Zero Punctuation: Tomb Raider

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I too held off on the QTE in the "rape scene" to see how it unfolded, and turns out he was just trying to kill her just like every other murderer on the island. So the people who condemned this game (and the developers) for that scene will be feeling like a right bunch of sillies now won't they?

Oh wait, they're nowhere to be seen! Gosh, I wonder where they went, I wonder what happened to the controversy...it's so unlike them to suddenly vanish after the game's release like that, never happened before...

Anyway, look people, Yahtzee's criticism is valid but the game is still worth buying...especially on a sale. It has been a fun experience for most (including me) and it definitely stands above what passes for "average" these days.

DVS BSTrD:
RIGHT.
IN THE SAME.
SPOT!
Every Time!

I was quite surprised Yahtzee didn't make a joke out of that one, it was ripe and ready for picking...
"It's Lara is desperately AIMING to get herself impaled in the throat, and fate couldn't be happier to oblige!"

Oh dear, I'm not very good at pulling a Yahtzee :(

Kennetic:
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.

I've got feminism on the line for you, she says, "Called it".

What, did you think that joke about Lara and Nathan Drake was a serious point?

mjc0961:

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!

So I played the game in 18 hours, decent of length for someone like me. Multiplayer was silly and cant disagree with that, would have enjoyed more Single player story. But hey look, you were both right/wrong to some extent cause if I get it through Steam there is no DLC - http://store.steampowered.com/app/203160/ All the shit Microsoft has you pay for was stuff I unlocked playing the game, so you both didn't do your research but had accurate sources.

I loved this review. I didn't played the game though just saw a bit of gameplay and it seemed hollow and ridled with scripted events which always bore me.

I'm just not this kind of gamer I guess.

Thank you Yahtzee for tearing this one a new asshole. The game was just hyped up so much, but all the videos made it look so bland and scripted, and there are so many annoying noises and poor acting bits. Also, I can't stand it when they give the same fucking name as the original! I'm just going to ignore this one out of existence.

ScoopMeister:
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.

How would I improve the story? I'm glad you asked actually; I've been giving this some thought for a few days now:

Of course, that's all just my opinion.

Did you just spoil Far Cry 3's ending for me? Thanks for that.

WaitWHAT:

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....

Uhuh, you are meant to be doing simple recon and then leaving to confirm existence of human life, those were the orders. That scene is the most scripted part of the game, a "choice" without the illusion of choice.

The sadist part, the NPCs cheat. I've cheated. You cannot grapple down and no matter how many you kill, they still come out of the cloning VAT 2000.

Edit: on second though, willy pete those fuckers was the most moral thing ever. cloning is bad.

Out of interest, does anyone else disagree with the whole "Lara has one freak-out then becomes a badass" thing that ALL the reviews go on about?

Yeah, judging from everything I've seen about this game, it could've also been called 'Uncharted For Those Without a PS3'. And yeah, I'm aware Uncharted was basically Tomb Raider with a dude, but it did improve what was horrible with the franchise, give it a fairly decent story, and made the scenery fucking GORGEOUS. They knew the game was going to be compared to the Uncharted series now, so they needed something to make it stand out other than 'You're a chick'.

But wielding a bow and arrow with broken physics, or adding XP levels so she can suck in the beginning, or a tacked-on survival/crafting element doesn't really do it. Naughty Dog simply did this better and in a more concentrated, pulpy action style... rather than a dirty gritty reboot of something no one's taken seriously EVER. Worst part is Naughty Dog comes out with The Last of Us in mid-June, potentially showing gamers how survival and crafting is done well.

Here's the thing about this game... if it didn't have Tomb Raider on the cover, I wouldn't know it was supposed to be a Tomb Raider game. It skewed a long way from its roots, and it landed in an already well-established genre. I just don't think it's enough to give it any momentum.

mjc0961:
HE probably would, but the rest of us wouldn't because we know we're not supposed to.

Fuck what we're "supposed" to do. If I'm playing a game, I'm identifying as that person because I'm controlling his actions. It doesn't matter if it's Mario, CJ from San Andreas or Lara Croft. When I'm watching a movie, I'm watching a person. When I'm playing a game, I am that person. It's just that simple.

No spoiler warning? Not cool man.

IronMit:

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 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

I really liked Spec Ops but I feel it would've made its point a little better if you could actually turn around and leave like you were supposed to at any point.

mad825:

Uhuh, you are meant to be doing simple recon and then leaving to confirm existence of human life, those were the orders.

