Tomb Raider Review - An Icon Reborn

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For people asking is it a good PC port. While I don't know that because the game isn't out yet, Square Enix has been very good to PC community with their previous games.

But that's not why I'm here. I am here to give you some good hair news. Finally, something is being done about the hair in video games. AMD has some new fancy tech that makes Lara's hair look just fabulous. Very next-gen stuff. And as a PC gamer, I can't completely ignore shiny things and new technologies, so this makes me excited about the future of hair in gaming. It's a pretty big leap from how hair's been rendered in the past. It's also a huge plus for this game, but I already decided to get it anyway.

LOOK!
http://kotaku.com/5986952/thank-amd-for-the-best-video-game-hair-ever/gallery/1

The tech behind it: http://blogs.amd.com/play/tressfx/

Susan Arendt:

Dahemo:
Rant over. Susan, you Cadillac of reviewers you, how would you want them to handle the combat/character problem? A stellar review as always...

You know, I don't have a good answer to that. If her gameplay development mirrored her character development, the game would have to play much differently, and while it might still be quite fun, it wouldn't be the adventure romp that we want it to be. And don't get me wrong, the combat is a lot of fun. I loooooooved pulling off headshots with my bow, and setting guys ablaze with napalm arrows. (Shooting guys off zip lines? The best.) So I'm not sure what the best solution would be. I love both halves of the game, and it's easy enough to mentally put aside the fact that there's really no reason for Lara to be such a good shot. As much as we want games to deliver good characterization and strong stories, we can't ignore the fact that they also have roles to play as games.

What comes to my mind at the moment is doing something like James Bond in Casino Royale (book or Daniel Craig film): capable and confident at the beginning, but gets thrown in over his head against people who are much more dangerous than he bargained for, and barely escapes with his life, then becoming the cold, ruthless agent we know.

So maybe something similar could have been done with Lara: starting as a medium-rare badass, and through the travails of the story becoming a well-done badass by the end. But maybe that would have diminished the dramatic impact of the story?

Falseprophet:

Susan Arendt:

Dahemo:
Rant over. Susan, you Cadillac of reviewers you, how would you want them to handle the combat/character problem? A stellar review as always...

You know, I don't have a good answer to that. If her gameplay development mirrored her character development, the game would have to play much differently, and while it might still be quite fun, it wouldn't be the adventure romp that we want it to be. And don't get me wrong, the combat is a lot of fun. I loooooooved pulling off headshots with my bow, and setting guys ablaze with napalm arrows. (Shooting guys off zip lines? The best.) So I'm not sure what the best solution would be. I love both halves of the game, and it's easy enough to mentally put aside the fact that there's really no reason for Lara to be such a good shot. As much as we want games to deliver good characterization and strong stories, we can't ignore the fact that they also have roles to play as games.

What comes to my mind at the moment is doing something like James Bond in Casino Royale (book or Daniel Craig film): capable and confident at the beginning, but gets thrown in over his head against people who are much more dangerous than he bargained for, and barely escapes with his life, then becoming the cold, ruthless agent we know.

So maybe something similar could have been done with Lara: starting as a medium-rare badass, and through the travails of the story becoming a well-done badass by the end. But maybe that would have diminished the dramatic impact of the story?

In this specific case,I think it would have. What makes her journey so meaningful is that she starts off ordinary. She reacts and behaves much like you or I would, and then finds the strength within to do what she believes must be done. Now, in future games, perhaps, we could have the kind of arc you're describing, but I think for this origin story, it was very important for us to see Lara as ordinary so that we could then find her even more extraordinary by the end.

So, i like the review, and it certainly looks promising, but i need to nitpick.

Susan said on her review that it has become difficult to take Lara Croft seriously in recent games. I understand she feels strongly about lara, but this is a game series that has never really had stellar stories or character development. even before the legends/underworld era, you went from room to room murdering dozens of tigers and wolves,using perfectly function 2000-year-old mechanics, to get to entirely undisturbed treasure. not exactly a realistic or meaningful series.

