Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Wii, PS3, PS2
Welcome (back) to the jungle
The eighth game in the Tomb Raider series feels perhaps a bit too familiar. As usual, Lara Croft—whose boobs can’t possibly be real (on a number of different levels)—sets off on yet another globe-spanning adventure in search of yet another artifact. This time it’s Thor’s Hammer. Underworld gets off to a snappy start, with Croft, alone, exploring the Mediterranean depths, and eventually stumbling upon a huge octopus, which seems content to sit still and groan while Croft clambers about its lair, solving the puzzle that will eventually spell its demise. Yet after the opening level, the game shifts to the far-too-familiar jungle backdrop. This is where Tomb Raider déjà vu takes hold, making one think unfortunate thoughts like, “Didn’t I already scale this rock wall/solve this puzzle/kill these creatures a thousand times over in the previous seven games?” As usual, the action is still the weak link in the chain here; targeting and killing enemies is a nuisance at best. But, despite its flaws, the game provides plenty of satisfaction, tantalizing your brain with the seductive titillation of…three-dimensional puzzle-solving.