Hannibal S02E03 ‘Hassun’ Recap

 

This season seems to be opening it’s episodes to ever increasing disturbing sequences, this episode we begin by witnessing Will sentencing himself to death via electric chair by pulling the lever himself. Creepy. This is understandably on his mind, he knows the stakes, the trial is the difference between life and death.

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This episodes main focus isn’t so much on the trial; its centre point is actually and more importantly that of Will and how the trial is affecting those around him and their perception at this current moment. Some characters attitude hasn’t changed in the slightest. Freddy Lounds is still as unpleasant as ever and will say anything to get her story. Then there’s Dr Chilton, now making up a diagnosis which in actual fact is just a description of his own self-proclaimed vanity.

There are more important character developments however, Will’s lawyer questions Alana Bloom while forcing them to sit across from one another. They talk about him as if he’s not even there and you genuinely feel sorry for him especially with his puppy dog eyes as Alana heartlessly states that she only has a “professional curiosity” in Will.

While Alana pretends that she had no feelings for Will, Jack on the other hand can’t shake the loss of his friend, he even goes as far as to defend Will on the stand which in turn puts him in the way of fire and possible dismissal from his position. He doesn’t know what to believe, especially when another murder has taken place, almost exactly the same as the past murders – Could this be Wills get out of jail free card? Jack certainly wants to believe it. But the short answer is unfortunately no, it’s not.

Hannibal shows the forensic report from the recent murder to Will, although he knows for a fact that this is a different killer due to the fact that the victim had been killed by a gun rather than mutilation like all the rest before. Will still decides to change his defence mid trial even though he himself knew that this was not even the same killer. This defence soon backfires and crumbles away, which is not good news for Will.

Just when you thought it was over, it’s not, the judge is killed just in time, who knew that was going to happen. It’s showy, horrific and slightly disturbing but that’s what this TV show is all about. So now Will has been given a second chance, although if it was to carry on like this there won’t be any judges left.

 

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The episode ends on a pleasanter moment between Will and Alana where she explains that she wants to save him. They also have the first real connection in this series as they hold each other’s hand. which was a nice touch as we knew there was more than “professional curiosity” between the two of them – more interestingly though it is actually Will who is reaching out for Alana.

Hannibal S02E02 ‘Sakizuke’ Recap

Hannibal is now airing in the UK Tuesdays 10pm on Sky Living.

 

The second episode begins just where the first left us, we see the serial killers newest victim ripping himself from the mural. The opening was one of the most horrific scenes from the series so far, it was quite hard to actually watch. You really do feel as if Roland will in fact manage to escape, but those hopes are soon dashed as he hits the rocks below the cliff edge he ends up having to dive off.

Will is sat talking to both Hannibal and Alana behind bars – seems more like a cage quite frankly. He openly breaks down in front of them, confessing that he needs their support, practically on the verge of tears. We soon realise once Will is alone that it was in fact simply a show that he wanted Hannibal to witness. He is clearly more composed in the sanctuary of his own mind, ready to play his own games with Hannibal.

Will understands how much Hannibal desires him as a friend, he realises that he can use this to his own advantage and exploit the situation, utilising it for his own needs but now it seems more like a waiting game for them both.

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Bedelia Du Maurier arrives at Hannibals office, this visit is to inform him she no longer wishes to be his psychiatrist as she has “begun to question” his actions. This scene shows to some degree that she is intimidated by Hannibal Lector, this is portrayed visually with the low close up camera shots of him slowly walking towards her as she keeps trying to back away creating some real tension.

A scene which I personally found quite amusing is that of Hannibal taking the place of Will at the autopsy, he manages to get in the way and look generally out of place as everyone else in the room is trying to get on with their job.

Beverly Katz mentions the idea of the “colour palette” this instantly grabs Lectors attention stating that it’s “as if Will Graham himself were in the room”. He now knows that she is taking advice from Will, this is attention she doesn’t want and could mean that her character isn’t going to have such a happy future. Jack also isn’t happy about the fact she’s been doing this behind his back, but does actually let this continue as he clearly still trusts Wills instinct.

