Tomb Raider 3

Year: 1998
Platform: PC
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Developer: Core Design
Genre: 3D Action/adventure
Rating: ***

Lara Croft's third adventure is a sprawling globe spanning epic, with huge levels, nasty villains, brain melting puzzles, and space aliens. Ms. Croft gets some new vehicles and some sexy new duds as she travels to India, Nevada, London, the South Pacific, and Antarctica in search of mysterious extraterrestrial relics. The game offers some improvements in the graphics department, including smoke and lighting effects, but pretty much looks the same as "Tomb Raider 2." Lara's mansion is a lot more fun to run around in, and features a secret trophy room and a race track for her quad bike. Way cool! While the game is still fun to play, it's overly long and difficult, and requires a lot of endurance - my stamina faltered about halfway through the game (approximately fifty hours into it). Also in this stage of the series, the game formula is beginning to lose its charm. All of the familiar elements from the first two games are here, including all of the annoying ones. Once again, Lara gets captured and loses all of her inventory, except this time she doesn't get everything back! (that pissed me off in the first two games, and it really pissed me off in this one) And just when you thought you'd never have to deal with any more dinosaurs, the South Pacific is just teeming with the nasty critters. Overall, the formula has become tiresome and I think the game is too demanding while not being rewarding enough.