The Story:

When the sailors reached the altar where the meteorite was still locked into the earth, they found and unwittingly looted the four artefacts placed there. One of these sailors kept a journal as they headed back to England. Only he was to make it home.

Present day, and a research company has started to make excavations deeper into the ice. Readings taken from the rock indicated traces of a previously unknown material. This material appeared to have the potential to multiply and alter hock genes - the genes which determine the make-up of living organisms. These alterations were therefore capable of evolving a greater diversity of life.

Within this rock were the next most important findings in genetics and evolution since Darwin - a progression that he ironically just missed when they uncovered the body of a European, perfectly preserved in the ice. Scratched on his tombstone was the name of the boat he sailed on. Following this information, they located the shipmate's journal and set about searching for the artefacts lost by the sailors.

Lara Croft, meanwhile is in India searching for one of these artefacts. Unaware of its true history, she only knows that in local beliefs it was supposed to hold great powers and has been revered by tribes there throughout the years.

The Game:

Tomb Raider III combines the best elements of its two predecessors: Tomb Raider's atmosphere, vast locations, puzzle-solving and exploration elements and Tomb Raider II's action and use of vehicles. The combination of these elements offers the player an environment that features more of a 50-50 balance between exploration and action elements.

Tomb Raider III's non-linear levels present the player with more than one route to complete each level. There is also a new structure for the order of gameplay: Tomb Raider III contains 5 separate 'adventures' which link together. After completing the first adventure, the following three may be played in any order, before the fifth level brings the game to its conclusion. A new save-game system has also been implemented, offering 'easy' and 'difficult' options.

Improved artificial intelligence allows more sophisticated combat techniques since enemies react far more realistically - they may even run away when initially approached. It is now possible to sneak past some of the enemies and duck behind objects whilst shooting.

As well as a completely new landscape system that allows far greater detail than the previous games, Tomb Raider III incorporates a variety of new elements such as multi-coloured lighting, weather effects and more realistic execution for flames, explosions and water surfaces. All elements have been designed to give the game more depth and the player more satisfaction!

Tomb Raider 3 is availabe on PC, Playstation and MAC.

Tomb Raider III

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