Uh...that's the point

The game doesn't give you a choice to turn back. It doesn't allow you to say "fudge this, I'm off to try something else". It just places you in worse and worse situations and only allows you to fight your way out or give up. That's the real choice of Spec Ops. Complaining that you had a lack of choice at the phosphorus section seems a bit nit-picky really. I don't see anyone complaining that you can't run back out of the city and radio for backup when it first becomes apparent that everything's gone a bit tits-up.

I want to know how this whole argument about Spec Ops came up in the first place. It seems like a really bizaare tangent.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the game was still on my play list. So thanks to all of you for spoiling that part. Jerks.

Mahoshonen:
I want to know how this whole argument about Spec Ops came up in the first place. It seems like a really bizaare tangent.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the game was still on my play list. So thanks to all of you for spoiling that part. Jerks.

Did you see Toy Story 3, yet? I just want to know so I don't spoil that Woody was imagining Buzz the whole time.

Oh, wait...

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

According to them, "you could have just stopped playing the game". Which is technically true. But nobody stops following a story they got invested in just because they can see it will end up going horrible places, so the devs are little more then pretentious wankers.

Anyhoo.
Almost forgot how good Yahtzee's skill with words was. There's probably a reason I've yet to miss a ZP episode.

Woodsey:

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.

His point, sir, is this blatant misandry is something we shouldn't rightly stand for or allow to happen without bringing it up with the developers. If the roles were reversed and it was a male and all he did was kill endless waves of females, the game would have been protested left and right. Was it intended to be hateful? I doubt it. This is kinda like how Resident Evil 5 wasn't intentionally racist against African people. It just needs to be pointed out to the developers that they need to keep this stuff in mind. Maybe sprinkle in a few female baddies in here and there.

A quick-time event that prevents you from getting raped? All quick-time events are just a little rape of a free-steaming game.

Just saw the thumbnail for this week's episode was a picture of the Tomb Raider box pissing on a sandwich and immediately knew that Yahtzee was going to be "less than impressed" with this one.

Kennetic:
Great review once again Yahtzee! I think all games should strive to be reviewed by you, it's like a rite of passage for good games to be ravaged by you. It's like a roast almost. Anyways, loved the game, loved the review, nice day to all!

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.

Natla died twice. Horrifically.

Sophia Lee got fried hilariously.

Also,

Also, we watch a bunch of the Peru expedition get killed off.

There aren't tons of examples, but saying "NOT ONE" is just inaccurate.

EDIT: Oops, you meant just the new game, didn't you? DAMN these freaking naming conventions.

Holy shit, I thought I was the only one who realized there wasn't an actual character arc for the character. She is innocent and naive, then badass the next moment. Also, the gameplay is completely removed from the character development. At no point does what is going on in the game reflect the cut scenes and how Lara is supposed to be changing (arcing). From moment one she goes from being reasonably good at killing everything that moves to being an extremely efficient killer. It's still a good game, but all the posturing about a story about a woman who is afraid to even talk back to her reflection at the beginning, to an arc that is supposed to make her a defiant, strong, adventurous... adventurer just takes away from the overall experience for me. Also, the fact that they are concentrating exclusively on MP expansion and ignoring the SP is a big turn off when everything is said and done.

ArmorKingBaneGief:

mjc0961:
HE probably would, but the rest of us wouldn't because we know we're not supposed to.

Fuck what we're "supposed" to do. If I'm playing a game, I'm identifying as that person because I'm controlling his actions. It doesn't matter if it's Mario, CJ from San Andreas or Lara Croft. When I'm watching a movie, I'm watching a person. When I'm playing a game, I am that person. It's just that simple.

Right and wrong. I think games are meant to be about me, but aren't always. That's what sets them apart from fiction and film, but not all take advantage of that. Tomb Raider had me telling Lara what to do, but at no time did it feel like I was in her situation, or that I was in any way involved besides in a totally mindless, almost insulting way. It was like reading a book and when the character decides to do something, getting a prompt to tap the page 8 times to proceed. I think that's what made it a poor game more than anything.

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.

Interesting justification , and imo the biggest mistake made in that game which would of been good if i could empathize at least with walker but as hes a total fucking idiot that makes blatantly bad decisions i spend half the time screaming at him for being a twat and the other walking forwards getting him shot because his death is more entertaining than carrying on.

But that old rant aside i still dont get why its different than tomb raider, whats to stop the same argument being used on tomb raider and say lara decides not us?

