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For those new guys & girls on the block who have only just entered the Tomb Raider cult franchise then this game is the best of the whole Lara Croft Series.
The game is vast with an improved games engine, better rendering of sound & graphics; improved "feel" or atmosphere within the game's settings and a much more controllable & flexible Lara Croft.
Other improvements include better weaponary, wide choice of exciting vehicles to try out, including quad-bikes, canoes and dinghies. Even some of her enemies are bestowed with artificial intelligence, so aren't quite so easy to shoot down & kill as before.
The story is no different from previous TR games, basically our Lara is after some important artifact and has to travel around the world to fit all the bits of the puzzle together in order to find it before the bad guys do.
The first country she visits is India with its thick & dangerous jungles, ruined temples, quicksand all over the place and other booby traps that lie in wait for our Lara.
She then has to move on to some islands in the South Pacific where her enemies are even more dangerous, especially with the obligatory T-Rex wandering around in search of a Laraburger!
Once she's sorted that lot out she then moves on to more adventures in London, Nevada (including Area 51) and Antartica, where finally she will get to meet the mysterious Willard character in the lost city of Tinnos.
Along the way she gets the chance of finding a host of bigger & better weapons, medikits, flares, ammo, gold, keys and other important artifacts that don't serve any purpose at the time but will do later on.
Overall then we have a tremendous game, huge areas to explore, lots of excitement, danger and thrills and will have you playing throughout the night. Especially now that you can collect your Save Diamonds and use them whenever you want as opposed to previous TR games when you had to use them as soon as you touched them.
Therefore, TR3 is a great game for any Newbie and comes highly recommended.
HOWEVER, if you've played the previous TR games (such as myself), the novelty of all these improvements will soon wear off as you begin to realise that there is no real difference from what you've already done in the past.
Lara still has all the charm & charisma of a two week old lump of cheese; she doesn't speak much, her movements are a little ragged, even though you can now move her around on all fours and get a good view of her arse(bit of a teenboy-tease for all the Lara fans out there!).
In addition the third person perspective doesn't work very well here at all. On many occasions, when she is being chased either by bad buys or rolling boulders your view of her is sometimes obscured and therefore you cannot see what hazzards lie await for her as she dashes off blindly somewhere.
Also, whenever Lara pokes her nose into a cave, room, cavern etc she often ends up dead before you have good chance to see what dangers lie await. Which means you have to die at least 2 or 3 times before you realise what is coming and how to avoid it. Which seems a trifle unfair and boring, unlike the first two games.
As a consequence it is quite easy to get fed up with this tedious running, jumping, turning, saving & shooting. There seems to be nothing new to offer that TR1 & 2 had in such abundance. Plus most of the early action takes place in caverns, temples or caves. As a consequence you feel closed-in with the constant claustrophobic atmosphere as you beg for a change of scene.
It is no surprise to find that TR4 & TR-Chronicles didn't quite live up to expectations since once again they offered nothing new other than to continue playing off the Lara fantasy until it bled dry.
TR3 is very good, as I say, for new gamers; but for us old-timers I think Lara should hang up her guns and retire.