Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider

After looking like a Saturn exclusive in the Euro market, Eidos and Core bring one of the most ground breaking games to PlayStation.

Jewel Case Release Jewel Case Release

Genre:
Adventure
CDs: 1
(508 Megs)
Players:
1 Player
ESRB: Teen
Animated Blood Animated Violence
Publisher:
Eidos
Retail Barcode:
7 43175 95291 9
Memory:
1 Block
Developer:
Core
Sony ID:
SLUS-00152
Accessories:
None
Released:
November 15, 1996
PSRM:
002460

Sometimes a killer body just isn’t enough.

Climb, swim, and backflip your way through a maze of cryptic deathtraps so realistic you can practically smell the decaying flesh. Unload an arsenal of lethal firepower on any wild-dog, giant lizard or blood thirsty mercenary that gets in your way.

Your mission is the deadliest one to date – the recovery of the fabled Scion, an incredible treasure reputed to give its possessor vast power. Get ready to cross the globe to take on impossible odds while exploring Incan ruins, Ancient Rome, Egyptian Pyramids, and the Lost City of Atlantis.

  • Explore 4 Massive Worlds with over 15 levels
  • Your arsenal includes: pistols, magnums, a shotgun and uzis.
  • Battle wolves, bats, bears, alligators, raptors, and even a T-Rex in your quest for the Scion.

Review

There have been many ladies of gaming; Samus Aran, Chun-Li, Princess Peach, but truth be told the PlayStation never really had one in the beginning. Sony tried to make Toshinden’s Sophia a mascot, but there’s something about a bondage dressed, whip equipped leading lady that doesn’t quite fit the proper mold. That’s when the world realized it took more than just a hot blond to make a game. It took a hot brown haired, fairly well endowed, dual pistol wielding no-nonsense female that didn’t know the meaning of the word stereotype.

Enter Lara Croft.

Eidos’ huge project took shape on the Saturn, PC, and PlayStation, and what arrived in players’ hands forever changed the way games were designed.

Here’s the premise – it’s you, what few weapons you can find, and a whole lot of exploration of various caves, ancient enclosures, caverns, and more. Along the way you’ll be ambushed and attacked by bears, wolves, bats, tigers, lions, some freaky zombie looking things, and one hell of a big surprise at the end of the game.

What makes the project work is that it wasn’t afraid to remove the soundtrack from the game. You start off in silence, with only your footsteps echoing in a long corridor. Music is played when you discover a new area, a secret, or to announce specific boss-like enemies. For a game that is pushing double-digit years old as of this writing, it still gives you that wide-eyed grin when the ‘secret’ music plays. Imagine the joys you have finding secrets in modern games like Fallout 3 or Mass Effect – but on a much smaller area scale.

Core’s true triumph in the game was their method in crafting the levels. Many games will have nature-like areas, but everything is still created using squares, rectangles and oddly shaped triangles. With Tomb Raider, it feels natural – no ground is 100% even, no wall outside of a man made structure is straight. There are nicks, dings, protrusions, completely random rock structures, and more. You really do feel like your exploring, since at any given time any of the aforementioned creatures could be lying in wait for you.

About the only thing the game struggles with is control. Core game play (ugh, that’s a pun) focuses on a lot of jumping. Lara’s jumping animation is a bit sticky on the launch, so if you need to make a running leap, every so often you’ll find yourself falling to your death rather than leaping across. She also doesn’t turn on a dime – too often I found myself the main course of a tiger because I either a) couldn’t turn naturally fast enough or b) the ‘auto turn’ roll animation jerks the camera so violently you forget where you or your enemy is. Thankfully Lara has a small amount of auto-targeting to her, so as long as you can keep a creature within a certain range of her peripheral vision, you can still hit them.

I was fairly shocked at how well this game has stood up to time – control issues aside, there really is that sense of accomplishment and adventure as you solve the various puzzles and hidden areas. The sound track is gorgeous once you’re able to listen to it, and the graphics even holds up well in HDMI, so long as you’re playing the PSN Store version (See trivia for both reasons).

One of the true legends in the PlayStation library, and one you shouldn’t be without.

Media

Screenshots

There are no Ads for this game yet.

 

Variants

This is where you start drinking….

