Tomb Raider: Anniversary Download
Systems: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game features:Single game mode
Seeing As This Is The tenth anniversary edition of Tomb Raider, temporal logic would suggest that I was 17 when the original leapt into my affections. I like to imagine myself at that age as a rough-around-the-edges rogue who you really wouldn't want to mess with. Unfortunately though, my recollections of my first encounter with Ms Croft are of being attacked by on-screen wolves and plaintively whimpering, throwing temper tantrums at misplaced jumps and not washing for a day or so.
So ten years on and beer-gut enhanced (me that is, not Lara), what's changed? The idea behind Anniversary is that the iconic stuff will be as striking in its recreation, whereas the more forgotten rock-climbing bumf in-between is open for modern-day fiddling. So it is then that a fluffy cloud of fond memories shrouds many scenes - notably when you open two vast doors high up on a mountainside and watch your sherpa get mulched by wolves, or when you stand straddling the camera in a misty valley with a slight premonition that something bad and dinosaur-shaped is about to happen.
This isn't to say that some of the smaller-fry puzzles haven't got a look-in though - take the site of Lara's first underwater swim, for example. This was in a blocky settlement of sorts, but now it's been lovingly recreated to look like a proper little village sheltering at the bottom of a big old cave - with that same resident bear, oddly horizontally dug well and traditional Peruvian block-push puzzles.
She's Still Cot It
The main area that nu-Lara meets that of old - other than prettified body - is that of fluid motion and spry animation. Frustrating jumps are still present, but ten years of progress has gifted us autosave as well as more responsive controls. The grapple hook of Legend, meanwhile, makes an unchronological reappearance -while Lara's new-found ability to perch on the more pointy bits of ancient architecture adds a fair whack of vertigo to affairs. Finally, when offing the animals unfortunate enough to stumble into her path, a true vestige of the future has entered the hallowed halls of Croft's debut: bullet-time. Or at least a version of it that lets you dive to the side in slo-mo as an animal charges, watching target reticules zero-in to your predator's forehead, and nabbing a few cheeky head shots.
The main challenge for Anniversary to overcome though comes simply through the way that games have changed in the past ten years. Back then, you needed to use your imagination to fill in the graphical blanks and flesh out the atmosphere of these lost underground civilizations. These days though, your graphics card does all the hard work.
Can Lara truly retain that sense of innocent wonder? Will a cheat code revert her boobs to pyramids? Will there be lots of bits where you jump from one rock to another? All these questions and more will be answered come next month's review.