Later in the episode Hannibal goes to discover the mural killer, but for what purpose? He actually helps him finish it – if you can actually call it help. He sews him into his own mural. Once Jack and Co come and find the mural, pictures are then shown to Will in his cell. Hannibal watches him closely waiting for him to put the pieces together, which obviously, he does.

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Du Maurier appears again in this episode to reveal to Will that she believes him; she tries to console him by saying that he will survive what has happened. Finally! This at least, gives Will some hope for the future. Especially after being told that he’s not actually on trial to discover if he’s guilty or not, only on whether he actually knew what he was doing. So he did need a little cheering up.

The trial is imminent and Will is still struggling to gain any support or evidence, will Hannibal even let him go down for these murders? Surely his desired friendship would require Will to actually be out of prison.

 

Leftovers

  • This episode had some real laugh out loud moments, one of my personal favorites being the scene in which Will asks Kade Purnell if he was still an employee of the F.B.I, the obvious answer being no.
  • I have to question why Hannibal took the whole leg of his victim; he made enough for four people and sat alone in his three piece suit in the dark. I don’t know why but even with all the other goings on I still found that odd and slightly amusing. Guess he really does need a friend.
  • “Hannibal has honestly done what he believes is best for you” oh yeah, right.
  • Hannibal clearly underestimated Bedelia Du Maurier as he expected her to be at home, but she’s a clever lady and luckily already high tailed it outta there. He put on his plastic murder suit for nothing.

The Wolf of Wall Street Review

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As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a stockbroker

Meet Jorden Belford a man with high ambition to become filthy rich. The Wolf of Wall Street is crazy, stylised and completely unapologetic and shameless. Prepare for three hours of utter madness and twisted hilarity as you witness Belford’s life spin wildly out of control. Martin Scorsese spends most of the films three hours focusing on the high life of Belford, who’s gained so much money from a questionable business ethics that he literally does not know what to do with it.

Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Jorden Belford a stock broker who cares very little for the destruction which he leaves in his wake. Even when everything begins to crash around him there is zero remorse, is it possible for someone to care so little? I suppose when we’re talking about Wall Street it is entirely possible. Belford doesn’t come across as a very deep or complicated character as his daily routine contains him taking an excessive amount of drugs and hiring an obscene amount of hookers while he explains the details to the audience via narration. But I can’t say expected much else, The Wolf of Wall Street is what it was always advertised to be and it certainly lived up to expectations.

Belford starts up in a reputable firm and is even asked to lunch with Mark Hanna, played by Matthew McConaughey, who is sadly only in the film for the span of about 15 minutes. His appearance may have only been a short one but it shall be remembered, mainly due to the chest thumping scene. In my personal opinion his character was rather underused, it would have been wonderful to have seen him gain some added screen time.

The situation develops as black Monday swoops down and destroys the business. As soon Belford gets his foot in the door the same one slams it back out again, he’s out of a job with nothing on the horizon until he decides to kick start his own business with a selection of friends. He’s discovered a perfect way to rip people off using both penny stocks and his most charming and convincing telephone voice. Belford goes from an empty garage to a tower building bursting with people who are begging for a chance to work for him.

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It’s about mid-way through the film when the FBI finally come knocking on the door of Stratton. You would assume that this would take centre stage now but in actual fact it doesn’t, we know they’re there but they seem to be on the back pedal for much of the film. I thought this was really unfortunate, Patrick Denham played by Kyle chandler is the lead FBI agent on this case and there’s a rather tense scene between him and Belford questioning who’s really got the upper hand here and Belford soon realises that it may not be him this time.

One of the most hilarious moments in The Wolf of Wall Street for me involved the out of date Lemmons, the realisation that he has taken way more than advised had me bursting with laughter straight away as he struggled to string a sentence together. An otherwise simple act of getting into his car turns into what felt like a life or death journey as he slowly crawls to the steps which he then decides to roll down head first. The scene was silent for all but DiCaprio narration which made it even better, you could actually feel the concentration as he dragged himself across the ground.

