic and the great depths of the Mediterranean Sea where she’ll fight off flesh hungry sharks and a giant Kraken.
Each mission grows more and more dangerous as the super heroine faces an array of deadly foes intent on stopping her in her tracks. Lara dukes it out with jungle life such as tigers, strange lizard creatures, spiders, bats and general all-round bad guys intent on beating her to her goal. She also has her trusty motorbike to aid her in her quest and help her to solve certain puzzles that require that little extra horsepower.
New additions to the Tomb Raider universe are the adrenaline moments that slows down time during the game’s more treacherous moments, allowing you to move Lara swiftly out of danger’s way. You’ll encounter plenty of moments like this in the game including a real close shave where Lara has to duck, jump and roll to avoid huge speeding blades to reach her goal.
Epic in scale, loaded with an array of jaw-dropping environments, brain-teasing puzzles and a tomb full of enemies to fight, Tomb Raider: Underworld is a PlayStation 3 blockbuster guaranteed to have newcomers and series fans in absolute awe right up until the final credits start rolling by.