At a glance...

Reviewer Platform Publisher Developer Players
Matt Bailey Other Format Piggyback Interactive Mathieu Daujam, James Price N/A
Requirements Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Tomb Raider: Legend on PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 or PC Click here to buy Tomb Raider: Legend Official Guide.

Tomb Raider: Legend Official Guide review

Now having got a review of a guide under my belt it's time to look at another, this time for Eidos' recent release, Tomb Raider: Legend. Like last time I'm also working on a review of the game at the same time, so the guide naturally accompanies what I'm doing. Also, I should again point out that this is a different type of review to what we usually write here on the site.

The guide itself isn't as colourful as the Dragon Quest one, but that's down to the nature of the game; Tomb Raider is a darker and edgier game, and the guide reflects this different style well. It's still, however, far more visually pleasing than a text-based guide with some dodgy ASCII art. The different genre of game also presents a different style of guide; this time it's split into just three sections; How to Play, the Walkthrough, and Extras.

How to Play is a far more detailed section than its equivalent in the Dragon Quest guide. You have to remember that the guide covers multiple formats and so starts by covering the controls on each, as well as telling you how they map to the PS2 ones that are referenced throughout the guide. Presumably they expect the largest group of users to be on the PS2, though as I'm playing through on the PC version it can be odd being told to use the right analogue stick or press triangle, but it's rarely an issue. The section then goes on to detail the options and the HUD, the large range of moves you can perform, so-called "Winning Tactics" which provide useful advice on basic strategies, and a detailed list of the equipment on offer in the game.

The main walkthrough will take you through each of the game's eight levels. There appears to be a bit more hand-holding compared to the Dragon's Quest guide, though you can skim through the details when everything is going well. This is, of course, where the big difference in the nature of the two guides lies. For an RPG title the guide can be your constant companion helping you through complications in objectives, what items need to be used where, and generally getting more out of the vast worlds which you explore. For an action-adventure game, like Tomb Raider: Legend, the guide is there to see you through levels, helping you out when you're stuck (rather than being used all the time), and isn't going to offer an awful lot to those who can rush through these games. However, if like myself you end up getting stuck, the walkthrough will come in very useful to avoid spending 5 hours realising you need to pull the lever in the corner. The main text is well-written, and is accompanied by a range of pictures to avoid confusion. Each level is covered by a main map which is split into sections, which are then covered by the text, screenshots, and another top-down map to aid you, with a legend rather usefully printed on a fold-out back page for easy reference.

The Extras section is a major justification for a purchase, even for those with little need for the walkthrough itself. Aside from taking a look at the extra level, the Croft Mansion (available after completing the first mission), the guide details the location of all the Bronze, Silver and Gold rewards that are placed throughout the game. This is useful for obtaining those elusive 100% ratings, which in turn unlock new outfits for Lara. There's also a full list of Achievements you can earn on the Xbox 360 version, as well as a full cast list.

From here onwards the focus of the guide switches from Legend's gameplay on to additional information, providing an overview of the series over the past ten years and an in-depth look behind the scenes at the development of the game. This is thanks to the cooperation between developer Crystal Dynamics and the makers of the guide, and is an interesting read, particularly to see what was taken out of the game.

Ratings

Graphics N/A 0/10
Gameplay N/A 0/10
Value Again the free guides online are no match, but a guide isn't as justified for all action-adventure game owners as it is for RPG titles. However, the Extras section alone makes it worthwhile even if you aren't always using the walkthrough. 8/10
Lifespan N/A 0/10
Audio N/A 0/10
Overall While not all will find use in the main walkthrough, the guide to all the secrets, the characters, and the extensive look behind the scenes make it a great companion to the game, even if it isn't as essential a purchase as the Dragon Quest guide was. 8/10

Click here to buy Tomb Raider: Legend Official Guide from Amazon.co.uk.

Copyright Information

Website design and content (c) 1999-2012 allaboutgames.co.uk.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License, except where otherwise noted.

Smileys taken from Crack's Smilies.