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Tomb Raider

aka: TR1, Tomb Raider I, Tomb Raider en vedette Lara Croft, Tomb Raider featuring Lara Croft, Tomb Raider starring Lara Croft, Tomb Raiders
Moby ID: 348

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Critic Reviews add missing review

Average score: 86% (based on 71 ratings)

Player Reviews

Average score: 3.7 out of 5 (based on 324 ratings with 14 reviews)

Innovative Action Adventure title for the time.....still is in many ways

The Good
When i first played this game back in 1997, it represented the "quantum leap" that next generation gaming promised (at the time) me. The 3D world it provided was begging to be explored.....2D had died with the 16bit era (for the time being)

Onto the review (!). TR basically involves the adventures of a young lady called Lara Croft, who is on a quest to find the Arc of Scion, an ancient artifact. The player travels through 4 different locales solving basic puzzles, fighting man and beast, engaging in platform based action, and exploring for items. Each world is broken into 3 or so sub levels. The locales are nicely varied, and the story is great, however the acting not so great :)

By far the strongest aspect of TR are the environments: They possess a great sense of mystery and wonder, and you cant wait to reveal the next cavernous area or underwater pool. Swimming down into a dark, deep pool is awesome! It should be mentioned that the sense of space is good despite the draw distance being quite small. The makers cleverly blacked out the far distance, which helps to increase the feel of "unfolding" a cave or cavern. It works very well. Overall, the sense of exploration is great. I have yet to find a game since which peaks my desire for finding out what is around the next corner, as what TR did. There is a real "abandoned" mood to a lot of the areas, which some people may find boring, but since the title IS "Tomb Raider", i myself believe tombs should be uninhabited. The use of music is limited to key areas of the game, and this minimalism works a treat, serving to enhance the eerie feel of the levels. Later TR titles got a little more mainstream with miltary zones, cities etc, which is the prime reason my interest decreased with these ,as they just felt like the series trying to be more "Action" based, rather than "Action Adventure"

One last note, which some will disagree on, is the use of fixed save positions. I LIKE this, because getting to the next one requires patience and discipline, and not being able to save every step makes it a bit harder overall. Maybe this is because i grew up in the era of 3 lives and no continues, but nothing beats conquering a hard play area after multiple attempts in ANY game.

Overall, a genre defining game which no serious game fan should not know about, nor appreciate for its revolutionary design and play mechanics

The Bad
The controls. By far the most annoying aspect to this game is the clunky control system. Lara moves nothing like the lithe young lady she is portrayed as. However, we must bear in mind that at the time, the sense of freedom was great, and my opinion in born out of being spoilt in the years since with control schemes of the current generation of games.

One other aspect is the difficulty of the puzzle sections of the game. They are not overly taxing, and this was probably done to appeal to a wider audience. However, some more hardcore puzzles probably should have been included in order to find extra items etc..

Overall I Believe the control system is the games only real flaw.

The Bottom Line
Atmospheric, challenging game, with minor control issues.

PlayStation · by Anton Tadich (2) · 2007

Lara Croft, we hardly knew ye...

The Good
For a moment, forget everything you know about Tomb Raider.. the endless uninspired sequels, the shameless attempts to establish Lara Croft as a digital sex symbol, the constant stream of shoddy merchandising tie-ins.... At the very beginning, Tomb Raider was a groundbreaking game with an atmospheric, exciting adventure that launched the 3rd person action genre.

One of the things Tomb Raider is best known for are its graphics. They may look hideously primitive today, but in 1996, the blocky level architecture, low-resolution textures, and angular-bodied heroine were state-of-the-art. The PC version looked good out of the box, with a smooth-yet-blurry standard VGA mode and a 16-bit high-res mode that was much more detailed but ran poorly on all but the best systems. But, with a 3D accelerator card and a downloadable patch, the visuals would take on a whole new dimension, with 16-bit color, filtered textures, high screen resolution, and a buttery-smooth framerate. It really put the Playstation version in its place, and was one of the first real justifications for spending $300 on a 3dFX card.

As a feminist take on Indiana Jones, Lara Croft spends the entire game doing just what its name implies: raiding tombs. Imagine the first 15 minutes of Raiders of the Lost Ark expanded to a 10-20 hour game, and you'll get the picture. Lara traipses around the world, visiting ancient underground caverns in the Andes, Egypt, and more. Thanks to a capable 3D engine, all of the locales are impressively expansive, and filled with signs of age, distress, and abandonment that give you a real sense of being the first human in centuries to explore them. Aided by an echoy, evocative ambient soundtrack and a lonely, strings-heavy theme song, this game effectively creates a feel of isolation. Save for a handful of human boss enemies, Lara is utterly alone, with only animals and genetically engineered monsters for company.

