Review: TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD (2008)

The Underworld awaits!

Tomb Raider - Underworld

Tomb Raider: Underworld is a 2008 action adventure game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Eidos Interactive. It is the final part of Crystal Dynamics’ “Tomb Raider Trilogy”.

Is It Worth?

If you have played Legend and Anniversary, you would want to play this for it is the final chapter of a three part saga. If not, play this just for fun, man.

A little about the Gameplay

The story of Tomb Raider: Underworld is built to tie together the previous two games in the franchise in that not only is it a direct sequel to Legend, it addresses some of the unexplained plot lines from Anniversary.

ॐ नमः शिवाय!

ॐ नमः शिवाय!

The story begins with Lara searching for Avalon under the Mediterranean Sea, hoping that Avalon will shed some light on the mysterious disappearance of her mother. Instead, she discovers an ancient temple that is actually one of the many Norse underworlds. Therein, she finds one of Thor’s gauntlets.

Shortly after, Lara is attacked by Amanda Evert’s mercenaries. Looking for answers, she sneaks aboard Amanda’s ship where she encounters the imprisoned Jacqueline Natla who tells Lara that the Norse underworld Helheim and Avalon are the same and if she wants to find her mother, she must fist find Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir.

Most of the gameplay elements are the same as in Legend and Anniversary. Additional elements introduced in this game include dual target system. This allows Lara to aim and shoot at two enemies simultaneously using her trademark dual pistols that never run out of bullets. Moreover, Lara is now able to drag enemies towards her using her grappling hook and perform melee (i.e., kick ‘em in the face).

An Active Sonar map is also provided to help the player to scope out tombs. This is especially useful in underwater levels.

Additional, an in-game help system is also introduced.

The Good

1: I had enjoyed Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider games thus far simply because they were so much fun. Fortunately, Underworld maintains the same level of excitement, action and adventure.

2: Graphics has visibly improved from Lara’s last outing. They really shine in the underwater levels.

Underwater shark fights!

Underwater shark fights!

3: Lara’s new moves are a fantastic addition to the series. She looks a lot smoother and fluid than in the previous games.

4: No quick time events. Thank God.

5: Puzzles are quite challenging this time; at least more than Legend, if not Anniversary. The first one had me trying to figure it for hours. I’ll admit field assistance helps.

6: Ultimately, Underworld achieves what it set out to do: tie together Legend and Anniversary and make a formidable trilogy.

The Bad

1: Tomb Raider: Underworld has no boss fights! I don’t understand why the developers would remove such a critical part of the games. Not only is it classic video game structure (You fight the boss at the end of the level. Simple.), but they were awesome in the previous games. They were imperfect, not a mess. Why remove it?

Not a boss fight, sadly.

Not a boss fight, unfortunately.

2: I’ll admit camera was a problem for me too this time. I’ve heard gamers complain about the camera of Legend and Anniversary but I had no issues. This time I did.

3: The game was released in 2008. You would think there would be some cover system or at least the enemy AI would be intelligent enough. Nope. Nothing.

Conclusion

Fans of Lara Croft will enjoy Tomb Raider: Underworld but it does not live up to the level of Anniversary or even Legend.

You may also like:

Review: TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND (2006)

Review: TOMB RAIDER: ANNIVERSARY (2007)

Review: TOMB RAIDER (2013)

About Amandeep Singh Virdi

My name is Amandeep Singh Virdi and I love video games among other things that include comics, films, music, and pro wrestling. Follow me @thatvirdiguy on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever.
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3 Responses to Review: TOMB RAIDER: UNDERWORLD (2008)

  1. Pingback: Review: TOMB RAIDER: ANNIVERSARY (2007) | Games Rewired

  2. Pingback: Review: TOMB RAIDER: LEGEND (2006) | Games Rewired

  3. Pingback: Review: RISE OF THE TOMB RAIDER (2015) | Games Rewired

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