That said, i am not against them trying a new direction, and trying to make the series 'grow up' , as it were. though i have to say, even if it was schlocky, legends and underworld were at least good schlok. even at its (arguably) worst, Tomb Raider was better than most action games

Falseprophet:

So maybe something similar could have been done with Lara: starting as a medium-rare badass, and through the travails of the story becoming a well-done badass by the end. But maybe that would have diminished the dramatic impact of the story?

But even a medium-rare badass, or a complete badass for that matter, can't possibly defeat that many people at once.

Copper Zen:

demented:
The fact that Laura gets used to killing people so quickly proves what we already knew. She's a psychopath.

I couldn't help but remember one of Yahtzee's old reviews where he said that Lara's perfect mate would be Jason Vorhees because she was basically...EVIL!

He put it something like: "In the last game she would occasionally look down at her hands after killing someone as if to say "What kind of monster have I become?" but really, we all know she's off her rocker."

OT: I tried playing one Tomb Raider game in the 90's and couldn't get far in (even with a walk through) because I couldn't ever latch on to a 'hidden' ledge in some canopy or something. That left 99% of the game unfinished.

Looks like things have gotten better.

As for people whining about the reboot it should be clear that the need was unavoidable: After silliness like the giant octopus how could they "Up" things next? Lara unearthing fire breathing dragons?

...

Lemme guess: They did that somewhere, didn't they?

Well, she does kill one in Tomb Raider 2, along with giant spiders, T-Rexes, and rocket-powered stone guardians.

I've been looking forward to this game for a while now, and I'm glad it's getting positive reviews. I thought it came out today, and freaked out a bit. >_> I haven't been able to finish Hitman Absolution yet, and want to do that first. Also noticed how Square Enix was involved with both games. Though they made final fantasy too, so my impression has only been increased a little...

Saxnot:
So, i like the review, and it certainly looks promising, but i need to nitpick.

Susan said on her review that it has become difficult to take Lara Croft seriously in recent games. I understand she feels strongly about lara, but this is a game series that has never really had stellar stories or character development. even before the legends/underworld era, you went from room to room murdering dozens of tigers and wolves,using perfectly function 2000-year-old mechanics, to get to entirely undisturbed treasure. not exactly a realistic or meaningful series.

That said, i am not against them trying a new direction, and trying to make the series 'grow up' , as it were. though i have to say, even if it was schlocky, legends and underworld were at least good schlok. even at its (arguably) worst, Tomb Raider was better than most action games

Oh, I agree, it was always meant to be very B-movie, but it also got rather ridiculous and lost its creativity. I quite enjoyed Legend, Underworld less so, but it was fun enough. But that Lara had really run her course.

Also, no, Angel of Darkness was not better than most action games. No, no, no, no. *shudder*

Not sure if this was mentioned before, but did anyone else unconsciously dub Far Cry 3 over this?

Seems to be the same plot mechanic...

What annoys the hell out of me is that "cartoony" and "unrelatable" matter. It's a friggin game! Why do people even care about the alleged "disparity" between her frailty and her assasin like qualities? Here we go with story driven b.s. and art in games - why can't we leave the game part alone?

Well, it must be that we're now phasing out backwards compatability and used games so nevermind. Ok yah, the old games are all cartoony and unrelatable.

gamernerdtg2:
What annoys the hell out of me is that "cartoony" and "unrelatable" matter. It's a friggin game! Why do people even care about the alleged "disparity" between her frailty and her assasin like qualities? Here we go with story driven b.s. and art in games - why can't we leave the game part alone?

Well, it must be that we're now phasing out backwards compatability and used games so nevermind. Ok yah, the old games are all cartoony and unrelatable.

Well, pardon us for having different tastes than you. How dare we?!

Personally, I like playing something every now and again that doesn't feel like it was made for a child.

Not sure if this particular game qualifies, not having played it and all, but we shall see.

