Written by  :  wampyrii (9)
Written on  :  Jun 08, 2002
Platform  :  Windows

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Tomb Raider Goes Fighting Fantasy

The Good

I liked the Tomb Raider games and I loved the old Fighting Fantasy choose your own adventure books from Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone - I bought up to the 34th book when I was a kid and then I erm, grew up and stopped. Still, when I heard that a game was being released based upon the book "Deathtrap Dungeon" by Jackson and Livingstone and that it looked all very Tomb Raider-esque, I just had to check it out.

Was it any good - well here's the good points:

It looks great, either based upon the Tomb Raider engine or something very much like it, you get to play a skimpily clad amazon babe or a warrior bloke, both toting rather large swords and with a few additional tricks up their sleeves...erm, not that either have sleeves, but you know what I mean. The graphs look great to me, especially when you are fighting off a huge red dragon which swoops up into the darkness of the caverns and then reappears spurting fire and fury...ahhh just great!

In terms of control system its all very simple, run, jump, attack parry - the usual and easy to control. You get a variety of weapons to play with, from swords and ranged weapons to the fantastic "war pigs" - porkers with dynamite strapped to their back who will scuttle off at high speed to blast their victims - very funny I can tell you, I never tire of unleashing those little critters! You find all these goodies lying around the different levels of the game.

In terms of size there is a lot to explore here and the levels are quite different from each other, even though you are in Sukumvit's dungeons, he has made them interesting at least. It fun exploring and it will pay dividends in terms of special weapons etc. but its not necessary to do so. Completion of levels is quite linear, usually involving looking for keys to locked gates.

The Bad

...but there are problems. Firstly and most importantly its all very easy. 3 days of solid play after my purchase the game was done and dusted and ready for a swap someplace - not good. Also the character A.I. isn't exactly mindblowing - the enemy have set attack patterns and it doesn't take very long to work out what these are. There are a variety of different enemies here to choose from which is great, but learn their attacks and dispatching of them is very easy indeed! Worse still is the fact they are restricted to 'zones' so don't expect to be chased by them - in fact, the edges of these zones are often slap bang in the middle of corridors where they will stop dead in front of your face and stand there unable to attack or anything else. A few missiles aimed in their direction and you're free to progress - enemy vanquished - very silly. I suppose its none too original either - just Tomb Raider with less moves or exploring and swords instead of guns...

The Bottom Line

Its not a bad game though, just a little easy and unambitious.Its out on a budget release now which its probably worth, certainly worth a look if you liked Tomb Raider and want to play the Fantasy equivalent of it anyway!