TOMB RAIDER ACTION
Copyright 2006 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 3rd 2006 ]
Entertainment - a London-based developer of interactive
DVD products - caused quite a stir, albeit inadvertently,
back in September 2006 when the firm announced
a rosy share price on the London Stock Market,
buoyed by positive reaction to a brand new game
based on Tomb
then, no-one knew that a small development team
in France named Little Worlds were ardently working
on converting Core Design's sixth Lara
Croft adventure - The
Angel Of Darkness - to Interactive DVD, hoping
to introduce our fearless aristocrat to a brand
new novice-gamer market and exploit the already
over-commercialised and often ostracised festive
is a popular emerging format which uses standard
DVD players as a basic gaming machine. Until now,
most of the products available have been largely
quiz oriented. Bright Entertainment hopes to change
that by introducing a brand new action adventure
genre, and who better to lead the charge than
the global brand this is Lara Croft.
of Darkness was originally billed as an epic adventure
starring Lara as both hunter and hunted, relying
on her ingenuity, athleticism and a new edge that
arose from her dark inner demons. The game was
released in 2003, and went on to achieve acceptable
sales figures throughout North American and European
Entertainment - using a proprietary new engine
- have concisely sown together the story from
The Angel Of Darkness and presented in an easily
digestible and visually pleasing format. Using
a standard DVD player and remote control, players
are pitted against the evil Pieter Van Eckhardt
- an insane fourteenth century genius known as
The Black Alchemist - and a race for five Obscura
Paintings and the identity of the killer of Lara's
mentor, Werner von Croy.
begins in Paris and - as with Tomb
Raider iDVD's earlier video-game counterpart
- introduces Lara Croft to the player with a series
of training exercises to showcase the newly appointed
terrain, Lara's subsequent manipulation of newly
appointed terrain, and a battery of new moves
to be mobilised upon newly appointed terrain.
Insert new kit to boot.
the UP, DOWN, LEFT, RIGHT and ENTER buttons on
the remote control, players are presented with
a series of decisions that directly influence
the flow of game-play. Those old enough to remember
Steve Jackson's Final Fantasy novels will remember
the numbered paragraphed format used to navigate
readers through the story. Different decisions
would surrender a different paragraph, and readers
snaked their way through the book based on a series
of options tailing the text.
Raider iDVD is based on a similar principle. Players
choose the outcome of a specific action based
on a decision displayed on their screen. For example,
as Lara traverses the Parisian rooftops with a
helicopter gunship in hot pursuit, players are
offered a choice whether to hide or continue hammering
down the zip line. The wrong choice results in
an untimely death for Lara Croft.
Raider iDVD certainly comes packed with its own
share of bells whistles for the Christmas period.
Gamers are rewarded for their exploratory skills
and general performance - up to a maximum of 100
points - throughout the adventure, which adds
a different kind of challenge to proceedings.
This is coupled with a Two Player Option which
pits your own challenge against that of a friend
or family member.
has also been extensively tested on a range of
DVD products to ensure maximum compatibility.
More than one hundred devices had been used during
testing, says technician Niall Giggins. While
older players will still run the game adequately,
seek - which is the time it takes a laser to jump
from sector to sector - may delay the normally
smooth operation of the game momentarily. Newer
DVD players don't have that problem, and comfortably
manage Lara Croft as effortlessly as drilling
through melting margarine with a Black & Decker
VSR Fast Drive Chuck Drill.
Raider: The Action Adventure does exactly what
it says on the box. It aims to target the novice
gamer and exploit the Christmas market, bringing
with it a barrel-load of fun and light-hearted
adventure while boldly going where no developer
hath trod before. iDVD is an emerging format,
and it will be interesting to see whether public
consumption warrants a full scale assault on the
interactive DVD market.
Raider iDVD's collectors value as yet another
arm of the Lara Croft brand will cater for the
insatiable appitite of Lara Croft fans. A £14.99
price tag is certainly not to be scoffed at either.
Raider: The Action Adventure is a prime-time romp
through the interactive world of Lara Croft and
a welcome and overdue departure from the proverbial
Christmas quiz. You don't need to phone a friend
with this one!