Core Design, maker of the Tomb Raider series, has proven to be a prolific developer. Without even counting the "gold editions," Tomb Raider: Chronicles is the fifth Tomb Raider game in as many years - a feat that deserves some sort of recognition. Not many games make it to a fifth chapter, let alone in such a short time span. But while Core and publisher Eidos Interactive should be commended for their commitment to avoiding the long development cycles that plague so many games, they can also be criticized for squandering what began as an imaginative and interesting series. Tomb Raider: Chronicles features good level designs and a bit of variation on the tried-and-tried-again Tomb Raider formula, but there's too little in the way of innovation to make it seem like anything more than just another trip to the cash cow.
At the outset of Chronicles, Lara Croft is presumed dead and several of her colleagues and friends are holding a memorial service in her honor. This service leads to a sort of vigil, where the gathered recall some of Lara's past exploits. These stories make up the adventures, and there are four unrelated episodes. Each of these finds Lara searching for some mythical artifact in some mystical land, usually against some European adversary. Descriptions of the episodes sound like variations on Clue solutions: You have the Frenchman with the Philosopher's Stone in the Roman Colosseum and the German with the Spear of Destiny in the Russian submarine. Lara will also have to hunt demons in an Irish moor and find an Egyptian artifact in a high-security skyscraper.