|System: DS, PS2, PS3, Wii, X360, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Crystal Dynamics||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Eidos||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 18, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The levels are short, most will only last a few minutes. They are not very challenging, and the most trouble you will have is with the trial-and-error and leaps of faith. Fortunately, replaying a level is not a daunting task. Collecting items is a staple in the series, and there is no shortage of collectibles here. Golden artifacts are littered throughout the levels. Collecting them will help you unlock things such as artwork and puzzle-solving items.
You will also come across chests that contain all kinds of goodies, but they have to be opened by playing various mini-games. These mini-games are played using the stylus. Tile sliding and Tetris-style puzzles comprise the majority of the mini-games. They arent too involved, but at the same time they do get redundant. Chests dont have to be cracked immediately, as you can store them in inventory and play the mini-game later. The only downside to these collectibles is that they are too easy to find, since the path is linear in this side-scroller.
Laras moves are smooth and responsive. Her ability to swing around poles is reminiscent of the Prince of Persia. In addition to her satisfying move set, she will also be able to shoot, use a grappling hook, swing from vines, throw grenades and employ a set of magical gloves that will levitate heavy objects. When performing archaeological digs, you will use the stylus as a pickaxe and blow into the microphone to blow the dust away. All of these moves are fairly easy to perform thanks to the comprehensive instructions and intuitive control scheme.
In-game voiceovers are few and far between. The orchestral soundtrack is incredible, but its very limited and repetitive. The sound effects are good but, ultimately, the silence makes you feel isolated, though considering the premise of the game, it is somewhat fitting. Expect a few days play out of Underworld and little more. As in the real world, theres no reason to raid a tomb thats already been raided.
CCC Senior Writer