Millions of years ago, a meteorite hit Antartica and wiped out a great deal of life around the world. Thousands of years later, the Polynesians discovered it, and took to worshipping it for the powers it was seen to hold.
It is now present day in Antarctica, and a research company, RX TECH have began a huge excavation of the impact zone of the meteorite. While excavating in the snow, they begin to pick up mysterious readings on their equipment. Lead to a mysterious mound, they soon discover the grizzly remains of Charles Darwin, along with the journal of one of his sailors. The sailor's journal tells of the voyage on the Beagle, and how sailors had looted the artefacts around the meteorite and carried them to all four corners of the earth. However, only one man returned with knowledge of their whereabouts - in fact the very author of the discovered journal. RX Tech set off in search of these mysterious artefacts.
Lara Croft is presently searching for the Infada Artefact, and drawn to the meteorite, leading her to believe that there are many more powerful relics around the globe. As she strives to find each one in turn, battling the people who seem to want them for their grim powers, Lara unfolds a much more deadly background to the fallen meteorite.
Tomb Raider 3 was the most highly-anticipated game of 1998 - it promised lots of new features, including new lighting, "ripple" effects, smoking guns, falling bullet cases, richer textures, new sounds, new guns and bigger "better" levels. Phew, what more could the fan want?
"Tomb Raider 3 was the most highly-anticipated game of 1998...promised lots of new features...and what did we get?"
Tomb Raider 3's main feature was its new graphics and its humungous levels to drag Lara through. The game is infested with Artificial Intelligence including clever monkeys, cunning mercenaries and hungry piranhas'.
Again, more weapons were added including an MP5 and a "rocket" launcher - both of which to be primarily used against the much-hyped dinosaur levels, in which Lara encounters native tribesmen and relatives of those grizzly giant lizzards from The Great Wall in Tomb Raider 2.
It was everything it was expected to be, yet somehow it didn't quite take the biscuit as Tomb Raider 2 did, and especially not the all-round originality of Tomb Raider. Not a disappointment, but more of a surprise and let-down to the obessesive Tomb Raider fanatic. Pity...
Well well, Lara is still weighed down with a ton of deadly metal. Pistols against the snakes and rocket launchers against the little green bastards that nibble at your feet in the Pacific levels.
- Harpoon Gun
- Grenade Launcher
- Rocket Launcher
- Desert eagle pistol
- Rotating Platform Plane Cannon (RPPC)
And what do you know, there's more vehicles. This time however, they are a very important feature to the game, and probably (in my view) the best feature of the entire game.
In the London levels, yes - in the London levels, Lara must use an Underwater Propulsion Unit to blast herself through the stunningly clear waters of the London sewers, where she can harpoon crocodiles and blind frogmen with the blinding glow of the headlight.
When Lara advances to Nevada - again, there just happens to be a quad bike for her to ride around in. With the aid of this bulky little engine, she can skid around canyon ledges, fly over hefty jumps and she can even run over little green men...I promise!
In another hot part of the world, Lara has the chance to paddle about merrily in a kayak, or isn't it a canoe? This time, she can float down the ravage waters of the Pacific Island rivers - oh what a ride this will be.
A complete change of scenery - this time the climate's more similar to London; cold, wet and infested with wierdos. Oh yeah, she also has a speedboat and a minekart to faff around with, too.
The level system is very different in Tomb Raider 3 - in that once you have completed a section (i.e. India, London etc), a 3D globe appears, allowing you to revolve it to different areas. This globe gives you the choice of choosing where you want to go next, your choice ending in advantages of weapons or secrets in the next levels.
1. The Jungle
2. Temple Ruins
3. The River Ganges
4. Caves of Kaliya
5. Thames Wharf
7. Lud's Gate
8. The City
The South Pacific
9. Coastal Village
10. Crash Site
11. Madubu Gorge
12. Temple of Puna
Nevada / Area 51
13. Nevada Desert
14. High Security Compound
15. Area 51
17. RX Tech Mines
18. Lost City of Tinnos
19. The Meteorite Cavern
'The Extra' level is the great level All Hallows - the only bad thing is you have to spend hours trying to collect all 59 secrets in the game, but it is worth it, if your patience lasts. I'm not telling you what's in this level, you'll just have to find out yourself. I have got there...honest.
Lara's Home is so good it could pass as a level, so I decided to keep it as one.
At first, the team at Core were thinking of ditching Lara's Home. But, obviously changed their ideas and kept a brilliant training level, with a longer assault course, a race track for Lara's home quad bike, and a shooting range for shooting Jeeves the butler - at long last. With puzzles inside the house itself, Lara's home is both a training area, and a taste of what is to come in the game.