The gameplay itself is basically a 3D adaptation of the system seen in games like Prince of Persia and Flashback:The Quest for Identity, with plenty of running, jumping and dangling over large dropoffs. Lara has a wide variety of moves, and is quick and agile like an anime ninja. The frequent combat is enjoyable as well: Lara automatically locks on to her nearest enemy, and will keep firing at it until you release the trigger. This, combined with her ability to flip in 3 directions while firing and a somersault move that instantly makes her face the opposite direction, makes gunfights intuitive and free-flowing.

The Bad
The level architecture is based around cubes, and this impacts play control in a few negative ways. Most obviously, there is only one acceptable method of making a running leap from platform to platform. Lara needs to be roughly a "block" away from the edge, and the player must press the jump button shortly before she reaches it. Start too close or press the button too late, and she'll likely run right over the edge, often onto a bed of spikes or into a deadly freefall. This leads to many deaths, or at least a minute or two spent getting back into position for another try.

There are also numerous camera problems, which were typical in third-person 3D games during this time period. In particular, try backing Lara up against a wall, or trying to see around a corner in a narrow corridor. The game also uses a few too many key-fetch puzzles, which got a little tiresome by the end, even in 1996. Finally, the CGI cut scenes are truly terrible, with crappy video encoding and ugly character models. A particularly strong offender is the depiction of Lara herself. Along with sexiness, Lara Croft was supposed to bring "girl power" to video games, but it's hard to take her seriously when she has a wasp waist and her breasts look like they represent a full 60% of her body weight.

The Bottom Line
Sadly, the original Tomb Raider's dated graphics combined with the series' current-day status as the laughingstock of 32-bit franchises means that any gamer trying it for the first time today will likely be less than impressed. But trust me when I say that in 1996, it was something special.

DOS · by Ludicrous Gibs! (38) · 2005

The original - the best?

The Good
Tomb Raider's beauty lies in the level design - usually very simple, but giving off a very natural atmosphere, in places (most notably the Lost Valley) really giving the impression that people had lived and died there. Combat is more or less well executed, given the limited nature of the controls - Lara can jump and somersault around to effectively avoid oncoming foes. There are niggles (see below) but by and large it works well enough.

Graphically, the game has been left way behind by more modern games, but still exerts a particular charm. Somewhat humorously, the polygon count on Lara's most...ahem...prized assets is rather low, leaving the impression that Lara could spear her enemies by jumping on them with her breasts. Still, Lara as a whole still looks good, enemies (especially the T-Rex) look great and the backgrounds look natural. The textures don't look overly washed out, and the game looks great when using a DOS Glide wrapper like dgVoodoo.

The soundtrack is haunting and atmospheric, and the sound effects are crystal clear even by today's standards. The sparse nature of the sound, with the makers preferring to pass on using bombastic orchestral music, instead using subtle musical keys and effectively using sound effects to signal coming events, is in my opinion one of the most effective uses of sound ever in the history of gaming.

The Bad
The game looks and sounds great, and the level design is unbeaten, so it's fine if you're just watching the game. However, when you come to actually play it, you'll realise that the controls have been overtaken drastically in the years since. Lara is quite a pain to control at times, with her slow turns and sometimes lethargic reaction to the controls.

Tomb Raider is also a little repetitive at times, especially in the early levels, which rely heavily on a lot of searching for obscure items. While the level layouts are not hugely difficult to learn, a lot of the first four levels looks identical and it can be difficult to maintain your attention.

The Bottom Line
Tomb Raider 1, for its time, was an absolute marvel. The gameplay spawned a whole new genre of 3D platformers and still hasn't really been beaten today, even by its own sequels, especially more the most recent ones. Proof of this is Eidos' intention to release an "anniversary" edition of the game - updated graphics, sound and production values, but at heart the same old Lara.

DOS · by jamyskis (332) · 2007

Nicely atmosphere, nice graphics... and sense of adventure.

