Tomb Raider: Legend (Xbox 360) by Eidos

Tomb Raider: Legend (Xbox 360) by Eidos Box Art

Release Date
April 11, 2006.

Average Overall Score:
8.45 / 10

One of the most successful video game series of all time returns from the dead with Tomb Raider: Legend. This is the latest adventure starring modern day adventuress Lara Croft (Oh and by the way, Lara has recently been awarded a Guinness World Record for ?Most Successful Human Videogame Heroine?"

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Completed Nepal Time Trial
Complete the Nepal Level while in Time Trial mode
Collected 60 Bronze Rewards
Collect 60 common Bronze Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Completed Kazakhstan Time Trial
Complete the Kazakhstan Level while in Time Trial mode
Completed Ghana Time Trial
Complete the Ghana Level while in Time Trial mode
Completed Tokyo Time Trial
Complete the Tokyo Level while in Time Trial mode
Collected 30 Silver Rewards
Collect 30 precious Silver Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Completed Peru Time Trial
Complete the Peru Level while in Time Trial mode
Completed Bolivia Time Trial
Complete the Bolivia Level while in Time Trial mode
Complete the adventure
Complete the Tomb Raider:Legend adventure, at Explorer or Adventurer difficulty.
Completed Nepal
Complete the level "Nepal - The Ghalali Key"
Completed England
Complete the level " England - King Arthur's Tomb?"
Collected 35 Bronze Rewards
Collect 35 common Bronze Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Completed Kazakhstan
Complete the level "Kazakhstan - Project Carbonek"
Collected 5 Gold Rewards
Collect 5 rare Gold Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Collected 15 Silver Rewards
Collect 15 precious Silver Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Completed Ghana
Complete the level "Ghana - Pursuing James Rutland"
Completed Tokyo
Complete the Level "Tokyo - Meeting with Takamoto"
Completed Peru
Complete the level "Peru - Return to Paraiso"
Completed Bolivia
Complete the level "Bolivia - Tiwanaku"
Collected 5 Bronze Rewards
Collect 5 common Bronze Rewards. Rewards can be found at any point in the game.
Complete the hard adventure
Complete the Tomb Raider:Legend adventure with the difficulty level set to "Tomb Raider."
Completed England Time Trial
Complete the England Level while in Time Trial mode
Completed all Time Trials
Complete all levels while in time trial mode.
Peruvian Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete Episode 1 (any difficulty setting).
Master Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete the entire game (on hard difficulty setting).
The Peruvian Collector
Anniversary - Collect all Episode 1 relics and artifacts (any difficulty setting).
Beginning Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete Croft Manor (any difficulty setting).
Egyptian Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete Episode 3 (any difficulty setting).
The Egyptian Collector
Anniversary - Collect all Episode 3 relics and artifacts (any difficulty setting).
Greek Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete Episode 2 (any difficulty setting).
The Greek Collector
Anniversary - Collect all Episode 2 relics and artifacts (any difficulty setting).
Atlantian Tomb Raider
Anniversary - Complete Episode 4 (any difficulty setting).
The Atlantian Collector
Anniversary - Collect all Episode 4 relics and artifacts (any difficulty setting).

User Reviews

Score: 84
Overall User Average: 8.33 / 10 (84.5%)
Gameplay User Average: 8.60 / 10
Graphics User Average: 9.00 / 10
Sound User Average: 8.37 / 10
Date reviewed: November 9, 2007.

Overall: Intro:
If you ask most people what they think about the Tomb Raider series, most will vividly remember how much enjoyment they had fun years ago with usually part 1 or 2. From then on, the series continuously declined in quality, and basically fun overall. Eidos has dropped Core Design from this title all together after the huge decline in the series and went to work on the newest installment of the series, and we now have Tomb Raider Legend. It builds on what made the series great and it’s cool once again to enjoy a Tomb Raider game.

As the story begins, Lara is back, and is haunted by flashbacks of her mother’s death years ago. As the story progresses, you explore many different lands on different continents with a story revolving around the power of a sword broken into fragments that seem to be scattered across the world. Throw in a plot that involves the King Arthur Legacy and you have yourself a somewhat decent story line that may not enthrall you, but will definitely make you want to see what happens next.

Cutscenes are throughout and flashbacks that unlock more pieces of the story’s puzzle keep you interested other than the basic ‘figure out puzzle, then move on to boss and beat the level’ schemes. The new team did their homework, and if you have ever played Resident Evil 4 or God Of War, you will recognize the interactive sequences that require you to press the correct direction or button at the right time to either keep her from dying, or to collect secrets in the level, which in turn will unlock bonus features, costumes, cutscenes, and more. It’s nothing new, but it is more entertaining than just sitting and listening to the story unfold on its own.

One thorn in the side that the series has always been plagued by was the controls. Not so much how sloppy it felt, but you had to always be perfect with your jumps and directions or else you would miss that critical jump and fall or miss a cliff edge. These inconveniences are a thing of the past, now that you can run around freely, swim, jump, climb on ropes and poles, scale cliff edges, and use ladders, all while looking good and even showing off with some flips and vaults in between if you wish. It is by no means perfect, especially when trying to jump off a rope in a certain direction and the camera is fighting you, but it’s a major improvement in the series.

