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Tomb Raider: Underworld Wii Game Review

by: Finn Orfano ; edited by: Simon Hill ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Tomb Raider: Underworld has acrobatic charm and puzzle solving intrigue that's engaging and challenging, but there's very little enjoyable combat for the experienced action gamer. Tomb Raider: Underworld is suggested for people that haven't played a Tomb Raider title before on other consoles.

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    Screenshots

    Tomb Raider Lara CroftUnderworld takes Lara into dangerWii gamers finally take Lara for a swing
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    The Fun Parts

    Tomb Raider: Underworld for the Wii Game Console is a fun adventure 

    Tomb Raider: Underworld includes a wondrous variety of engaging and interesting environments in which Lara interacts. You'll explore underground caverns, scale temple and cliff faces, travel the jungles and forests of Thailand, and survive in underwater environments.

    The levels in Tomb Raider: Underworld are certainly small and give you a closed in feeling at most times, even though you're free to roam where you want, but they do show signs of outstanding level design and clever use of the space.

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    The Bad Parts

    Tomb Raider: Underworld for the Wii comes with clipping issues and you'll see Lara move through environmental objects at times. The camera would also occasionally freeze in place for a few seconds and then go past the point where you wanted it to stop when it came back to life.

    Tomb Raider: Underworld includes many Wii controller specific puzzles that were either too easy or terribly difficult because the Wii controls don't work properly making it almost impossible to complete a puzzle.

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    The Game Graphics

    Overall Tomb Raider: Underworld has average visual presentation, the jungles of Thailand in Tomb Raider: Underworld were well done for a Wii game, with above average detail on the vegetation and textured leafs that vibrated in the wind. The temples visited during play and the canyon walls in Mexico were a little bland though. They lacked color and with little detail they were hard to distinguish in many of the scenes.

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    Sounds in the Game

    Tomb Raider: Underworld has pretty weak sound effects compared to many previous Tomb Raider efforts, like Legends and Anniversary, and they didn't always synchronize perfectly, which kind of makes you laugh when it happens. While playing I kept thinking that an environment or creature should be a lot more vocal, crumbling pillars sounded like they were made of clay and the swinging tentacles of a particularly nasty and extremely-large creature were almost silent.

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    The Story Line

    The plot of Tomb Raider: Underworld takes up the story of Lara Croft right after the events in Tomb Raider: Legend, they have provided a nice video recap of previous events to help get you up to speed. The action starts with Lara riding away from her burning mansion and then goes back two weeks in time where we find Lara attempting to finish up some of her father's unfinished business. In the process of wrapping up her father's affairs Lara discovers things about her mother, characters and events from previous games, and the mythical Hammer of Thor. You play Lara as she follows the clues to lead her to the answers she seeks about her father and mother and find the Hammer of Thor.

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    Playability

    The Wii console version may not be a port of Tomb Raider: Underworld on another console but it does contain many of the same types of puzzles from previous Tomb Raider games, as well as many interesting and new ones.

    A short, streamlined, Tomb Raider: Underworld only took me about 8 hours to play through to the end, which for the money is a little disappointing.

    All of the Wii specific control mechanisms in Tomb Raider: Underworld are funny rather than useful, engaging and entertaining; the pointer-based puzzles are far too easy and simple to be a challenge. The Wii controls feel as though they were added because they were expected not because they were engaging or satisfying to use.

    Combat is pretty sparse even for a Tomb Raider game, I played through one part of Tomb Raider: Underworld where I played for an hour and only had to deal with two guards. Even when I did have to fight the combat was less than engaging and satisfying. The occasional murderous jungle cat or brain-dead guard didn't represent much of a challenge.

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    The Last Word

    Tomb Raider: Underworld is an average game in most respects, unremarkable and forgettable a few minutes after finishing the game, but still fun and entertaining while you're playing. The gamer that hasn't played another Tomb Raider title on a different console will certainly be entertained and I recommend this game for such a person. Gamers who have Tomb Raider: Legend or Anniversary though will probably only enjoy this game for its unknown story elements and maybe Lara's rappel line.