Copyright 2000

[ November 22nd 2000 ]

Another year, another Tomb Raider game. This time with more polygons, which roughly translates as "rounder *ahem* curves" but why do we do it? why do we spend so much time with Lara? why are we so hooked, spending hours playing the game, buying the T-shirts, hunting for cheats, putting the posters on out walls and the wallpapers on our desktops?

Magazines that don't like TR or computer games, will tell you this is because we are all 14 year old nerds, and that's the closest we are ever going to get. If you want to believe that, feel free. There are plenty of Female players of TR out there. have a look in the Forum if you don't believe me. I think I know the real answer. Huddle real close and ill tell you...........

Its Real. That's as simple as it can get. Lara Croft is real. We are shown live interviews with her at the E3 shows, we see her strut her stuff on the Lucozade adverts, the pictures of various models as her, skin tight shorts and pistols drawn. Not that I'm saying that isn't part of the charm, as you play the puppet master, directing her around the screen. Tomb Raider (Original) gave us enough smattering of plot, and rode roughshod over us, giving us novelty with a female lead, shooting down the opposition. TR2 introduced us to Lara's home as a training groundů. and it went from there.

The 1st person shooter has split. We either seem to play one of two things nowadays. Either a deathmatch, a simple pit-your-nerves fragging, or, we go for something with a plot. The massive success if Half life, Homeworld, and Deus Ex: games which immerse you in the plot line, kept you interested, and didn't just give You a room full of 'baddies' to kill and onwards. People don't want to read the manual for the 4 lines of plot inside. They want to feel drawn in, immersed in a believable world. And that's what they get. Lara isn't Rambo; Crocodiles will kill, boulders do crush, and you can't just run straight into the middle of a firefight and win. The fact that the puzzles never feel into the trap of the 1st person shooter: 'red door, get red key'

Tomb Raider is believable. Not in the way that you can see someone actually doing it, but in the way that you can imagine it in your head as a film. People, the punters, you, want something you can either thrash the hell out of, or feel immersed in. Tomb Raider Chronicles does nothing less.


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