Graphics:
8.1
Gameplay:
7.8
Sound:
8.3
Control:
7.7
Replay Value:
8.0
Overall Rating:
8.0
Online Gameplay:
Not Rated
Publisher:
Square-Enix
Developer:
Crystal Dynamics
Number Of Players:
1
Genre:
Action/Adventure


In my professional opinion, Lara Croft should always be in high-definition. From here on out and until the end of time. This generation has delivered all-HD interactive experiences and for the sake of the veterans, many developers have issued overhauled remakes of their classic titles. We’ve seen plenty of fantastic collections already – all of which featuring recognizable names – and the latest is the Tomb Raider Trilogy from Crystal Dynamics and Square-Enix. Boasting Legend , Anniversary , and Underworld in 720p HD, along with the addition of Trophies and a few other goodies, this assortment is designed to appeal to all the hardcore Lara fans. But even if you’re interested in some solid action/adventures, the Trilogy should probably be on your wish list.

As is the case with any upscaling or upgrade in terms of visuals, not all graphical elements receive the beautiful reconstruction we anticipate. Some of the jaggies so common in the earlier days of PlayStation simply resist the sheer, clear glories of high-definition, and some of that is evident here. But for the most part, the atmospheres and environments become that much more appealing, as the ramped-up detail and enhanced clarity is a pleasure for the eyes. Everything is sharper, from the intimidating creatures to the expansive level design to Lara herself. You just gotta love the beautiful animations and the continual sensation that is intrinsic to all Tomb Raider titles; a feeling that we are indeed exploring uncharted waters with a brave, somewhat cocky treasure hunter. It works, you know?

I can’t be sure if the team tweaked the sound as well as the graphics, but the audio certainly seems to have a fresh coat of polish. That could just be in my head, though; it could be the afterglow of the pretty new visuals that has addled my brain, and caused me to perceive a sound upgrade that isn’t there. Nevertheless, Lara’s voice (Keeley Hawes) is great, most of the effects are prominent and in some cases, frightening, and the original musical compositions are sweeping and fitting. Personally, I’ve always thought this series was far too quiet during intervals of exploration and puzzle-solving, but then again, I’m sort of against raucous melodies and in-your-face effects interfering with my enjoyment. Balance is key, yes? And speaking of balance, it can be off at times in the audio department, but this deficiency is minor.

If you aren’t familiar with the gameplay of a Tomb Raider title, you must turn in your gamer pass tomorrow; your membership has been revoked. Even if it’s not your thing, it’s virtually impossible to have avoided at least seeing snippets of a Lara adventure in the past 15 years or so. And yet, I suppose I should elaborate for the sake of this review; it’s probably necessary for the sake of the three distinct titles, anyway. We start with Legend , which represented a bit of a departure from the norm – one some fans didn’t like, but others tolerated – and presented us with a more modern environment, along with shorter, more crowd-pleasing levels. Arguably, this one has the most diversity of any of the three games, simply because it can be considered a “reboot” in its own right. No repetition of dank, smelly subterranean caves here.