“This post is part of a series exploring the history of the Tomb Raider series and its entries. Be sure to check out the hub article on NekoJonez’s Gaming Blog for links to all the great retrospectives written by other bloggers, and to find out more about what makes this franchise such a classic.”
So many sequels can do its predecessors justice by improving on the layed out foundation for what made the game successful. Though they might not be as good, they can often make certain aspects better for the future of the franchise.
This game is not one of them, for every great level design, it has horrendous combat mechanic, ai enemies, frustrating control scheme and lastly, a not so memorable story.
However, I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Tomb Raider Chronicles starts out a little after Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation where Lara presumably dies. This game takes the narration in a Christopher Nolan like storytelling, where characters from Lara’s life reminisce about various adventures she has been on. Sort of like a ‘best of’ journeys, despite the game being brand new when it came out.
This might be because it had little under a year to be developed, so nothing with its assets or character designs will have changed a whole lot. Even the all well known tank controls are for a lack of better word, worse than in previous games. Personally I really don’t like tank controls but it was a necessary compromise, since because of the time it came out, Metal Gear was the big hit on Playstation and the talk around town. Tomb Raider Chronicles saw it fit to shoehorn in a stealth segment, or rather and whole mission around being stealthy…and the controls weren’t meant for such type of game at all. Since the enemy AI just has this pin point accuracy to hit Laura where as I had to fight against the camera, angling myself correctly and then use the auto aim guns to fire and hopefully hit the enemy before Lara lost all her health.
There simply was no way at all to avoid any incoming attacks unless they were melee from like a dog or something. Sure, a dog can’t kill you with one hit, and very few enemies can kill you with one hit. But it’s the fact that I have no means to avoid the attack at all; when a game is designed so that you cannot avoid the first attack from an enemy, that isn’t fun in my opinion.
If one thing to be very positive coming out of the game, that would be the hilariously bad voice acting. Whenever somebody spoke, I was almost falling out of my chair laughing but appreciative at the same time how well it has changed over the years.
Which is why with a heavy heart I will have to give Tomb Raider Chronicles the final score:
The concept of Tomb Raider Chronicles isn’t a bad one: Lara Croft has gone missing after her last outing and all her close friends have accepted her death. It is during the mourning ceremonies that three of those closest to Lara Croft gather around the table, each one recollecting their favorite adventures of Lara. Among this circle is Lara’s butler, Winston, James Yves from Tomb Raider 4, and Father Patrick Dunstin, new to the Tomb Raider circle. And obviously, as each man recounts his story, you pick up Lara and play through the adventure. So, you get four different adventures in one game… or actually, four different areas to play the same type of game.
It’s just a below average game compared to its predecessors, it brings nothing new to the temple other than a poorly designed and executed stealth segment. While I won’t be recommending this, if you are a gigantic fan of the Tomb Raider series, it’s worth to find at a very low price and maybe give it a go.
What are your thoughts on this game? Let me know down in the comments as I hope you enjoyed this review of Tomb Raider Chronicles.
Stay Cozy and have a nice day!