Game Review - by David Hutchison
Tomb Raider Gold brings back the action packed excitement of the first Tomb Raider and more. Lara Croft, the star of the original Tomb Raider, returns along with four new expert levels of difficulty. From the scorching deserts of Egypt, to the volcanic hives of Atlantis, get ready for more mind-numbing puzzles, treacherous traps, and viscous creatures.
Extra Episode #1: Unfinished Business:
Provides TWO EXPERT LEVELS of Lara's dramatic return to Atlantis - Lara has discovered the existence of a ruined segment of the alien city, allegedly containing a hive of surviving creatures guarding an alien hatchery. In this new adventure she must destroy the aliens before they invade again!
Extra Episode #2: Shadow of the Cat:
Provides TWO EXPERT LEVELS of Lara's return to the city of Khamoon to discover the secret of the strangely beautiful cat statue, and sets off on a new adventure following the trail of the cat to it's deadly and mysterious conclusion.
These four levels in Tomb Raider Gold present a "What if?" scenario to the original Tomb raider. In Egypt, a flood has opened new doors in Khamoon, granting access to a new tomb that involves the exotic cat statues that decorated the first Egyptian levels. The levels in Atlantis take place right after the final level of the original Tomb Raider, where a part of the alien hatchery survived the explosion and Lara must destroy it.
While easy to install, Tomb Raider Gold does not allow the player to configure the controls, which results in the "Start" button to be pressed often, ending the game prematurely. Besides the extra four levels, Tomb Raider Gold comes with a slide show screen saver, a calendar program, and a desktop theme that can be installed. The AI of the enemies is poor, resulting in every creature having a very predictable pattern.
The graphics of Tomb Raider Gold are disappointing when compared to the original. Much of the detail that made the original so breathtaking is not present in Tomb Raider Gold's bonus levels making the terrain and creatures look flat and dull.
The sound effects are the same excellent quality that made the original Tomb Raider a listening delight. The growling of creatures and the grinding of doors opening vary in volume depending on the distance of the object, but are still heard over the interesting, but not distracting soundtrack.
The excellent gameplay of Tomb Raider Gold remains unchanged from its predecessor. The innovative controls are hindered only by the need to bring up the menu rings to switch weapons than hitting a shortcut key, which could result in disaster at points in the game.
Tomb Raider Gold is a must for any that did not buy the original Tomb Raider. For those that own the original, however, they may want to pass on this game, even though there is a $10 rebate, and get Tomb Raiders 2 & 3.