Zero Punctuation: Tomb Raider

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It seems like an okay game and a pretty logical evolution of the Tomb Raider series. I just wish they would stop rebooting everything. I don't mind breathing new life into a stagnating series, but a full on reboot is a bit much. No need to scrap years of story development guys, come on.

elilupe:

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

That is true, except in using that example, Yahtzee was talking about character in-game choice, not player choice. In the setting of Spec Ops, Walker, as the army Captain investigating Dubai that he is, chose to use the white phosphorus while his squad objected to it, saying they had other options. You as a player don't technically have other options, but, in the scale of Spec Ops, the character of Captain Walker did.

Actually, as I recall, the game does give you the option to shoot your way through it, it just makes winning impossible.

In a way, the player DID choose to use White Phosphorus. The other choice was dying.

Oddly enough, same choice Captain Walker had...

The Deadpool:

elilupe:

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

That is true, except in using that example, Yahtzee was talking about character in-game choice, not player choice. In the setting of Spec Ops, Walker, as the army Captain investigating Dubai that he is, chose to use the white phosphorus while his squad objected to it, saying they had other options. You as a player don't technically have other options, but, in the scale of Spec Ops, the character of Captain Walker did.

Actually, as I recall, the game does give you the option to shoot your way through it, it just makes winning impossible.

In a way, the player DID choose to use White Phosphorus. The other choice was dying.

Oddly enough, same choice Captain Walker had...

The other choice was to stop playing (stop moving forward)
The dev's didn't make you hit the trigger button

Yahtzee has just summed up exactly what I've been saying about this game since I completed it, especially about Lara's "character" being reactionary and nothing more. Instead of typing the whole thing again I shall submit to narcissism and quote myself from a previous thread:

Proverbial Jon:
But Lara doesn't develop as a character. I'm not sure quite what it is about this game that has fooled people into believing that it's award winning literature.

Lara isn't flawed to begin with. She's touted as being brilliant in her field of work, having an eye for new details and willing to take risks (go into the dragon's triangle.) A couple of people aren't on her side initially but that's them, not her. There is nothing about her to improve. That's a poor start when you're looking to develop a character.

Then she's thrown into a bad situation where she has to do or die. Putting aside the crazy stunts she performs (which mostly transcend human ability or limits of endurance) most people would rise to the occasion in her situation and be able to do what she does because their very survival is at stake. Sure, there are some comments about her parents and some hints that she can't live up to whatever legacy they have forged, but the details are far too sparse and it all feels so bare bones as to be non existent.

Lara "develops" in her situation as any human would. The OP is right, you could replace Lara with anyone else, any gender, and you'd get the same exact storyline. That's the problem right there, this isn't a personal story about Lara, it's just an old time clichéd survival story about some chick on an island. Lara hasn't been reinvented, she's been homogenised.

I had to pause the video so I could finish off a laughing spasm at the image of Yahtzee with a pacifier in his mouth. That one will stick with me.

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

You are a still a good person.

Swiftly back to top form then... To be fair, you couldn't possibly have gone far wrong with this one... Tomb Raider...^^ =b

In fairness, half the problem I had with GTA IV was the whole "we created a darts-playing mechanic, and by God, you're going to use it" issue. I have less problem with mechanics that are introduced and subsequently become optional to primary gameplay than ones that you're expected to slog through again and again when there's more entertaining gameplay just out of reach.

Kennetic:

Edit: Forgot to mention, hey feminism, notice how no chicks in tomb raider died? NOT ONE. Of all the deaths, good guys and bad guys, WERE ALL MALE.

Your point?

shadowstriker86:

Hannibal942:
Meh, I'll probably pick it up when it's 10 bucks on a steam sale. I don't really think it's worth 60 whole bucks right now.

You were gonna pay money? lawls, i got a torrented version.

