Tomb Raider: Legend

Tomb Raider: Legend
A brown-haired woman looks out, pictured against a clouded sky.
Developer(s)Crystal Dynamics[a]
Publisher(s)Eidos Interactive
Producer(s)Morgan Gray
Designer(s)Riley Cooper
Doug Church
Programmer(s)Rob Pavey
Writer(s)Eric Lindstrom
Aaron Vanian
Toby Gard
Composer(s)Troels Brun Folmann
SeriesTomb Raider
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, GameCube, Mobile, PlayStation 3
Release
Genre(s)Action-adventure
Mode(s)Single-player

Tomb Raider: Legend is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos Interactive. It is the seventh entry in the Tomb Raider series and the first in a franchise reboot that reimagined the origins and character of series protagonist Lara Croft. The game released in 2006 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, PlayStation Portable, GameCube, Game Boy Advance (GBA), Nintendo DS (DS), and mobile phones. A PlayStation 3 port was released in 2011.

Legend details Lara Croft's quest for the mythical sword Excalibur, racing across the world against her former friend Amanda Evert. Gameplay features Lara navigating linear levels, fighting enemies and solving environmental puzzles to progress. The DS and GBA versions share the game's story while sporting gameplay adjusted for the platforms. The mobile version adapts locations from the game into on rails command-based platforming and combat scenarios.

Following the critical failure of Core Design's Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Eidos transferred development of the next Tomb Raider to Crystal Dynamics, who began production in 2004. The aim was to revitalise the franchise, with both the gameplay and Lara herself being redesigned. Lara's creator Toby Gard was brought on board to help with this and was deeply involved with the project. Composer Troels Brun Folmann designed the music to change during levels as the player progresses.

The game received generally positive reviews, with many praising Legend as a return to form for the series, and either won or was nominated for multiple gaming awards. The GBA and DS ports received lower scores due to impact of hardware limitations on the gameplay. Selling over three million copies worldwide, Legend helped revitalise the Tomb Raider brand and re-established Lara Croft as a gaming icon. Two sequels—the remake Anniversary and true sequel Underworld—were released in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Gameplay

A woman uses a grappling line to pull an electrical device along tracks in one room of a larger research complex.
Lara Croft manipulating an object using her grappling line.

Tomb Raider: Legend is a single-player action-adventure game in which the player controls the protagonist, Lara Croft, from a third-person perspective, through eight levels set across seven locations around the world.[6][7][8] As Lara, the player can jump, climb and shimmy along ledges and vertical poles or ladders, crawl through small spaces, swing on ropes and horizontal poles, interact with objects and switches, use a grappling line to swing across gaps and pull objects towards her, and swim and dive underwater for a limited time. Different button combinations can create more moves such as a roll and swan dive.[8][9]:10–11 Some levels have Lara on a motorbike racing through that part of the level while fighting enemies.[8][10]

Puzzles can block progress in the level until Lara solves them by activating switches within the area. These and other objectives such as avoiding or jamming traps can involve pushing large blocks around the environment.[7] In some sections, the player must pass quick time events by reacting to control prompts that appear on screen.[7] While exploring, Lara can use her grapple to move and destroy certain objects, use a small torch to illuminate dark areas, identify different environmental characteristics using her binoculars, and pick up a maximum of three Health Packs which can heal damage suffered during gameplay.[9]:14–15 Collectable Artefacts hidden in each level can be found and unlock extra features, while Time Trials challenge players to complete any level within a time limit.[7][9]:14–15

During combat, Lara automatically locks on to enemies, with the player able to switch to another target within range. She can move around freely to avoid enemy attacks and trigger environmental hazards to aid her in combat. Lara can access up to two weapon types; her default twin pistols with infinite ammunition, and a secondary weapon, which is picked up during a level and has limited ammunition which can be replenished from defeated enemies carrying the same weapon type. Lara can also carry grenades to throw at enemies, perform melee attacks when she is close enough, and use her grapple to briefly stun them. When close to a targeted enemy, Lara can perform a jump attack which slows down time while she is airborne, allowing her more time to dispatch her enemies.[7][8][9]:12–13 If Lara's health is depleted she dies and restarts at a previous checkpoint.[11]

The home console, Microsoft Windows and PlayStation Portable (PSP) versions share content and level design.[12][13] The PSP version includes exclusive "Tomb Trials". These missions have players either navigating a series of obstacles within a time limit or hunting treasures within one of the game's levels. Tomb Trials can be completed both in single-playing and multiplayer mode, where two players can compete in one on a local network.[13][14] The Nintendo DS (DS) version uses a hybrid of 3D environments and 2D sprites. Lara moves through levels as in the main versions and players use the DS's touchscreen and mike functions in gameplay. The Game Boy Advance (GBA) version is a 2D side-scroller.[6] The mobile version uses three of the locations and splits its gameplay into two types per location. In platforming sections players must guide Lara through environmental hazards. In combat sections Lara must dodge enemy fire and kill all enemies to move forward. The gameplay in each stage plays out on rails with limited movement and input from the player.[15]

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