When Lara Croft reappeared on the gaming scene back in April, it was like she had never been away. Rejuvenated by a new developer in the form of Crystal Dynamics, the game hit the top of the charts on release and didn't do too badly with the critics either. A trickle of follow-up releases are set to appear on Nintendo in September, so we headed behind closed doors at the Eidos booth to check out how the DS version is coming along.
In terms of scenarios, Lara's portable adventure is exactly the same as the one that featured on home consoles and the PC earlier this year. While it is a side-scrolling adventure game, the locales and puzzles will be familiar to anyone who got wrapped up in the Legend game before. Having said that, the combination of dual screens and touch interaction has resulted in a few new challenges, some of which we got to see in the first level of the game.
The first dramatic change is in the combat. Making accurate shots in a side-scrolling action game is a difficult task, so whenever you see enemies in Legend, they appear on the touch screen. From here, you have to perform localised shots on the baddies, with headshots being the most deadly attacks.
After taking out the first bad guy, we saw how the DS version of the game equips Lara with the same abilities. She can kick down boulders that are in her way, use the grappling hook to pull down huge obstacles, and perform acrobatics as she moves around the game.
Whenever Lara jumps in the water, both screens are used to show more of her swimming downwards. This lets you direct her movement very easily and also lets you see places to replenish your air.
Tomb Raider: Legend on the DS has been developed separately from Crystal Dynamics, although the development team has been overseeing the project. The game is due out in November, and with a few short months until then, we expect that all the final effort will go into polishing the game.