Okay so I know Tomb Raider Underworld has been out for a year now but I was never fortunate enough to get a copy – until now. So if you haven’t played the game yet, is it worth it? Watch and learn. Underworld follows on where Legend left off and begins with Lara escaping from her burning mansion. Even her friend Zip is trying to kill her and we don’t know why. Flashback a while and we see Lara diving for treasure in warm oceans and finding out some interesting facts about Thor’s hammer. From there she travels around the world climbing lots of cliffs, raiding lots of tombs and jumping about and shooting.
I really enjoyed Legend, so how does this compare? From what I remember, this one is less about combat and more about climbing and puzzling so in a way it goes back to the roots of Tomb Raider. Lara looks in fine form and even gets dirty and wet as she rolls about in the mud. Teenage boys never had it so good. I’ve of course played Infamous since Underworld came out and it’s fair to say Lara’s not as sticky in this game. She quite often falls when you’d expect her to grab onto a ledge and can also get stuck on things. The camera can also often point you where you don’t want to look and you end up making leaps of faith – sometimes to your doom.
Combat’s changed a bit too. It’s still a case of moving and shooting but you can now target more than one enemy at a time and throw sticky grenades. There’s also an adrenaline gauge that fills up when you shoot enemies. Click the R stick and time slows down, allowing you to kill your enemies in clichéd Matrix-style glory. It’s odd that you can’t pick up an enemy’s weapon though. When they die, it seems there gun disappears. Odd to say the least.
The story’s fun as always and things do look very nice indeed. Environments are rich and detailed but there are some clipping issues, texture pop-up and odd shadows now and again. There’s also a handy hint system and a map if you get hopelessly lost and can’t figure out some of the physics-based puzzles. Underworld is fun but it’s not the leap in gameplay I was hoping for. Tomb Raider Underworld gets a very good 7 out of 10.