Tomb Raider: Legend brings the genre to a new and interesting level. Few drawbacks here and there, but still a good game
Game Play: 9/10
Game play in TRL has taken to the new level in any way. First i'd like to talk about Lara's climbing abilities (the feature, i loved the most). Lara simply climbs up an ledge by pressing the X button and also jumps large gaps with ease. The new feature to climbing is the rapid climbing (by pressing triangle rapidly) Lara climbs faster and is able move faster around corners, but rapid climbing has a price, if you jump to a ledge too fast and with a wrong angle, Lara manages to grab the ledge with one of her hands and starts slipping off. For that you must press triangle fast, when an hand icon appears. If you don't time it right, Lara will fall off.
Same goes for spinning around poles and other climbable objects.
In my opinion the climbing animation is done really smoothly and Lara's acrobatical movements are stunning to look at. from summersaults to backflips and rolls, all these animations are smooth and feel pretty realistic.
Weapons in TRL are quite varied. Lara's dual pistols usually do the job. Pistols have unlimited ammo and deal with most enemies. If you want to be more aggressive, take down an bad guy and grab his MP5 or M16. These machine guns are quite low numbers on ammunation, but deal with enemies quickly. There are also shotguns and grenade launchers, but i didn't have much encounter with the grenade launcher, good weapon, but occurs quite rarely. Hand grenades are also welcome amongst the weapons department.They have great damage rate and helps dealing with packs of enemies. You also have a chance to upgrade your dual pistols in terms of damage, clip size etc. You can upgrade them by collecting various hidden items throughout the game. Hidden items range from Bronze (quite easy to find), Silver (little bit harder to find), Gold (requires a certain puzzle solving or challenge completion).
The new feature to TRL is the Slow motion. Not your average slow motion. You need to get up close and personal with the enemy. By jumping on an enemy will give Lara a temporary slow motion boost, what makes dealing with enemies faster. You also can tackle the enemy than fire away in stylish slow motion.
There are also short bike sequences in the game, Were you fight with various enemies on bikes. I didn't like the bike sequences much, but they were part of the storyline. Just short parts, you fly through with ease.
Lara also has new equipment at her disposal. The new PDA, where you can view reward status, information about the mission (objectives), weapon information.
Second equipment is the Personal Light. Helps you to see in dark places, but battery drains out. No worries, it will restore over time. Last equipment is the binaculars, they have feature called ERD. Lara views an object and it will reveal information about it. It makes puzzle solving easier, but i didn't want to use it. It just takes away the fun Tomb Raider is known for.
Locations you visit are Lara's mansion, Bolivia mountains, Ghana, Nepal, Kazahkstan, England and more. I fell in love with Ghana level, beautiful waterfalls, where you can do swan dives, and just reload the game and do it again, great fun :D .
Story is kind of a weak link, in some terms. Overall it's quite good, but it's length is short and it feels like a drawback.
Game starts when Lara is 9 years old and suffers a plane crash with her mother. Her mother is mysteriously disappeared. Story skips to Bolivia, where Lara is grown up and is looking for ancient stone dais. She meets up with bossy rich kid Ruckland, who has mysterious artifact in his possession (a piece of the sword excalibur). Lara meets an old friend Amanda, who is not what she used to be. Story has some interesting points too, where you can play as a younger Lara.
Graphics on the PS2 version looks quite good. Lara is really well detailed and rest of the environment looks stunning. Water details impressed me the most. Sunshine, clouds, grass and rocks, everything was detailed really well. But if you want little bit advanced graphical experience, grab the Xbox360 version of TRL.
Sound in the game is top notch. With great voice over performances (especially Lara). Gunfire sounds and nature sounds, their all are done well and are good for your ears :D
Overall TRL is a game worth checking out. Only drawback might be games length. You blaze through the story quite quickly, but Lara's mansion and secrets offer you good amount of replay value. It's recommended to all action genre fans or TR fans. On the price side it's not that expensive and you might spend a good weekend with it.