Doom972:

CaptOfSerenity:

Doom972:
Why even call her Lara Croft? If they wanted to tell a new story in the Tomb Raider setting with a brand new character, then why didn't they just do it? She isn't anything like her except in her name: She doesn't act like her or sound like her and she barely resembles her.

While the new Lara might be good (some might like her better, which is fine), this seems like a slap in the face for everyone who liked Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise before.

I'll pass on this one.

Why do fans have to take every change on their favorite well-trodden, overdone series as personal attacks? Do you really think the world revolves around you?

Seems like they wanted to add some depth. Seems like you could keep an open mind.

First of all, I wouldn't say I'm a fan, I like the franchise but not all that much, so imagine what an actual fan might think.
For the sake of the argument, let's say that Tomb Raider is well-trodden and overdone, isn't it much more of a reason to start a new IP or at least make a new protagonist?
Didn't really get that last part. I don't recall making any selfish demands.

I'm very open to new things and changes as long as they make sense. Making a new and completely different character and acting as if she's one of the most well-known characters gaming doesn't make sense. Imagine if they make a new Mario game where Mario is a teenager who doesn't have a mustache and talks with an American accent.

The part where you say "it's a slap in the face." As if trying to inject a franchise with some life and creativity is a "slap in the face" to fans is ridiculous. You know what the alternative is? Let the franchise die. Then, everybody would be like "make me a classic-style Tomb Raider game." Then it comes out and no one gives a fuck.

Adam Jensen:
For people asking is it a good PC port. While I don't know that because the game isn't out yet, Square Enix has been very good to PC community with their previous games.

But that's not why I'm here. I am here to give you some good hair news. Finally, something is being done about the hair in video games. AMD has some new fancy tech that makes Lara's hair look just fabulous. Very next-gen stuff. And as a PC gamer, I can't completely ignore shiny things and new technologies, so this makes me excited about the future of hair in gaming. It's a pretty big leap from how hair's been rendered in the past. It's also a huge plus for this game, but I already decided to get it anyway.

LOOK!
http://kotaku.com/5986952/thank-amd-for-the-best-video-game-hair-ever/gallery/1

The tech behind it: http://blogs.amd.com/play/tressfx/

Aww shit son, dem hair physics!

Glad I got it on PC then :D

I haven't played a Tomb raider since 3, so forgive me if everyone knows something I don't, but Wow, that video... It looks like typical next gen copypasta.

I don't care that they changed Lara, that's fine because I didn't care about her from the start. I honestly don't care if the main protagonist is a pink bunny with a bow tie. I played the original Tomb Raider games because it was fun to dive through tombs, explore labyrinths and solve puzzles. Everything I've seen of this new game look like Uncharted, just with a different protagonist and story. Not interested in the least.

Interesting review though. The game doesn't seem bad, it just simply is not my cup of tea at all.

Wow, did they forget to use any colours when designing this game? o.o It's the most dreary, bland looking colourless game I've seen!

The only thing that really bugs me is the whole leveling of skills; its a mechanic that tends to irritate me outside of RPGs and when it's tied to stat-stacking in the multi-player it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Other than that, I'd give this game great consideration as a purchase, because even if she starts as a soft spoken and terrified normal person it still makes her potential journey more interesting than watching Nathan Drake start as a smug twat, be a smug twat, and end as a smug twat.

Legion:

Doom972:
Why even call her Lara Croft? If they wanted to tell a new story in the Tomb Raider setting with a brand new character, then why didn't they just do it? She isn't anything like her except in her name: She doesn't act like her or sound like her and she barely resembles her.

While the new Lara might be good (some might like her better, which is fine), this seems like a slap in the face for everyone who liked Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise before.

Simple.

If they had made this game without the Tomb Raider title, people would be calling it a Tomb Raider rip-off, and it'd be constantly compared to those games. The differences are enough to be noticeable to those who enjoyed the games, but they are also similar enough to have a lot of comparisons.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on that point I guess. I don't see how someone would've though that this is a Tomb Raider game if they had named the game and its protagonist differently.

