Take the puzzle solving of Resident Evil, the gory action of Loaded, and the 360-degree freedom most gamers only dream of, and you have Tomb Raider, the closest thing to a "Mario 64 killer" to date. The plumber assassin comes in the form of a gun-toting, acrobatic beauty by the name of Lara Croft, an archeologist in search of pieces of an ancient artifact, and the woman you guide through 12 levels. Sure, it sounds a lot like Indiana Jones - but Indy never wore short shorts.
Tomb Raider is very similar to Capcom's Resident Evil on the Playstation, but it boasts superior control and a lot more action. Its 360-degree, 3-D polygon world is home to swarms of bats, packs of wolves, and loads of henchmen - all of whom eventually wind up on the receiving end of your pistols (one in each hand), shotgun, or Uzi. Multiple switches and knobs reveal hidden items that open the way to secret passages. The result is a game that manages to strike the elusive balance of great action and challenging strategy.
While the graphics in the Saturn version of Tomb Raider are serviceable, they are not as sharp as the Playstation version. Nonetheless (as is the case with almost all polygon games), the fluid character movements will astound and amaze. The music and sound effects aren't as good as the rest of the game, but they're not noticeably bad.
Make no mistake, gameplay is the bread and butter of Tomb Raider. The phenomenal control, mixed with Lara's many acrobatic moves, makes for a fun and easy-to-learn game. And even though people of all skill levels can enjoy this title, a tremendous challenge lies in wait for serious gamers.