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Tomb Raider (2013)

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LOL i've just found that a review of it that's 1 hour and 17 minutes long! That's the evening's viewing sorted then.

 

I can't imagine the amount of work involved in making a critique that long.

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7 minutes ago, Smitty said:

LOL i've just found that a review of it that's 1 hour and 17 minutes long! That's the evening's viewing sorted then.

 

Post vid pls.

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I do think there's a misplaced fear from a lot of AAA developers that putting too hard puzzles into games will put people off, but I think it might actually work the other way. The indie puzzle game genre is thriving, and I'd certainly welcome it if some proper headscraters made their way back into Tomb Raider.

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45 minutes ago, MechE said:

I do think there's a misplaced fear from a lot of AAA developers that putting too hard puzzles into games will put people off, but I think it might actually work the other way. The indie puzzle game genre is thriving, and I'd certainly welcome it if some proper headscraters made their way back into Tomb Raider.

 

But when you're making a game thats specifically designed to ape the expensive look and feel of some of the industry's best-selling and most lauded titles, and the development costs of what you're aiming for are clearly going to be extremely expensive (TR might have had a total cost between dev and marketing of $100m according to Eurogamer) than you have to make it appeal to as many people as possible, and definitely to appeal to the crowd who bought the games you're looking to emulate.

 

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4 hours ago, Mr Do 71 said:

 

Post vid pls.

 

So after exhaustingly describing the first two hours of the game (broadly) beat by beat by typifying what each beat is, taken down its essentials he says:

 

''We're nearly two hours into it and the bullshit to proper gameplay ratio is 10 to 15 minutes of gameplay and 90 minutes of either watching Lara, moving Lara [forced slow movement]...so you can keep watching, doing something scripted or doing something to advance the next part [QTEs] where you watch Lara again. [snip]. But for some reason people are defending this kind of pacing. It's like people who go back and defend who defend Tomb Raider 1 as having good controls.''

 

He then goes onto to contrast the movement and controls of the CD trilogy compared to the first game. So he's able to criticise TR. It's pretty interesting.

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I don't understand why you're so into watching overly long videos of a game you're not interested in other than to criticise, especially one this old. Surely there are more recent games deserving of your time? This one's been and gone. 

 

The new tomb raiders are...well, they're not a patch on the originals, but then the later tomb raiders went a bit shit anyway (angel of darkness, anyone?)

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1 hour ago, Smitty said:

 

But when you're making a game thats specifically designed to ape the expensive look and feel of some of the industry's best-selling and most lauded titles, and the development costs of what you're aiming for are clearly going to be extremely expensive (TR might have had a total cost between dev and marketing of $100m according to Eurogamer) than you have to make it appeal to as many people as possible, and definitely to appeal to the crowd who bought the games you're looking to emulate.

 

It blows my mind that a game like this can cost $100 million. I guess if I was stumping up that type of cash I'd demand it was as accessible as possible too.

 

I do wonder if the whole scripted set piece thing really does give anyone an adrenaline rush these days? I don't mind them as long as I maintain a good level of control throughout. Uncharted 2's Nepal rooftop chase with collapsing building was great, and I died a fair few times so the danger felt ever present.

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This game was, and still is, great. I really enjoyed it.

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Yeah the game didn't annoy me too much on that front. The constant animations and exposition delivery in Red Dead was far more irritating.

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1 hour ago, Orko said:

I don't understand why you're so into watching overly long videos of a game you're not interested in other than to criticise, especially one this old.

 

Well, I just find game design really interesting. I'm interested in really digging down into what is good or bad about the things I like or dislike. I want to know what makes a game tick, what works and what doesn't. I'm always interested when someone can do a better job at getting at the heart of what's good or bad about a game than I can. Sometimes other people find the words that you struggled to, yourself.