The Good
There's a lot to like about the game. The primary thing I value about the game is the realistic level design. The structures don't really seem that realistic if you start really thinking about them, but when looked at really close, they seem quite breathtaking. The places have very good atmosphere and graphical style, and while the levels generally seem to be pipe-running, at least the level structure is believable. The beginning of the game is a good example: Caves that gradually turn into an ancient city. Caves look like caves. Ancient city looks like an ancient city or something.

The music, or lack of it, is a good example of well-done ambience. Not really game music genre I really appreciate except in the game itself, but then again, so is ambient music in general. In general, the game has really nice atmosphere and pretty well-done pacing. And levels generally tend to be the right size or something.

The Bad
I think the PC version had this cool, very PC-like feature of me being able to save wherever the heck I wanted to. Not sure if this was true or not, but the fact is, the Playstation version has save points in middle of the level and between levels. One of the reasons I kind of dislike about consoles... grr. I hate, hate, hate save points.

The controls seem to be pretty good, quite intuitive, and not really often leave me in trouble, but often they're also not good enough. Not awful, but could be better. Sometimes, I completely manage to mess up a firefight. Tricky jump things are nearly damn impossible to get right without training, which kind of annoys without accurate saving... Also, in these days, I'm more used to "where you point, there you go" kind of control, using left and right to turn and forward and backward to move is so... 1996. Okay, maybe it works on d-pad while direct pointing is more for analog stick. Kind of works. Kind of.

And those wolves/dogs are so sad when they die. =(

The Bottom Line
Only a few days ago, I finally got myself an used PSone. The idea, of course, was that me, as a Nintendo fan boy, could finally buy the few good games that were ever published on PS without feeling incredibly silly about my supposed loyalties. I couldn't find Final Fantasy VII or Vib Ribbon to use the console Appropriately, so I had to pick up the only good PSone game the game store still seemed to have, shining from the middle of the sea of forgotten-on-the-shelf EA Sports garbage and games cruelly aimed to part small childrens' parents and their money...

I played halfway through the game around 1996 on PC, and pretty much forgot about it until now. Now it all seems to flood back to me. Was this game ever good! There's quite a bit of really good things in it. For some reason, Zelda: The Wind Waker reminds me a lot of Tomb Raider, don't know really why, there seems to be some similar architecture and, of course, block-pushing and vaulting.

And today...? Well, the graphics aren't really that great (but there's also this fact that while the PS version definitely looks worse than the PC version, at least it works today - I can't even begin to guess how to get a DOS game running right now, much less one that uses 3DFX Glide...), some physics stuff is absurd, some puzzles aggravating (especially with this thrice-loathed save point thing), but these days, the game is still pretty much playable and quite fun, still. Definitely worth the budget price tag it seems to carry these days.

Here's a game that definitely has the Sense of Adventure thing down. I'm not really certain on what to do with all of those sequels, but the first part of the series should definitely be part of a healthy breakfast for every serious gamer. Even if you're a thick-headed fan boy/purist/elitist like me who doesn't think anything Popular could possibly be Good. Well, this game was Popular, but it also was kind of Okay, so the Opinion should Officially be "Meh" - in other words, just go play it anyway. =)

PlayStation · by WWWWolf (444) · 2005

A shattered visage

The Good
It's strange how things can be all over the place one moment, and forgotten the next. 'Wing Commander' is the next best example; after a series of increasingly elaborate games and the spin-off 'Privateer' series, there was a flop film and then nothing, nothing at all. The last Wing Commander game came out seven years ago, and it's hard now to remember that it was once a major force in the PC games world. Star Trek will go the same way, in a few years. The lone and level sands will stretch far away.

Tomb Raider is another case in point. The series was everywhere for a good five or six years, and the character of Lara Croft was a pop cultural icon to rival Pac-Man. The Tomb Raider games became such a phenomenon that magazines and newspapers took to writing about the phenomenon itself rather than the game. The series merited a film that was a financial success, and a sequel which was not. The most recent game came out only two years ago, but the Tomb Raider series seems to be dead and gone. Only a few dozen months ago, Lara Croft was the wet dream of the kind of people who write for 'Wired' magazine, and caused the nocturnal emission of several pints of buzz words and grandiose musings on the nature of celebrity in the internet age and so forth. The character and physique of Lara Croft had the effect of reinforcing the media's stereotypical portrayal of computer gamesplayers as hormonal male teenagers with little experience of real-life breasts, or indeed women in general. (Thankfully, the few games which directly imitated the character flopped dismally, perhaps because hormonal male teenagers are more comfortable with images of black-clad Ninja men holding guns than they are with women.)