CaptOfSerenity:

Doom972:

CaptOfSerenity:

Why do fans have to take every change on their favorite well-trodden, overdone series as personal attacks? Do you really think the world revolves around you?

Seems like they wanted to add some depth. Seems like you could keep an open mind.

First of all, I wouldn't say I'm a fan, I like the franchise but not all that much, so imagine what an actual fan might think.
For the sake of the argument, let's say that Tomb Raider is well-trodden and overdone, isn't it much more of a reason to start a new IP or at least make a new protagonist?
Didn't really get that last part. I don't recall making any selfish demands.

I'm very open to new things and changes as long as they make sense. Making a new and completely different character and acting as if she's one of the most well-known characters gaming doesn't make sense. Imagine if they make a new Mario game where Mario is a teenager who doesn't have a mustache and talks with an American accent.

The part where you say "it's a slap in the face." As if trying to inject a franchise with some life and creativity is a "slap in the face" to fans is ridiculous. You know what the alternative is? Let the franchise die. Then, everybody would be like "make me a classic-style Tomb Raider game." Then it comes out and no one gives a fuck.

I don't mind changes - I actually liked the changes made by Crystal Dynamics in Legend, Anniversary and Underworld - They kept the spirit of the game and it's iconic features, while improving game mechanics.

In this game, it seems like they just made something that's completely unrelated and then called it Tomb Raider. If you had played any of the other games, you would know what I mean. A game that has nothing to do with what the franchise was about isn't "injecting a franchise with some life and creativity", because such fundamental changes don't leave room for improving anything about it because none of it is there anymore.

Letting a franchise die is also a good option. Maybe this franchise was already milked to death and doesn't need any more installments? I'd prefer that it would die, rather than have it become something completely different.

Doom972:

Legion:

Doom972:
Why even call her Lara Croft? If they wanted to tell a new story in the Tomb Raider setting with a brand new character, then why didn't they just do it? She isn't anything like her except in her name: She doesn't act like her or sound like her and she barely resembles her.

While the new Lara might be good (some might like her better, which is fine), this seems like a slap in the face for everyone who liked Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise before.

Simple.

If they had made this game without the Tomb Raider title, people would be calling it a Tomb Raider rip-off, and it'd be constantly compared to those games. The differences are enough to be noticeable to those who enjoyed the games, but they are also similar enough to have a lot of comparisons.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on that point I guess. I don't see how someone would've though that this is a Tomb Raider game if they had named the game and its protagonist differently.

I didn't say they'd think it's a Tomb Raider game, I said it'd be similar enough to be called a rip-off. Like how people are complaining about how Bungie's new game Destiny is just like Halo, purely because of some aesthetic similarities.

I get kind of a Farcry 3 vibe from some of the things I've heard about this new Tomb Raider. A young and frail traveller forced by their surroundings to harden themselves in order to fight back against the wilderness and save their friends. I gotta say though, it's peaked my interest.

I never actually played any of the original Tomb Raiders as I didn't have a Playstation, so the first one I played was Underworld, and it was quite silly. Too silly for me to really get into it.

Might pick it up. There's not been much else that's making me take notice.

Zhukov:

TsunamiWombat:
I suggest waiting for more reviews to come in, particularly user reviews, before making your decision.

User reviews. Urgh.

I laugh at the notion of basing actual purchasing decisions on those manic, poorly written displays of blatant agendas.

Like every review ever?

Doom972:

Letting a franchise die is also a good option. Maybe this franchise was already milked to death and doesn't need any more installments? I'd prefer that it would die, rather than have it become something completely different.

Because the new Lara will burn all your old CDs at night?

How about you just don't play the game and let those who would enjoy something different have their fun.

Legion:

Doom972:

Legion:

Simple.

If they had made this game without the Tomb Raider title, people would be calling it a Tomb Raider rip-off, and it'd be constantly compared to those games. The differences are enough to be noticeable to those who enjoyed the games, but they are also similar enough to have a lot of comparisons.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on that point I guess. I don't see how someone would've though that this is a Tomb Raider game if they had named the game and its protagonist differently.

