As the latest Lara trilogy reaches its end, it seems a good moment to cast one’s mind back to the beginning of the previous one. Because crikey it was good.
Tomb Raider: Legend was Crystal Dynamics first go with Tomb Raider, and they absolutely nailed it. The series had a three-year break after the catastrophic disaster of Angel Of Darkness, Eidos handing over the reigns to the long-established creators of the Soul Reaver games (and let’s not forget Gex: The Gecko, please), to see if it could be redeemed.
CD’s brilliant approach was to re-humanise Lara, without feeling the need to torture her. How times changed. Giving her a couple of chums who would banter over her in-ear radio, they understood that Tomb Raider was at its best when it was about solving enormous puzzles and leaping about like an impossible gymnast. So they did that, in (for 2006) breathtaking graphics. Ooh, that first time I saw the waterfall.
Plus it had that scene set in a Cornish King Arthur tourist trap museum, which remains one of the funniest sequences in any game. Imagine that: a Tomb Raider game having a sense of humour. Oh, I’ve gotten all wistful now.