Jonah Hill portrays Donnie Azoff, who was originally Belfords neighbour and has now become one of his main business partners. You assume that they will stick through everything together no matter what happens in the future but Donnie isn’t exactly what he seems (a slimy stockbroker that is). But this should hardly be surprising for Belford as he already stated that “There are no friends on Wall Street”.

The Wolf of Wall Street is exactly what I expected, its side splittingly funny, extremely entertaining even with its length reaching three hours, it is a whirlwind of booze, sex, crime and drugs. The Wolf of Wall Street Revels in its blatant debauchery and is an absolute riot.

Favourite QuoteThis right here is the land of opportunity. This is America. This is my home. The show goes on. They’re gonna need to send in the National Guard to take me out, cos I ain’t going nowhere!

Rating 4/5

Game of Thrones Season 4 Review Part 1

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So we’re now over half way through the season so I thought I’d take a look back at some of the past episodes. Soon we shall reach the end and be sat around itching for a new season to begin and there will be a big emptiness where Game of Thrones used reside, below are my thoughts on some of the episodes so far, this is also from a viewpoint of someone who has read up to and part way through a Dance of Dragons so obviously, beware of spoilers.

 

S04E01‘Two Swords’ 

We have been placed back in King’s Landing witnessing events before joffrey is to marry Margery Tyrell. Considering the way weddings are going at the moment it’s rather obvious this wasn’t going to go down too well.

Plenty of screen time has been allocated to the newly introduced character Oberyn Martell, and quite rightly so, he’s going to be an important piece in the game of thrones this season. We know about his troubled passed and his feelings and attitude towards House Lannister due to his sisters horrific death during the sack of Kings Landing, he reminds Tyrion of this during their tense scene together. It was interesting to finally have some important and significant back story of Westoros, reading the books you learn so much but it’s hard to fit all the information in these hour long episodes.

We are soon back with Deanerys who is sat with one of her dragons(Drogon), her two others appear with a meal, scrapping over the food, Drogon begins to feast on it himself.In her attempt to try and calm him, he soon turns on her. Although she is not harmed, there is a sense that she will inevitably lose control over her “children”.

Back at the wall Jon Snow is having to answer for his ‘crimes’, due to the events in the last season when he went over to the wildlings. Showcasing some of Kit Harrington’s best acting so far, as he defends himself against those accusing him and manages to stay alive by the grit of his teeth – and the backing of maester Amon.

Rory McCann (Sandor Cleagane) has been given some of the most hilarious moments and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) adds to these perfectly. One of the most satisfying events to happen in this episode was seeing Arya finally getting her revenge and striking a name from her list. This moment feels like it has been a long time coming, the killing of Polliver was intimate and more importantly she had no problem watching him die at her own hand, showing some interesting character development, albeit slightly disturbing.

 

S04E02 ‘The Lion and the Rose’

This episode is one of the important game changers of Season two, The purple wedding, this episode certainly didn’t disappoint, the major aspect of this episode, unsurprisingly was the marriage of joffrey baratheon to Margery Tyrell, and what a wedding it was.

The scenes were absolutely perfect, I watched this episode unfold intently, near the end I just waited in anticipation for what was about to happen practically on the edge of my seat.

Joffrey’s insulting dismissal of the band at the wedding gave an idea of how badly this situation would be turning out for him. And his barbaric depiction of the war of the five kings was tasteless and uncomfortable to watch, especially given the wedding guests lack of amusement or enjoyment. joffrey also makes a public mockery of his own uncle Tyrion – again. As if it wasn’t enough for him to have to watch the public humiliation like the rest of the guests, he is insulted further to join in on the act. And to top it all off, he requests that Tyrion be his cupbearer.

Joffrey’s death so early on in the season will more than likely have had people celebrating all over the world, yes, it was deserved but seeing him, begging for his mother to help could almost make you have some pity on him. But then again, he WAS a monster and at least Margery is saved the future misery of having to be married to him.

Tyrion unfortunately gets the blunt end here, he’s now been accused by Cersi for the murder of her malicious son. But I highly doubt Tyrion would have been stood there red handed if he had actually done the deed. Even so it looks like he’ll be in chains again for the foreseeable future.

