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Tomb Raider Underworld: Is it Worth Playing?

Posted In Game reviews, Technology Reviews - By Techtiplib on Thursday, July 18th, 2013 With No Comments »

Tomb Raider: Underworld is the eighth instalment in the long-running Tomb Raider series. This particular Tomb Raider title got a rather mixed reception. The game was popular with long-term fans of the series, but it was plagued by the same old problems that previous games in the franchise suffered from.

Underworld featured the usual mix of underwater locations, outdoor areas and caves for you to explore. The puzzles were interesting and Lara was capable of pulling off some spectacular stunts. Unfortunately, the camera control was frustrating, there were many clipping issues and the controls were quite unrefined, even by 2008 standards. I find that when I play the game today, it does feel a little dated.

A Fresh Face for Tomb Raider

Another issue for me with Tomb Raider: Underworld is the dialogue. The early Lara Croft games definitely weren’t intended to be works of art and Lara wasn’t supposed to be a three-dimensional character. She was simply a good-looking girl who happened to raid tombs. Underworld’s story is simple to the point of being cheesy. If you want a deep story to go alongside the puzzle-solving and platforming then you’d be best off picking up the more recent Tomb Raider reboot.

I decided to sell my games, or some of them at least, to pick up the latest Tomb Raider. However, you could wait for a Steam Sale if you’re a PC gamer, or pick up a pre-owned copy of the game. It’s worth noting, however, that trade-ins can be great value. If you completed The Last of Us or Bioshock Infinite in record time, why not sell them and pick up several old classics that will occupy you for the summer?

Revisiting the Classics

If you’re a fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, but Underworld escaped your attention, it is well worth a look in spite of its flaws. Underworld is truer to the Tomb Raider franchise than Lara Croft and the Guardians of Light and more atmospheric than Tomb Raider: Legend. It lacks the classic charm of the first couple of games, but it has the benefits of being a more modern title, so the graphics and controls hold up slightly better against modern games.

One great feature of Tomb Raider: Underworld is the dual-targeting capability, which allows Lara to shoot at two targets simultaneously, or hold an item in one hand and shoot enemies with a gun held in the other hand. This feature, combined with the new melee combat system introduced for Underworld, was a huge step forward for the franchise. Naturally, as this was the first game in the series to use these systems, the controls were awkward. However, it’s still worth experiencing them to see how far the franchise has come.

Any dedicated fan of the Tomb Raider games should at least try each game in the franchise. PC gamers can pick up the entire Tomb Raider franchise as a digital download for an affordable price and many of the older games are also available on PlayStation Network. The original boxed PS1, Dreamcast and Sega Saturn titles are highly collectible and may be difficult to find even in specialist retro game stores.

Author Bio:

Keith May is a video games enthusiast and loves to read and blog about them on various tech and gaming blogs. He recommends musicmagpie if you are looking to sell your games.

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