That being said i was quite impressed with the first 10 minutes and then i remembered what the developers of the game said at a panel "we wanted it to be realistic but we didn't want it to be a whole survival documentary with bear grylls". call it a hunch but thats a bit contradictory dont ya think?

It's because other people pay that you have something to torrent in the first place.

lawls.

Lara's character being reactionary is the point. It's about resistance and strength within. Surviving despite the cost and being transformed. Not any fateful character choice.

In the game you'll hear, "There are no heroes, only survivors". She never wanted to be a hero like Walker. Being forced to react was the point. It's about learning that you have what it takes. I don't see how one is inherently better than the other.

Also arguably Walker had the exact same choice despite what the Spec-Ops wants you to believe. Be violent or fail.

HURRAY! I AM NOT ALONE!

Thank you for avenging the grievances I had with this overrated piece of shite, Yahtzee.

meanwhile I'm still playing Far Cry 3... :p

but he does hit a good point with pointing out the issues with AC3, and to a lesser extent RDR and its kitchen sink set up (at least RDR's story was more engaging than AC3 lol)

WAIT! Did you just spoil the "I'm not going to spoil it but it's when Walker does a bad thing" part of Spec Ops that you specifically said you weren't going to spoil?!
I enjoyed this review, more so than the other ones in recent memory. Except for that part. In the words of James May: "Oh, cock!"

Y'mean another game written by Rhianna Pratchett has obviously issues in its story? Seriously, between this, Mirror's Edge, and Heavenly Sword she definitely has cemented that she did not inherit her father's talent

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

You have to press a button to use it, you make the call. If you were so fucking disgusted with it there always was the option to stop playing.

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

This is a complaint I see a lot, and it's one I'm going to have to object to. A lot of people claim that the shocking moment in Spec Ops is 'meaningless' because it's scripted. In reality, the whole game is scripted. If the game ever gives you the objective "fight through this building and kill Joe Bloggs", you'll have to fight through the building and kill Joe Bloggs; you'll never have the option of sneaking round the side and talking to Joe and maybe convincing him to help you or something.

You see, the whole "do you do a bad thing or not" isn't the real choice of the game. The real choice is:

So, that's why I don't think it's fair to say that Walker "didn't choose" to use the white phosphorus. Sure, he didn't have a choice in the situation he was in. But that's only part of it....

Although I always enjoy my fair share of Zero Punctuation every week, I will have to disapprove with you Yahtzee.

I enjoyed the game myself and I'm glad they did this reboot, the previous ones were quite bad actually (except for maybe Underworld or Legend), but that is debatable.

With that said, I'm glad Lara's back even though the game felt rather Uncharty at times, overall a good game.

But even in the very beginning she decided to send the expedition to the island of doom
then she decides to save everyone and stuff

deosn't she?

That said, this installment didn't feel as Tomb Raid-y to me as I'd like and didn't feel as survivalist as it was advertised. Tombs are just some side-missions and puzzles really basic, most is about shooting hundreds of people with a bit of mystery in the background.

So kind of an inversion of what I was hoping for. The actual shooting wasn't bad tho.

NearLifeExperience:
HURRAY! I AM NOT ALONE!

Thank you for avenging the grievances I had with this overrated piece of shite, Yahtzee.

I don't recall Yahtzee saying he thought this game was an 'overrated piece of shite'. He just did what he does with most games, and actually, I think it was really not that scathing at all by his standards.

Proverbial Jon:
Yahtzee has just summed up exactly what I've been saying about this game since I completed it, especially about Lara's "character" being reactionary and nothing more...

So how would you improve the story then? There is character development- she starts off unsure about herself and her abilities, has a load of shit thrown at her, and becomes a survivor (confident, strong, determined, blah blah blah). And her being 'reactionary' is the whole point of the story, so I'm not entirely sure what your problem is on that front.

Yahtzee's point about reactionary characters being difficult to describe as having a story arc is a legit point. If you're left with the impression that they did things only because they had to, not because they chose to, then there's not that much changing about their personality, motives, point of view, etc.