The impulse to write about the Tomb Raider phenomenon rather than the actual games is so seductive that I am doing so myself, right now, in what is supposed to be a review of Eidos' 1996 original. I could carry on indefinitely, if only a publisher would agree to finance me; and that is unlikely, because Tomb Raider is no longer the money-spinning cultural giant it once was. The lack of an impulse to scrutinise the games turned out to be a blessing, because the games were essentially the same, with slightly different graphics and different environments.

Tomb Raider is an unusually atmospheric platform game. Unlike the majority of its contemporaries, it takes a broadly realistic approach. The main character is a human being, rather than a dragon or super-deformed plumber; the environments are supposed to represent the real world, albeit that they are hyper-real in the style of the 'Indiana Jones' films, which the game resembles. The main character is, unusually for a computer game, a woman, and plenty has been written about Lara Croft elsewhere. As she is mostly viewed from a behind-and-above perspective, her breasts quickly fade from the memory, and although it is surprisingly erotic to drown or otherwise kill Lara - admit it, you enjoyed it too - her abundant physique quickly becomes mentally invisible.

The gameplay is, as covered effectively by Mr Ludicrous Gibs elsewhere, a mixture of jumping puzzles and "hunt the cog / switch" runabouts, complicated by the unusual control scheme. The player's control of Lara Croft is much less direct than in other platform games; she jumps of her own accord, and only on one of the invisible gridlines that make up the world. Performing a running jump from the edge of blocks is devilishly hard until you realise that you have to press the jump key a few steps in advance.

As such the platform action feels distanced, closer to being a puzzle game than a test of skill. It's not so much "can you make that jump" as "where will you jump next", and frequently you find yourself having to ascend shafts by leaping from edge to edge in a careful and unique sequence. The game's enjoyment comes from working out the puzzles and enjoying the spectacle, and at the time Tomb Raider was a very attractive game. Particularly if you had a PowerVR or 3DFX card, in which case the textures were smoothed off and the underwater bits had a gorgeous fog. The music is actually a set of ambient soundscapes which sound nice when listened to on CD, plus a theme which uses a lot of woodwinds, from what I remember.

The Bad
Apart from the abovementioned control issues, the game was generally of a consistent standard and only occasionally marred by excessive obtuseness (a level in which you have to fiddle with water pumps sticks badly in the memory). The biggest gripe is that of the series itself, which barely progressed from this game onwards; rather than using the character of Lara Croft in a new context, or fundamentally altering the gameplay, the people or organisation responsible for the product seemed content to pump out the same game with minor variations.

The Bottom Line
In its day it was a fun platform game, with frustrating controls, atmospheric locations, one or two impressive setpieces - an attack by a big dinosaur was particularly good - and an iconic female character who utterly failed to stem the tide of rape, prostitution, forced marriage, female child-murder, battery and casual, constant abuse which is still a woman's lot in 2005. I have no idea if it'll work on a modern-day Windows machine - the game emerged even before 3D cards were common. It also has a historical part to play in the story of Sony's PlayStation, because along with Wipeout it was one of the console's first wave of killer apps (if we count Gran Turismo and Final Fantasy VII as the "second wave"). As such it might be best to buy the PlayStation version and play it on your PC with an emulator, albeit that you'll miss out on the attractive 3D accelerated graphics.

Ah, I remember when Lara Croft was played by Rhona Mitra. She was almost the same age as me. And yet she never answered any of my letters, even though I sent loads. That made me very upset but I have calmed down now.

DOS · by Ashley Pomeroy (225) · 2005

Breath taking

The Good
In my honest opinion this is perhaps THE best example of a 'proper' next generation game.

Before Tomb Raider there was nothing (to my knowlegde) that came before that had taken the adventure genre to an entirely new level. Upgrading from a Sega Megadrive, playing Tomb Raider back in 1996 was a giant leap in my gaming experience.

You'll never forget the first time the huge T-Rex comes stomping out of the shadows. One particular scene that always sticks with me is one level where you find yourself climbing what seems to be a huge cliff only for the camera to pan back to find ourself coming out of the enterence of a giant Sphinx! :O)

The music also is superb which adds to the tension and mystery of your surroundings.

The Bad
The sound effects where quite 'weak' on the Sega Saturn.

The Bottom Line
An amazing game from start to finish...although graphically it has aged quite alot.

