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Lara’s Shadow — A Stunning Mix of the Old and the New March 11, 2009

Posted by tombraiderfangirl in 360 DLC, Underworld.
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laras-shadow-smallThe Doppelganger is awesome!!!  That is all.

Alright, alright, I’m sure you’re expecting a more detailed review so here we go 😀  Lara’s Shadow presents the Doppelganger’s story after Underworld, starting with the last time we saw her in the main game.  We see that cutscene again, then we have to work our way through the final portion of Helheim from the main game (except it is in ruins).  From there we go to another Helheim-esque Atlantean ruin full of Eitr in which we have to activate a giant machine.  We then have a short time lapse which skips us to the ending cutscene from Beneath the Ashes (nothing from BtA is playable in LS, although we do find out what Lara said to the Doppelganger this time around).  After that, it’s back to the Atlantean ruin to retrace our steps and play with the machine some more.  This part was a bit repetitive and I would have preferred if it was a bit different somehow so that the second time through the area wouldn’t be nearly identical to the first, but this wasn’t enough to detract from the level for me.  The positives far outweigh the negatives.

The Doppelganger can jump much higher and farther than Lara could in Underworld.  Additionally, the Doppelganger has a meter for Shadow Power which can be used to climb certain rough walls, run quickly along a wall while holding onto a ledge with one hand, sprint and speed up her actions relative to enemies and the environment.  The Shadow Power can also be used in combat as a sort of bullet-time move when firing pistols, or as a power attack when punching or kicking.  The Doppelganger’s melee attacks are rather strong (although not as powerful as Thor’s Hammer, so the thralls are harder to kill than they were towards the end of Underworld with Mjolnir).  The combat was fun, but towards the end of the level I felt that there was too much of it and I would have preferred having fewer enemies to bother with while I was exploring the level.

The level design focuses extensively on traversal.  The environment is huge and requires taking a long winding path jumping all over the place and using the Shadow Power to climb.  There aren’t any actual puzzles, at least not in the sense of the puzzles found in Anniversary, Underworld, or Beneath the Ashes.  Lara’s Shadow focuses a lot more on seeing a place in the distance, figuring out how to get there, and then activating a mechanism, very much like the first few Tomb Raider games.  I prefer having dedicated puzzles in general, but for a DLC level it was a fantastic nostalgic feeling to have the Doppelganger running, jumping, climbing, and getting around levels just like the classic Tomb Raider games.  The braid was a nice touch toward furthering that nostalgic feeling as well.  Hopefully the next game will combine these positives with the kind of thought-provoking puzzles from BtA.

Overall I really enjoyed Lara’s Shadow.  I spent about 3-4 hours to win it with all 20 artifacts and the relic (plus I died a lot during the combat).  The Doppelganger looks and jumps like Lara used to in the older games and the level really made us run around and backtrack a bit like the older games required while the Shadow Power attacks were brand new along with the ability to seemingly slow down time (or increase the Doppelganger’s rate of perception) in order to get through environmental hazards.  As a result, Lara’s Shadow is a stunning mix of the old and the new.  Not to mention, the Doppelganger is truly badass in the cutscenes.  The Doppelganger is awesome!

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Comments»

1. Aileen Wuornos - March 12, 2009

This looks really good, I’m actually considering downloading it on Xbox Live.

2. kasia - July 10, 2009

masz to

3. Monica - July 19, 2009

I haven’t play that game on my 360 but I decide not to ‘cos since I watch the walkthrough of Lara’s Shadows in You Tube. It’s kind of awful for me to see Natla gets suffer in the end, but I don’t know if it’s end of Natla or not.

Doppelganger is NOT my favorite because the doppelganger is kind of scary-looking, very worst than bacon Lara (I think bacon doppelganger is kind of dorky, I love to make fun of bacon doppelganger), shallow, creppy glowed yellow eye looking (creeps me out) I don’t like that, & not a good helper or should I say “Demon Pet of Cloned Monster” because doppelganger it is being like one. I know what hell hads in underground, it gets very worst than 2000.


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