Aswell as these gripping events we headed back to see what the rather deranged Ramsey Snow is currently up to, thankfully it’s no longer torturing Theon – I don’t know if I could have coped with that much longer. But let’s be honest, his situation is not improving rapidly. He’s even been given a new name, ‘Reek’ who is fully devoted to Ramsey due to his fear of him – not entirely surprising really, Ramsey isn’t the kind of person you want to be on the bad side of.

On a side note.

Bran is still travelling further north but I don’t feel that his screen time is showing much progress and I feel like Bran is used to just fill out the story

Jamie and Brienne still have some nice scenes together while in Kings Landing and she’s still trying to get Sansa Stark out of the Lannisters clutches.

Hannibal S02E01 ‘Kaiseki’ Review/Recap

Hannibal is now airing in the UK Tuesdays 10pm on Sky Living.

Hannibal season two has finally graced the scene in the UK and is kicking off to a flying start. The opening begins with some brutal hand to hand combat between Jack and Hannibal, the latter using some rather unconventional weapons including a pepper mill and a fridge door to gain the upper hand, the scene ends with Jacks life hanging in the balance, my guess is he’ll survive, I couldn’t imagine Bryan Fuller killing off such an important character (in relation to the books) but who knows!

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This fight was spectacular; it really gives us an idea of how powerful Hannibal actually is.

Although Will is currently being held in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane he actually is in a better place he has more clarity, the fact that his brain is not “on fire” anymore is certainly helpful. Several times we see Will fishing in tranquillity, looking inside himself to figure out what actually happened to him and being in a mental institution is certainly giving him time to do so.

Alana Bloom feels that it is Jack Crawford’s fault that will’s life is ruined due to him pushing too hard, Bloom has filed a report with these accusations. Due to this report there will now be in internal investigation focusing on Jack. Bloom is one of the few who currently sticks by Will, yet she is still unwilling to believe that someone else could have committed these murders but wishes to help him establish a case for himself that it wasn’t truly his fault due to his mental state.

Hannibal goes to see Will (at Will’s request) who tells him “my inner voice sounds like you, I can’t get you out of my head” Hannibal tries to relate this to their “friendship” but Will quickly dismisses this as “the light from friendship won’t reach us for a million years” so they are certainly not friends in Wills opinion, and it’s understandable. Will promises that there “will be a reckoning” once he remembers what has been done to him.

Will Graham has now been “replaced” by Hannibal, he is now profiling on the new case which I found a little bit odd, I don’t see him as a Will Graham really but for now it I’ll go along with it. He talks about these circumstances with Bedelia Du Maurier stating “I got to be Will Graham today”, sounding a little bit too happy with the idea of stepping into his shoes.

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Beverly Katz goes to see Will, this is not a social visit, she believes that he can help with a tricky case they are currently working on. He identifies the motive of the killer by quickly looking at the pictures of the victims, sorting them and labelling it a “colour Platte”. I like that Katz was chosen to go see Will, she clearly still appreciates and trusts his input to go to him even if she’s unsure how she feels seeing him.

Another important aspect of this episode is the flashback in which Will realised how Hannibal gruesomely force-fed him Abigail Hobbs ear. It was interesting to have some clarity on how the ear ended up where it did in season one, as it was one of the main pieces of evidence which originally landed Will where he currently is. At least he now remembers something, the only problem now is getting someone to believe him, no one seems eager to do that just yet.

The episode ends showing us the killer’s newest victim who has managed to survive an intended drug overdose and has woken up after being sewn into the “colour palette” as Will named it.

The weeks the follow should give us a better idea of Hannibal and what his “end game” could possibly be, although he’s a hard nut to crack and his motives are not always what they seem, but you can clearly see that he’s missing Will and his company and the ability to manipulate him. Although considering the circumstances I can’t imagine Will feeling the same. And there’s now a ticking clock, at the end of the season we shall understand fully the confrontation between Jack and Hannibal and how that situation managed to unfold.

 

Leftovers.