A nice new addition is that if you are climbing a pole or rope, or shimmying across a cliffside, you can press a button in time with your movements, and it will make you move twice as fast. Though I spammed the button while always doing this, and it seemed to do the exact job, but is necessary in later levels where you only have a few seconds to hang onto a ledge before it breaks away with you on it.

Swimming was a big part of the series in the past as well, with many underwater caverns, swimming levels and puzzles that usually involved getting wet somehow. As most games, swimming in the original series was no different, and was one of the leading causes of frustration with poor controls that had you either drowning, or not being able to see where you are supposed to go in time. The mechanics now are much smoother and actually doable, but still not perfect, with you sometimes barely getting up in time for air, or not being able to see the hole you are supposed to swim through due to the underwater camera angles. Lara’s signature dive is in the game again, and taken to a new level, where in one section, you actually have to dive off a 200ft cliff which is still my most memorable section of the game.

Combat is also still in the game, and it has been given an overhaul as well. You are given many more moves than previously before and respond quicker, but it really doesn’t feel all too different at the same time. You lock onto your enemies and can start shooting away, but you are also given a manual aim as well if you wish to use it, though it wasn’t very accurate the further away you got, even with the more powerful weapons. Much like previously before as well, you must shoot, jump, and avoid all at once if you wish to avoid being target practice. While it sounds like a lot, sadly it gets really easy as you master it. You keep jumping, and when you have a moment, let some rounds off, and then return to jumping like there is something down your pants, and repeat. It is very basic, but it’s also fun to be doing flips throughout a gunfight, to run up to an enemy and then blast him like your invincible.

A similar version to the infamous bullet time is also implemented and as you become in melee range of an enemy, you can run up their chest, back flip off them into ‘bullet time’ and shoot them down easily, since it gives you a damage bonus. This works great in crowds of enemies, since when you are in slow motion; you can lock onto your next target and hopefully get 3 or 4 before you touch the ground. It does become very easy when you learn how to do it swiftly, but it definitely doesn’t loose it’s cool factor seeing it again and again.

Lara has a new gadget this time as well, which is much like a grappling hook. This will help you cross long gaps like a swing, will pull enemies towards you much like Scorpion from Mortal Kombat, and pull boxes and items towards you that may be too heavy to move on your own will.

Your favored dual pistols are back as well, and like always, with the infinite ammo. Now that you are allowed to have two pairs of weapons at a time (always your pistols, then another weapon of your choice), many times you will be picking up an enemy’s gun after killing them due to it being more powerful until you run out of ammo for it. You are also given grenades this time, and while they are powerful if they hit, that’s the clincher, “if they hit”. These will bounce around like they are made of rubber, and rarely ever explode on time to do any real damage, unless they bounce back to you, then of course they go off in time.

Your D-Pad will control your tool belt of sorts. You have your PLS, which in essence is your flashlight, that is attached to you, you can use your health packs that you’ve saved up, and since almost every enemy drops health, you will basically never run out, and will also control your binoculars which help with puzzles. Using the binoculars are much like Metroid Prime, where if you ‘examine’ a switch or block, it will tell you if the item can be activated, moved, or destroyed, though there were very few times that you are so stumped on a puzzle that you needed to resort to this method. The flashlight was also basically useless as there weren’t all that many dark levels or spots that you couldn’t really see that well.

If you played the last Tomb Raider (Angel of Darkness), you still have a stealth mode of sorts, but I never used it once. There was no point when you could just run up and use your ‘bullet time’ to basically 1-hit your enemies. I still don’t understand why this is even implemented.

An exciting feature is when Lara gets to use her motorcycle; wish sadly is only used twice in the game. It’s very simple and very arcade-ish, to the point of being too easy. The first time using it is much too short, cause it’s new and cool for something different than the regular platforming, and the second feels too long, as you just want it to end so you can progress.

Lara’s own mansion makes a return, but has a different reason behind it this time. Instead of being a training ground to learn all your new moves and practice them, it is now basically a small mini level that has its own secrets and collectables. It’s mainly meant for exploration and to break up the monotony, but it’s very nostalgic with many of it’s own puzzles to solve.

With this new edition also comes new ways for puzzles to be solved. Physics help play a role in this that require you to really understand what your object is, and how you are going to do it in the environment you are surrounded by. It is by no means as advanced or in-depth as Half-Life 2’s physic puzzles, but it makes you think the same way. There were nowhere near enough puzzles in this fashion, but playing with boxes on sea-saw’s doesn’t get old quick.

Much like previously in the Tomb Raider’s, the puzzles will sometimes have you thinking of how you are going to do two or three things at once, but once you catch on to how things are done and completed each time, many of the puzzles become too simple, almost to the point of feeling like tasks, rather than puzzles. You will be moving boxes onto pressure plates, while you then much use your acrobatics to reach another portion to flip a different switch for example. There is simply not enough actually challenging puzzles, and once you do figure out how it’s done, you usually feel stupid for not realizing you didn’t notice that block that you could move the whole time.

