Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this is a remake of the 1996 classic. It's rated "T" with "mild suggestive themes" because voluptuous Lara wears ultra tight-fitting outfits including a cat suit and swimsuit, which you earn by playing well. The "violence" warning by the ESRB is for Lara's use of guns to shoot creatures and wild animals, but there isn't any blood.
What's it about?
LARA CROFT TOMB RAIDER: ANNIVERSARY is a relatively affordable single-player game for the Sony PlayStation 2 and Windows PCs, which reintroduces us to Lara Croft as she risks her neck spelunking through tombs, battling through ancient cities, and scaling cliffs. The story reveals Croft's quest to find a mystical artifact, dubbed the Scion, but she soon realizes the mysterious syndicate that hired her had an ulterior motive. As in the original, you can first roam through Croft Manor to practice many of Croft's moves, including running, jumping, hanging on ledges, swimming, climbing, shooting guns, and using a grappling hook. Then it's off to Peru, Egypt, Greece, and other areas for her assignment in breathtakingly attractive environments.
Is it any good?
While the original game was advanced for its time, Anniversary greatly improves on the visual appeal by adding highly detailed characters, smoother animation, and realistic-looking indoor and outdoor scenery. Larger levels and new pathways to explore mean you will be able to play through this adventure in different ways. Enemy artificial intelligence has also been improved.
While the game is an extraordinary remake, some nagging camera issues occur. Sometimes the camera locks behind Croft in a way that obstructs your ability to see what she's shooting at or swinging toward. On the PC version, it can be tough to juggle all the controls using the mouse and keyboard. Computer gamers might fare better with a gamepad. Minor shortcomings notwithstanding, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary is an exceptional, value-priced remake worth playing through -- even if you've completed the original game multiple times.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether this game would be as successful if it featured an unattractive "Larry Croft" instead of a beautiful "Lara Croft." Families might want to talk about how the game mixes real-life adventuring and treasure hunting with a bit of a supernatural twist, a la Indiana Jones. Who does this game appeal to most? Girls looking to play video games with strong female role model, or guys wanting to play games featuring hot heroine?