Jewel Case Release - Variant A: 'Boots to Eidos" This is confusing - the actual original release of Tomb Raider will boot to the Core logo, and then start the game. This variant will boot to the Eidos screen first, and then Core. It looks EXACTLY the same as the original release. Jewel Case Release – Variant A: ‘Boots to Eidos’
This is confusing – the actual original release of Tomb Raider will boot to the Core logo, and then start the game. This variant will boot to the Eidos screen first, and then Core. It looks EXACTLY the same as the original release (featured on the Data Page).
Greatest Hits Release Variant B Plain Greatest Hits Release – Variant B: ‘GH Plain’
Contains the demos for Tomb Raider 2 and Fighting Force. Note that this looks exactly like the “GH Ninja” version.
Greatest Hits Release: Variant "Ninja" Greatest Hits Release – Variant C: ‘Ninja GH’
Disc and Back insert look to be the same as the ‘Plain’ version, and has a Tomb Raider II and Ninja Demo on it.
Greatest Hits Release - Variant E: "Orange Burst" This variant blatantly shows you the demos on the disc with a bright shiny new call out. 0 Greatest Hits Release – Variant D
 ‘Orange Burst’ This variant blatantly shows you the demos on the disc with a bright shiny new call out. Note the back insert now has a different ESRB dialogue box and the disc’s Copyright data gains extra lines of text compared to the ‘Ninja GH’ version.
Greatest Hits Release - Variant F: 'Red Burst' This time we up the ante with new demos and more of them. Greatest Hits Release – Variant E: ‘Red Burst’
This time we up the ante with new demos and more of them.The ESRB gets a remake again, as well as Eidos.com in the bottom left. The CD’s Copyright data is now one less line.
Greatest Hits Release - Variant F: 'GH Blank'At this point Eidos was like "SCREW IT, WE'LL SURPRISE THEM." Cover is stripped of any extra content (there are demos and videos), the disc is now jet black. Greatest Hits Release – Variant F: ‘GH Blank’
At this point Eidos was like “SCREW IT, WE’LL SURPRISE THEM.” Cover is stripped of any extra content (there are demos and videos), the disc is now jet black.
Collectors Edition ReleasePart of the Tomb Raider Collectors Edition 3-Pack. Easiest of the variants to tell apart from the others. Collectors Edition Release
Part of the Tomb Raider Collectors Edition 3-Pack. Easiest of the variants to tell apart from the others.

Trivia

  • Available on PSN, with good reason. The retail versions of Tomb Raider do not work on the PS3 (at least the 60g version). All versions will allow you to boot to the title screen, but once you choose the game, it will crash before the opening cinematic plays.
  • The PlayStation Store version is the “Orange Burst” variant, but with a small twist. I wanted to know how they got that version to boot when the regular disc wouldn’t. Turns out they separated the TR data from the original ISO. The PSN version has no Launch screen that would have had access to the two included demos on the retail disc. 
  • Tomb Raider’s entire soundtrack and vocal recordings can be listened to by placing the disc in a music CD player.
  • Interesting note to the above: The CD is named TOMBRAIDER but in iTunes, it comes up as ‘Tomb Raider PlayStation Game Disc’ and is filed under its composer, Nathan McCree.
  • However, starting with the 2nd Variant, all the music tracks are now suddenly just ‘tracks’ in their names. It goes back to the full titled tracks with the SLUS GH variant.
  • To say that Lara Croft became an instant celebrity upon the game’s release would be a drastic understatement. Ignoring the aspect of fan boys controlling a fully expressive buxom babe, Lara went on to create some of the most bizarre media elements in gaming history. She has an entire guide book dedicated to just her (yes her, not the games), the game has had one of the longest running hoaxes with a ‘nude’ code, as well as the source for a famous magazine hoax.
  • Even weirder, one of the live models that portrayed her, Nell McAndrews ended up being really nude in PlayBoy magazine. Eidos ended up trying to take Playboy to court to prevent the use of the TR name being associated with the pictorial. Who says games aren’t art? 🙂
  • There were two live action movies loosely based on the games featuring Angelina Jolie as the heroine.
  • According to an early article in GameFan, Tomb Raider was being developed as a PC and Saturn game exclusively. From the way a later article was written, it seems Eidos was trying to keep the PlayStation version under wraps as long as possible to keep Saturn sales strong. Sadly, Saturn only ever saw the original game, as by the time the first sequel hit Sega’s machine was on the way out.
  • Lara was originally going to be named Laura.
  • The newer generation release Tomb Raider: Legend was a remake / reboot of this one, with some radical changes here and there.
  • There’s an amusing double nod to the Indiana Jones movies. The Ark of the Covenant is sitting nonchalantly in Lara’s Training Home, while in a later level you must out run a giant boulder.

The Verdict

8Great

The Good: After all these years, commands your attention with excellent exploration and puzzle elements.

The Bad: The controls have not aged well – forgive those and play a cornerstone of the 32-Bit era.


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