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Tomb Raider: Underworld

4.2 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews
Rated: Teen
Metascore: 76 / 100
76
Xbox 360 Platform:
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About the Product

  • Tomb Raider: Underworld for Nintendo Xbox 360 by Eidos resumes where Tomb Raider: Legend left off and introduces a new, interactive playing environment
  • Lara Croft explores a wide array places, such as the Arctic, Mexico, and beneath the Mediterranean Sea
  • Environment is much more realistic and interactive -- footprints will be left in mud, for example, but only until it rains and then they will wash away
  • Melee combat system that requires players to strategically strike with offensive, defensive, and evasive maneuvers
  • Improved AI allows enemies and animals to make decisions based on surroundings, employ ambush and squad tactics, and even retreat if deemed necessary

Product Description

Platform: Xbox 360

Amazon.com

Tomb Raider: Underworld for Xbox 360 by Eidos resumes where Tomb Raider: Legend left off. This installment introduces a new, interactive playing environment that gives players a chance to immerse themselves more fully into the game. Players once again take the role of Lara Croft as she explores such wide-ranging places as the Arctic, Mexico, and beneath the Mediterranean Sea.



Lara's environment is now much more realistic and interactive. View larger.


And now she can hold onto a ledge with one hand and fire a gun with the other. View larger.
Interactive Worlds Introduces Realistic gameplay
Unlike the previous games in the series, Lara's environment is now much more realistic and interactive. Footprints will be left in mud, for example, but only until it rains and then they will wash away. Lara's shirt will also get wet, and she's more likely to lose her grip if she is standing on a slippery, rain-soaked ledge. When the sun comes out, her shirt will dry and the slippery surfaces regain their friction.

In Underworld, Lara also has a lot more flexibility in how she makes her way through a level, as there is often more than one way to get from here to there. She can now climb walls with texture and rocky outcroppings to reach areas she previously wouldn't have been able to access.

All of these additions have been made to give the game a non-linear, open feel. Players can interactive with the environment by doing things they find to be intuitive, and the game will respond in an appropriate way. When Lara interacts with trees, for example, she will push aside leaves using either one or two hands depending on whether or not she's holding something. These details give a lifelike, immersive sensation to the game.

New Melee Combat System
Underworld introduces a new melee combat system that requires players to strategically strike with offensive, defensive, and evasive maneuvers. Lara can now attack enemies with different punches, kicks, knees, and other acrobatic onslaughts. Items lying on the ground, such as poles that were previously walked on, can be picked up and swung at enemies. Players can also perform a greater variety of actions with weapons; for example, Lara can now hold onto a ledge with one hand and fire a gun with the other.

Realistic Enemy and Animal AI
The AI in Tomb Raider: Underworld has also taken a big step forward--both enemies and animals now make independent decisions based on their surroundings, employ ambush and squad tactics when fighting, and will retreat if deemed necessary.

With updated graphics and a more immersive and realistic gameplay, Tomb Raider: Underworld will have both fans and newcomers excited about the newest installment in this popular video game-pinup franchise.




Tomb Raider: Underworld is loaded with a new melee combat system, various weapons, and smarter AI for both enemies and animals.


Product Information

Platform:Xbox 360
ASIN B0012N8WXQ
Release date November 18, 2008
Customer Reviews
4.2 out of 5 stars 97 customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #16,851 in videogames
#1,114 in Video Games > Xbox 360 > Games
#1,848 in Video Games > PC Games > PC Games
Pricing The strikethrough price is the List Price. Savings represents a discount off the List Price.
Product Dimensions 7.8 x 5.8 x 0.5 inches
Media: Video Game
Domestic Shipping This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
International Shipping This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More

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Top Customer Reviews

By Turtle502 VINE VOICE on December 1, 2008
Platform for Display: Xbox 360
Tomb Raider: Underworld is another decent -- if not outstanding -- installment of the Lara Croft series. The game picks up sometime after the events of Legend, and makes an attempt to tie-up the story. The developers have made an attempt to make this the first Tomb Raider game for the current generation of consoles, and for the most part, they have delivered.

