Author Topic: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory  (Read 1930 times)

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Offline The E

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Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
So now that the game is out on a platform that is not an xbone, let's talk about it.

Like the 2013 TR, this continues the formula of aping Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, this time adding in distinct influences from The Last of Us (There may be a pattern here). From a pure gameplay perspective, this is very much an evolution of the 2013 TR, the control scheme and the basic interactions are carried over (except for one crucial difference: the button to use rope arrows has now been reassigned to using special arrows like poison or explosive, which will mess you up at least once :P).
Same goes for the level design: the 2013 TR was based around a number of hub areas that you would loop back into over the course of the game, this game follows the same pattern but makes the hub areas a bit larger and more intricately designed.
Puzzle design is also a bit improved IMO, the jumping puzzles are a bit more intricate.

In technical terms, this game is drop-dead gorgeous and (at least for me) performs very well (I am running an i5 6600k, an R9-285 and 16 GB of RAM). Nothing much more to say here.

One thing I would also like to mention that struck me as kinda weird and ties into the whole "aping Naughty Dog" thing: Lara was redesigned for this game; where the 2013 model looked a lot like the actress playing her, this one looks ... like a grown-up version of The Last of Us' Ellie (which incidentally makes her look something like Ellen Page in a roundabout way; Ellie was pretty much "Ellen Page, but as a child").

Further thoughts as I continue playing it.
Let there be light
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Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Keep us posted ... I just wish I could run it at present (lacking in the required OS department sadly, the Xbone-port need Windows 7 or newer and just wont contend with 64-bit Vista; When I bought my gaming PC 8 years ago, I chose components with a long lifetime (and so far all I had to replace was the graphics card) but software was always another story - well, time for another upgrade)
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
I've been watching an LP of it for several weeks now, and it...does not look good.  When you have to actively go out of your way to accomplish any "tomb raiding," one wonders why they're even bothering.

 
Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
That was true for the 2013 Tomb Raider as well. Might not fit the name but if you really just wanted to raid tombs you could just replay Anniversary or something, it's still pretty good.

My only real problem with the 2013 TR was that there was too much shooting and the shooting was much too crap.
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
I've been watching an LP of it for several weeks now, and it...does not look good.  When you have to actively go out of your way to accomplish any "tomb raiding," one wonders why they're even bothering.

On the other hand they're actually good games.
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Offline The E

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
The reason why I make Uncharted references in the thread titles should be obvious :P

That said, I am now 11 hours in, and still liking it very much. Not in terms of story, I should add, the story is so painfully predictable that playing it is very much an exercise of going through the motions, but the moment-to-moment gameplay feels very good indeed. This game takes its design cues from Uncharted (duh) and modern Metroidvania games like Arkham Asylum, which is a combination designed to cause maximum pleasure in me.

I am also hearing good things about the Endurance mode DLC, so that's gonna get a good exercise later.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 
Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
I just hope they add the option to jump backwards off ledges because it was misteriously missing in TR 2013. It makes the platforming feel very weird.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
I've been watching an LP of it for several weeks now, and it...does not look good.  When you have to actively go out of your way to accomplish any "tomb raiding," one wonders why they're even bothering.

the tomb raider series has literally no attachment to the raiding of tombs
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Offline Mongoose

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Well at the very least they were founded on exploring mysterious environments and solving puzzles of dubious practicality.  I dunno, I guess I'm still nonplussed by modern Tomb Raider trying so hard to ape Uncharted when Uncharted itself was originally a differently-focused take on the Tomb Raider paradigm.  I mean Rise of the Tomb Raider literally files the vast majority of those elements under "optional challenge tombs" that have literally no connection to the main plot, and instead chooses to focus on Lara murdering the population of a small country and exploiting DayZ-esque crafting systems.  I'm left wondering where all of the T-Rexes and oddly-shaped keys wandered off to.

 

Offline Mika

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Given the utter annoyance of 2013 Tomb Raider, I have been reluctant to invest anything in the franchise. This time, looking through one Let's Play of Rise of the Tomb Raider was enough for me to stop caring about the game. Almost all the annoying things are still there, so this time it's a no-go. It's sad to say it, as I own all the former Tomb Raiders. Somehow the older games manage a more concise plot without cut-scenes than the current ones.

