Win! Tomb Raider Underworld, Signed By A Girl

Yes – you could be the proud owner of a videogame written upon by a real human female. Specifically, by Keeley Hawes – the agreeably posh voice of Lara Croft, face of ‘er out of Ashes to Ashes and of course, most famously of all, silent subject of the video for geriatric pop gibberish-spouters James’ She’s A Star. SHE IS A PRETTY LADY. She is also able to write her own name – three times, in fact, for that’s how many signed copies of Tomb Raider Underworld we have to give away. And it’s the game we’re really interested in, of course.

While Underworld, the most recent Tomb Raider game, is currently making unfortunate headlines about it not selling terribly well, it is easily one of the best Lara adventures of recent times. Bar some iffy storytelling, anyway. No annoying boss fights, no silly quick-time event guff and some remarkably fluid puzzling, I hear. While I’ve not yet played it, I know Walker and Jim enjoyed it – and they both had their fun-glands surgically excised in order that they might finally attain ultimate objectivity years ago, so it must be pretty decent. There’s a demo here if you wish to investigate further.

So we have three copies of Tomb Raider Underworld for the Personal Computer Electronic Typing Engine to give away to three bold RPS readers, each of which is John-Hancocked by Ms Hawes.

To enter, you must chant these words to yourself three times: “I believe that unicorns mean to steal all our hazelnuts.” Then you must send an email here, with your suggestion for this conundrum:

Ne’er cool 80s Mancunian pop codgers James, in one of whose videos Keeley Hawes once starred, are forever trying to stage a comeback. What should their next exciting new direction be?

The best answers will win the games. Failing there being any best answers, we’ll pluck three entries out of a digi-hat. And yes, before you lot fill the comments threads with the usual complaint, we’ll sort out the earlier compos we haven’t posted out prizes for yet very soon.

Here are some rules and stuff. This one’s UK-only, alas.


  1. Dominic White says:

    Seconding that the controversy around the game is naff and distracting, and that it’s actually a really quite neat little game. I didn’t like it *quite* as much as TR Anniversary (which just had that old-school ‘here’s a huge cavern with puzzles and platforming’ style to it), it was very enjoyable. It’s also on Metaboli, the EU equivalent to (and now owner of, go figure) Gametap, so there’s an option for you cheap gits.

    The other two most recent TR games are also on there, so if you’re after the set, it’s pretty good value.

  2. Pijama says:


    Meh. RPS is finally getting some true marketing spirit (and becoming better at manipulating our gaming souls, devious). Though, of course, I must warn my fellow pc gamers that having a game signed by a pretty lady doesn’t mean you will have anything to do with her, you know.

    Now that I have foiled your brilliant evil plans, sir Meer, I am wondering:

    “WHEN THE HELL WE ARE GOING TO HAVE THE POSSIBILITY TO WIN ONE OF YOUR PRIZES?” (“we” being the foreigners outside of Blighty)

  3. nickski says:

    they could try standing up for a change?

  4. The Hammer says:

    Good luck to the entrants! Tomb Raider: Underworld is indeed a lovely game, and whilst I do hope that they eventually decide to scrap the rubbish current story, jumping around, clinging to ledges, and exploring massive (and I mean massive – this game’s environments really are mind-pleasingly huge) structures has never been better, in my opinion. Gorgeous, fluid, and satisfying game.

    (That, and 1.5 million units ain’t that much to cry about)

  5. Bhazor says:

    There’s a voice over actress who isn’t Jennifer Hale? Wow. This life is rife with surprise.

  6. Jim Rossignol says:

    I enjoyed Underworld to 86% much.

  7. Kua says:

    “Though, of course, I must warn my fellow pc gamers that having a game signed by a pretty lady doesn’t mean you will have anything to do with her, you know.”

    You, sir, evidently do not know the joys of ink-sniffing.

  8. Bhazor says:

    Or what you can get up to with the hole of a compact disc.

