Released in 2006, Tomb Raider: Legend was, without a doubt, an excellent game. Beautiful and fascinating. The same can be said about last year’s Anniversary remake. Of course, it was not even a question of reaching the grandeur of the original. A unique spirit, with its own incomparable atmosphere, alas, is a thing of the past. Together with Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider 2 – the best that was in the series about the beauty-seeker adventure. The last two creations are good, interesting, but still ordinary games, which no one has become (and will no longer be) singing praises. Strongly. But nothing special. On the head of all competitors do not exceed. On the other hand, already for this it is necessary to say thank you. You in fact have not forgotten about the nightmarish Angel of Darkness?
As for Underworld from Crystal Dynamics, then we have the continuation of Legend – such as we expected to see it. The game begins in the flaming fire of the new generation of Croft’s mansion. Soon Lara meets Zip, who shoots at her. Used the favorite method of all writers – a return to the past. Namely in the Mediterranean, where the beautiful woman tries to find the entrance to Avalon – the mysterious underground kingdom in which allegedly her mother is (as was said at the end of the Legend). Further more – it turns out that it was not possible to kill Lara, and that for her burned mansion she is ready to kick ass any rascal. Mighty artifacts, lost lands, travel to different corners of the planet (Mexico, Thailand, the Arctic).
In general, the adventures of Miss Croft are full of dynamics and unexpected plot twists (in the context of Tomb Raider, of course) – the fans of the Underworld scenario will definitely like it. However, expecting something supernatural is not to be expected. With the misfortune of all Tomb Raider – lack of convincing characters – alas, could not cope. For example, in the same console Uncharted characters are prescribed much better.
Statements that Underworld is the first true nextgen Tomb Raider are in part true. But only in part. The landscapes are magnificent. Most locations are striking in their size and incredible architecture. Polygon developers did not regret the game, and the world of the game looks much more alive than in Legend. Stone buildings, mountains, trees are believable. Traces left in the mud, the surfaces being destroyed are also present. But the realization of water, for example, is lame on both legs. It is possible that in the process of passing you will also find drop-down textures and “black holes” in the ground. Stable work and the lack of software errors Underworld can not boast. And modern special effects and complex visual elements not only pleases the eye, but also, like a hungry alligator, devour resources. So, even GeForce 8800 does not save from nextgen fire. But, as a whole, you can not call a game demanding of the system. Except for particularly complex scenes, it provides an optimal number of frames per second, even in very weak configurations.
Lara herself, of course, is beautiful. But not realistic, but, rather, somewhat animated beauty. She still does not look like a living person (well, there are no live people with such parameters of the figure). But, apparently, this has already become the hallmark of the series. Such unattainable sexuality is also beautiful in its own way. As for the movements of the heroine (gracefulness on the brink of grotesque), expressions of her face, in Underworld this is realized better than in any other part of the series. The girl has finally learned to correctly interact with the world. From the fire, she tries to hide herself, does not want to get wet in the rain, shakes off the drops from her face. Coming out of the water, it will be wet (yes, the effect has been for many years, but only in the Underworld the droplets that roll down the body look the way it should), piled up in the mud, respectively, dirty. About the heroine you can speak for an infinitely long time. Miss Croft, as was the sex symbol of the gaming industry, so it remains. And the camera often chooses the most successful camera angles so that you can enjoy its delights. Only trouble is that it’s beautiful – it does not mean comfortable. Jumping into the unknown is not uncommon. The camera still refuses to be effective.
And what about the gameplay? Before us is a typical third-person shooter with a focus on exploring the locations, jumping and solving puzzles. A pleasant surprise is that in Underworld there are often several ways to the goal. But the game is not at all complicated. It is almost impossible to get stuck in it. This is not a hardcore original dialogue. Most of the time Underworld goes like clockwork. The puzzles are logical and do not require large intellectual expenses.
To perform acrobatic tricks, just press the button and see how Lara will do everything herself. The developers have made sure that you never get stuck. To do this, the heroine had a sonar and PDA with tips on what to do and how. Battles (and there are enough of them in Underworld), and at all, on any level of complexity, represent a simple shooting of defenseless “organisms”. It does not matter whether it’s people or animals. The abundance of weapons just does not make sense. Any “cannon” is effective. In any situation. Someone, perhaps, will like this simplification. But it seems to us, that simple Tomb Raider – already and not Tomb Raider at all.
But, in general, despite all the aforementioned shortcomings, from the last parts of the series Underworld is without doubt the best. The most beautiful, the most diverse. Too simple, but long enough. Able to like literally everyone. And, most importantly, that the adventure spirit and its atmosphere in the game are still present. Of course, modern Tomb Raider is a completely different product than the one that one of us had the good fortune to see in the 90s. But, nevertheless, the series survived, was transformed into something modern and quite worthy. Better than that, in a different way.