Tomb Raider: Anniversary
|Tomb Raider: Anniversary|
|Composer(s)||Troels Brun Folmann|
Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a 2007 action-adventure video game, part of the Tomb Raider series. It is a remake/re-imagining of the first video game in the series, the original 1996 Tomb Raider. It uses an improved version of the Legend game engine, and it includes all of the original environments from Tomb Raider.
The game was co-developed by Crystal Dynamics and Buzz Monkey Software for the PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Windows and Wii. Eidos announced 1 June 2007 as the European release date for the PS2 and Windows version, with the North American release to follow on 5 June 2007. Additionally, the subscription PC gaming service GameTap announced that the game will be available on their service on the same day as the game went to retailers. The PSP version was released on 9 August 2007 in the United States and on 26 October 2007 in Europe, with the Wii version released in Europe on 7 December 2007. An Xbox 360 version was released on 23 October 2007 and a version for the PlayStation 3 is included in The Tomb Raider Trilogy collection released in March 2011. The Mac OS X version of the game was released in February 2008 by Feral Interactive. The Mac OS X version of the game was released on Steam in November 2015.
The game was well received by critics, and though a commercial success, selling 1.3 million copies worldwide, it is still the least commercially successful game in the Tomb Raider franchise.
In 1996 Calcutta, India, archaeologist and adventurer Lara Croft is approached by Larson Conway, who works for wealthy businesswoman Jacqueline Natla. Natla hires Lara to find a piece of an artifact called the Scion, located in the Peruvian mountains. Lara finds a tomb belonging to the Atlantean king Qualopec. She discovers that he was one of three Kings (the Triumvirate) who ruled Atlantis before it sank. After solving many puzzles, deadly traps, and attacks by animals and supernatural creatures, Lara leaves with a piece of the three-part Scion, but notices movement from what had appeared to be a statue of Qualopec before the tomb collapses. Larson attempts to confiscate the Scion piece; after defeating him, Lara discovers that Natla has sent rival archaeologist Pierre Dupont to find the next piece in Greece.
In St. Francis Folly, Greece, Lara finds the second piece of the Scion in another dangerous tomb. While Lara studies the empty coffin of Tihocan, the second member of the Triumvirate, Pierre steals the Scion piece but guardian centaurs outside of the tomb kill him. After defeating the centaurs, and joining both pieces of the Scion, Lara sees a vision which reveals that the third and final piece of the Scion is in Egypt.
Lara survives another tomb and retrieves the third piece of the Scion. After assembling all three pieces, Lara's earlier vision becomes much clearer. In Lara's visions two of the three Kings, Tihocan and Qualopec, are sentencing the third one, which she realizes is Natla, to imprisonment. Natla, after trying to use Atlantis's army to bring about what she refers to as the Seventh Age, is imprisoned in the crystalline structure.
Natla takes the Scion and orders her men to kill Lara. Lara escapes and hides aboard Natla's boat, which arrives at an unknown volcanic island. After traveling through its dangers, Lara confronts Natla at the top of an Atlantean pyramid. Natla's plan is to resurrect the army of Atlantis; she attempts to convince Lara to stop opposing her, tempting her with immortality. Lara destroys the Scion instead, and Natla falls into the lava. As Lara escapes, a severely injured but still powerful Natla returns. As they battle, Lara collapses a pillar supporting the pyramid onto Natla, trapping her under the debris. Lara escapes and sails away in Natla's boat.
Core Design: Tomb Raider 10th Anniversary Edition
A video game trailer showing footage of a new Tomb Raider game was distributed on the Internet on 8 June 2006. The titles and logos of the trailer claimed that the title was Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary Edition, a PSP game by Core Design. The trailer featured Lara Croft in familiar yet remodelled environments from the original, Tomb Raider, complete with new animations, and interactions which were much more elaborate than what was in the original release of the game. The footage from the trailer was running on the PSP hardware, using the Free Running engine. The video is now difficult to find across the Internet, since it infringes copyright and was not supposed to be revealed to the public.
The next week, Eidos Interactive announced that it would be making Tomb Raider: 10th Anniversary Edition for PS2, PSP, and Windows. It would be designed by Crystal Dynamics, an American game development company that replaced Core and went on to create the seventh entry in the series, Tomb Raider: Legend. In addition, Buzz Monkey Software would provide the development effort.
When creating the Free Running engine, the team played with a Lara model and suddenly developed the idea of creating a remake of their 1996 classic. They suggested the idea to Eidos, who agreed and allowed them to continue. Early on, Core decided that the game would have to be graphically similar to Tomb Raider: Legend, so they gave the Lara model facial similarities. New to the game was the idea of pole swinging, absent in the original. It also had the concept of 'ledge-hopping', as was seen in Legend. Coincidentally, Core introduced cross-hair targeting, which they later discovered was also being used in Legend. Core were also including a brand new extended final level, where Lara would battle a huge Atlantean war machine as Atlantis crumbled into ruins. As special features, a documentary, concept art, FMVs and character models from the original game would have been included. Nathan McCree would have developed a new score, and Core had originally planned on using Jonell Elliott to voice Lara, though they never reached the recording stage. Core Design is no longer able to legally produce Tomb Raider games.
