What earns this game its score is a mix of good fun and value.
While many might balk at the graphics of this game since it is so radically different than the other in the series, one must consider the overall purpose of the game that has also shifted. Truly, this game adapted in a way that allowed for a true shift from the originals in a way that also maintained its integrity. While I would hope that over the long term they do not get rid of the original format, I feel that this style of game might be a nice filler between the bigger titles in the series. That said, I hope that the series continues both with these types of "bit sized titles" along with the originals. Ultimately, when it comes to graphics, the style is still there and there is some of the vintage beauty often seen in other titles though, certainly, not to the same scale. However, playing this on the PS3 made me realize that this one's main competitor is the likes of Uncharted which will not be an easy battle to take on. It will be interesting to see how these two beasts battle it out if Croft plans to continue.
I found myself addicted to the game play in this one. I really enjoyed the way they organized your weapons, objectives, etc. I also really enjoyed the additional "quests" you could do to gain additional bonuses and, naturally, increase play time. This was a nice touch and was done in a way that was easy to follow and pick up as you progressed. Plenty of replay value and I particularly enjoyed the last boss. Don't know why but I just thought he was a lot of fun.
The main down side to this game is its story/depth. Honestly, it's pretty weak but I can't complain too much on this one because the overall value is well worth it. While it's such a radical shift from the previous games, again, I feel that the effort was worth it.
Definitely worth picking up if you're a fan of the series...