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Tomb Raider - AnniversaryEdit

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a video game in the Tomb Raider series. It is a remake of the first video game in the series, the original Tomb Raider. It uses an improved version of the Legend game engine, and it includes all of the original environments from Tomb Raider.

The game was co-developed by Crystal Dynamics and Buzz Monkey Software for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Windows and Wii. Eidos announced 1 June 2007 as the European release date for the PS2 and Windows version, with the North American release to follow on 5 June 2007. Additionally, the subscription PC gaming service GameTap announced that the game will be available on their service on the same day as the game went to retailers. The PSP version was released on 9 August 2007 in the United States and on 26 October 2007 in Europe, with the Wii version released in Europe on 7 December 2007. An Xbox 360 version was released on 23 October 2007 and a version for the PlayStation 3 is included in The Tomb Raider Trilogy collection released in March 2011.

The game continues to be available in a digital format via Steam, although most of Europe is excluded from this service. However, in the UK and other countries the game had been re-issued under license in a physical format by game publisher Mastertronic Group, under its Sold Out Software brand for bargain titles.

PlotEdit

In 1945 in New Mexico, a blast from a nuclear experiment in Manhattan Project reveals a strange crystalline structure, from which a winged creature flies out. In Calcutta 1996, Lara Croft is approached by Larson Conway, who introduces her to Jacqueline Natla, who wishes for Lara to find a piece of an artifact called the Scion, located in the Peruvian mountains. Lara, having searched unsuccessfully for such an artifact with her father in the past, agrees to go.

In the Peruvian mountains, Lara finds a tomb belonging to god king Qualopec. She discovers that he was one of three God Kings (the Triumvirate) who ruled Atlantis before it sank. Lara leaves with a piece of the three-part Scion, but notices movement from what had appeared to be a statue of Qualopec before the tomb collapses. Shortly after, Lara is confronted by Larson, who attempts to take the Scion piece from her. After knocking him out, she discovers that Natla has sent Pierre Dupont, another archaeologist, to find the next piece. Lara breaks into Natla's office that night and finds evidence that the next piece of the Scion is in St. Francis Folly of Greece.

Lara departs to Greece, and finds the second piece of the Scion in the depths of a tomb. While observing the empty coffin of Tihocan, the second member of the Triumvirate, Lara is told at gun point to give up her piece of the Scion by Pierre. After Pierre takes the piece Lara tries to take him by surprise but he escapes with the Scion piece in hand, only to be killed by guardian centaurs outside of the tomb. After defeating the centaurs, and assembling both pieces of the Scion, Lara has a vision that reveals the location of the third and final piece of the Scion: Egypt.

Lara travels to Egypt, and successfully retrieves the third piece of the Scion. After assembling all three pieces, Lara's earlier vision becomes much clearer. Two of the three Triumvirates, Tihocan and Qualopec, are sentencing the third one, revealed to be Natla, to banishment in Lara's vision. Natla, after releasing Atlantis' own army against itself in an attempt to bring about the Seventh Age, is imprisoned in the crystalline structure for a thousand years.

With Lara in a trance from watching the vision, Natla steals the Scion, and has Lara restrained by her three henchmen. Lara escapes and follows the departing Natla on a motorbike, managing to sneak onto Natla's departing boat. Lara follows Natla into a desolate mine, and kills Larson when he tries to stop her progression. Visibly shaken, Lara then confronts Kold and Kid, who end up killing each other in the skirmish. Lara then travels to the top of the Atlantean pyramid and confronts Natla.

Not long into the confrontation with Natla, Lara realises that Natla's plan is to resurrect the army of Atlantis. Natla attempts to convince Lara to stop opposing her, and become immortal like she is. Lara shoots the levitating Scion in response, and is then tackled by Natla, who falls into the molten liquid while Lara uses her grappling hook to survive. Lara, thinking Natla dead, tries to escape, confronted by a giant mutant along the way. She is soon confronted by an angry Natla, scorched in appearance, but unimpeded in ability. After a confrontation, Lara collapses a pillar supporting the pyramid onto Natla, trapping her under the collapsing pyramid. Lara escapes and sails away in Natla's boat.

Version specific featuresEdit

Xbox 360 episodic contentEdit

On 18 June 2007, Eidos announced an Xbox 360 version of Tomb Raider: Anniversary. The game is split up into four episodes on Xbox Live. The Croft Manor level is available as a free download for each set of episodes. It was the first time a full retail game was made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The disc version of the game was released on 26 October 2007.