SEGA Saturn · by Richard Daives (8) · 2005

Say what you want of Lara, but this first game was an incredible experience.

The Good
You have to give it to the guys at Core, regardless of what happened AFTER this game got released, they managed to give us a fantastic action/adventure classic that followed in on the footsteps of Prince of Persia, but gave players chance to play in a fully 3d world. Amazing! From the first moments you ran around jumpin and performing acrobatic stunts while the camera followed you around tilting and panning as you moved you knew you were watching something special. And special it would be indeed! This game pretty much created 3D action-adventure as we know it, and that's no small feat indeed.

As mentioned above, the gameplay basics follow the lead of Prince's, with the addition of some more features to cope with the added 3rd dimension (such as the auto-aiming). You can roll, jump in all directions and control your jumps easily with pre-set jumping distances and a free-look camera mode (I never understood those that said it was hard judging jumps on Tomb Raider, heck they pretty much copied Prince's model to begin with!!). Graphically speaking the game is a beauty to behold, the engine (while prone to clipping problems) handles large massive areas with virtually no problem, as well as providing some nifty effects like when you are underwater. Granted, due to the technology they didn't have any colored lightning or stuff like that to play with, but the high-resolution mode is still fairly decent by today's standards. Another high point for the game was Lara's animations, which were truly a thing of beauty. Watching Lara perform sumersaults, swan dives, and even simple stuff like the handstand or the regular walk was a joy thanks to the fluid, life-like motions. I had literally seen no better character animation at the time and even today Lara still ranks high as one of the most life-like animated characters (heck, I even loved it when you fell down and broke all her limbs from the fall ;))

Add to that some stellar level design that gave us such wondruous experiences as the lost world level (that T-Rex, KICKED ASS!!) and you have in your hands the true heir to Prince's crown.

The Bad
Well, sound-wise the game was pretty weak. There wasn't any music save for some "ambience" sounds, and Lara's grunts and moans lost it's, uhm... "appeal" and turned annoying quite easily. The action itself in the game is good, but I really got tired of shooting wildlife creatures after the first few levels, luckily they throw some humans and those weird atlantean creatures your way later on, but until you get to them it's open season for wolf/bear/croc/etc.. hunting. Maybe it's me, but I never felt too heroic when taking out a a couple of bats with a shotgun.

Other than that, the only thing you can really pin against Tomb Raider is that for as many good things as it brought to the videogame world, equal amount of crap came with it. Namely the overdose of crate-puzzles, the over comercialization of game characters, etc, etc. But all these aren't faults of Tomb Raider's success, they are the faults of an industry that exploits it's own honest-to-good ideas with as much savagery as a pack of rabid hyenas.

The Bottom Line
Before the main concern for Core in terms of gameplay were the roundness of Lara's breast or her image as an "eXtReMe Girrrrrl", they gave us an honestly good game that managed to shatter all conceptions of what action/adventure should be. Tomb Raider didn't just introduce the 3d 3rd-person perspective viewpoint to the world, it also offered a magnificent gameplay experience that combined action, exploring, puzzle solving and acrobatic stunts. DO NOT be deceived by Lara's current state as a comercial cyber-whore, this first date with her was a roller coaster ride to remember.

DOS · by Zovni (10504) · 2002

Substance and style...at first.

The Good
Released just as Nintendo's Super Mario 64 was showing gamers just how well true 3D could be done, Tomb Raider was the first true-3D, free-roaming action game for both the PlayStation and the Saturn.

The game put you in the short shorts of Lara Croft, a female Indiana Jones with a debutante background and a shady employer. Her mission is to locate the Scion, a legendary artifact of great power.

The graphics are better than you'd expect from a second-generation title, a bit blocky and crude in some respects, but the environments and levels themselves are HUGE, obviously pushing the limits of the PlayStation's RAM. (the Colosseum comes to mind). Water and other effects are done surprisingly well. And they all take great advantage of being in true 3D, with multi-tiered halls and high architecture. Core Design created an engine that was about two years ahead of its time, and while it has some rough edges, it definitely provided the most epic settings on the PSX at the time.

Sound is dead-on as far as effects go; the first time you are surprised by a bear from behind you WILL jump thirty feet in the air and rip your controller out. TR also approaches music fairly uniquely. Most of the game takes place in silence, with 45-60 seconds stings of dramatic orchestral music occurring when you enter a climactic battle sequence, or mysterious music when you enter a section of the tomb vital to the level.

