Tomb Raider: Underworld Review for PC

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Underwater sections look great and control surprisingly well
Underwater sections look great and control surprisingly well

Underwater sections look great and control surprisingly well

A much talked about feature is the tips system, which dishes out a clue or a much more blatant piece of advice at the touch of a button. In our experience these tips have mixed rates of success, with our struggles often coming not because we didn't know what needed to be done, but how we had to do it. For example, one level sees you having to find two jaguar heads. Having found one we searched high and low for the second, but simply couldn't find it. The tips system told us that we needed to find the two jaguar heads and place them on two dials at either ends of a massive room. Not much help really. It turned out that we'd managed to miss the first jaguar head which was located at the start of the level.

Something else we found to be a missed opportunity is the sonar map. Accessed from your PDA, this nifty gadget gives you a 3D map of the surrounding area, but we couldn't find a good use for it. Something you might have been expecting is the ability to take pictures and share them with friends (perhaps even showing them the location of hidden gems), but this sadly didn't make it in.

We've had some great looking games over the past year or so, and Underworld is on par with some of the best. Lara herself looks superb, the environments are massive, the detail is hugely impressive and the lighting is wonderful. Comparisons are bound to be made to Naughty Dog's PS3 exclusive Uncharted, and from a visual stand point Underworld certainly doesn't come off as second best. If anything, Lara's latest offers a more diverse range of environments to play in. Even the underwater sections look great (and thankfully control well too).

Much of the wow factor comes from the colossal structures you'll come across and the many massive statues that adorn rooms. If there's a disappointment it's the lack of many epic monsters. The Kraken that has been seen in the pre-release media is a sight to behold and a highlight from the first few hours of the game, but apart from that you'll mainly come across creatures that are large for their species (big spiders and lizards mainly) rather than being giants. It's really only a slight niggle, with the levels themselves providing more than enough spectacle on their own.

There's plenty of variety to the locations

There's plenty of variety to the locations

Lara is once again voiced perfectly by the lovely Keeley Hawes, and the supporting cast doesn't do a bad job either, with many familiar characters returning. We'd go as far as to say the storytelling here is the best it's been in the series to date, and the ending is both satisfying and open for further games in the series. Xbox 360 owners get Achievements, making gem collecting all the more worthwhile, but sadly PS3 owners don't get trophies - hopefully this is something developer Crystal Dynamics can add at a later date.

Tomb Raider: Underworld is a visually stunning, epic adventure that continues Crystal Dynamics' excellent run. We reckon it's the best completely original Tomb Raider (Anniversary was, of course, a remake) we've had in years, and is only let down by the odd control quirk and camera issue. If you're looking for a game heavy on exploration instead of gun-play and don't mind looking at a finely toned arse for 12 or more hours, Underworld comes highly recommended.

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User Comments

EISPower's Avatar

EISPower

Love this one same as Tomb Raider Legend.This trilogy game is a masterpeace.I"m just sorry it had to end with part 3.
Posted 20:38 on 10 March 2011
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Edward

Go on youtube.com and they put tomb raider walkthrought it will show you how to past that midgard serpeant
Posted 06:26 on 25 January 2009
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Miss

Erica - help! I am experiencing the same problem. I cannot exit the level before midgard. I have missed something and my walkthrough does say there is a bug here. I am happy to restart the level but this game doesnt save each level seperately like the other games did so I cant get to the beginning to start again. How did you overcome this issue? I'll be quite miffed if I have to start from scratch!
Posted 03:19 on 21 January 2009
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Erica

its an amazing game, and ive been playing tomb raider since i was little on PS1. I now play it for 360. Underworld is really good, but the bug in midgard serpent is really annoying, considering to fix it you have to go all the way back to the beginning of southern mexico.
Posted 06:13 on 17 January 2009
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mariomario

yeah i have only played the demo so far but it looks really good and i had a lot of fun. the engine needs a bit of work and tuning, but its still a great engine and i hope they improve it and build the next tomb raider(s) on top of it.
Posted 06:31 on 10 January 2009
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Anonymous

on the midgard serpent board the pole won't go down anyone know how
Posted 00:43 on 08 January 2009
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TRBO RAD

Well got this for christmas beat it yesterday unfortunately.....the ending was somewhat abrupt but...it was good....the graphics are AMZG it looks like i had a rainforest in my room great prob one of the best tomb raiders to date...but some of the new moves make the game alittle difficult...for instance the new jumping from wall to wall comes in handy when needed but...when u are on a cliff and jump on an edge and istead of grabbin the ledge ur stick to the wall an pounce off to certain doom....can u say annoy me OH and don't get me started on not being able to select levels after you complete them like othr tomb raider games
Posted 09:30 on 29 December 2008
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Jaz

i watched the vid comparing xbox360 and ps3!there seems to be no differences at all? but this is just the graphics! does anyone know if there are any differences between the 2 versions at all? gameplay, graphics etc...
thanks
Posted 21:45 on 29 November 2008
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TRBO RAD

Bought all the othr tomb raiders loved them all and asked for this one for Christmas and im really excited im glad the game will be longer...i completely agree with sakshamthegreatest so many games are short...best is gears of war i beat the campaign in about 3 hrs maybe a few more and was disappointed i was ready for a weekend of GOW2 but was given a short afternoon of intense gameplay then END.. so hopefully this will keep my attention and keep me playing for more that a couple hours and the screens look pretty amazing if i had to say so
Posted 05:55 on 28 November 2008
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KO

@Damon since angel of darkness there has been mouse support. The game looks awesome.
Posted 19:43 on 22 November 2008
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valap

I buy this game if it stay platinium.
Posted 16:37 on 22 November 2008
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Damon

They finally add mouse-support or do I need to skip this one too?
Posted 01:11 on 22 November 2008
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Yomero

Hi the screenshots are from xbox360?
This is the PC review, right ?
Posted 21:36 on 21 November 2008
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redhotchilli

cant wait to get this one,it looks like a 10/10 for me,bring it on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted 20:33 on 21 November 2008
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sakshamthegreatest

Great, I will buy it today. This game looks goodand certainly it is a contender of game of the year. Tomb raider series is the best gaming series ever created. If, you say it is the best tomb raider then I can't wait. It is a long game and nowadays we hardly see any long games. This year GTA IV was the longest game which I played and other than it all games were ****ing short. The best examples are Mirror's edge, CoD5, Quantum of solace and even Gears of war 2. So,I'm pretty relieved to hear this game's length is good.Well done, Crystal dynamics.
Posted 10:11 on 21 November 2008

Game Stats

Tomb Raider: Underworld
8
Out of 10
Tomb Raider: Underworld
  • Isn't over in six hours
  • Looks stunning
  • Emphasis on exploring
  • Some control and camera quirks
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 21/11/2008
Platforms: PC , Xbox 360 , PS3 , Wii , DS , PS2
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Genre: Adventure
No. Players: One
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,022 166
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