 

I don't see how the age of the game changes anything, as I said before. The game also has two sequels, one of which isn't out yet, and both of which follow the formula it established. You can't say it's a piece of ancient history when Shadow of the Tomb Raider is out in a few months and, indeed, when the shadow of the game it clearly achingly wants to be - Uncharted - looms over the entire AAA sector. The past informs the present, right?  And, again as I've said, the influences in this game and the trends it is a part of, are everywhere in the industry.

 

I'm not sure I can think of a game which better encapsulates so much of what I dislike in gaming and which has so many fascinating elements to it. If people can talk about and give their opinion on The Odyssey (which is about 2800 years old) then I think I can talk about a five year old videogame.

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I'm mainly an arcade game fan, but what it comes down to is that people play these cinematic games because they enjoy the experience. You seem to be suggesting that any game that isn't about overcoming a well designed gameplay challenge using player skill is somehow what's wrong with modern gaming on some objective level or that the relatively shallow gameplay of aaa games with a cinematic focus is some sort of well hidden secret.

 

90 percent of my gaming time is arcade games that are at least 15 years old.

That said, I recently played and enjoyed Until Dawn on PS4. It probably has the most shallow gameplay of any title I've ever played, and is very close to just being a collection of mildly interactive cutscenes, but so what?

Like I said, I enjoyed it. Would it have been better if it had a bunch of puzzles you needed to complete to progress the story and a well thought out combo system etc etc? I certainly don't think so.

Sometimes in the evening after work and everything else you just want to turn your brain off and play through a fun story. At times like that legitimate challenge is just a chore and offputting.

I think this type of game is closer to the experience of sitting down to watch a tv show or movie than it is to playing a traditional challenging game.

 

I think stuff like modern Tomb Raider or Uncharted are one small step above that, but still the same idea.

The gameplay is shallow and inclusive, there is little in the way of offputting challenge and you can tell someone exactly how many hours it takes everyone to complete the game. People buy and play those games because they enjoy the experience.

 

Games can be challenging or just a fun cinematic rollercoaster. If you don't like the latter you can focus on the former style of game.

Sure, a lot of the big budgets go to the latter these days, but that's capitalism for you.

 

Edit: reading over this I realise it looks like a "don't say negative things about this game" post. That wasn't my intention. I just think most people who buy and play this type of game know what they're getting and that is to a large extent what they want from a game. In that case I find it hard to argue that there is something "wrong" with the gameplay of these games, even if it isn't my preferred type of game.

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For me it's not that there's no place for cinematic games, but if you're being asked to climb a mountain that's crumbling at the same time, should those falling boulders be part of the gameplay? Or when presented with a large tower to climb in a 3D traversal game, is it better to replace the climbing challenge with a cinematic? Or if you've gone to the trouble of inserting puzzle rooms in your game, should you give the player the solution within 3 minutes?

 

I'm not claiming that there's an objective truth to theses game design decisions, but for me Tomb Raider (and by extension many other cinematic games) would be improved if some of the momentum was sacrificed for more challenge.

 

Conversely, I believe that games like Soma and To the Moon would be improved if some of the more challenging gameplay elements were removed.

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14 hours ago, Smitty said:

I'd say it happens more than a few times, but the real problem is that the game has been designed around accomodating them.

 

 

This was praised as the 'high point' of the opening few hours of the game. Most of it is pushing up. There are parts of this sequence where you can let go of the controller and Lara will continue to ascend. Your input is literally not required at points. It's an atom's width away from being a cutscene.

 

Yeah it's a wonderful idea. Less input means more direction towards the vista. By having less to do, the player is free to experience a literal high.

 

The flip side of this is having a QWOP style system where Lara flails and cannot climb a ladder.

 

And yes, I personally find when I climb up a hill - by using my legs in a repetitive fashion as they trudge one step after another - I have to ABSOLUTELY CONCENTRATE ON WHAT MY BODY IS DOING.

Mmm dem leg things to hard to use.

 

Over complication here would have been a big miss, and I'm disappointed that someone like Smitto has not learned yet that often simplicity can be brilliant.

