By Al Giovetti
Genre:3D Adventure Shooter
Developer: Core Design
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Support The Computer Show and
get paid to surf the web. Click on this Big Bang ad!
Tomb Raider II (2)
The original Laura Croft game, Tomb Raider, caused an international sensation, rocketing the cyber babe to star status overnight. Laura Croft began to make appearances with her motorcycle at parties, on stage at rock concerts, television, and others. Laura Croft has been reading movie scripts and fending off offers to do commercial endorsements and television shows. Laura was even selected as one of Times 50 most influential people in cyberspace, right alongside Bill Gates.
Core Design's disgust with looking at buff Arnold look alikes lead to the creation of the nearly nude sex goddess, that rocks the world. (Editors note: Laura is not just nearly nude, one cheat on our cheat page reveals that the original game was programmed with two Laura's one completely nude and one scantily clad. You need the cheat to reveal the unclad beauty and reveal the true pornographic nature of this title.) Hey Laura we needed a wake up call. Sex sells!
The game play is still excellent with jumping, running, grabbing, moving sideways along ledges. Laura does not just simply jump up but also back, front, up, to each side, and from a standstill and a run. New for Tomb Raider II, Laura can climb now up ladders and move catlike across brick walls. She can also shoot automatic pistols, Uzi automatic pistols, shotguns, and, new in Tomb Raider II, the powerful M-16 assault rifle, grenade launcher, and harpoon gun. Laura can use small and large medical packs to heal herself.
Also new for Tomb Raider II is the ability to use vehicles such as power boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles. Another new touch is the wire with hand holds to traverse large chasms. Laura will need all these new abilities to get through the eighteen new levels she must now traverse.
The antagonists now include a lot more evil humans than before. We also have a dragon in the finale, since the tyranasaurous seems to be an easy kill for Laura. And what Laura Croft game would be complete without some of the most beautiful animals in the world, like the snow leapard and bengal tiger to grapple assault weapons with.
Returning for the second time are several glaring game problems, which Core and Eidos have chosen to ignore, inspite of extensive reviewer and player comments, including those maddening chase camera views that change perspective radically at the critical moment causing Laura's untimely demise and reboot or reload to try again (Editor: If Mario64 can create an effective and functional chase camera why not Tomb Raider II?). Other problems are seen in the lame seek-and-circle enemy artificial intelligence, lame single-view, two-dimensional sprites that mar the otherwise spectacular three dimensional world, and poorly implemented collision detection and clipping that makes hand-to-hand combat and movement near walls a confusing affair.
The original game had our heroine chasing down the Scion of Atlantis. This time around Laura is seeking the Dagger of Xian. The introduction of the game starts with a fully animated cut scene or movie-like portrayal of the dragon leading the attack on a small villiage fortress. One soldier pulls the dagger from the dragon's heart causing the dragon and his master to dissolve into a pile of bones surrounded by a pool of blood. Subsequently, two friends enter the shine of the dragon, only to discover that the artifact destroys them when replaced into the dragon dagger pedistal.
Laura must move across 18 new levels including the Wall of China, Venice, Opera Hourse, Diving Area, 40 Fathoms, Maria Doria Wreck, Living Quarters, and Deck, Tibetan Foothills, Barkhang Monastery, Talion Catacombs, Ice Palace, Xian Temple, and Floating Islands. The finale of the game is in the dragon's chamber and later an anti-climactic battle in Laura's own home.
Also ramped up in the sequel are the graphics. You can now view the semi-nude sex kitten in 1200x1024 pixels and 32-bit color making this the best looking three dimensional shooter yet. Texture maps have similarly been improved. Laura now sports the full bobbing, floating, and flying ponytail that was omitted from the original game.
Dynamic lighting tops the bill of animation effects. The increased polygon count on items, animals, people, scenery and Laura inprove the vista. Dynamic lighting effects include flickering flares, gunshot illumination, and other effects are very good.
Beutiful and well-executed cut scene animation, which are short movie like animated sequences occur before and after each level and sometimes during the level to help move the story along.
Speech is used more extensively throughout the game.
Music and the use of it in the game is still poorly implemented.
The sound effects are significantly better with individual sounds for all weapons
Supports Direct 3D, Direct Draw, Direct Sound, and Direct Input.
There is a third Laura in the planning. We hope the game designers add more plot and substance, while eliminating the glaring errors of the past and bring back a Laura that we all can love.
Cheats, Hints, Walkthrough
- Tomb Raider 2 Cheats
- Tomb Raider 2 Walkthrough, Tomb Raider 2 Walkthrough Text Only Version
Sean makes history by defying the powers that be and thumbing his nose at the Eidos/Core Design superpower machine by giving the game an overall rating of 6 out of 10 citing it as no more than "an add-on pack." Sean cites Tomb Raider II's "main selling point" as "the ass of a scantily clad woman." Sean kiss your invitation to the 1998 E3 Laura Croft/Eidos party goodbye. Sean says, "who cares about a party when you are making gaming history with tough investigative reviews." Thanks Sean, your comment brings a tear to my eye.
Put your review right here by emailing us the text.
- Sean Downey, Boot, volume 3, number 2, February, 1998, page 85, 6/10 (60%).
- Daniel Morris, PC Games, volume 5, numbr 2, February, 1998, pages 62-65, A- (90%)
- Thierry Nguyen, Computer Gaming World, issue number 164, pages 124-125, 4/5 (80%).