Tomb Raider Anniversary

Tomb Raider Anniversary

Why can’t we just raid a tomb once in a while without having to leap for precarious ledges?

 

Lara Croft trades Indiana Jones’s whip for a pair of big guns. The two characters end up in similar adventures, however, stealing priceless artifacts from around the world. But unlike the creakier Dr. Jones, Lara uses her athleticism to vault through traps, off walls, and over pits. This acrobatic style makes Tomb Raider Anniversary an exciting game, even though it occasionally frustrates.

 

Anniversary is easily the best Tomb Raider game released for the Mac. This title remakes the original with all-new graphics, control, and puzzles. The graphics look as good as—or better than—any other current game, with jungle settings that almost feel humid, and stone monuments that actually look brittle. Subtle shadows creep through the 3D environments to bring out depth.

 

Lara also looks great (as per usual), but we were especially sold by her movement animations. So much of the game is a kinetic adventure, and it’s exciting to maneuver her on swinging ropes, climbing along ledges, and dive-rolling under closing doors. It took us a long time to learn all of Lara’s actions, although onscreen prompts usually help beginners. A keyboard and mouse will work in a pinch, but we had the best results with a gamepad.

 

Her fancy footwork makes the adventure puzzles possible. Lara is usually trying to plunder ancient riches, but there’s always a flying dagger, giant boulder, or swinging ax about to spring at her. You’ll have to figure out how to dodge these obstacles, but more often, you’ll need to discover ways around locked doors and over high ledges.

 

And while these controls often work well with puzzles, sending our hero swinging over a ravine to safety, we were still sometimes frustrated. We knew at a few points, for example, that we had to push backward off of a ledge to catch someone, but consistently failed the leap. These occasional points of constant, repetitive frustration steal Tomb Raider’s well-deserved momentum.

 

The bottom line. While the controls take practice and patience to master, Tomb Raider Anniversary pays off with unmatched action.

 

COMPANY: Feral Interactive

CONTACT: www.feralinteractive.com

PRICE: $50

REQUIREMENTS: 1.8GHz or faster Intel CPU, Mac OS 10.4 or later, 512MB RAM, 64MB dedicated VRAM

Fantastic graphics and sound define the environments. Exciting acrobatics are full of action. Challenging puzzles.

Intel Macs only. Occasional points where you know what to do but can’t make Croft succeed. Enemy AI lamely charges for you, sometimes getting trapped behind minor obstacles.

 

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