I didn't say they'd think it's a Tomb Raider game, I said it'd be similar enough to be called a rip-off. Like how people are complaining about how Bungie's new game Destiny is just like Halo, purely because of some aesthetic similarities.

Similar in what way? Where's the platforming/riddle solving? Where are the ancient tombs? Where's Lara's personality/looks/signature weapons?

There are more similarities between this game and Uncharted, rather than Tomb Raider.

A high profile reboot and they still did not think of letting the story guys in on what type of game they made. The story of a vulnerable girl and her alter ego the murder hobo. Oi vey.

The only thing I ask of Susan is: How does this game hold up compared to the previous titles? Is it similiar, fresh, etc?

I've been people panning this game as great, but no one says "yeah, they've gotten rid of the annoying crap like lineal ledges that sometimes are climbable and other times just background pieces".

It certainly looks better - but this late in the console cycle, LOOKING like a good game and BEING a good game are two COMPLETELY different things

Zhukov:

gamernerdtg2:
What annoys the hell out of me is that "cartoony" and "unrelatable" matter. It's a friggin game! Why do people even care about the alleged "disparity" between her frailty and her assasin like qualities? Here we go with story driven b.s. and art in games - why can't we leave the game part alone?

Well, it must be that we're now phasing out backwards compatability and used games so nevermind. Ok yah, the old games are all cartoony and unrelatable.

Well, pardon us for having different tastes than you. How dare we?!

Personally, I like playing something every now and again that doesn't feel like it was made for a child.

Not sure if this particular game qualifies, not having played it and all, but we shall see.

I said nothing about taste - Tomb Raider has always been for adults as far as I know. That's not my complaint. If they made her "frail" then playing this version of Tomb Radier would be a total drag. They bring this crap up while the basic gameplay that made Tomb Raider fun to play gets passed over. I don't see why she had to say that bit about being "cartoony and unrelatable" b/c Tomb Raider has always been accesible. It's like she's putting down the older games like Legend, Anniversary, Guardian of Light, etc- all of which were great games. Who says that they're now corny? That's BS. No modern gamer bias there at all.

And what happened to improving on what they did for Guardian of Light? That was a solid game. I really hope that this current version of Tomb Raider is good.

That Machinima review seems overly focused on potentially trivial aspects, but I imagine his points are legitimate. The game loos like an 8 out of 10 to me.

eh, I'll be skipping it; the series was never exactly a sacred cow even at the best of times and nothing about this one really does anything for me from previews. There's are just far more interesting releases in March

gamernerdtg2:

Zhukov:

gamernerdtg2:
What annoys the hell out of me is that "cartoony" and "unrelatable" matter. It's a friggin game! Why do people even care about the alleged "disparity" between her frailty and her assasin like qualities? Here we go with story driven b.s. and art in games - why can't we leave the game part alone?

Well, it must be that we're now phasing out backwards compatability and used games so nevermind. Ok yah, the old games are all cartoony and unrelatable.

Well, pardon us for having different tastes than you. How dare we?!

Personally, I like playing something every now and again that doesn't feel like it was made for a child.

Not sure if this particular game qualifies, not having played it and all, but we shall see.

I said nothing about taste - Tomb Raider has always been for adults as far as I know. That's not my complaint. If they made her "frail" then playing this version of Tomb Radier would be a total drag. They bring this crap up while the basic gameplay that made Tomb Raider fun to play gets passed over. I don't see why she had to say that bit about being "cartoony and unrelatable" b/c Tomb Raider has always been accesible. It's like she's putting down the older games like Legend, Anniversary, Guardian of Light, etc- all of which were great games. Who says that they're now corny? That's BS. No modern gamer bias there at all.

When I say different tastes I'm referring to the fact that some of us enjoy "story driven b.s."

And those old game were corny. Very corny. That doesn't mean they were bad, although I balk at the notion of calling Legend and Anniversary "great".

