Tomb Raider Legend is a cool game, and worth the 36.95 € I payed for it. It would have been worth the 47.90 € I’d have payed for it if Amazon didn’t lower the price at the last minute as well, but you won’t find me complaining about that. The game was the first of the franchise to have a storyline that was actually interesting, the new moves were a lot of fun, graphics were really nice even on my old computer and there was a forklift truck.
However, there are some things I didn’t like as much, such as:
- There is a fair share of graphic bugs that aren’t too annoying. A few polygons in Nepal have the wrong textures, Lara’s magnetic grapple goes anywhere but from her hands to the target, her shadow manages to appear very displaced at times and there are areas where she appears to be only a little floating. Nothing to get angry about, but not exactly perfect finish either.
- There is a fair share of graphic bugs that are annoying. In the gym in Lara’s house the physics world and the graphic world can be out of sync at times, making Lara move as if something was in position A but having the object look like it was in position B, which was kind of awkward. In Nepal you can see a couple of rocks floating in the air a few minutes before they’ll actually fall down and destroy your path back home.
- The control system is horrible, especially when on ledges. I guess there went much thought into the question when Lara should change the frame of reference that the movement keys refer to, but the end result is that on any given ledge, you’ll have to guess what key is required to press to get in the direction you actually want to go.
- The forklift is too weak to drive backwards with two crates, making it practically impossible to create towers with more than two crates.
- The game is way too short. On first try the game reports that I played for 12 hours in total, not counting the times I died. On Tomb Raider 2, I never got below 20 hours, even though I know a couple of good short cuts in Venice and Bartoli’s Hideout.
- There were too few interesting riddles. The times where I actually had to stop and think were few and far between. Interesting riddles were there, like the one to open the door in Nepal (though that one was easy, too), but not enough.
- There are too many boss fights. A few more riddles would have been much nicer.
- Fighting against normal enemies is boring, even when they came in herds. Human enemies could easily be blasted away, the cool new combat moves where largely useless. The animals, like the jaguars and dogs, though, were extremely tough and dangerous.
- Saving only at checkpoints was mean, especially since I discovered the hard way (the german manual is extremely unclear about where and what you can save).
- Why wasn’t there a “Return to last checkpoint” option? I’d have loved it, especially considering that autosave at checkpoint pretty much wrecked my old Tomb Raider system of saving very often.
- That train’s a piece of crap. The wagons more wide than high, the (single? for that long train?) engine looked like an american one that gained an unhealthy load of fat, the bumper at the end of the road would have hit the windows on any normal train and that gauge was no 1524 mm - even the heap of shit from Tomb Raider 4 was better, and believe me I got mad at those six meter wide wagons.
- The PLS. It’s not that it lit to shortly or was too weak (though it was), it’s the name that bugs me. Personal Light Source, honestly, who invented that piece of crap? What’s so wrong with flash light? I know it’s not a flash light, but it basically does the same.
Written on April 10th, 2006 at 10:49 pm