On the other hand, the problem is that there's rarely any middle ground anymore when it comes to reactionary/proactive characters. By that I mean that people at large seem to have this very jaded, cynical (and yes, I know that describes Yahtzee in a nutshell) viewpoint about fictional character motives. If a character tries to do something out of a sense of morality or honor, they quickly get the "morkishly virtuous" label stamped on them and are quickly dismissed as the ridiculously stalwart paladin-types who will charge blithely into a dangerous situation that any "sensible" person would know better than to mess with because anyone with two brain cells to rub together would see they're not going to win this particular fight charging in head-on. On the other hand, the "sensible" characters often act like self-centered, emo jack asses who will only begrudgingly do something that requires sacrifice or risk on their part with no immediately apparent reward, usually just to get the crowbared-in love interests to stop whining at them and get their tits out.

That, to me, seems to be the two types of protagonists we have to chose from these days: either the brave idiot or the smart coward. To tell the truth, sometimes I'm not sure if its because that's just how all protagonists are being viewed, or how they're being written these days. I have to admit, sometimes it seems like the proactive protagonists act pretty damn stupid, like Vash the Stampede from Trigun, incessantly trying to reason with every bad guy even when they've got a gun to an innocent person's head, or Snow from Final Fantasy XIII, hurtling into every dangerous situation without the faintest idea what the fuck he's going to do. Seriously, where are the protagonists that balance sense with morals, like Humphrey Boggart's Sam Spade or Clint Eastwood's The Man With No Name?

DarkhoIlow:
So, that's why I don't think it's fair to say that Walker "didn't choose" to use the white phosphorus. Sure, he didn't have a choice in the situation he was in. But that's only part of it....

To reiterate though, both the player and the Captain have the same choice: Do something awful or die. Both make the same choice.

Spot on. Actually I think this is the most "spot on" ZP I've seen so far and it's exactly the points I was screaming out while reading the awful Escapist review.

As Yahtzee said, the best thing about Tomb Raider (the series) WAS the free exploration and the getting past what were basically platforming puzzles. This game didn't have that.

Okay, so... another game I've already played through is getting reviewed by our beloved Yahtzee. Good review. Guess I'll give my opinion as well...

Bear in mind, this is the opinion of one who has never before played a Tomb Raider-game except Angel of Darkness, but that was so long ago I remember squat about it.

...

Hey, here's a crazy idea: why did this game need humans to shoot at anyways? Wouldn't it have been enough with, you know, wildlife? After all, you're stuck on an island in the middle of the ocean, in a place few people ever live to go through, and no hope of rescue in sight. Why the cultists? Couldn't the whole game have been about the struggles of a lone girl in a hostile environment, instead of this psychotic woman slaying a whole bunch of mad people? Surely that would negate a lot of my criticism. Just saying.

Anyway, overall this game was... meh. Aside for my intense hatred for the main character, the overall gameplay is just okay. It works, but is nothing groundbreaking. In my opinion, it is not worth shelling out 50-60 bucks for this game. If you decide to play it, wait until it goes down in price or hits a sale.

That is all.

Blood Brain Barrier:
Spot on. Actually I think this is the most "spot on" ZP I've seen so far and it's exactly the points I was screaming out while reading the awful Escapist review.

loll. 100/100 of given.

Machinima, pc gamer, rock paper shotgun had reviews similar to yahtzee

Yes Yahtzee, BUT WAS IT FUN? I understand about the story-hiccups and the plot-holes and the general bullshit, and I agree with you, but did you actually ENJOY what you got to do (when it wasn't quick-timed)? Because I can stomach a bogus story with bogus premise and characters if playing through it is sufficiently enjoyable.

This has probably already been said but wasn't the tutorial section of tomb raider 4 a kind of prequel to the series? From what I can remember she was into archeology and either studied the subject or was wealthy enough to afford to be able to hire someone experienced in the field to lecture her while they explored some ruins.

surely that was a decent enough reason for the events of everything else in the series. An interest in what she was doing and a little hands on experience.