Wii featuresEdit

When the game was released for the Wii, various features were added to take advantage of the Wii controller's unique capabilities. Some simple switches from the other versions have been expanded into puzzle minigames. In one type of puzzle, Lara now has to find a cog and place it, along with smaller gears already in the mechanism, in the proper position to make a working switch. Another type of puzzle involves making a charcoal rubbing of 3 images then turning a stone mechanism until it matches the rubbing. Lara can also make drawings in crates of sand. New rewards and clues for the new puzzles have been added that require the player, as Lara, to dig for them using the Wii remote as an archaeological tool such as a shovel or pickaxe. Other new features include a flashlight (along with darkened corridors in which to use it) and a new room in the mansion that holds items found during the course of the game like keys, rubbings, and weapons. The room also contains hunting trophies from animals that Lara has killed (including dinosaurs and Atlantean creatures).

The Wii version also includes motion and pointer controls during normal gameplay. Flicking the nunchuk tosses Lara's grapple, and the Wii remote's pointer aims her weapons and flashlight. Also, Lara can speed up while swimming, shimmying, or climbing by quickly shaking the nunchuck. Finally, the adrenaline dodges are activated with motion gestures matching the in-game events (such as throwing a right hook at Pierre DuPont).

CastEdit

This game is a re-envisioning of the original Tomb Raider game and made to mark 10 years of Lara Croft. The game again centres on the search for the Scion, but also now addresses Lara’s first human kill and some of the character's lines have changed slightly. The following characters are featured in the game.

  • Lara Croft
  • Winston Smith
  • Richard Croft
  • Jacqueline Natla: A wealthy businesswoman and the CEO of Natla Technologies. She is the main antagonist of the game who is revealed to be one of the rulers of Atlantis and she seeks the Scion to bring about what she calls 'the seventh age'.
  • Larson: One of the mercenaries hired by Jacqueline Natla to retrieve the Scion from Lara Croft. Larson already knew Lara, prior to the game events. He shared some sort of chemistry with Lara and is the first human she ever kills, an act that leaves her disturbed afterwards.
  • Pierre Dupont: A mercenary hired by Jacqueline Natla to retrieve the Atlantean Scion from the tomb of Tihocan, in Greece. He is killed by two centaurs that guard the tomb.
  • Jerome "The Kid" Johnson: Another of Natla's hired mercenaries, a teenager who attacks his targets with dual mini SMGs. He first appears at the conclusion of the Egypt levels and is fought in the Lost Island via an interactive cut scene before being killed by "Kold" Kin Kade.
  • "Kold" Kin Kade: A large African-American henchman, he wields a sizeable army knife and is revealed to be a brutal and vicious killer, now acting as Natla's bodyguard. He is killed by The Kid.
  • Doppelgänger: One of Natla’s creations, this creature is physically identical to Lara, beside the lack of skin and hair. It mimics all Lara's moves and if Lara shoots it they both get hurt. Its biography explains it to be soulless creature. It is available as an unlockable outfit for Lara during the game.
  • Qualopec: One of the ancient rulers of the lost continent of Atlantis, also indicated that he is Natla's brother whose tomb is located in Peru. He was maimed in the uprising. Lara thinks she sees his body moving as his tomb in Peru collapses.
  • Tihocan: Another ruler of Atlantis, Tihocan was buried in Greece. Lara finds that his coffin is empty. He was the so-called 'Leader of the Chosen' and was the one who stopped Natla's rampage.

Trailers, gameplay videos and demoEdit

Nine official trailers and four developer diaries have been released. The first, released on 21 December 2006 revealed an FMV sequence, in which Lara slid into The Lost Valley, battled several raptors and suddenly turned at the sound of the T-rex approaching. What followed was then several seconds of gameplay footage from that level, including combat against bears, wolves and bats.

The second trailer, released 23 February 2007, showed one of the opening cutscenes (Lara's guide being attacked by the wolves) and gameplay footage from Egypt. A new move, in which Lara ran across a wall whilst gripping onto the grapple, was shown during the video. It also showed some mummies attacking Lara. Some of the moves they included was a fireball throw, unlike their original counterparts, which didn't use fireballs, and another part of the trailer showed the mummy standing up to look around, another move inherited from the original counterparts. The trailer revealed also that the game was planned for a May release though a 38-second trailer released on 14 April 2007 indicated a June 2007 release.

Several more trailers came out such as the Folly, the Coliseum, and a new one that shows the first footage of Atlantis including shots of mutants and the giant mutant. Gametrailers and GameSpot released gameplay videos mostly from the Peru section of the game.

A demo of the "Lost Valley" segment from the Peru levels was released on 25 May 2007.

ReceptionEdit

Tomb Raider: Anniversary was met with mostly favourable reviews. The aggregator site GameRankings, gave the PC version an 84.28% rating, the PlayStation 2 version an 81.17%, the PSP a 79.24%, the Xbox a 77.01% and the Wii version a 73.28%. All of these scores indicate generally favourable reviews. IGN gave the game a "good" rating, along with a 7.8 score. They criticised the camera angles, saying "If ever there was a title that screamed for a second analog stick, it's a Lara Croft game." But they did add, "If you're looking for a solid adventure game, this fits the bill." GameSpot said "This is one of those rare cases when the remake is better than the original" and awarded Anniversary a healthy 7.5/10. Eurogamer called the game "the best Lara Croft adventure to date" and added "It's as if Eidos and Crystal took a look at the long list of perennial bugbears anyone had about the game and scrubbed them off with a big red marker until every one was gone." Official UK Playstation Magazine game the game a very positive review, awarding it a 9/10.

