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Tomb Raider III Cover Artwork
Cover Artwork
Overview


Tomb Raider III: Adventures of Lara Croft
is the third game in the Tomb Raider series, and the sequel to Tomb Raider II. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive.

The game was originally released in November 1998 for the PC and PlayStation. The storyline follows Lara Croft as she embarks upon a quest to recover 4 meteorite stones scattered across the world.

   
Story


Tomb Raider III opens millions of years ago, when a meteor survived the plunge through the Earth's atmosphere, impacting the then-warm climate of Antarctica. The first people to discover this land were a tribe of Polynesians.

Tomb Raider II

Despite the now-freezing conditions, there was an abnormal abundance of life and the tribe settled, worshipping the meteorite crater for the powers it appeared to hold. Generations later, though, catastrophic events forced them to flee in terror. Today, the same area is being excavated by the research company RX Tech, headed by the eccentric Scottsman Dr. Willard. The team is picking up unusual readings from the meteorite's impact zone. Soon after they uncover the body of a sailor from Charles Darwin's voyage on the Beagle. It seems a few of his sailors had explored the interior of the crater.

Tomb Raider III

Following a story from one of the sailors' journal, RX Tech have started to take a particular interest in not only the crater area, but other parts of the globe where the sailors traveled to... and died in. One of these places is India - where Lara is currently searching for the legendary Infada artifact. Unaware of its true history, she only knows that in local beliefs it was supposed to hold great powers and has been revered by tribes there throughout the years. Soon she will discover a whole lot more.

 
Gameplay


The gameplay of Tomb Raider III picks up where Tomb Raider II left off. Once again, Lara's range of abilities has been expanded, now including such moves as the crouch stance, a sprinting move and the ability to "monkey swing" on overhead bars and vines. Sprinting allows Lara to gain a burst of speed while running. A bar then appears in the corner of the screen to indicate the amount of stamina Lara has left. At any time during a sprint she can perform a forward roll, for example to dive under closing trapdoors.

Tomb Raider II
Tomb Raider III

A portion of the game still takes place underwater, but this time new perils have been added. In some levels (eg. Madubu Gorge), the current of the stream will pull Lara in a fixed direction, preventing the player from being able to swim back or grab onto a ledge. These waters can only be navigated using a kayak. Additionally, some tropical pools are inhabited by a school of piranhas. Unlike alligators these fish are invincible, and as soon as Lara enters their waters they will flock toward her, and kill her within seconds. Furthermore, the water in the Antarctic levels is too cold for Lara to swim through it. She can only remain in the water for a short amount of time, and submerged under it for an even shorter amount of time.

When she dives into it, a new status bar will appear in the corner of the screen to indicate her body temperature. If that bar reaches zero, Lara's life will rapidly decrease. The only way she can cross these waters over a large distance without freezing to death is by using a motorboat.
Quicksand is a new type of ground that distinguishes itself from regular soil by its moving surface. Should the player fall into it, Lara will sink deeper and deeper until she disappears and drowns. Sometimes these swamps reveal hidden stepping stones for Lara to cross.

As always, the pistols are Lara's most basic form of defence. The shotgun, the harpoon gun, the uzis and the grenade launcher have remained from Tomb Raider II. The automatic pistols have disappeared to make place for the powerful Desert Eagle. The M16 rifle has been changed to a similar MP5 submachine gun. Also new to Lara's arsenal is the rocket launcher.

On the PlayStation version, saving the game is restricted to the amount of Save Crystals the player has stored in Lara's inventory. These floating blue crystals can be found throughout each level, but unlike the original Tomb Raider, they do not require the player to save the game at the pickup spot. The PC version allows the player to save at any point. The developers planned on having the Save Crystal system for the PC version, but this was unfinished and the green crystals act instead as small medipacks.

The objective of the game remains unchanged, although Tomb Raider III arguably has fewer tombs to explore than the previous games. Instead, most levels take place in a more modern environment, and Tomb Raider introduces an element of stealth into the game play. For example in the Nevada adventure, it is sometimes preferable to sneak past guards instead of fighting them. Being spotted may set off alarms and close doors that are otherwise needed to complete the stage and therefore the player will have no other option than to take a more difficult route.
Tomb Raider II
Tomb Raider III

Source: Wikipedia. Made available under the Wikipedia® GNU Free Documentation License.

 

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