Tomb Raider: Underworld, the game where Crystal Dynamics really hit its stride, is now going for a dollar

I think it fair to say that Crystal Dynamics should now be viewed as the savior of the Tomb Raider franchise. Picking up development after Eidos dropped development duties following the nadir of Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness, it rebooted the series not once but twice, leaving Lara in the position she is today—a relevant hero who’s had some cracking adventures as of late and is reportedly getting more soon, too.

View Tomb Raider: Underworld on GOG

The most recent trilogy of Tomb Raider games was great (culminating in 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider), but the trilogy of releases that Crystal Dynamics released before that (Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld), showed plenty of quality, too, and especially the last release, Tomb Raider: Underworld.

There’s plenty of tomb raiding action on offer in Underworld. (Image credit: Future)

Tomb Raider: Underworld introduced a brand new game engine, one that at the time was very graphically impressive. Underworld’s level design was more open, too, with gameplay redesigned largely around utilizing Lara’s abilities to explore her environment, much like more modern games. Motion capture was used for Lara’s movements for the first time as well, and the result of all this newness meant that Underworld looked and played notably better than Crystal Dynamics’ previous Tomb Raider releases.

All of which is why, when I saw Underworld had been reduced by -87% over at GOG, a fact that means it’s now cheaper than a can of Coke, I not only snapped up the deal myself but also felt I should bring it to the wider PC gaming community’s attention. The details of the offer can be viewed below.

Tomb Raider: Underworld | $1.23/£0.99 at GOG (-87% off)
This is the dark and, even now, graphically impressive third game in the original Crystal Dynamics reboot of the Tomb Raider series. It pioneered many of the gameplay systems and expansive level scope that Crystal Dynamics would go on to use in its later 2013 reboot, so plays remarkably like a modern Tomb Raider game despite its age. A lot of quality tomb raiding for very little spend in my opinion.
View Deal

As to how Tomb Raider Underworld runs today, on my PC gaming rig (Nvidia RTX 3090 Ti, 32GB RAM DDR4, AMD Ryzen 7 5700X, ASRock B450M Pro4), I can run the game with all options turned to maximum fidelity flawlessly at a 4K resolution and a super smooth 60fps+. As this is a GOG release, compatibility with modern PC gaming systems is guaranteed, so I’m confident any PC gamer with any sort of decent gaming PC will be able to run Underworld not only without issue, but at a level of quality that the original release couldn’t dream of.

Lara after being told she has to play Angel of Darkness. (Image credit: Future)

Seriously, playing Underworld today is fascinating in the sense that it’s obvious to see how it was the base for everything Crystal Dynamics would go on to do with Tomb Raider, Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, its second, more famous reboot trilogy. Underworld is not as polished or as well-rounded as those games, but it does deliver a good dose of their feel while also delivering more of a classic Eidos Tomb Raider character. In that sense, then, it’s a unique entry in the history of Tomb Raider games.

The underwater opening of Underworld looks fantastic even today. (Image credit: Future)

I can personally vouch for the game and this GOG deal, as I’ve picked it up myself. After reading PC Gamer’s Tomb Raider I-III Remastered review, I had the taste for some classic tomb raiding, but not the stuffed wallet to pick it up. So when I saw how cheap Underworld was thanks to this deal, it just felt like the perfect solution. I mean, a buck/pound for 10-20 hours of adventures with Lara just seems great value to me, and especially so considering this game’s graphics really hold up in my opinion. Just wait until you see the opening level swimming underwater in the ocean—classic.

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