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Tomb Raider 2
Review By: Jesse Mason
Developer:   Core
Publisher:   Eidos
# of Players:   1
Genre:   Adventure
ESRB:   Teen

Although Tomb Raider 2 tries, the whole thing just ends up being a totally overrated sequel to one of most overrated games of the decade. Seeing that old formulas make for good sales, the folks down at Core took the original Tomb Raider, beefed up the polygon count, changed the locations, added a few new abilities, enemies, and traps, and made the game longer. Of course, this would all be fine had they changed Tomb Raider's Achilles' heal, its upmost horrifying control. Tomb Raider 2 would have actually been an ok game with better control, but obviously Core was a little more into putting new outfits on Lara than fixing a problem that made the original so bad.

Speaking of Lara, she's got a few new outfits. Come on Core who wears shorts in the Himalayas? That's just plain suicide. This time there're additional humans in this game besides Lara. She'll be facing several humans in addition to animals. The battles are spread out a lot again, but this time an even more deadly foe has come into play. Many of the levels are bogged down with traps, most of which kill with one hit.

The levels are much more diverse in this game than the lonely tombs and caverns of the first Tomb Raider. You travel through the Great Wall and then head out to Venice. After that, it's a deep ocean plunge then you go hiking in Tibet. The final level takes place in Lara's huge mansion. She won't have to hoof it everywhere. She'll get to drive a boat and a snowmobile. Most of the game is played in silence although the same old music from the last game plays when enemies or traps are near.

While the first Tomb Raider had a story, over the months Core worked out a big Tomb Raider world. There is much more of a game to story connection than in most action games.

The original Tomb Raider forced us all to painstake our ways through the levels (because we had to pray to make crucial jumps) by not letting us save until we finished a level. The PC version of course allowed you to save anytime. And thankfully now you can save anytime with the Playstation version. But because it is so hard to make jumps, pull switches, etc., I found myself saving more than I was playing! What's up with that?

Tomb Raider would be a fine game if the development was not so sloppy. Unfortunately, though, this will have a lot of sales thanks to the lady on the box. Just remember "Never judge a book by its cover."

Overall: 5.2
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