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TR2013 is one of my favorite games. I love the set pieces and was disappointed the sequel toned them down.

 

The pacing near the start is a bit weird. I enjoyed the fact you start of hunting down deer etc but i think the transformation happens way too quick before she changes into a straight up killer.

 

I love the locations in the game - kind of gives of a 'Lost' feel (pretty sure the devs got inspiration from that). I will never forget that amazing wind temple the first time you come across it. I was playing it in surround and it sounded amazing.

 

The collectibles are at a sensible amount. I think i pretty much ended up collecting them all.

 

Anyway , played it twice since it was released and considering a 3rd play through soon. Great game.

 

Moving on to Rise of the Tomb Raider -

 

I really enjoyed the game but sometimes bigger doesn't mean better. The semi open world was kinda nice, but way too many collectibles. Ridiculous amount.  The extra tombs were fun, still needed more though but it was pretty great hunting them down.

 

I wasn't a big fan of the side quests in each area. They were okay but slowed the gameplay down. The ones that stood out was in that village area, where you can go shoot down drones etc. It just seemed a bit silly considering there was more important things to do!

 

The story was pretty crap though, i really hope Shadow has a better story and fixes some of these issues.

 

I have only played through it once but would like to give it another go sometime.

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2 hours ago, Dinobot said:

Over complication here would have been a big miss, and I'm disappointed that someone like Smitto has not learned yet that often simplicity can be brilliant.

 

Dino. It's a game. When you say overcomplication here what you mean is gameplay. In a game.

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10 minutes ago, Smitty said:

 

Dino. It's a game. When you say overcomplication here what you mean is gameplay. In a game.

Your definition of game seems very narrow.

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Tomb Raider 2013 was one of my favourite gaming experiences on PS4.

 

But it was too long, and I’m not tempted by Rise or Shadow, based on first look.

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4 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Tomb Raider 2013 was one of my favourite gaming experiences on PS4.

 

But it was too long, and I’m not tempted by Rise or Shadow, based on first look.

 

too long? 15-20 hours for the first play through isn't that bad? I think it took me less than 20 hours to 100%.

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3 minutes ago, Darhkwing said:

too long? 15-20 hours for the first play through isn't that bad? I think it took me less than 20 hours to 100%.

 

I think all games are too long tbf.

 

Unless it’s something with episodic stories like the Witcher.

 

The monastery fire in TR2013 was a good climax, but it just kept going.

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Just now, grindmouse said:

 

I think all games are too long tbf.

 

Unless it’s something with episodic stories like the Witcher.

 

The monastery fire in TR2013 was a good climax, but it just kept going.

 

Yeah, the older i get the less likely i am going to start a huge game. I must admit games less than 10 hours are more my thing but i love me some action adventure stuff so i don't mind these being a bit longer. I could probably rush through the TR2013 is less than 10 hours now if i tried.

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1 hour ago, APM said:

Your definition of game seems very narrow.

 

Really? How? I've never denied that this is a game, I just think its bad one. I think it's a very bad Tomb Raider game.

 

APM, look, I know you like the game. But this not gameplay. It's basically a cutscene. A cutscene that was hailed as a remarkable achievement of the game. I don't know why you'd feel the need to jump in and protect the honour of the amazing bit where you occasionally push up in a cutscene part.

 

I use it as one example in a sea of fundamental problems with the games design from the inside out. It's my not my case. It's just a decent example of how the game is focused on empty spectacle instead of:

 

1: Anything the series was famous and loved for

2: Anything with any depth

3: Anything unique and interesting (as in not something seen in three dozen other games this cribs its hodge podge of mechanics from

 

Yes, I think the early high point of a TR game should be a good really climb, maybe something beautiful and spectacular. But I feel that it should be a climb of at least some challenge that involves non-trivial input from the player. I think that's what most games should be built around - gameplay and play control. Not just watching. Not just prettily rendered environments.