Of course, what made Tomb Raider famous (and as I will explain later, infamous) is it's control and gameplay. Overall, the control for TR is fairly intuitive. Lara defaults to running with the D-pad, but you can make her walk with a shoulder button, and while walking she will stop at ledges and not fall off. The rest of the buttons are fairly mundane, draw weapons, jump, action (for grabbing onto ledges and picking up items) and sidesteps. Also unique is the quick roll, where Lara collapses onto the ground and quickly gets up again facing the opposite direction. Doesn't seem very useful on paper, but after about the third time you narrowly escape an Indiana-Jones sized boulder, you'll be glad it's there. When underwater, Lara controls almost like a flight simulator. Camera work is fairly stable, with a fixed above-behind perspective except during action sequences or when you order Lara to "look" around (you cannot move in first-person mode, however).

The gameplay generally follows the conventions of old-school dungeon crawlers, where you go through the level finding keys in hard-to-reach places that open doors to the next area. Also, you will often pull switches that open doors, alter some level area to make it passable, or occasionally trigger a booby trap.

Combat is a little odd in this game. Your basic weapon is a set of twin pistols with unlimited ammo, and along the way you will pick up a bad-ass shotgun and two Uzis that you wield John-Woo style. These must be fed with ammo, conveniently found strewn carelessly all over the old tombs and caverns. When you draw your guns, Lara becomes unable to grab ledges or pick things up, and automatically aims at the nearest enemy. You dodge around and shoot until the enemy is dead, then Lara will target the next one. Combat is rather hectic and haphazard, especially when fighting large groups of wolves and such, but serves as a welcome diversion from the otherwise slow pace of the game.

The Bad
While Lara herself and the environments in the game are beautifully rendered, the various animals and human enemies are very primitive and minimalist. The bear in particular looks like...sh*t. The aliens in the last few levels look like deformed humans turned inside-out. It would be scary if they were as meticulously modeled, as in say, Silent Hill, but that is not the case.

The game also has some scattered issues with positioning of Lara when she tries to manipulate switches or pick things up, which has to be done perfectly for the game to detect you want to open this door and kick in with the corresponding animation. This shouldn't be a big deal, were it not for the many "flip this switch, and run like hell to flip the other one before you die" challenges, where a pixel's worth of misalignment will result in an ugly death.

Also, the physics are a bit out of whack. Enemies will collapse through walls when shot, and if you shoot an alligator or rat and then drain the water, they will remain there, levitating Copperfield style in the air.

The Bottom Line
Rather than post seperate reviews for all the TR games, I'll give it to ya right here. All the other TR games in the series are basically the same as this, the only differences being varied, improved environments, and a new move or weapon here and there. If you've played one Tomb Raider game, you've pretty much played 'em all. So while the original game was a groundbreaker, and the second and third were decent sequels, the series as a whole has gotten very stale and over-marketed. So buy and play one Tomb Raider game (looking at them objectively, TR4: Last Revelation is probably the best), and maybe another if you like them. Then stop.

PlayStation · by Anatole (58) · 2001

"Lara Croft, the First Lady of Playstation"

The Good
I definitely love Tomb Raider and for many years I've never played an Indiana Jones type adventure before, until now. I already download it on PS3's PSOne Classics Store and I gotta agree that this is the best game of the 1990's. What I most enjoyed in the game is the choreographic designs and fantastic aerial gameplay that is so innovative and so unbelievable an iconic game has to offer. Toby Gard is a phenomenal genius creating a beautiful and sexier character named Lara Croft, a skillful, athletic, hands-on 3-D archaeologist, who is no fear of danger. And when it comes to booby traps, solving puzzles, and animal extinction, I really wanna know how did Eidos pulled a trigger happy British buxom that has incredible speed and agility would go on to new adventures at new places? Anyway, nice setting, the music is great, all of the stuff in Tomb Raider is awesome.

The Bad
I was feeling a bit bad about the clunky controls, save features, and camera problems, the only problem in the game is the glitches. It's not how they actually blame the problem, but I am sure that things are a little better.

The Bottom Line
Lara Croft will never die, I can promise you that. She is the "It" girl of entertainment. Movies, appearances, magazines, comics, you name it. But I will never ever forgot the year 1996, the year of the Croft. Great action, fantastic gameplay, and stunning graphics. "Tomb Raider" is amazing, go play it and relive it with your friends. Oh, and one thing: Happy Birthday, Lara! 15 years may never look so good.

