If you have any taste, you must play this game:)
Visuals: Its visuals are the best the playstation system can offer and are on par with games like Final Fantasy IX and Resident Evil 3. That said, it is from the psone era so dont expect anything groundbreaking here
Audio: For the Tomb Raider games of its generation, this one easily sounds the best. Alhtough it cannot compare with the music from Angel of Darkness, I found the music to be well chosen and enjoyable. The Tomb Raider Chronicles main theme is easilt the best of all the classic Tomb Raiders
Controls: As the engine does not change, it is the most streamlined of all the classic Tomb Raiders. The playstaion version can use analog control but just use the digital controls. This way of playing is much easier.
Atmosphere and Level Design: This is where this game stands out. There are four locations. Rome, Russia/Submarine, Haunted Irish Isle, and lower Manhatten (for those of you keen fans, they accidently put the building accross the Hudson overlooking the World Trade Center towers. Rome is your classic Tomb Raider experience as I felt like I was playing Tomb Raider II with Tomb Raider IV's engine. Russia/Submarine was my favorite level. Sneaking around a soviet sub base was extremely exciting and then onboard the submarine, you feel as though what you are doing is extremely consequential in a good way. When the submarine begins to sink, it gives you that extra excitement and urgency to make it out alive. The third level is generally disliked by many as there are no weapons. I found this level a wonderful change in pacing. It is actually scary. For those of you who have played this, the chapel scene is the scariest moment in gaming I have ever experienced. Finally, the New Work Highrise level is awsome. Some say it doesnt have a true tomb raider feel, but it is so much fun. This was the game that got me into gaming and is ultimatly the most enjoyable gaming experience I have ever had. This just shows how tragic the demise of Core really was as we are never going to get Tomb Raider games this good ever again.
Closing Thoughts: If you have not played this game, PLAY IT! Even if you couldnt get through the first four, this one really is playable. You will thank me someday as this game is so special to me and I think if you give it a chance, it can be that way for you too.