When comparing the different versions, the 360 version easily wins out, by having 720p enabled. You will see much more detailed textures on walls and ground, bump mapping to actually make it look more realistic, lots of foliage that the other versions miss out on, particles and dust in the air in the tomb levels, water flowing and slashing, and the whole environment in general just looks so drastically better it’s hard to even suggest the other versions when comparing (Though we all know it’s the achievements).

Lara herself looks much more realistic and not so “38-22-38” like before. She actually looks like a real woman, a very attractive one at that. A nice feature as well is that whatever guns you are equipping or carrying, will show up on your belt or around your shoulders and doesn’t magically go into your inventory bag like previous.

Cutscenes look decent, but basically only look like a prettier port of the other versions. Explosions and the environment is really what makes you enjoy the graphic features by far. Some of the levels are designed so beautifully that you actually may stop to look around and take notice.

Lara actually sounds like Lara, and not like someone reading off of a script. Her voice is well acted and very distinct with her accent. The other characters also do a great job, though a few of them just felt bland overall, but it seemed more due to their character, not their acting. Lara will wink or be witty in dialogue, and if you weren’t watching the screen you would be able to tell what her face motions would react like. She sounds like she has emotions, and that’s very important for her character as the story progresses.

The music is very moody and fits in with each level. With the bike levels, you get an action rock-like beat and while you’re jumping platforms deep in an underground tomb, you will get moody backdrop music. It’s not too distracting, but it wasn’t memorable either.

The dialogue actually is not quite what I was expecting. I was honestly expecting lots of cheesy lines and some script that even I could have come up with, but to my surprise, it’s actually quite well written and doesn’t bore you with too much back story and bland characters. It has its humor, it has bad guys you love to hate and just sound evil. It was quite a treat to be this surprised and not feel too “Hollywood”.

Closing Comments:
The game is very short, as in 8-12 hours, and the puzzles really aren’t as challenging as they should have been. It did have a nice mix of platforning with having to jump and swing lots of places mixed in with the few puzzles here and there, but ultimately, I would have been greatly more impressed if I actually got stuck and had to look up how to finish a certain puzzle.

The combat is extremely easy and other than the odd boss fight or two, I rarely ever had to heal, especially with almost every enemy dropping health along the way. It wasn’t the lock-on that trivialized the fighting, it was that the AI was not at all aggressive, and was very predictable.

On the bright side, it does contain a decent amount of replay, since you can do any level at any time once it’s completed, and even try the time trials to unlock more goodies for Lara. Though once these are done, it really only adds a few more hours onto the overall gameplay and again, after figuring out the puzzle schemes, it’s not challenging in any way, even on the most difficult setting.

A great Tomb Raider like this has been long overdue but it is finally here and while it may be short and not have you thinking terribly hard to complete it in a weekend, it’s all about the fantastic ride to the end and the entertainment in between. Lara is back, and she is as cool as ever. You don’t have to be ashamed anymore to say you enjoyed a Tomb Raider. Legends delivers what Tomb Raider used to feel like, now lets hope for an even more improved sequel.

Overall: 7.96 Gameplay: 7.8 Visuals: 8 Sound: 8.1

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 78 %
Graphics: 80 %
Sound: 81 %

Date reviewed: January 25, 2007.

Overall: This is a great turn-around to a series that was going down very fast. After so many bad sequels to such a great series they made up for it with Tomb Raider: Legend!
Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty good, single player isn't that long. But its the controls that turn me away from playing it.
Graphics: The visuals are very nice, its good to see Lara Croft in next gen. Great job with the environments, good detail, but the environments could have been bigger.
Sound: Sound wise it was pretty good, the makers did a lot of thing right here. The sounds of the game could have been more realistic but over all very nice. The voices in the game were good as well.

Overall: 80 %
Gameplay: 80 %
Graphics: 90 %
Sound: 90 %

Tomb Raider: Legend News

Eidos Opens Montreal Studio
Eidos Interactive has announced the opening of a brand new development studio in downtown Montreal. During a news conference, execs also announced that Eidos would be developing Deus Ex 3 at the new studio.

Eidos Quiet on Tomb Raider Anniversary for 360
Eidos has declined to comment on rumors that Tomb Raider Anniversary is heading to Xbox 360. Speculation erupted after a listing for the game was found on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board website.

Eidos Signs New Licensing Agreements
Eidos has signed a number of agreements to license two of its new leading titles, Tomb Raider: Legend™ and Hitman™ for development as video slot games across online and land-based casino platforms.

Tomb Raider: Legend Sales Better Than Expected
A trading update from the SCi Entertainment Group has revealed the success of Tomb Raider: Legend.

Lara Raids Xbox Marketplace
Tomb Raider: Legend content on way to Marketplace; demo, trailer, themes, picture packs set to be available today.

Laras’ Legend Goes Gold
The latest installment of the Tomb Raider franchise is coming to a store near you!

Tomb Raider For 360 Date Confirmed
Eidos Interactive, today confirms that Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend will be released for Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system from Microsoft on April 11th in North America.

Laura Croft Teaser Video!!
Check out Laura all 360ed up in this teaser!!

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