Saturday, December 10, 2011

Tomb Raider 3



Tomb Raider III
Developer - Core Design
Publisher - Eidos Interactive
Release date – 21 November 1998

Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft is an action-adventure video game developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It is the third instalment in the Tomb Raider series, and the sequel to Tomb Raider II. The game was originally released for PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in November 1998.


Story

Millions of years ago, a meteorite strikes Antarctica, decimating a large area full of life on the then-near-tropical continent. In the present day, a corporation called RX Tech, under the guidance of Dr. Mark Willard, excavates the site, finding strange Rapa Nui-like statues and the grave of one of HMS Beagle's sailors. Within the game, while India must be visited first and Antarctica last, the three other locations: South Pacific Islands, London, and Nevada, can be visited in any order.

When the game begins, Lara Croft is searching for an artefact known as the Infada Stone in the ruins of an ancient Indian Hindu temple once inhabited by the Infada tribe. She encounters a researcher working for RX Tech who appears to be insane. After parting ways, the researcher beats Lara to the Infada Stone, gaining supernatural powers. After killing him and taking the artefact, Lara is approached by Dr. Willard, the head of RX Tech, who explains the origins of the Infada Stone. Thousands of years ago, Polynesians came across the meteorite crater and found that it had incredible power. Using rock from the meteoroid, they crafted four crystalline artefacts, one of which is the Infada Stone. They then fled Antarctica for unknown reasons, but, in the nineteenth century, a group of sailors travelling with Charles Darwin came to Antarctica and discovered the artefacts. The four stones were then distributed across the globe. Dr. Willard has been able to track the artefacts by using the diary of one of the sailors. Lara agrees to help find the other three stones.


Gameplay

The gameplay of Tomb Raider III picks up where Tomb Raider II left off (for a detailed examination of gameplay see the main article on Tomb Raider). Once again, Lara's range of abilities has been expanded, now including such moves as the crouch stance, crawling, a sprinting move and the ability to "monkey swing" on overhead bars and vines. Sprinting allows Lara to gain a burst of greater speed while running. When activated by the player, a bar appears in the corner of the screen to indicate the amount of stamina Lara has left. Only sprinting depletes the bar (other activities such as climbing and jumping have no effect on it) and it quickly increases again by itself when Lara stops sprinting. When the bar is empty, she is forced back into her standard running speed. At any time during a sprint she can perform a forward roll, such as to dive under closing trapdoors.

A portion of the game still takes place underwater, but this time new perils have been added. In some levels, such as Madubu Gorge, the current of the stream will pull Lara in a fixed direction, preventing the player from being able to swim back or grab onto a ledge. She will eventually drown or be sucked into deadly rapids. These waters can only be navigated using a kayak. Additionally, some tropical pools are inhabited by a school of piranhas. Unlike alligators, these fish are invincible, and as soon as Lara enters their waters they will flock toward her, and kill her within seconds. Furthermore, the water in the Antarctic levels is too cold for Lara to swim through for more than a few seconds. She can only remain in the water for a short amount of time, and submerged under it for an even shorter amount of time. When she dives into it, a new status bar will appear in the corner of the screen to indicate her body temperature. If that bar reaches zero, Lara's life will rapidly decrease. Unlike the oxygen bar, this temperature bar will decrease if Lara is swimming on the surface as well as under it; so the only way she can cross these waters over a large distance without freezing to death is by using the motorboat. The temperature bar increases again by itself when Lara is out of the water, but it takes longer than the regular oxygen bar.

Quicksand is a new surface introduced in this game. Although similar in appearance to regular soil, is distinguishable from it by its slow undulating movement. Should the player fall into it, Lara may wade very slowly but will sink deeper and deeper until she is completely submerged. Like being under water when submerged, the oxygen bar will deplete, and if this reaches zero the health bar will decrease and Lara will eventually drown. The player may climb out of quicksand if next to solid ground. In the Crash Site level of the South Pacific Islands section of the game, the swamp contains hidden stepping stones that Lara can use to cross safely.

As before, the pistols remains Lara's most basic form of defence. The shotgun, the harpoon gun, the Uzis and the grenade launcher have remained from Tomb Raider II (though the grenade launcher's grenades will now bounce around unless directly hitting a living target, unlike the instant explode-upon-impact style of Tomb Raider II). The small calibre semi-automatic pistols have been replaced by the powerful Desert Eagle. The M16 rifle has been changed to a similar MP5 sub-machine-gun. Also new to Lara's arsenal is the rocket launcher.

On the PlayStation version, saving the game is restricted to the amount of Save Crystals the player has stored in Lara's inventory, something of a combination of the two different save systems featured in the two previous Tomb Raider games. These floating blue crystals can be found throughout each level, but unlike the original Tomb Raider, they do not require the player to save the game at the pick-up spot. The PC version allows the player to save at any point. The developers planned on having the Save Crystal system for the PC version, but they simply weren't able to finish this feature before the end of the development cycle, so the crystals (which in the PC version are green instead of blue) act instead as instant use small medipacks in that version.

The objective of the game remains unchanged, although Tomb Raider III arguably has fewer tombs to explore than the previous games. Instead, most levels take place in a more modern environment, and Tomb Raider introduces an element of stealth into the gameplay. For example, in the Nevada adventure, it is sometimes preferable to sneak past guards instead of fighting them. Being spotted may set off alarms and close doors that are otherwise needed to complete the stage and therefore the player will have no other option than to take a more difficult route. Unlike its predecessors, after completing the India levels, the player can then choose which of the next three areas of the world they want to explore in any order they wish.

Tomb Raider III features the largest tutorial level yet seen in a Tomb Raider game. The assault course from Tomb Raider II is drastically expanded to include exercise of Lara's new moves, target practice and a racetrack to hone the player's handling of the quad bike. Inside the mansion, a secret room can be discovered filled with artefacts and memorabilia from Lara's past adventures. It was the last game of the series to feature Lara's mansion until Tomb Raider: Legend.

The beginning and the final part of every of the first levels in India and England are very close each other, so player may complete the level in low time with hazardous movements.

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