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Review: Tomb Raider: Anniversary by Stuff.co.nz

Tomb Raider: Anniversary (PlayStation 2) is a great return to form after a few misses for one of gaming's most recognisable characters.

The original Tomb Raider, although a great game, was, however, often a lesson in frustration with an insanely hard difficulty level, often requiring pixel-perfect jumping, and a control scheme that left a lot to be desired. I'm glad to say that developer Crystal Dynamics has learnt from the lessons of the past.

In Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Lara Croft revisits her glory days, returning to the stomping grounds of her first adventure, travelling to Peru, Greece and Egypt searching for a mysterious artefact.

Building on last year's Tomb Raider: Legends, Anniversary sees Croft swinging, climbing, jumping, shimmying and puzzling her way along ledges in tombs and caverns, as well as open spaces, in her quest. Back, too, is Croft Manor, where you can unlock weapons and equipment for her adventure.

It goes without saying that the graphics in TR Anniversary are much improved on the original, and Croft is animated beautifully and fluidly, especially with nice touches like her executing a handstand as she pulls herself up from a ledge. It's little things like that make the experience an enjoyable one. The pixel-perfect jumping, too, is a thing of the past, with Croft grabbing onto a ledge if you don't quite make it.

Sound is atmospheric and the music gets appropriately louder when danger is looming, and wild animals almost always signal their closeness by howling or making a sound. Occasionally, I came across glitches such as animals walking on one spot, as if stuck, but they were too few and far between to ruin the experience.

While Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a revamped version of the adventure that started it all, after several misfires (Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness anyone?) Anniversary is a welcome return to form for Lara Croft.

Source: Stuff.co.nz, by GERARD CAMPBELL , 10 July 2007