PlayStation · by Kadeem Gomez (31) · 2011

the first one's always fun..

The Good
Tomb Raider was huge when it hit the shelves, and it's easy to see why. Quite frankly: Lara's hot, she has guns, and there are plenty of things to kill. I actually enjoyed this first installment (so sue me) because of it's platformer style. It may be hyped as an action/adventure, but when you get right down to it Tomb Raider is merely another Mario or Commander Keen.

The Bad
The puzzles were fun, but soon became redundant. It's sequals were just addons to the first game and added nothing in the way of gameplay or graphic innovation. It was also quite hard dealing with the fact that you never actually get to see Lara naked in the game. That feature would have made a whole lot of the other little flaws dissappear.

The Bottom Line
If you enjoy platformers give this one a try. It's by far not the best, but it's a nice time killer. Whatever you do: if you buy this one don't get lured into buying another in the series.

PlayStation · by Plix (197) · 2001

A classic you either love or hate.

The Good
This is a really cool game, very innovative for the time and reminds Prince of Persia as it's generally based on the same concept, only 3D.

This game's 3D engine amazed me at the time - it's the kind of graphical quality you'd expect from a demo, not a 3D unaccelerated DOS game. The engine looks good and is damn fast too. The graphics are very good (though I guess they could've made Lara a bit more.. shall we say, proportional :-)), the sound effects are OK and the game is genuinely fun (at least at first).

The Bad
Hmm... you just grow tired of it after a while, and Lara -- well, you either love her or hate her, and frankly I prefer the later.

The Bottom Line
A real classic you'll probably enjoy for quite some time.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 1999

A 3D adventure unlike anything before it

The Good
Tomb Raider was a masterpiece when it first came out, and it is my first foray in the series. I believe that it was the first action-adventure game that delivered a third-person perspective. It is fully documented on MobyGames and received positive reviews. I thought that I'd play this game to see what all the fuss was about.

We are introduced to Lara Croft, a young archaeologist whose job is to collect artifacts from various sites around the world. No matter how hot or cold the place is, Lara can adjust to any temperature just fine. She is approached by an American, Larson Conway, who works for the wealthy businesswoman Jacqueline Natla. At Natla's request, Lara travels to Peru to obtain an ancient artifact, which happens to be one of three parts of the Atlantean Scion. Soon betrayed, she travels to three locations to search for the remaining pieces before it falls into the wrong hands.

The first thing that drew me in was the tutorial that takes place in Lara's mansion, mainly her gym where she is seen working out. It is where you need to practice a few moves which you need to accomplish in each of the game's fifteen levels. Some of the moves featured include jumping (both short and long), walking, swimming, and ledge-hanging. The skills are not quite as difficult to master, and as a player new to the Tomb Raider series, I managed to master them in under two minutes.

There are some stunning locations Lara has to visit, with my favorite being the ones surrounded by sand. To get through each location, not only do you have to perform the moves you studied in the tutorial, but you also have to deal with a lots of creatures in the game, ranging from wolves to demons. Lara can use up to four weapons at her disposal. What I found neat was the way Lara automatically turns her head and aims at a creature, meaning that you don't have to do it yourself.

There are a few bosses in the game, including the T-Rex that you meet halfway through the third level. Each boss is animated nicely, and look threatening enough that you want to put a bullet in them. They are also difficult to kill if you don't use the right weapon against them, and they can take away all your health in one go if you aren't careful enough. There are some people that you have to fight, with the most memorable one being Pierre DuPont, who wants to recover the pieces before Lara does.

I enjoyed exploring every nook and cranny, to see how far I can go without bumping into a locked door, and how many secrets I could find. When I reached the Atlantis level, I cannot believe how revolting it looked. The walls are basically pulsating hearts with a few body parts surrounding it, and to complement its appearance, you hear heartbeats as you make your way through the level.

There are a lot of puzzles in the game, mostly pushing/pulling blocks to specific areas. The puzzle that I remember most fondly is where Lara confronts her doppelgänger who mimics her every moves and she must lure it to its death. Most of the puzzles can take some time to finish depending on how well you get through them.

All the action occupies the entire screen. There is a health meter and ammo counter as well, but they are only displayed at the appropriate moments. The health meter is only shown if Lara has taken hits, while the ammo counter is only shown if you get one of your weapons out. I also like the way how the user interface looks. The options and your inventory is displayed in a ring, rather than horizontally one by one. Finally, I like how you can switch between high and low resolution. It is ideal for people who have problems using the high resolution side.

