Copyright 2000

[ August 26th 2000 ]

It's official - Tomb Raider Chronicles will be released this November on PC, PlayStation and Dreamcast. Details are slowly emerging over the content of the game but what is known is that Tomb Raider Chronicles will feature four of Lara Croft’s previously untold exploits, each comprising a separate adventure offering brand new insights into her past. The game takes place only a few days after The Last Revelation, beginning at a memorial service for Lara - her body has not been found. The Game After the service three characters, Jean Yves, Winston and Irish priest, Father Dunstan, retire to the house. As they collect their thoughts, they reminisce about some of Lara’s past adventures, each of which is introduced via an FMV flashback sequence.

The game gradually reveals more details about Lara's past interaction with these characters. Locations The locations for Chronicles’ four adventures feature the streets of Rome, a small Irish Island, a hi-tech tower block and a Russian U-boat. Each episode has a unique focus and requires the player to adopt a different strategy. For example, the Irish level is a ‘famous five’ style adventure played without any weapons and relying on puzzle solving and traps. (This level is played as the 16-year-old version of Lara). The U-boat has an ‘X-files’ feel, the Rome levels comprise classic Tomb Raiding action and the tower block features hi-tech systems, that require stealth, strategy and continual guidance from your companion, ZIP.

Chronicles consolidates the most popular elements of previous Tomb Raider titles. Objectives are clear and the linear nature of each adventure enables goals to be clearly identified. The game engine is modified for graphical improvement and the smoothest gameplay yet. Environments feature increased detail, improved lighting, a greater number of characters and objects plus greater levels of interaction with the characters and objects. Greater use is made of the inventory system and more items may be collected to allow greater variations on the ‘combine’ option.

New Features New features include additional moves and miscellaneous animations for Lara plus a wider variety of enemy animations. A ‘search’ option for Lara is included, enabling her to look through files, drawers etc. and take any items of use. New weapons include a sniper rifle and a grappling hook gun. New moves make use of tightropes, suspended bars (Lara may swing from bar to bar) and grappling ropes. The combination of bars and ropes will require the player to traverse areas in a wider variety of ways than previously seen. Enemy AI is extensively overhauled and Lara’s opponents now react to sound, allowing a ‘stealth’ option to be implemented. Hand-to-hand combat features where Lara creeps up behind enemies and uses either a bat or chloroform to disable them.

Line of sight issues are re-addressed so that enemies are able to hide more effectively - Lara will not lock on until the enemy is clearly visible to the player. Lara has two new in-game costumes: a ‘Matrix’ style catsuit with headset, plus an SAS camouflage outfit. The game features a larger amount of full motion video than seen in previous Tomb Raider titles.

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