Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact is the re-worked version of Tomb Raider III: The Adventures of Lara Croft and includes enhancements to the original game as well as the addition of five new levels. Lara Croft still stars in the title role, of course, and her actions as she jumps, dives, crawls, climbs and swims through the game add a sense of "been there, done that" to the experience.
Conversely, some portions of Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact seem new and inspired. The first part of the game, in fact, features a beautifully rendered prison setting, complete with jail guards and dogs that must be taken out by Lara Croft.
Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact, in the tradition of other Tomb Raider games, requires you to solve puzzles, explore and kill enemies. The most difficult parts of the game are, without a doubt, the puzzles as some of them force you to really think "outside of the box." Figuring them out and advancing to the next part of the level is definitely not as easy as some puzzles found in past games.
As in previous games, there are some quirks in controlling Lara Croft's movements that shouldn't come as a surprise to veterans of the series. For example, there are times she won't turn in the direction you might want her to and she's somewhat stubborn in terms of jumping. This may be due more in part to keyboard functionality than the character herself, thus a gamepad or joystick of some sort is definitely recommended over the use of the keyboard.
Another recurring problem with the Tomb Raider series is the camera movement. One would have thought by now that Eidos would have taken care of the sometimes shoddy camerawork used abundantly throughout the other games. Although minor improvements have been made, it's still all too easy to lose your perspective. For example, anytime Lara is in a corner, she tends to block your view somehow, or, if not that, a jutting wall gets in the way. Jumping perspective is also a problem at times, as the camera angle may not allow you to see correctly how far she must leap.
As if those movement glitches aren't enough, control of her actions while swimming poses a problem as well. It seems that when Croft gets close to the top of the water, the camera angle switches to a distance shot. This costs you perspective and makes getting Lara a breath of air very difficult. Her unresponsiveness in the water forces you to search out a ground route as an optimal alternative.
Although there are some minor improvements to the overall structure of Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact in comparison to past games, this game doesn't include much innovative material and may not be worth your time and effort. Unless, of course, you're a true fanatic of the series who must experience the new levels.
Graphics: The backgrounds are of high quality as are the characters. Some of the textures could use some work.
Sound: The background music sets the mood fairly well.
Enjoyment: It's difficult, at times, to control Lara and the game doesn't reflect much in the way of innovative updating other than five new levels.
Replay Value: Not much to do after the first time.
People who downloaded Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artifact have also downloaded:
Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation, Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider Chronicles, Tomb Raider 2, Tomb Raider 3, Tomb Raider Gold, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire
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