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Crystal Dynamics

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review

Not new, but improved.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Review Screenshot

HIGH Incredible vistas around every corner.

LOW The whole experience feels a little too automated.

WTF The preposterous voice acting of Mathias, the Solarii leader.

GameCritics.com Podcast Episode 90: The Raiding of (non-existent) Tombs

It's a Tomb Raider extravaganza! We dish on the latest incarnation of Lara Croft, female protagonists in general, and the state of the "Cinematic Action" genre, a term which I claim full credit for coining. With Richard Naik, Brad Gallaway, Ashley King, Sara Rich, and (later on) Tim "Skype Connection Dropped" Spaeth.

Also, check out this article by our good friend Rhea Monique if you have time. Well worth a read.

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Tomb Raider Review

Missing Treasure

Tomb Raider Screenshot

HIGH Climbing the Queen's sanctum as it shatters in a storm.

LOW Spending 20 minutes trying to glitch my way past a showstopping bug.

WTF "I hate tombs."

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Review

Raiding Tombs in an All-new Way

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light Screenshot

HIGH Some of the best cooperative action I've ever experienced.

LOW Not being able to instantly retry failed challenges.

WTF Why was online co-op not ready to go at launch?

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light

Game Description: Experience the first ever co-op action-adventure game featuring Lara Croft. Team up with a friend or go at it alone as you traverse and solve deadly traps, fight hordes of undead enemies, and collect over 60 artifacts and relics. Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light offers fast-paced action and breathtaking visuals shown through an isometric view.

Tomb Raider Underworld: Lara's Shadow Review

Even better than the real thing

Tomb Raider Underworld: Lara's Shadow Screenshot

HIGH Evil Lara is the best thing to happen to Tomb Raider since Legend.

LOW The content ends far too soon.

WTF Ten dollars for an hour and a half? Seriously?

Tomb Raider: Underworld Review

Lara Croft's big adventure

Tomb Raider: Underworld Screenshot

HIGH Reaching the top of a particularly troublesome climb.

LOW Dying repeatedly because of the awful camera.

WTF Lara's outfit choices for an arctic expedition: wetsuit or skimpy wetsuit. Apparently no one has ever heard of exposure to the elements. Neither outfit has shoes...

Lara rising from Beneath the Ashes?

The new Tomb Raider: Underworld DLC came out today. Titled Beneath the Ashes, this new add-on level starts off with Lara Croft in her father's study, hidden underneath the burned wreckage of Croft manor. For those who haven't played Underworld yet, the story basically veers off towards Norse mythology elements, and Ashes has our heroine going deeper underground into a new secret area that was underneath the first secret area. Allegedly there's an artifact down there that can create and control the undead thralls that populated the latter stages of Underworld proper, and Lara's not one to leave vital artifacts unmolested, natch.

Tomb Raider Underworld: Beneath the Ashes DLC Screenshot

I watched a "developer's diary" video on Ashes a few weeks ago, and one of the folks putting it together spent some time saying that the Tomb Raider team really worked hard on the puzzles and were able to dig in and give it their best. I appreciate that they probably put a lot of effort into it, but frankly, I don't see it. Although it's shorter and more focused than any of the levels in the retail release, it still suffers from a heavy feeling of blah, not being very visually interesting and lacking any real personality. There were also a few spots where I was stuck—not because I couldn't figure out what to do, but because the areas still have a vaguely too-open feeling to them which was often complicated by Lara not jumping where I wanted her to. The two things combined led me to believe that I wasn't performing the correct action, resulting in some minor frustration and wasted effort.

I still call myself a Tomb Raider fan, but out of the three titles that Crystal Dynamics has had a hand in, I would rank Underworld dead last behind Anniversary and the stellar Legend. This DLC does nothing to change that, and continues the mediocrity that was present in its parent title. Additionally, this new level is overpriced at 800 points ($10) since most players will be able to get through it in less than two hours. Unless you’re an absolute Tomb Raider fanatic, I'd say that it's not worth the download.

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