Tomb Raider 3: Adventures Of Lara Croft Review

By: John Doe


System: PlayStation
Price: $49.95
Developer: Core
Publisher: Eidos
Release: Nov/98

The third installment of Lara and her wacky adventures. This game plays much like itís predecessors, and carries on the TR tradition nicely. However, itís high difficulty and dark environments may scare off the first time players out there. Heck, it might even scare off seasoned vets!

Highs:
Lows:

Another year, another Lara game. I wish Mario showed up with that consistency. I know I gave this game an honorable mention in my look back on 1998, but I now retract that statement. It honestly just doesnít deserve it. After spending countless hours with this game, Iíd have to say that Iím more disappointed than elated. Itís very high level of difficulty and dark environments turned me off after awhile.

Graphically, this is the best looking Tomb Raider yet, no question. However, I did find many polygon glitches and texture fatigue during gameplay. After awhile everything just started looking the same to me. Itís overuse of dynamic lighting (gunfire and flares light up the darkness) is enough to make you scream bloody murder. When you have to walk very slowly through a game because you canít ever see more than 5 feet in front of you, that starts to really piss you off. Never mind the kayak, how about a walker for Miss Croft? It would seem to be more her speed in this installment.

Musically, the word rehash comes to mind. Time to do something new fellaís. Itís gettiní old. It still is effective, but itís almost too effective. When the music kicks in, you know somethingís gonna happen. How about surprising us once in awhile? When you walk into the room and the monster is there, ready to pounce, how about a nice speedy polka to set the mood? Now that would be different!

As usual the environments and the moves make the game and TR3 is no slouch in either department. Finally a Tomb Raider game which allows to you to make your own way to the end of the level, rather than follow an exact path. Thatís a nice touch. As usual the environments are streaming so that there is no load times when playing. You can go anywhere in a level and never have to wait. Just like in real life! Except if this game was more realistic, Lara would be a 200 pound overweight doofus that would have to sit his fat ass down on a rock every 12 steps and catch his breath.

The moves havenít changed much, Lara has a new sprint move, crawl move and over hand swing move. Youíll need all the moves to complete this sucker, so train in Laraís house before venturing out.

Analog control is not recommended. Stick with the tried and true digital pad! It just works better, trust me.

This game isnít bad, itís just kind of hard to really enjoy. For super die hard fans, this might just be the best thing since, well, TR2. For the rest of us, I recommend a weekend rental to see if this is your cup of tea. Thatís sad, because both TR1 and TR2 were "definite buy" games. If it is any indication and I do believe it is, I found no fewer than 3 used copies of TR3 just two weeks after it was released, and that was at one store! If you are thinking of purchasing, check the used stores. I bet you, youíll find it. That has to tell you something right there. Honestly, TR3 is a good continuation of the series, but itís flaws tend to overpower the over all package.

Just one last note. Many people have been emailing me with questions and comments. Please let me state that I DO NOT answer gaming questions. Iím not the code guy. Iím the review guy! If you canít find your answer on this site, then either you havenít looked thoroughly or the code doesnít exist (yet). As well, please make sure that if you want a reply, that your e-mail address is correct! I do write back to 95%, but I am starting to give up due to so many returns! I almost never bother with AOL addresses anymore as at least 90% are returned. Thank you.

Final Analysis:

Rating Legend 1-10 (10 being the highest mark)
Overall: 6.0
Graphics: 8.5
3D Camera: 6.0
Control: 9.0 (Digital)
Fun: 6.0
Music/Fx: 4.5
Frustration: 10.0

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