Lara Croft is missing, presumed dead, in Tomb Raider Chronicles, the PS one Classic that's now available to download for PSP and PlayStation 3 from PlayStation Store.
Croft Manor on a rainy night in a sleepy patch of England is the unlikely setting as three of the explorer's most trusted associates gather to remember her. Yet the gloomy setting contrasts sharply with tales of Lara's colourful escapades.
Buried alive beneath the crumbling ancient Temple of Horus, Lara's luck appears to have finally run out. With little to do but reminisce about good times past, Winston Smith, Charles Kane and Father Patrick Dunstan while away the night trading vivid memories of some of her previously untold adventures:
- Racing through the medieval tunnels and grand old opera houses of Rome in search of the mysterious Philosopher's Stone.
- A nerve-jangling, and ultimately successful, pursuit of the Spear of Destiny off the coast of Russia – a job which involved a perilously close scrape with the incensed Russian Mafia.
- Terrifying Changelings and spectres of Lara's childhood in Ireland, and the hi-tech infiltration of a New York skyscraper.
This is the extraordinary life of Lara Croft, a life you experience to the full. And, as we find out in Tomb Raider Chronicles, the legendary danger seeker may not be done just yet.
A family of friends and foes
Lara Croft is one of the undoubted icons of PlayStation, yet with uncertainty over her survival, her last outing on PS one is supported by the most complex and fascinating cast ever assembled in the Tomb Raider series.
Fearless and ingenious, the Lara we know today was moulded by two men. One, Father Patrick Dunstan, acted as something of a guardian figure, while another, Werner von Croy, was the long-time rival who drove Lara to greater depths of resolve.
Dunstan inadvertently sets Lara on her thrilling way, the youngster stowing away on his boat to the mysterious Black Isle and the horrors of Irish folklore lying on its shores.
Werner von Croy, meanwhile, is the rival explorer backed up by a personal fortune and always just behind Lara. It is von Croy's own building Lara attempts to breach to gain the upper hand, yet it is also von Croy leading the rescue effort at the collapsed Temple of Horus.
Lara's real skill is not seeking lost treasure, but stamping on the toes of rivals and enemies to clear her way to glory. In this whirlwind collection of flashbacks, you'll discover how faces from Lara's past add the tone and colour to her famed exploits.
Finely honed athleticism, a sharp mind and a never say die attitude – Lara Croft has it all, and in Tomb Raider Chronicles for PSP and PlayStation 3, you must combine all of these to survive.
Challenges are many and varied, the action chopping and changing from one chapter to the next. You'll explore the maze-like subterranean levels of Rome one moment, navigate a vast Russian submarine base the next. The variety packed into this PS one Classic is impressive, and it requires you to stay on your toes throughout.
Devastating threats lie beyond each new corner – they could be paranormal apparitions sporting huge scythes, wickedly tricky tests of logic, gun-toting mobs or even foreboding buildings bristling with security measures. Whatever they are, you must take a moment to devise a plan of attack, and commit yourself to executing it. Lara Croft doesn't do half measures.
Powerful weaponry and a repertoire of graceful new moves, including the ability to swing from horizontal bars, are your tools for a fittingly explosive swansong to the Tomb Raider series on PS one.
Tomb Raider Chronicles is a case of saving the best for last. Find out why by downloading it to your PSP or PlayStation 3 from PlayStation Store.