Xbox 360 episodic content
On 18 June 2007, Eidos announced an Xbox 360 version of Tomb Raider: Anniversary. The game is split up into four episodes on Xbox Live. The Croft Manor level is available as a free download for each set of episodes. It was the first time a full retail game was made available on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The disc version of the game was released on 26 October 2007.
When the game was released for the Wii, various features were added to take advantage of the Wii controller's unique capabilities. Some simple switches from the other versions have been expanded into puzzle minigames. In one type of puzzle, Lara now has to find a cog and place it, along with smaller gears already in the mechanism, in the proper position to make a working switch. Another type of puzzle involves making a charcoal rubbing of 3 images then turning a stone mechanism until it matches the rubbing. Lara can also make drawings in crates of sand. New rewards and clues for the new puzzles have been added that require the player, as Lara, to dig for them using the Wii remote as an archaeological tool such as a shovel or pickaxe. Other new features include a flashlight (along with darkened corridors in which to use it) and a new room in the mansion that holds items found during the course of the game like keys, rubbings, and weapons. The room also contains hunting trophies from animals that Lara has killed (including dinosaurs and Atlantean creatures).
The Wii version also includes motion and pointer controls during normal gameplay. Flicking the nunchuk tosses Lara's grapple, and the Wii remote's pointer aims her weapons and flashlight. Also, Lara can speed up while swimming, shimmying, or climbing by quickly shaking the nunchuck. Finally, the adrenaline dodges are activated with motion gestures matching the in-game events (such as throwing a punch or diving out of harm's way).
Marketing and release
Nine official trailers and four developer diaries have been released. The first, released on 21 December 2006 revealed an FMV sequence, in which Lara slid into The Lost Valley, battled several raptors and suddenly turned at the sound of the T-rex approaching. What followed was then several seconds of gameplay footage from that level, including combat against bears, wolves and bats.
The second trailer, released 23 February 2007, showed one of the opening cutscenes (Lara's guide being attacked by the wolves) and gameplay footage from Egypt. A new move, in which Lara ran across a wall whilst gripping onto the grapple, was shown during the video. It also showed some mummies attacking Lara. Some of the moves they included was the ability to throw fireballs, unlike their original counterparts, which didn't use fireballs, and another part of the trailer showed the mummy standing up to look around, another move inherited from the original counterparts. The trailer revealed also that the game was planned for a May release though a 38-second trailer released on 14 April 2007 indicated a June 2007 release.
Several more trailers came out showing the Folly, the Coliseum, and Atlantis. Gametrailers and GameSpot released gameplay videos mostly from the Peru section of the game.
A demo of the "Lost Valley" segment from the Peru levels was released on 25 May 2007.
The score for Tomb Raider: Anniversary is composed by Troels Brun Folmann. It took 5 months for Troels to compose, and is in the style of electronic orchestra. The majority of the album contains his original scores and themes. However, recognisable themes from the first game (composed by Nathan McCree) such as "Time to Run", "Puzzle Theme", and "Puzzle Theme II" have been recreated.
The "Main Theme" for Anniversary can be described as a celebratory version of the original theme from Tomb Raider, as similar chord and instruments are used in the piece. The song starts off with a heavy crescendo of woodwinds and low strings playing the famous Tomb Raider melody, and then breaks off into an almost playful arc, featuring parts of the original harp composition from first Tomb Raider. Pizzicato strings, cascading pianos and celeste, chimes, and glass instrumentation are prominent throughout this version, implying the fresh and modern twist that Folmann and Crystal Dynamics have placed in Anniversary.
Folmann's work for Anniversary is different from that of Legend, as it has no underlying techno beats or electronic effects. Anniversary's score resembles that of a combination between the original Tomb Raider and a typical movie score: entirely orchestral and choral. Folmann uses more complex instrumentation and composition in his scoring, acquiring more woodwinds, instrument articulation, and ambience. Folmann leaves somewhat of a trademark in his Anniversary music by adding a significant amount of wind chimes throughout the score.
The game included a 13-track promotional soundtrack in the Collector's Edition of the game. The release contains music from both Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary, all composed by Troels Brun Folmann. An Audio CD was included in most 3-disc sets. However, the same content was instead included in DVD format in 2-disc versions following the Xbox 360 release of Anniversary.
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Tomb Raider Anniversary was well received. IGN gave the game a "good" rating, along with a 7.8 score. They criticised the camera angles, saying "If ever there was a title that screamed for a second analog stick, it's a Lara Croft game." But they did add, "If you're looking for a solid adventure game, this fits the bill." GameSpot said "This is one of those rare cases when the remake is better than the original" and awarded Anniversary 7.5/10. Eurogamer called the game "the best Lara Croft adventure to date" and added "It's as if Eidos and Crystal took a look at the long list of perennial bugbears anyone had about the game and scrubbed them off with a big red marker until every one was gone." Official UK PlayStation Magazine gave the game a very positive review, awarding it a 9/10.
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