Core Design: Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary EditionEdit

A video game trailer showing footage of a new Tomb Raider game was distributed on the Internet on 8 June 2006. The titles and logos of the trailer claimed that the title was Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary Edition, a PSP game by Core Design. The trailer featured Lara Croft in familiar yet remodelled environments from the original, Tomb Raider, complete with new animations, and interactions which were much more elaborate than what was in the original release of the game. The footage from the trailer was running on the PSP hardware, using the Free Running engine, though it would most likely have made its way to the PS2 platform and PC. Video game discussion forums had been speculating about the veracity of the trailer, because it featured a recognisable film score ("Duel of the Fates" from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) that caused some viewers to question whether it was a real project. Core has since admitted the trailer was from a cancelled project. The video is now difficult to find across the Internet, since it infringes copyright and was not supposed to be revealed to the public.

The next week, Eidos Interactive announced that it would be making Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition for PS2, PSP, and Windows. It would be designed by Crystal Dynamics, an American game development company that replaced Core and went on to create the seventh entry in the series, Tomb Raider: Legend. In addition, Buzz Monkey Software would provide the development effort.

Rather than a 're-imagining,' as Crystal considered their version of the remake, Core felt that their anniversary edition was instead a faithful remake of the original, but with several additions, and overall a game that was better than the original in every aspect. When creating the Free Running engine, the team played with a Lara model and suddenly developed the idea of creating a remake of their 1996 classic. They suggested the idea to Eidos, who agreed and allowed them to continue. Early on, Core decided that the game would have to be graphically similar to Tomb Raider: Legend, so they gave the Lara model facial similarities. New to the game was the idea of pole swinging, absent in the original. It also had the concept of 'ledge-hopping', as was seen in Legend. Coincidentally, Core introduced cross-hair targeting, which they later discovered was also being used in Legend. Core were also including a brand new extended final level, where Lara would battle a huge Atlantean war machine as Atlantis crumbled into ruins. As special features, a documentary, concept art, FMVs and character models from the original game would have been included. Nathan McCree would have developed a new score, and Core had originally planned on using Jonell Elliott to voice Lara, though they never reached the recording stage.

MusicEdit

The score for Tomb Raider: Anniversary is composed by Troels Brun Folmann. It took 5 months for Troels to compose, and is in the style of electronic orchestra. The majority of the album contains his original scores and themes. However, recognisable themes from the first game (composed by Nathan McCree) such as "Time to Run", "Puzzle Theme", and "Puzzle Theme II" have been recreated.

The "Main Theme" for Anniversary can be described as a celebratory version of the original theme from Tomb Raider, as similar chord and instruments are used in the piece. The song starts off with a heavy crescendo of woodwinds and low strings playing the famous Tomb Raider melody, and then breaks off into an almost playful arc, featuring parts of the original harp composition from first Tomb Raider. Pizzicato strings, cascading pianos and celeste, chimes, and glass instrumentation are prominent throughout this version, implying the fresh and modern twist that Folmann and Crystal Dynamics have placed in Anniversary.

Folmann's work for Anniversary is different from that of Legend, as it has no underlying techno beats or electronic effects. Anniversary's score resembles that of a combination between the original Tomb Raider and a typical movie score: entirely orchestral and choral. Folmann uses more complex instrumentation and composition in his scoring, acquiring more woodwinds, instrument articulation, and ambience. Folmann leaves somewhat of a trademark in his Anniversary music by adding a significant amount of wind chimes throughout the score.

Collector's Edition SoundtrackEdit

Tomb Raider: Anniversary included a 13-track promotional soundtrack in the 'Collector's Edition' of the game. The release contains music from both Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary, all composed by Troels Brun Folmann. An Audio CD was included in most 3-disc sets. However, the same content was instead included in DVD format in 2-disc versions following the Xbox 360 release of Anniversary.

Featured ImagesEdit

Tomb Raider Games

Tomb Raider (1996) · Unfinished Business (1998) · Tomb Raider II (1997) · The Golden Mask (1999) · Tomb Raider III (1998) · The Lost Artifact (2000) · The Last Revelation (1999) · The Times (1999) · Chronicles (2000) · The Angel of Darkness (2003) · Legend (2006) · Anniversary (2007) · Underworld (2008) · Beneath the Ashes (2009) · Lara's Shadow (2009) · Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light (2010)

Tomb Raider Movies

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001) · The Cradle Of Life (2003)