Tomb Raider: Underworld Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | PC | DS
Tomb Raider: Underworld box art
System: DS, PS2, PS3, Wii, X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Crystal Dynamics 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Eidos 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 18, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The levels are short, most will only last a few minutes. They are not very challenging, and the most trouble you will have is with the trial-and-error and leaps of faith. Fortunately, replaying a level is not a daunting task. Collecting items is a staple in the series, and there is no shortage of collectibles here. Golden artifacts are littered throughout the levels. Collecting them will help you unlock things such as artwork and puzzle-solving items.

Tomb Raider: Underworld screenshot

You will also come across chests that contain all kinds of goodies, but they have to be opened by playing various mini-games. These mini-games are played using the stylus. Tile sliding and Tetris-style puzzles comprise the majority of the mini-games. They aren’t too involved, but at the same time they do get redundant. Chests don’t have to be cracked immediately, as you can store them in inventory and play the mini-game later. The only downside to these collectibles is that they are too easy to find, since the path is linear in this side-scroller.

Lara’s moves are smooth and responsive. Her ability to swing around poles is reminiscent of the Prince of Persia. In addition to her satisfying move set, she will also be able to shoot, use a grappling hook, swing from vines, throw grenades and employ a set of magical gloves that will levitate heavy objects. When performing archaeological digs, you will use the stylus as a pickaxe and blow into the microphone to blow the dust away. All of these moves are fairly easy to perform thanks to the comprehensive instructions and intuitive control scheme.

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In-game voiceovers are few and far between. The orchestral soundtrack is incredible, but it’s very limited and repetitive. The sound effects are good but, ultimately, the silence makes you feel isolated, though considering the premise of the game, it is somewhat fitting. Expect a few day’s play out of Underworld and little more. As in the real world, there’s no reason to raid a tomb that’s already been raided.

By Cole Smith
CCC Senior Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.1
Graphics
Great 3D backgrounds, fluid animations, but some levels are too dark to see properly.
4.4
Control
Smooth and responsive control scheme. Easy to learn.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Cutscenes are great but in-game sounds are limited.
2.8

Play Value
Old-school side-scrolling action with predictable puzzles and traps.

2.9
Overall Rating - Average
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Master your surroundings: Conquer the world utilizing fluid acrobatic abilities along with the grapple and an arsenal of weapons.
  • Treacherous and unpredictable challenges: Each level is an elaborate multi-stage puzzle filled with environmental traps to overcome.
  • Explore unknown worlds: Discover ancient mysteries of the underworld hidden within the coast of Thailand, frozen islands of the Arctic Sea, the jungles of Mexico, and more.
  • Unlock hidden secrets: Collect relics and solve challenges to unlock chests to unlock bonus content.
  • Touch Screen Challenges: Use the touch screen to solve environmental puzzles, unlock chests, access the inventory, and change weapons.


  • Screenshots / Images
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