For those with suitably-equipped PCs an option to play using Next-Generation graphics is available.
This is said to require a graphics card which supports Shader Model 3.0, and it does indeed give very realistic shadow effects, for example Lara's arm now casts a shadow on her body. It also uses Bump-Mapping to give realistic texture, for example the ground is now rough where before it was just a flat picture of rough ground.
Here's two screen-shots: see if you can tell which is Normal and which is Next Generation:
(Click on the images for a full-size version)
In fact I think that Normal is much better (on my graphics card), especially the foliage. There is less small detail on the leaves but much more, and more realistic, foliage. Also the cliff edges are more overgrown and look better than sharp edges. Next Generation has three detailed plants but Normal has lots of nice grass!
For the record, my graphics card is an Nvidia 6600GT with 128 MB of RAM. It runs Next-Generation rather slowly, so I tend to look round and admire the scenery before switching it off to play the game.
It didn't take long to find my first bug. In the moving-blocks room of the first level I found Lara repeatedly jumping up and down in the corner! I've not found a bug which affects the game-play yet, but quite a few graphical glitches.
At the start of Peru: from certain angles an invisible rope suddenly appears
Lara can walk through solid rocks!
Tokyo: Lara walks outside and looks at the scratches her bum:
Suddenly a building appears with a yellow advert on the roof!
Another huge development has sprung up, on the left, and Lara is waving
at the girl in an advert which has also just appeared by magic.
Some dead guy dropped his medipack which promptly sank half-way into
a wall. She can't bend down and reach it either, bummer!
Email me for details of registry tweaks, command line options, patches, new dresses and bikini for Lara, savegames, hint and tips and more...
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