OT fun episode again , and whoa steady on that was approaching something akin to a review ;)

But arn't some characters FORCED to develope? Just a thought, I still havn't played it yet.

lacktheknack:

Kennetic:
Great review once again Yahtzee! I think all games should strive to be reviewed by you, it's like a rite of passage for good games to be ravaged by you. It's like a roast almost. Anyways, loved the game, loved the review, nice day to all!

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.

Natla died twice. Horrifically.

Sophia Lee got fried hilariously.

Also,

Also, we watch a bunch of the Peru expedition get killed off.

There aren't tons of examples, but saying "NOT ONE" is just inaccurate.

EDIT: Oops, you meant just the new game, didn't you? DAMN these freaking naming conventions.

Lol, yea I've only played the new one. I didn't really care it was basically a sudden clarity clarence moment and I only put it there because it crossed my mind at the time.

Woodsey:

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?

It was just a random sudden clarity clarence moment for me. I didn't actually care

Baresark:
Holy shit, I thought I was the only one who realized there wasn't an actual character arc for the character. She is innocent and naive, then badass the next moment. Also, the gameplay is completely removed from the character development. At no point does what is going on in the game reflect the cut scenes and how Lara is supposed to be changing (arcing). From moment one she goes from being reasonably good at killing everything that moves to being an extremely efficient killer. It's still a good game, but all the posturing about a story about a woman who is afraid to even talk back to her reflection at the beginning, to an arc that is supposed to make her a defiant, strong, adventurous... adventurer just takes away from the overall experience for me.

Haven't played the game to be able to form my own opinion of it yet; but the jarring shift everyone talks about doesn't necessarily mean "there isn't an arc" so much as the arc is broken because the writers and game designers appeared to be working toward two different visions for the game.

Was the game supposed to be this movie-esque character focused thing, where the game design messed it up? or was a layout for the game type already in place when they decided to bring in some writers to try and do an intricate way to rationalize all the stuff in a way where a new version of the character can get away with it?

Did popular backlash against perceptions of linearity (you need a degree of linearity and restriction for structured, well-paced, planned story-telling; giving the player more freedom is incompatible and increases the need for more abstract narrative ideas) and perceived downgrading of the character's "power" lead to hasty back-pedalling that compromised the overall product?

From a story perspective, would we have ended up with something quite a bit better if the game design had played in line with the writer direction and they were able to just do their thing with proper pacing for a transition within the character arc?

Writing for a video game can be a lot more difficult than it seems, because the instances where the story takes and maintains shape before the game design rather than vice versa, is comparatively a lot more rare.

ArmorKingBaneGief:

Mahoshonen:
I want to know how this whole argument about Spec Ops came up in the first place. It seems like a really bizaare tangent.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the game was still on my play list. So thanks to all of you for spoiling that part. Jerks.

Did you see Toy Story 3, yet? I just want to know so I don't spoil that Woody was imagining Buzz the whole time.

Oh, wait...

Don't be an ass. The thread topic has nothing to do with Spec Ops save for a single clip of the box in Yahtzee's review. If this was a thread specifically about Spec Ops you may have a point. But it's not, so what you just wrote is what is known in the vernacular as a shitpost.

Mahoshonen:

Don't be an ass. The thread topic has nothing to do with Spec Ops save for a single clip of the box in Yahtzee's review. If this was a thread specifically about Spec Ops you may have a point. But it's not, so what you just wrote is what is known in the vernacular as a shitpost.

You're just jealous 'cause I'm holding a royal flush.

On topic, I notice that bows are starting to become popular in shooters. Farcry 3, Crysis 3, this latest Tomb Raider...there a reason for that, or is it just a massive coinkidink?

I loved the game </3

*LALALAL I CANT HEAR YOU LALAL

haha, but at the same time, this was a very fair review. It just was, a lot of points were valid

Khanht Cope:

Baresark:
snip

Haven't played the game to be able to form my own opinion of it yet; but the jarring shift everyone talks about doesn't necessarily mean "there isn't an arc" so much as the arc is broken because the writers and game designers appeared to be working toward two different visions for the game.

Was the game supposed to be this movie-esque character focused thing, where the game design messed it up? or was a layout for the game type already in place when they decided to bring in some writers to try and do an intricate way to rationalize all the stuff in a way where a new version of the character can get away with it?

Did popular backlash against perceptions of linearity (you need a degree of linearity and restriction for structured, well-paced, planned story-telling; giving the player more freedom is incompatible and increases the need for more abstract narrative ideas) and perceived downgrading of the character's "power" lead to hasty back-pedalling that compromised the overall product?