  9. Dormouse says:

    I like Ashes to Ashes…

  10. James G says:

    I got underworld recently, and have been enjoying it so far. Its somewhat disapointing to see folks who seem to assume that we are still in Angel of Darkness territory.

  11. Dain says:

    It still amuses me that the cover art for the game doesn’t even bother to include Lara’s face any more.

  12. Vandelay says:

    *slaps head* I didn’t realise that Lara was voiced by her off Ashes to Ashes (Not as good as Life on Mars, but what UK drama is.) Really obvious now that you’ve said it.

    I too share in the love with the new Tomb Raider. Best addition to the series since 2 I would say (although, I’ve not played Anniversary or Angel of Darkness.)

  13. Colthor says:

    Underworld is the first Tomb Raider game I’ve played since the demo for the original. I’m enjoying it quite a lot, and it’s a jolly good port as it runs very nicely on my not-yet-decrepit-but-doesn’t-see-‘high’-settings-much-any-more PC, despite looking rather pretty.
    The story doesn’t even seem as dodgy as is made out, but maybe I’ve read too much Norse mythology.

  14. Dominic White says:

    James G: Yeah, it’s pretty sad to see people assume that the series just stayed bad. They went and changed developers, even – the move to Crystal Dynamics was a great choice, as they were the folks behind the Soul Reaver games, which were already the logical evolution of the Tomb Raider formula.

    The series has been on the up-and-up since TR: Legend. Unfortunately, despite selling millions, not Up enough – there’s been quite a few layoffs at Crystal Dynamics. Lots of good studios getting hit hard now.

  15. LewieP says:


    Not sure how well it will run on my PC, but I’ll be upgrading in the next 12 months anyway.

  16. Kua says:

    Is there a closing date?

  17. Pijama says:

    To the above who replied me: Whatever suits your fancies. :D

    Now, really. The last time I have played Tomb Raider must’ve been nine years ago, and I distinctly recall being shit. From what I have gathered in gaming news since then, it didn’t improve much. Why bother?

  18. Mister Hands says:

    Does UK-only include the Republic of Ireland?

  19. Bhazor says:

    Anyone else seeing the advert for the Tomb Raider Legends phone game?
    Now am I insane or is that the wasp phone from Nathan Barley? Right down to the massive button in the middle.

  20. PHeMoX says:

    You’re probably insane. ;)

    UK-only… too bad.

  21. Pijama says:

    The Republic of Ireland lost it’s prize-winning capabilities with whole Free State revolt shebang thingie.


  22. manintheshack says:

    Did I miss the resolution to the last competition? Or will people just not stop giving you things?

  23. Larington says:

    Already bought it off of steam, so I shan’t try to deny those who don’t have it. The problem of selling only 1.5 million copies is that they probably budgeted the development of the game on 2mil copies sold, which increases the chance development cost so much that the game loses money, a bigger problem perhaps, is that any sign of less than stellar performance by a company causes its fickle shareholders to jump ship as if death himself is walking around on it, scythe in hand.

    And yes, aside from an abrupt and slightly underwhelming ending, it is rather good. It only has the occasional boss as a puzzle to be solved rather than some stupid arcade style boss fight like you get out of rather less inspirational games.

  24. James G says:


    It’s a little known fact that RPS competitions proved to be a key bargaining chip in the Northern Ireland peace process.

  25. Inglorion says:

    Hilarious headline.

  26. Rei Onryou says:

    I’m amazed that after so many iterations, it still requires more than 1.5mil copies to make profit.

    This game is one of my “I would’ve bought it, but I already spent all my money on the other 50 ‘must buy‘ XMas titles. Its not my fault you released it at XMas. Try releasing it in Jan/Feb and see more sales!”

    Anyway, I’m not one to say no to free stuff. Thanks again, RPS! Now, who’s James?

  27. Theoban says:

    If…If I win it…and put it down my trousers…does that mean I’ve had sex?

  28. FernandoDANTE says:

    UK-only? AGAIN? Bullshit.

  29. Alaric says:

    Continue this UK-only shit and someone will alert the Muslim world that you four drew a picture of the propped Mohamed.


