Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
I wrote last month asking if you’d played Tomb Raider 2. But I was being shy. What I really wanted to know if is you’ve played Chronicles?
Here’s what I love about Tomb Raider Chronicles: Lara’s dead for the whole game. Oh, and also some fantastic level design, the original series at its smoothest and most competent, and there’s an entire chapter on a submarine.
At the end of the rather flat Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Lara dies. People seemed to not notice that at the time. A temple falls on her at the end. It’s the most peculiarly odd way to end a game in which you’ve been aiding Lara in preventing temples from falling on her – to have a cutscene do it to her anyway. It was hard to think anything other than, “Just reload.”
But Chronicles sticks with that, and this is a game told via the memories of a bunch of old stuffy gentlemen sat around a fire, after her funeral. Each section is a recalled old adventure, allowing the different parts to be disjointed, and thus wildly different from each other. And that really aids the game, gives it a chance to feel like a ‘best of’, despite all being brand new. It’s an awful lot of fun, but was woefully underrated at the time more due to fatigue with the license rather than any inherent flaws in the game itself. It’s well worth returning.