There is no pleasing Yahtzee or one most of you."WE WANT A CHARACTER ARC!!!!!"Well you got one, and now you're all "OMG LULZ NOT BELIEVABLE ENOUGH".

Sorry that the game's progression was a bit too complex for your brains.A person is asked to survive.Alone, tired and on a freaking island full of violent male cultists.At the start of the game she is so unsure of herself, if Roth hadn't been there for her over the radio she probably would have killed herself.But she CHOSE to go after her friends, to save them.The same way Cpt Walker CHOSE to use the mortar.It was a decision by Lara.

And the game itself discourages this.The narrative, at least.I agree there seems to be a disparity between the nrrative and the game - but that is freaking trade off between fun and restricting the player.Yahtzee would be the first one to yell at the top of his lungs if the game didn't allow headshots at all, or if her hands kept shaking while holding a gun throughout the game as they did in the cutscene when she first killed a man.She has to move quickly, she can't be stuck over something.IT'S CALLED SURVIVAL.On an island such as this, if you decided to hole up in one place hoping for help, you'd die and probably deserve to.

And that deer thing was pointless?Okay?Eating is pointless in general then?She was starving.She had to eat something.Se was attacked, she needed the weapon.

Honestly get those freaking sticks out of your butts, you guys are the first to cry when the industry gives you COD clones, and when a game comes along that wants you to play as you want (WHO IS ASKING YOU TO HEADSHOT THEM?YOU DO THAT.), and which also has character development (a solid one), you people act like the most pretentious idiots ever.

I get the feeling Yahtzee used "goddamn, fucking, piss-in-my-sandwich" to describe a same-title reboot game before. That should be his official term for this sort of thing. I thought the funniest bits was the guy with the spiked club yelling "NOW FUCKING GROW AS A PERSON!" and calling the game "I Spit On Your Tomb" for it's over-the-top violence. I don't mind violence in a game, but when it becomes torture porn, is when it gets stupid. Didn't Yahtzee say something about tonal inconsistency in video games in yesterday's Extra Punctuation column?

IronMit:

Machine Man 1992:

IronMit:

You are not making captain walkers decisions..it's not a role playing game, or a decision based game.

I can understand it gets confusing because you are given the illusion of choice and your brain decides it's a typical choice based game like mass effect or something...but it's not.

That would be like saying; 'the Tomb Raider developers made me kill all those islanders'. It's not a valid critique

And that somehow makes it okay?

Also, I don't remember making you the official Decider of What Is and Isn't Valid Critiques.

I don't remember making you the decider of who is the decider of valid critiques.

I descended from Lord Critiquese of critiqueHall. So I have divine right to the title

That's funny.

Your alright in my book.

I admit, I had started to feel like Yahtzee was getting a bit stale, but this episode just managed to blow me away. It wasn't as good as some of his best ones, but it looks like Yahtzee's got his groove back!

The Deadpool:

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

You are not Captain Walker.

CAPTAIN WALKER decided to use the white phosphorus. YOU didn't.

Exactly. There's a reason I wholly support the idea that the whole game is played in purgatory, except for maybe the first five minutes. It's even supported by the creator of the game.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

RIP Vault 101
You will be missed.

Balkan:

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

You have to press a button to use it, you make the call. If you were so fucking disgusted with it there always was the option to stop playing.

Oh bog off. That is not a choice.

Are they making a game or are they making a statement? If they're making a statement, then they don't get to charge me fifty bucks for it.

Imagine if PETA charged money for the Pokemon murder simulator game, they'd be laughed off the internet!

http://www.agonybooth.com/video784_Spec_Ops_The_Line_Tactical_Shooter.aspx

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

You think you're Captain Walker?

Fellas, get the butterfly nets. We've got another one.