Also, this particular reviewer really liked Guardian of Light and highly recommended it. I remember because I bought it after reading her review and found it to be enjoyable.

Zhukov:

When I say different tastes I'm referring to the fact that some of us enjoy "story driven b.s."

And those old game were corny. Very corny. That doesn't mean they were bad, although I balk at the notion of calling Legend and Anniversary "great".

Also, this particular reviewer really liked Guardian of Light and highly recommended it. I remember because I bought it after reading her review and found it to be enjoyable.

That's good to hear. None of the games that I've mentioned (especially Legend) have corny stories though.

Ok so I guess I don't know what she means by unrelatable. How is it that a game can now be corny, esp any of the games in the Tomb Raider series? I'm seriously not getting it. And I love a story driven game just as much as everyone else. If it's balanced out well enough with the gameplay, I love story in my games.
I'm just super hormonal about the way modern gamers criticise older games as though the new stuff makes the old irrelevant. Many of the older games have more replay value than these current ones, with a few exceptions. Underworld had its flaws I suppose, but it's not corny at all. I guess I don't git it.

It looks nice but the bit about Tombs being linear really disappoints me, was hoping for some hardcore puzzle action. This really looks like Tomb Raider lite, also it looks a lot like Far Cry 3 as far as the upgrades go, even the XP bar was identical

Quellist:
It looks nice but the bit about Tombs being linear really disappoints me, was hoping for some hardcore puzzle action. This really looks like Tomb Raider lite, also it looks a lot like Far Cry 3 as far as the upgrades go, even the XP bar was identical

Its worse than far cry in every respect aside from the shitty qte riddled bossfights. Even the tombs in Far Cry were more complex than the ones lara visits in this game.

This is a biased review that glosses over the shitty side characters, and the poor gameplay mechanics when brought up against the plot running the game and say's its fine: 10/10 / 5 stars whatever. The escapist was never any good at reviewing games anyhow. Just look at their Dragonage 2 review.

Madkipz:

Quellist:
It looks nice but the bit about Tombs being linear really disappoints me, was hoping for some hardcore puzzle action. This really looks like Tomb Raider lite, also it looks a lot like Far Cry 3 as far as the upgrades go, even the XP bar was identical

Its worse than far cry in every respect aside from the shitty qte riddled bossfights. Even the tombs in Far Cry were more complex than the ones lara visits in this game.

This is a biased review that glosses over the shitty side characters, and the poor gameplay mechanics when brought up against the plot running the game and say's its fine: 10/10 / 5 stars whatever. The escapist was never any good at reviewing games anyhow. Just look at their Dragonage 2 review.

An opinion that disagrees with yours does not a bad review make. Also I don't follow how you know it's quality when the world wide release isn't until March 5th.

erttheking:

Madkipz:

Quellist:
It looks nice but the bit about Tombs being linear really disappoints me, was hoping for some hardcore puzzle action. This really looks like Tomb Raider lite, also it looks a lot like Far Cry 3 as far as the upgrades go, even the XP bar was identical

Its worse than far cry in every respect aside from the shitty qte riddled bossfights. Even the tombs in Far Cry were more complex than the ones lara visits in this game.

This is a biased review that glosses over the shitty side characters, and the poor gameplay mechanics when brought up against the plot running the game and say's its fine: 10/10 / 5 stars whatever. The escapist was never any good at reviewing games anyhow. Just look at their Dragonage 2 review.

An opinion that disagrees with yours does not a bad review make. Also I don't follow how you know it's quality when the world wide release isn't until March 5th.

Oh i dont disagree with Susan's review. I disagree with the score because i don't know by what measure this game is a 5 star game considering that comparably with far cry 3 this game has more qte's (Not hard considering Far cry only used them for bossfights and sneak attacks), and we already know from the review that the dungeoneering aspect is a one room / limited deal, while the island itself is limited or at least segmented by areas that you select from the mapscreen.

So given all of its negatives which are mentioned from the review itself. HOW COME ITS 5 STARS?

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