 

You can have prettily rendered environments and gameplay happening at the same time, you know? The previous games managed it. You could do even better with today's technology. Or....you could make a semi-interactive cutscene.

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2 minutes ago, Smitty said:

 

Really? How? I've never denied that this is a game, I just think its bad one. I think it's a very bad Tomb Raider game.

 

APM, look, I know you like the game. But this not gameplay. It's basically a cutscene. A cutscene that was hailed as a remarkable achievement of the game. I don't know why you'd feel the need to jump in and protect the honour of the amazing bit where you occasionally push up in a cutscene part.

 

I use it as one example in a sea of fundamental problems with the games design from the inside out. It's my not my case. It's just a decent example of how the game is focused on empty spectacle instead of:

 

1: Anything the series was famous and loved for

2: Anything with any depth

3: Anything unique and interesting (as in not something seen in three dozen other games this cribs its hodge podge of mechanics from

 

Yes, I think the early high point of a TR game should be a good really climb, maybe something beautiful and spectacular. But I feel that it should be a climb of at least some challenge that involves non-trivial input from the player. I think that's what most games should be built around - gameplay and play control. Not just watching. Not just prettily rendered environments.

 

You can have prettily rendered environments and gameplay happening at the same time, you know? The previous games managed it. You could do even better with today's technology. Or....you could make a semi-interactive cutscene.

 

I just don't get what the attraction of this is.

 

As previously said, i have played it twice and not quite sure what you are getting at. There is probably less than 1 hour of these set pieces (or cut scenes as you say) for the entire game (out of 15-20 hours).

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When Tomb Raider 2013  started development Uncharted was the proven model for AAA success and they mimicked it. It was a much bigger success than any of the previous Tomb Raider games which were much more in line with the classic style so the 2013 edition was a necessary change to keep the series relevent. I enjoyed 2013 apart from the stupid 'washed down a river' QTE events which were thankfully missing from RotTR it's just a shame the only one of her friends they've kept for the sequels is Jonah who is by far the least interesting character in it.

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1 hour ago, Smitty said:

 

Dino. It's a game. When you say overcomplication here what you mean is gameplay. In a game.

 

Agree with this. It’s just tedious time wasting. Games like God of War and Uncharted are full of this. It’s neither cut scene nor gameplay. It’s something the game designer has put in a game because he hates his job. 

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1 minute ago, ryodi said:

When Tomb Raider 2013  started development Uncharted was the proven model for AAA success and they mimicked it. It was a much bigger success than any of the previous Tomb Raider games which were much more in line with the classic style so the 2013 edition was a necessary change to keep the series relevent. I enjoyed 2013 apart from the stupid 'washed down a river' QTE events which were thankfully missing from RotTR it's just a shame the only one of her friends they've kept for the sequels is Jonah who is by far the least interesting character in it.

 

I enjoyed that bit but if you accidentally die  on your first go i can see why people get annoyed.

 

Also, i enjoyed TR2013 (and probably ROTTR) a lot more than the Uncharted games, although Uncharted 2 was pretty good (haven't finished Uncharted 4 yet).

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1 minute ago, Darhkwing said:

 

As previously said, i have played it twice and not quite sure what you are getting at. There is probably less than 1 hour of these set pieces (or cut scenes as you say) for the entire game (out of 15-20 hours).

 

It's entirely emblematic of a few of the central core design elements of the game, but lets just leave that aside.

 

The problem isn't just the set pieces. The entire game has been built around allowing these set pieces to happen technically, narratively and mechanically, but let's just leave that aside.

 

I obviously don't like the core gameplay loop. I have numerous issues with it. Aside from its inherent problems and weaknesses I don't think it's a good fit for a Tomb Raider game.

 

Oh and i'm not describing all the set pieces as cutscenes at all. This particular example practically is, but obviously most of them are proper gameplay and interactive to more or less of a degree (some have limited player control).

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