Tomb Raider Legend
It's a little late for a full review now that's it's been out a while and I've lost interest in it, but this is partially the game's own fault, because (and I may make reference to this later on) it's damn short.
Now, having drafted in a new team entirely to take care of the development, Tomb Raider Legend comes out of things looking far more modern than ever before. Redesigned from the ground up, the engine retains some familiarity while making the game seem like something more than a mission pack for the original. But it's a short game. Incredibly short. I spent less than 10 hours playing to complete it, and that includes 3 spent in the sandbox "Croft Manor" level finding secrets. For a Triple-A Next-Gen title so long in the making, this is diabolically short, especially given the labyrinthe and time-consuming nature of the previous games.
There are plenty of good things about TR7. Despite every game in the series from TR3 onwards claiming they were going to return to the roots of the franchise, TR7 does actually manage this to a large degree with a far more forgiving mix of action and puzzles than before, though it should be noted that what made the roots of the franchise attractive at all was the originality, not the action:puzzle ratio that's been obsessed over for the last few games as if concentrating on that would solve the problems people were having. The unlockable extras are a personal fave, and graphically speaking it's far ahead of any previous Tomb Raider game, and looks utterly gorgeous even on my mid-level PC.
However, there are plenty of bad things about the game. I can't speak for other formats, but I was plagued with bugs on the PC version. Constant sound problems that distorted it into unrecognisability and required a reboot were the most frustrating, and in the first level alone I found myself standing waist-high in debris that was missing any collision detection, and hanging from an invisible ledge in mid air. Where's the QA team when you need it? There's also the small matter of how it violates existing Tomb Raider continuity by inventing an entirely new backstory that's bound to piss off the hardcore fans. Then there's the paltry length. And the controls and camera have lost a lot of their grace, something I attribute to Crystal Dynamics, the new team, not having the experience that let Core refine thei handling of those two essential gaming elements.
Overally, it is a genuinely decent game. It's the update the franchise has needed for some time now, and It'll please both Tomb Raider fans and casual gamers alike. It's bound to keep players interested for the length of the game, but mainly because it's SO DAMN SHORT. Christ.