As a Tomb Raider experience, this showing is similar to past games. All of Lara's classic moves are in the game, and the controls are relatively familiar. There are some new moves, such as the adrenaline headshot, which requires you to build-up adrenaline through combat before executing the move. It is effective against humans and animals, but not so much against other enemies you encounter later in the game. There is also a new "adrenaline moment" move, in which the on-screen action slows and you must decide how you want to handle the situation -- there's no sequence of buttons to press, and no right or wrong way of doing things. However, I found that these moves were scattered widely throughout the game, and weren't as plentiful or as exciting as the developers had hyped them. The wall climb is another new move, which is well designed and makes you think a little more about how to get to higher ground -- you don't necessarily need to look for ledges. In fact, Lara can now climb rock faces as well, so this game tends to mix-it-up for long-time fans. Additionally, in order to find treasures, Lara must break open clay jars -- which is somewhat new but also counter-intuitive if Lara values artifacts. Lara's movements are a little more acrobatic, and sometimes her stance just doesn't seem right.

The camera remains the biggest problem in this game, as it had been in both Legend and Anniversary.
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Platform for Display: Xbox 360
If it weren't for the (relatively few) flaws, this game would be a masterpiece. I've been a fan of the tomb raider series for a long long time, but for whatever reason haven't played the last two. I'm glad I gave this one a go.

The pros:
- Gorgeous and expansive levels
- Great acrobatics
- Puzzles are the perfect difficulty
- Lots of puzzles
The cons:
- Controls take some getting used to, especially the grappling hook
- Lara gets "stuck" in the environments sometimes, especially if it's right on top of a terrain change. Can usually escape pretty easily, but it's annoying nonetheless
- Invisible walls and "special" walls. I prefer delimiting the boundaries of where you can travel by walls that are simply just too high to jump on. Invisible walls feel cheap. "special" walls are walls that you can jump on and climb (as opposed to unspecial walls that look absolutely identical, but for some reason Lara refuses to grab it). In this sense the environment isn't totally autonomous, I would like to be able to do everything that the laws of physics allow me to do. If there's a wall that isn't any higher than my hands when I raise them straight up, I should sure as heck be able to climb it.
- Axis inversion doesn't work on vehicles. This is a little weird, and really feels like a bug in the game, but when playing 3rd person games I really like axis inversion. It's broken on vehicles.
- Lack of keyboard mapping. On the Xbox 360 version anyway, there is no option to remap keys.
- Autosave feature is a little weird. It uses 8 save slots, the same 8 save slots for if you do manual saves. So if you do a manual save, it will get overwritten later by an autosave.
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Platform for Display: Xbox 360
"Tomb Raider: Underworld" (TRU from now on) is easily Crystal Dynamics best effort since they took over the TR series from Core Design. It's obvious that the designers have been listening to the fans, and they addressed nearly all of the complaints that people had about their previous attempts.

Here's what they improved:
1. Level design.
Their first attempt, "Tomb Raider: Legend" had extremely linear levels, allowing for practically no exploration. This flew in the face of everything TR was supposed to be about. They improved on this with their second game, "TR: Anniversary," but that was a remake of the original TR game. TRU is the first time that Crystal Dynamics has created their own, original, open levels. They're not quite as open as, say, the levels in TR3, but even on those occasions when you are merely progressing along a predetermined path, the world just feels more open because of its clever design and the massive scale of it all (remember how big St. Francis' Folly in TR1 felt when you first played it back in the late 90s? Well, that's NOTHING compared to enormity of some areas you'll discover in TRU! There's a level towards the end of the game where you have to scale a rotating tower, and the massive scale of it is awe-inspiring. It really adds to the sense of vulnerability you'll feel.)

2. Combat
One of the common complaints about "Legend" was that you seemed to be in a firefight with a ton of mercs every few seconds. TRU scales back the combat drastically, returning the focus to exploring, platforming and puzzle solving, with just enough combat to keep you from ever getting too relaxed.
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