    With boobs.

  30. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Underworld really is a lovely game, it’s a shame to see it all falling apart.

    If anyone’s interested, I’ve compiled all the drama surrounding Crystal Dynamics here. It’s both frustrating and depressing, when you think about it.

  31. apa says:

    let’s fire up the quattro

  32. jonfitt says:

    Well I wonder what they’re left with after costs of production, shipping etc on a $50 game to pay for development costs?
    I remember a little while back it was said that it cost $15m to produce a AAA title. Do they really only see $7.50 of that $50 (2m copies to pay for $15m expenses), or does something like Tomb Raider cost a lot more than $15m nowadays?

  33. Scandalon says:

    What should be their new direction? North-North east. (I’m a filthy North American, so whoever sees this first can use my answer to win.)

    I tried the demo and couldn’t get much further than a couple ledges out of the water. The (bad camera) controls really got to me.

  34. Aftershock says:

    It’d be great if you guys could put the UK-only thingo before the cut, so i don’t have to come through my RSS feed to read the whole article.

  35. Katsumoto says:

    Everyone should stop complaining – I’d, for instance, rather have access to EA’s catalogue on Steam than be able to sign up for a competition ;). Anyone want to trade? I’m almost guaranteed a game if I’m able to click purchase, whereas my chances of winning a competition are slim. Hehe.

  36. Alaric says:

    Hmm… I guess you are correct. I retract my previous comment.

  37. Rei Onryou says:

    Katsumoto is right. We need some RPS detectivery on the lack of EA games on Steam in UKland. I’ll buy you all cheap tacky JC Denton style shades if it helps.

  38. Caiman says:

    What about us in Other Countries (TM) who miss out on much juicy Steam goodness PLUS we cannot enter RPS competitions?! Mind you, it’s a small price to pay…

  39. Mickiscoole says:

    She was also in Spooks. Why has nobody mentioned it. I mean, you UKers get it at primetime, and first. We in australia though have to wait until midnight on a friday to watch them. When the channel decides to show it that is. Currently we’re about 2-3 seasons behind I think.

    Anyway, TR:L is the next game on my list of games to buy. Its just that I am currently slaving away at GTA IV for 100%, and there is no other room on my laptop’s HDD. This would have been nice. Maybe next time you should open the competitions to members of the Commonwealth of nations.

  40. fulis says:

    I already got it for free

  41. mandrill says:

    @katsumoto: I’m pretty sure that us eurobods have games on StEAm now too (see what I did there?). Unless Steam was teasing me by offering me Red Alert 3 (which I already got at Tescos unfortunately, for £15 not so unfortunately)

  42. Ben Abraham says:

    You BASTS! Why’d you leave the “UK Only” part to the end, again. =(

  43. omicron says:

    “This one’s UK-only, as always.” -Fixed.

  44. Real Horrorshow says:

    This contest is racist. Damn RPS and their ideology of English supremacy. I’m boycotting.

  45. Cunningbeef says:

    So we know that the sales figures are at least 5.

    I’m impressed.

  46. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    UK-only, as usual. Too embarrassed to ask your international readers to fork over the Shipping costs to their own prizes?

    As an aside, I hear you’re still having trouble monetizing the site, RPS.

  47. sigma83 says:

    Pijama: (& anyone else who thought the previous Tomb Raiders were pants) The new breed of Tomb Raider from Crystal Dynamics, as mentioned many times previously, are not pants and are actually really enjoyable.

  48. Nick says:

    Are you going to whine every single time there is a UK only contest despite the fact it’s the people giving them the prizes who are responsible for that aspect? Jesus.

  49. Ian says:

    Was this the one that Walker said was the best of the recent ones or was that…. that other one?

  50. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    @mandrill, EA has opened up to all of Europe bar the UK, for some reason. Who knows why!

    It amazes me how worked up you lot get about not being able to enter a competition. I can’t even buy series 2 of Dexter yet, damnit – Think about THAT! :D