Home > Chronological Challenge > Chronological Challenge – Tomb Raider 2

Chronological Challenge – Tomb Raider 2

December 10, 2015 Leave a comment Go to comments

Now, I said yesterday that Alundra was the last game of 1997 I finished for the challenge, but it wasn’t the last that I started, and so 1997 continues here on The Cheap Ferret. There are a few games left to go, but let’s continue with the good words from yesterday with another game I quite like.

Tomb Raider II
Publisher: Eidos Interactive | Developer: Core Design | Released: October 1997
Original System: PlayStation / PC
Played on: PS2 (original PS1 disc)

Goal: See how far I can get without dying

Actual Outcome: Shamefully died in Venice by misjudging the boat ramp jump

TR2 Screenshot

You all know my opinion on Tomb Raider by this point. I love the series with a passion to the point where it’s half the content on my YouTube channel now (may not actually be half, please don’t check). So we’re going to get a lot of this throughout the challenge where I point out why I love Tomb Raider so much.

However, playing Tomb Raider 2 for my challenge I messed up incredibly badly and died in Venice, so many of my thoughts here come from replaying the game for my Let’s Play a little while back. Bear that in mind.

This one, I can’t remember many nostalgic times with like I can with the first. I remember initially borrowing it from a friend of the family and being completely destroyed by the game’s first level. In stark contrast to the first game’s simple wander through a set of caves, The Great Wall of Tomb Raider 2 throws every trap possible at you about halfway through. It was something that shocked me as a kid, and to this day I still think is a bit of a strange design choice.

That aside, level design embarks into bolder territory in Tomb Raider 2, taking the action into a few more varied locations than the persistent crumbling ruins of the previous game. We explore modern Venice, head up a mountain, and visit a shipwreck. The variation makes the levels even more memorable than ever, with the speedboat sections of Venice being thrilling (if now embarrassing…), the yeti cage section of Tibet being genuinely unnerving, the cleverly-designed Maria Doria wreck being fascinating, and the weirdness of Floating Islands being intriguing. Tomb Raider 2 has, in my opinion, some of the franchise’s best levels. Feel free to disagree, but that’s how I feel about it.

The game is also a smoother experience than the first game, with Lara no longer moving like her boots are bogged down in treacle, and the graphics have been given a little polish so the world is a little less angular. Lara still has conical boobies though, albeit slightly less conical than before.

If there is a criticism I have of Tomb Raider 2, it’s in the enemy choices. Far too many enemies in this game are human gunslingers, and they are capable of causing a lot of damage from a distance while absorbing your bullets like they’re superhuman. It can get a little tiring having to deal with these enemies constantly, and more variation would have been nice. More secret dinosaurs, giant spider caves and yeti rampages, please!

Otherwise, this is up there as one of the best Tomb Raider games without question. It flip-flops with the first game for second and third place in my head. This is Tomb Raider as it should be.

Now, please feel free to watch my LP of it right here!

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