Lara is back!
The original Tomb Raider is a bona fide classic and which introduced the world to the legend that is Lara Croft. The many sequels which have followed have been a bit up and down but have for the most part retained much of what made the original so good, and this fifth installment is enjoyable enough to warrant a closer inspection. The story picks up after The Last Revelation, with Lara presumed dead, and with the game playing out as a series of memories, as retold by her friends, hence the subtitle of 'Chronicles'. Here, you'll learn how Lara went searching for the Philosopher's Stone in Rome, faced off against monsters in Ireland when she was but a girl and stopped a vicious gang leader from claiming the Spear of Destiny. In gameplay terms, this is mostly familiar stuff, with the usual mix of third person platforming, shooting and puzzling. You've now got access to a few new moves, like walking on tightropes and somersaulting, while you have now have a rather nifty grappling gun, and there's even a level editor if you want to have a go at making your own adventures. This is generally decent stuff, and if you're a Lara fan, it's pretty much a must play. Things haven't changed much, but when Tomb Raider gets things right, it's the best franchise in the business, and there's a lot of evidence here of what makes it so great. The mix of puzzling and action is nigh on perfect and there's the usual sense of the epic to the title. The game's episodic nature actually works really well, and while there's quite a few bugs, Chronicles is a fine game.