From a story perspective, would we have ended up with something quite a bit better if the game design had played in line with the writer direction and they were able to just do their thing with proper pacing for a transition within the character arc?

Writing for a video game can be a lot more difficult than it seems, because the instances where the story takes and maintains shape before the game design rather than vice versa, is comparatively a lot more rare.

Well, to be fair about it, it's not like she was the same character leaving the game as entering the game, so there technically was an arc. The issue is that it's not an "arc" to speak of, as in it isn't a gentle sloping curve with a series of events that show the gradual change of the character to the new character. It's more like a switch gets flipped. One moment she is a frail little creature, the next she is a killing machine. And that is completely disconnected from the gameplay. She will be frail and unsure of herself in a cut scene and need the support characters to assure her she is quite capable of doing it, then 10 seconds later she is shot gunning her way through barriers and sniping enemies with a bow. She will however, at one particular moment in the game, decide that she is a new character, and I'll spare you the spoiler as to when that happens.

I also agree that some degree of linearity is necessary. I also did not feel that the game was overly linear. The areas aren't huge by any stretch, but you can go back to old locations to find treasure and what not from any base camp. I thought the game was honestly very good, the gameplay was solid. The story was one of the main focuses of the game according the developer, but I don't buy it. It wasn't bad, but it was honestly just kind of derivative and cliched. Lara wasn't this compelling character they sold her to be. Also, the arc was non existent, as I explained above.

Baresark:

I also agree that some degree of linearity is necessary. I also did not feel that the game was overly linear. The areas aren't huge by any stretch, but you can go back to old locations to find treasure and what not from any base camp..

I can't believe anyone who got themselves involved in the story actually did that. For me, the momentum was one of the story's only strengths, and stopping to raid tombs, read historical information and level up went totally against that. It's like someone penned the story and then someone completely different and on the other side of the world came up with the gameplay: someone schooled in all the modern trends in FPS and action games.

You've got in the story this adrenaline pumping Bruce Willis style rush from A to B and then because it's a modern game you have to have the xp gain for skill points, the optional quests and open-world backtracking, the bonus information and easter eggs. All which serve only to detract from the main story, in the same way a series of intermissions in an action movie would.

Ah, "I Spit on your Grave," what a fine movie. So fine it deserved a modern remake. I can't tell which generation's pulp sexual assaults I find more gratuitous.

I thank you Yahtzee for bringing the comparison to my attention, that is exactly what this game reminds me of. Character building.... but not really.

This sounds like another of those confounded open world games. The last one of those I enjoyed was Just Cause 2, and it'll probably stay that way for some time.

Blood Brain Barrier:

Baresark:

I also agree that some degree of linearity is necessary. I also did not feel that the game was overly linear. The areas aren't huge by any stretch, but you can go back to old locations to find treasure and what not from any base camp..

I can't believe anyone who got themselves involved in the story actually did that. For me, the momentum was one of the story's only strengths, and stopping to raid tombs, read historical information and level up went totally against that. It's like someone penned the story and then someone completely different and on the other side of the world came up with the gameplay: someone schooled in all the modern trends in FPS and action games.

You've got in the story this adrenaline pumping Bruce Willis style rush from A to B and then because it's a modern game you have to have the xp gain for skill points, the optional quests and open-world backtracking, the bonus information and easter eggs. All which serve only to detract from the main story, in the same way a series of intermissions in an action movie would.

I should clarify: it was an option, but I didn't do it, haha. It was nice if you wanted to go back after the fact but I basically abandon sections that I was passed. In the middle of a section I would look around for treasure and "tombs", but once i was past that area I didn't go back. There was no reason to. Basically, as soon as you beat it, you might as well uninstall it because there is no reason to go back.

Dryk:

I really liked Spec Ops but I feel it would've made its point a little better if you could actually turn around and leave like you were supposed to at any point.

Do the other modern milsims give you the option? You are doing horrific things, but the games say it's all for the best, because it's the way to proceed. Now you have the option to witness up close and personal one of these situations where things didn't turn out well. It's showing you there's a disconnect between the things that you do in games and what they are portrayed as.

The game asks these questions not only on the personal level, but also on a wider cultural level. What kind of culture is it that thinks gunning people down or sneaking up to a bloke and slitting his throat is jolly good fun? Soldiers are lauded as heroes, but those that come back from "action" more often than not aren't inclined to talk about what they did or saw.

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