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May 16 2007
Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary - PS2 Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
7/6/2007AtariEidos /
Crystal Dynamics
1$69.95

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This game looks pretty nice.
Can you believe it has been more then 10 years since Tomb Raider was first released? Since that time the numerous sequels have amassed well over 30 million sales worldwide, spawned a couple of decent (for videogame based) movies and as much fanaticism as almost any other franchise on the market. Sadly a few years ago the original creators, Core Design, seemed to lose their way and the last straw was the release of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness which was a complete mess. Eidos then handed the reigns over to American developers Crystal Dynamics who, last year, release the kick-ass Tomb Raider: Legend.

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Expect plenty of puzzles.
Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary is an interesting title. While it takes heavy inspiration from the original title released in 1996, and is a title with over 7 million sales to date, developers Crystal Dynamics are updating the game and putting a fresh spin on it. The developers are using an enhanced version of the engine used in Tomb Raider: Legend which provides not only improved visuals, but also improved gameplay and physics. While the game still revolves around Lara's search for a mystical artifact known as the Scion of Atlantis, many of the puzzles have been updated to incorporate the environment in the game.

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Hang on, is this Jurassic Park?
The enhanced game engine has also allowed the developers to change the layout of the levels. The biggest change is that the levels and areas to be explored are several times larger then those in the original game. The game takes place in a wide range of locations including Peru, Greece, Egypt and more. What gamers will realise is that this game focuses more on exploration and discovery then later titles which have focused more on the action. With that in mind Crystal Dynamics have put in plenty of hidden areas as well as artifacts to discover.

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Lara hangs onto the ledge!
As well as the core gameplay and puzzle solving the developers have improved the AI routines in the game. All enemies will exhibit a more diverse behavior set, providing improved combat challenges for the player. Speaking of enemies Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary will include a large number of enemies including wolves, bears, crocodiles, horrific monsters and the T Rex. These enemies all now move with much more fluidity and realism then in the original title - something which you would expect in a remake with technology and tools a decade newer then the original release had.

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Ohhh, nice waterfall...
Besides enhancements to the core gameplay the change in engine has also led to an improvement on the visuals. Lara Croft certainly looks a lot better and is modelled on her latest iteration on the PS2 with her various evading animations retained from the last game. That's not all of course as the backgrounds and enemies have also been given a good spruce-up in terms of detail and animation.

Lara's last outing was a great title and certainly reinvigorated a series which was stagnating quicker then the water in Australia's drought-ridden damns. Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary looks like another hit game in the franchise and while not totally new, there is certainly enough here for gamers that played the original to return. Expect a release in early June at the lower price point of only $AU69.95.