You weren't meant to identify as Walker. You were witnessing his story.

Your lack of agency in that scene is a reflection of Walkers own lack in that situation.

There's a reason they gave him so many lines of dialogue. (And it wasn't to justify Nolan North's paycheck XD) He wasn't a silent protagonist that you were supposed imprint on or live through. He was a defined character with designated story arc.

You wouldn't identify yourself as Lara whilst plaything this would you?

OT: This was a pretty insightful review.

I've only just gotten around to FarCry 3 a few days ago and I completed Tomb Raider last week. And as to how similar the themes of the games are, I think you've hit the nail on the head regarding the major difference.

Jason acts. He becomes a willing and integral part of the islands narrative. Lara just reacts. The island abuses her and she fights it back. That is her development.

Having just gotten to the second island in FarCry (presumably the third act) I'd defiantly have to say it's doing a far better job at being a broken action heroes origins story than Tomb Raider did. Infact, it does everything better than Tomb Raider did. Even tombs

And I still quite enjoyed Tomb Raider.

Yeah, the more I hear about this game, the happier I am that I didn't rush out and drop $60 on it. It's really short. The online sucks. It has microtransactions to unlock upgrades for Lara that should have just been unlockable in game for no money. Now the single player lacks focus and Lara still isn't a terrible great character.

This one is definitely a "I'll pick it up for a fiver during a Steam sale eventually" kind of game.

Machine Man 1992:
Captain Walker (i.e. me) didn't decide to use white phosphorus. The developers forced us to use it.

The problem is that you are actually not Captain Walker. Captain Walker is Captain Walker, and Captain Walker made a decision on his own without asking you first because Spec Ops isn't a game all about giving the player choices like, for the most obvious example, Mass Effect. Get over it, because everyone else is correct. Your complaint is not valid because you are NOT Captain Walker.

Abandon4093:
You wouldn't identify yourself as Lara whilst plaything this would you?

HE probably would, but the rest of us wouldn't because we know we're not supposed to.

I wonder if this guy watches TV and gets mad because particular character (i.e. him) didn't decide to do something, the director forced him to as well.

mjc0961:
Yeah, the more I hear about this game, the happier I am that I didn't rush out and drop $60 on it. It's really short.

When did fifteen-twenty hours with multiple difficulty settings become short?

The online sucks.

Good thing it's a single-player focused game then!

It has microtransactions to unlock upgrades for Lara that should have just been unlockable in game for no money.

And that's just not true. The game has no microtransactions at all. Not a single one. Zero. Nil. Where the hell do you get your information?

FargoDog:

mjc0961:
Yeah, the more I hear about this game, the happier I am that I didn't rush out and drop $60 on it. It's really short.

When did fifteen-twenty hours with multiple difficulty settings become short?

The online sucks.

Good thing it's a single-player focused game then!

It has microtransactions to unlock upgrades for Lara that should have just been unlockable in game for no money.

And that's just not true. The game has no microtransactions at all. Not a single one. Zero. Nil. Where the hell do you get your information?

Someplace quite a bit more accurate than yours, I imagine. 25 hours? Not even close, and "multiple difficulty settings" doesn't count because A, nobody plays every single one, and B, no game before got credit for them so no starting now.

Doesn't matter if it's a single-player focused game. They put in a multiplayer mode that sucks, that lowers the game's overall rating and also lowers it's value, or rather what I'm willing to pay for it. Maybe they should have taken that time and money away from multiplayer and used it to put in more difficulty settings so the game could be longer for you.

Bullshit about no microtransactions: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Agility/82a82d03-f19f-4e28-8027-541f8c74a1e1
http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Animal-Instinct/11752b96-6038-464f-8795-9f7e6333f461
http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Product/Headshot-Reticle/81d5044f-5c90-4122-a602-334fd12db750

So yeah, once again, I clearly got my information from a more accurate source than you did. Goodbye now!

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