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PlayStation Game and Hardware Reviews




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1 Player

Game Type


Mem. Card

Review Date

Dec 1996

Setting the Scene

Armed with TWO of the most dangerous weapons and a couple of pistols, Lara Croft is the sort of lady that you just don't mess with.

Born with a silver spoon in her mouth, heading for a life with the rich and famous, Lara's world was turned upside down when she was the only surviving passenger of a plane crash over the Himalayas. Lara learned to fend for herself and when eventually rescued, she realized that she could no longer live in the City and headed for a life of Adventure and Danger.

Offered a task to set her talents (that's abilities) to the limit, Lara was to set off on the journey of a lifetime to collect the various pieces of the SCION scattered around the world. Anyone who could combine all the pieces of the scion would have Ultimate Powers.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to guide Lara through a Temple of Doom/Jurassic Park type adventure and come out of it alive.


The best strategy and adventure game available on the PSX to date.


Some of the attention to detail shown in Tomb Raider must be up there with the best Graphics yet on the PSX, especially the underwater scenes.

The game runs very Similarly to Fade to Black (and Treasure Hunt on TV) in that the camera follows you from behind but where it blows other games away is that you have a VIEW button that allows you to move Lara's head to look around, up and down while standing still (which is very handy)

One of my favorite parts of the game is that the ground shakes as you are chased by a Dinosaur (a bit like the scene with the T-REX in Jurassic Park). I must admit that when it first happened I was very close to needing a change of underwear.

Unfortunately like most games, there are a few glitches with the graphics. The ones I have spotted so far are some bad camera angles leading to Lara disappearing from view altogether, it can also take a while for the view to show you the corridor you are looking down when you go around corners. I also noticed that on sub-level 3 that if you swim towards the waterfall as you fall from the top you get stuck and the animation returns you to the stream at the top of the waterfall. To be honest though, the glitches are few and far between and don't affect the games playability.

Sounds and Effects

I have been mulling over whether lack of music for the majority of the game was pure laziness on the programmers part or a stroke of genius to make the spine tingling tunes that are used during moments of high drama that little bit more tension packed. In the end I have plumped for the latter, for as the game progresses you seem to get drawn further and further into the action and that's got to be what the makers were after.

There are plenty of nice touches in the FX department. The sounds of the waterfalls are spot on and the echoing of the underwater scenes are superb.

The various animals all have their own calls and screams although the sound of the wolves howling is ridiculous and sound more like a Angry Bloke with Bronchitis and a touch of the Flu than any animal I've ever heard.

Oh yes, the sound of Lara taking her first aid sound as if she is getting more than just healing pleasure (I think you know what I mean)


What a fantastic idea. Invited over to a leggy lovely's house to partake in some Sweaty Gymnastics, incorporating rolling around on the floor (Stop it!). An essential part of Tomb Raider is the practice option. A trip around Lara's home will allow you to get used to the many different jumps, actions and skills required to progress through the main game. The difference between this practice mode and most others is that I wasn't bored by it and if anything, I felt I had achieved something by the end of it - like a sort of mini level of the game.

With the practice complete it's time for action and it's action all the way from now on. O.K. not so much action in the first sub-level but we have kindly been offered the chance to get used to the controls in time for the later levels. Just remember this when you play it because if you put it down to early, you will miss a cracker of a game.

From sub-level 2 onwards, you must be on your toes at all times as you will be chased by the likes of NOT SO GENTLE BEN (the bear) and T-REX (that's the dinosaur, not Mark Bolan and friends). I will try to keep away from naming all of Lara's foes, because one of the best parts is meeting new "BADDIES".

So, what exactly is TOMB RAIDER?
There are baddies to be shot down to size, so this must be a shoot-em-up? Well yes and no, for the tombs are riddled with puzzles of which must be solved to progress, some you will find almost without looking. Others may take hours or even days to suss out. Lets also not forget that the levels are mammoth and through the clever design of the tombs some of the parts of the levels are very tricky to reach, especially when you're being chased by a pack of hungry wolves.

Fortunately, Lara is one tough cookie, but be careful along the way, for she is by no means immortal. Even Ms. Croft only has a certain amount of energy (which can be replenished with the use of the usual first aid kit - though I could never understand what a few sticky plasters and some PR spray could do for anyone when they have just been trampled on by a dinosaur) and should this reach zero, then it's bye bye. You must also be careful whilst underwater, as Lara can usually take about 2 minutes worth of air in her young, energetic lungs, but spend any more time in the murky waters and it's curtains for you. The third and final way to send Lara to meet the maker is to jump off a high cliff or ledge. For although she can take quite a drop, she does have her limits and although I may sound a bit sick, it's a TOP COMEDY moment when she hits the ground and both her legs go SNAP!

If I have any gripes about the playability of the game, it's that not much skill is involved in actually killing the baddies, as Lara will (more often than not) see them before you do and when she does, will lock her guns onto them immediately. This means all you have to do is keep your finger on the fire button and it's good night Vienna to all those bad guys.

Tomb Raider will for sure have you pulling your hair out at points, but this only attracts to what must be one of the best action adventures / shoot-em-ups available to date. It is on a par with Resident Evil and absolutely blows away the likes of Fade to Black. Only time will tell if it is going to be one of the greats, but in my books, it has surely made the right start and it's as sure as tomorrow that the sequel will be heading this way in the not too distant future.

Value for Money

A great looking, pointy breasted, firm arsed bird as the Heroin. Graphics that are as good as anything yet seen. Fantastic training mode to help get you started. Such a wide array of moves that rubber bones can be the only explanation. And she can swim too! If it's Indiana Jones type action that you crave, then this is your baby!





It's taking all my time up at the moment. I just can't stop myself from making Lara jump into the walls, 'cos it's so funny!











Along with Resident Evil this game will put immense pressure on games developers. I mean how do you follow a game like Tomb Raider? Many will spend years trying to catch up while hopefully Core will impress us further with Tomb Raider 2. If they sharpen up the graphics and provide fitting music then a ten out of ten is probable. Sheer class.








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