  •  The scene where Alana takes the dogs for a jog was nice to see.
  • When will they realise that Hannibal is just making jokes at their incapability to see what’s right in front of them? I.e. – “I never feel guilty eating anything” or “in that case you are dining with a psychopathic murderer”. Trololol.
  • Hannibal keeping his appointment slot open for will as if he’s going to walk through the door. Someone’s looking a bit lonely.
  • Winston going “home”, looking for Will.

 

The Hunt (2012) Review

Running Time 110 minutes

Director Thomas Vinterberg

Starring Mads Mikkelsen, Thomas Bo Larsen, Annika Wedderkopp

Thomas Vinterberg raises some powerful issues in a situation where a lie can spin violently out of control.

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The story is situated in a close community in rural Denmark where everyone knows everyone. The Hunt is very realistic; it is harsh and unforgiving in its storytelling. Vinterberg touches on some sensitive issues and isn’t afraid to see them through.

Everything seems to be going relatively well for Lucas he has a large group of friends; he enjoys his job at a local school and is in a new relationship with local co-worker Nadja. But all of this changes when Theo, Lucas’s best friend’s daughter Klara becomes upset when Lucas returns a gift showing affection.

Klara is now withdrawn and informs the head teacher at school that Lucas has exposed himself in front of her. Although he is innocent in this situation, it all begins to spiral out of control rapidly as more of the children at the school seem to be joining in on the story, soon the tale becomes a much bigger issue as the parents in this predicament agree that “children never lie” – thus they want to protect their children as much as possible, like anybody would and with any means they deem necessary and although I do not agree with their actions, I understood the reasons behind them which is what makes The Hunt such a powerful statement.

Lucas is now being shunned for what the local community believe that he has done, becoming an outcast, people who were his friends have now become his enemies and they are now throwing all of their hatred in his direction. One scene shows a refusal to serve him in his local shop; his defence ends horribly, showing how savage and cruel people can really be. This escalates even further when the shop owner even tells Lucas’s son that he must also shop elsewhere, furthering the issue of discrimination.

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Lucas becomes completely detached from a community he was once in the heart of; he’s unwelcome and knows it. But on Christmas Eve he visits the church with the rest of the village creating an emotional scene of confrontation between Lucas and Theo for the whole town to witness.

Mads Mikkelsen portrays his role convincingly and passionately for which he received a well-deserved award at Cannes for best Actor, I felt tremendously sorry for Lucas and more than once I clenched my fists in anger often feeling like I couldn’t make it to the end, but I forced myself to and I certainly don’t regret it, it’s a masterpiece of honesty and gritty realism, showing how a small lie can lead to disastrous consequences

In the end we are forced to consider the obvious question; which side would I agree with in a circumstance such as this? It is also clear from the ending sequence that Lucas will never manage to escape the twisted lies which now wrongly define him.

Rating 4/5

Hannibal Season one review (2013)

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This TV show introduces us to a Hannibal which had been previously unexplored, the events before Manhunter and Silence of the Lambs. Dr Hannibal Lecter has been brought in to help a struggleing Will Graham, to assist him in keeping stable. Graham is a profiler with a unique ability to step into the mind of a killer, which slowly starts to take its toll, causing him to often rely on Hannibal and his counselling which is questionable from what we know of Dr Lecter.

Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal is an extremely intriguing character; he has the ability to manipulate the people around him whilst managing to keep them from suspecting him. Seeing Hannibal before his capture is certainly interesting, he is of course a cannibal but the programme seems more focused on his relationship with Will Graham portrayed by Hugh Dancy, a fragile FBI consultant thrust into the deep end. It’s hard not to feel sorry for Will, his lack of social interactions cause him to be a lonely man who is separated from people in general, living with only his collection of stray dogs for company.

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Hannibal is beautifully filmed; the camera work is fantastic with subdued and faded shades used alongside deep over saturated reds which really stand out against the whites and the dull hues, showing the gritty world these characters are in.

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The show is not rushed, which is something that really makes this programme worth a watch, every moment is filmed with fantastic attention to detail from showing the remnants of a recent crime scene to showing the close ups of intricate objects. Making Hannibal pleasing and satisfying to watch and in my opinion, quite possibly one of the best programmes of 2013.