The sound effects are nice. You can hear creatures growling in the room next to you, allowing you to prepare for them early. Also, as expected, Lara can fall to her death from long heights, and when she hits the ground, she makes a nice "crunch" sound. Ambient sound effects are stored as CD Audio tracks, and this gives the game atmosphere as you wander around each location.

The replayability is high because the game can be completed again, to revisit areas and discover any secrets you missed the first time.

Highlight: Fighting the huge boss at the beginning of the last level, which was a major challenge for me two-fold. It takes a lot of damage to bring down, and I remember wasting a lot of my Uzi clips on him. Also, there is a gap in the platform, and you have to be careful not to fall down into the lava below.

The Bad
The only thing I have against the game would be that the game is too easy. There is more than five health packs (small and large ones) and ammo clips in the level. I ended up having 25 of them in total. Also, the cinematics in the game have scanlines, which means that they are not as detailed as the PlayStation version.

The Bottom Line
I like Tomb Raider a lot since it contains the one thing that I love - exploration. To help you get through the various locations in the game, you are taught a number of moves, and some of these are a matter of life or death as you spend some time jumping over hazards, such as lava or spikes. Two moves that I hadn't mentioned are the headstand and backward-swim. Since all of these make Lara so hot, it's no wonder that the "Nude Raider" patch was released.

There are creatures in the game, and these creatures, as well as bosses and humans, attack you if you are in the same room as them. Lara has an arsenal of weapons which she can use against them, and she can auto-aim herself so you don't have to. Overall, Tomb Raider has a slick user interface, great sound that provide atmosphere, stunning graphics, and high replayability. If you are looking for an excellent 3D action-adventure, then this title is for you.

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2012

Great Game, Lots of action and adventure.

The Good
Addicted at first, too bad I started taking the game for granted. The 3D graphics are great and everything about this game was revolutionary at the time. Eerie areas.

The Bad
The makers should have spent more time designing the areas than on designing Lara (no comments). Also some of Lara's body parts have taken a liking to dissapearing into walls and blocks.

The Bottom Line
Great Game. 10/10

DOS · by Jim Fun (207) · 2002

Bad, simply bad

The Good
At first I really liked the game, mostly because it was pretty (for it's time), and it reminded me of Prince of Persia (one of my favourite games), only 3D. I'm not sure if I can say anything more positive about the game.

The Bad
It didn't take long before I saw the flaws, though it has the athletic features of Prince of Persia it's all about being pixel perfect. To do a perfect jump you have to jump at the exact correct time (which is just darn annoying), Prince of Persia didn't have this flaw since it was tile based, I'm not sure how Tomb Raider should have fixed the problem, but it's there and it ruins that element of the game darn quickly. There are puzzles in the game, but they're so brainless and simple that it's like the element don't even exist. The combat element is plainly boring, you just run and fire away, no skill or tactic involved. And the game is the same all the way through, if you've played one level you've played it all.

The Bottom Line
One particular thing I hate about Tomb Raider is that every game in the series is identical, the few difference is that there some new weapons, levels and enemies in the sequels. But that's it, this game is lacking in variety, and it's just absurd to see the sequels add nothing to the series. All in all though I had some fun out of the game, but I'd just recommend that anyone just download the demo and try that one out, you'll perhaps have fun for a short while and then you'll be bored. And the full game doesn't feature anything big that the demo don't have anyway.

The game concept is nice, but horribly executed. Thus this game and all in it's series are utter crap. You'd be better off playing Prince of Persia with it's fantastic jump'n'run gameplay, and with it's simple yet effective swordfighting.

DOS · by Kate Jones (416) · 2001

Contributors to this Entry

Critic reviews added by Havoc Crow, firefang9212, Tim Janssen, Kohler 86, Big John WV, Jeanne, Parf, Scaryfun, jean-louis, Kayburt, Alsy, Martin Lindell, Apogee IV, nyccrg, Patrick Bregger, Alaka, vicrabb, Wizo, yenruoj_tsegnol_eht (!!ihsoy), mikewwm8, Skitchy, Cavalary, jaXen, Dario Lanzetti, Gianluca Santilio, Solid Flamingo, Emmanuel de Chezelles, qwertyuiop, Zaibatsu.