I finished off Tomb Raider Legend tonight. It was a great game, and a real breath of fresh air after the darkness of the previous game. As the first game from a new team and with a completely new, modern engine, this game throws off the rigid tile-based movement of the previous games and welcomes in a much more free-roaming adventure. It's also the first of the Tomb Raiders that I've used a joypad for, rather than the keyboard. In both the control method and the gameplay, that leads to a much more free and comfortable experience, but with a lack of the precision of the old games. In those older games, a huge level full of options was thrown before you, and you had to work out where you could go based on your exact knowledge of how Lara moved. It was rigid, but it led to a feeling of total control and understanding of the character. Crystal Dynamics went for the more modern (and some might say easier) route of a very linear route with signposted areas that Lara can interact with. It makes it all a lot easier to run through and make it to the end, but Lara feels a lot more like Nathan Drake. She's lost a bit of that sense of adventure and immersion. That's not to say that I'd want to go back. The new engine is beautiful, but I do miss that sense of wonder and pillar-to-post gameplay. Anyway, I don't want to make this sound like a downer review, I completely loved my time with it. There's a lot of variety in the levels, with a feeling of some of the classic treks of old through jungle and tundra. I'd say it perhaps errs a little too far toward combat rather than exploring and puzzle solving, but at least the combat here is much improved over previous iterations (especially AoD). You only get to carry one extra weapon (other than pistols), but pretty much every enemy drops one, so you're never without options. The audio is great, too. You constantly have your two comrades chattering away over your earpiece with Lara joining in, and it really keeps the sense of immersion that you're here with the team moving through this story. All in all, it's a great reboot, and just what the series needed, but it does start the slide toward a more Uncharted-esque gameplay experience rather than the purebred old-school Tomb Raider. Next up is Anniversary where they re-imagined the original Tomb Raider game but using the new engine, so I'm very interested in seeing how this one goes. It sounds like it could be my perfect TR game!
I've also been chugging through a bit of Inquisitor. I'm playing it on easy, but it's still incredibly hard. It also crashes...a lot, but I'm still enjoying it.