Hannibal season one is available to buy now and season two airs February 28th

The Art of Alice Madness Returns (2011) Review

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This book is based on the videogame:  Alice Madness Returns which makes a beautiful companion to the already visually impressive game. This is by far one of my personal favourite art books.

The book is hardback with good quality thick glossy paper, the images are superb some of which take up two pages on their own.

The concept art includes a lot of ideas which didn’t make it to the game but are still amazing to look through. Included are weapon ideas, the creation of Alice including her dress and her general appearance and many props out of the game.

IMG_3332The book includes a variety of concept ideas, there are chapters for each level in the game, such as London, with its gothic styles, The Mysterious East which clearly took inspiration from Chinese art and culture to The Dollhouse where we can see some very strange but brilliant ideas taking place. There are small detailed captions which inform you of who

the artists are and about the development process which made some of these strange but wonderful ideas came into realisation. The concept of the artwork link in with the story of the game in a massive way contributing to the story of the game so this book is amazing for anyone who like me loved the game or simply apprieciates the artwork.

Artists include: Ken Wong, Sun Guoliang, Luis Melo, Hong Lei, Wu Yuehan, Ben Kerslake, Nako, Tyler Lockett, Fellipe Martins, Pu Jinsong, Wang Shenghua, Yuan Shaofeng, Jin Lei.

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Tomb Raider 3 (1998) review

Okay this is kind of a review and kind of just me expressing my love for the game, I’m sorry I just really had to. enjoy!

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This is the first computer game I ever actually came into contact with at the age of about 7 or 8, I think I pretty much fell in love and my obsession with gaming seemed to just take off from there. As well as my whole families obsession with Tomb Raider as we eagerly purchased the two previous installments and waited with anticipation for the games that followed.

I’ve played through the whole game many times and I’m in the middle of another play through at the moment, my feelings haven’t changed. By today’s standards, we know the graphics are not superior anymore, the dialog isn’t the best but y’know what? I don’t care, its as enjoyable to play now as it was the first time.

I even ended up buying a new version just so I could finally play the add on Tomb Raider 3: The Lost Artifact. Way too excited about getting to play some levels I’ve never seen before!

One thing that I love about Tomb Raider 3 is the diversity of locations, you travel through jungles in India, go to Nevada desert, adventure through London and go to the antarctic and the South Pacific which are lovely settings and completely different to look at making for some much more interesting game play, The most difficult area in my opinion is London, especially while underwater as the controls are a little more difficult and the movement more clunky

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the game is actually fairly long really, levels last longer as you have to go backwards and forwards collecting any needed items to progress, although that might sound like a massive pain it really is enjoyable! And if you want to you can collect all the secrets in the game to access the bonus level at the end of the game (Which I’m actually doing on my play through at the moment).

The enemies in my opinion are not all that difficult but other players may feel differently, I can get through most of the game simply using the duel pistols. But if you feel the need for some more firepower there’s more to choose from such as shotguns, Uzis, grenade launcher desert eagles etc… which I tend use on the bosses. Although the enemies are not all that hard to beat, I still find myself jumping when one seems to come out of no where especially with the sudden loud and sharp noise which seems to also appear at the same time.

Although I personally don’t find Tomb Raider 3 tremendously difficult, new players to the series may, you are constantly doing something never really stopping. Sometimes finding where to go can be the hardest thing of all as you are never really told, you have to figure it out for yourself which is actually a positive for me, I don’t want to be guided through a game I want to find things out on my own, even after 2 previous play throughs I’m still having to think of where I am going and what I have to do to get there. Another point to mention is there can be difficult areas which you find you have to jump at some nearly impossible angles and make some ridiculous jumps but it can be done even if it takes several attempts and after a while you just get used to it.

One bad point is the amount bugs and glitches, these can be horrible things that stop you progressing, you have been warned, I had an issue of playing the whole of the first level and not being able get any further (the amount of times I’ve played through the whole India level is pretty ridiculous really) that can be a little frustrating.

It still manages to challenge me even though I’ve completed it before, I still look forward to finding time to get back to playing it, Tomb Raider 3 is an absolute classic in my opinion and I know far too many people who have never played it, so please do! You’re missing out on something really special.

7/10