Where's Core Design nowadays? I miss their puzzles that actually posed a challenge, the Crystal Dynamics games starting from Underworld are more like bubblegum, play once and get 100 % completion.

I have to wonder the very positive reviews though, 2013 TR was a 7/10 game from me. It had impressive visuals, but that was about it.
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Well at the very least they were founded on exploring mysterious environments and solving puzzles of dubious practicality.  I dunno, I guess I'm still nonplussed by modern Tomb Raider trying so hard to ape Uncharted when Uncharted itself was originally a differently-focused take on the Tomb Raider paradigm.  I mean Rise of the Tomb Raider literally files the vast majority of those elements under "optional challenge tombs" that have literally no connection to the main plot, and instead chooses to focus on Lara murdering the population of a small country and exploiting DayZ-esque crafting systems.  I'm left wondering where all of the T-Rexes and oddly-shaped keys wandered off to.

Considering that Tomb Raider (2013) also had optional challenge tombs and fit literally every other thing you just said but was also incredibly fun you might be a couple years late. :P

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Not in terms of story, I should add, the story is so painfully predictable that playing it is very much an exercise of going through the motions,

This does worry me in one aspect, as part of the strength of the original was...not the story, exactly, but the strength of the writing of Lara as a character and how well she was acted. How's that in this one?
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Offline The E

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Lara herself is fine. It's just that there are times when you'd wish someone would inject her with a large dose of genre savvy to get through the inevitable betrayals faster.
Let there be light
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Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Fury

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
but the strength of the writing of Lara as a character and how well she was acted. How's that in this one?
I would say that the new TR much improves this over the TR'13. Mocap performance, voice acting and character animation of Lara is top notch. Side characters aren't really that far behind, but obviously the focus is on Lara. Cutscenes are very well made. Gameplay is an evolution of TR'13 with all the core mechanics still there, plus some new tricks.

Some (The E) have said that the new Lara looks more like adult Ellen Page, but apparently they modeled the new Lara after her voice actress.
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2569832/?ref_=tt_cl_t1

I somewhat feel that they may have toned down brutality of Lara's deaths. Perhaps brutality goes up as I progress in the game. When I first encountered spike traps, I had to kill her twice on them on purpose just to get my fix of guilty pleasure.

Bottom line is, if you liked TR'13, you'll love this. But if TR'13 wasn't your cup of tea, look elsewhere.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Well at the very least they were founded on exploring mysterious environments and solving puzzles of dubious practicality.  I dunno, I guess I'm still nonplussed by modern Tomb Raider trying so hard to ape Uncharted when Uncharted itself was originally a differently-focused take on the Tomb Raider paradigm.  I mean Rise of the Tomb Raider literally files the vast majority of those elements under "optional challenge tombs" that have literally no connection to the main plot, and instead chooses to focus on Lara murdering the population of a small country and exploiting DayZ-esque crafting systems.  I'm left wondering where all of the T-Rexes and oddly-shaped keys wandered off to.

Considering that Tomb Raider (2013) also had optional challenge tombs and fit literally every other thing you just said but was also incredibly fun you might be a couple years late. :P
Indeed, though back at that time I remember hearing a lot of general disdain for the particular direction that the reboot chose.  I did score a free copy of it thanks to The Good E, so I'll be able to make up my own mind on it whenever it cycles into the front of Ye Olde Backoge.

And it probably doesn't help that the LP I'm watching on Rise is by someone who is providing a great deal of snark, as most of the gameplay isn't really clicking with him, but I don't think Lara has a particularly-great characterization.  Or at the very least, as The E noted, her inability to see what should be blindingly obvious to anyone who has ever watched an Indiana Jones film is inherently frustrating.  The story seems to want you to take it extremely seriously, but the writing isn't there to back it up.

 

Offline The E

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
since I'm stupid that way, I decided to get the DLC for this as well. Turns out, there's a really neat new game mode hidden behind the "Endurance" DLC; What this does is it puts you into a procedurally generated Siberia with a bunch of basic equipment and add heat and hunger meters, as well as an objective to gather mcguffins. Ressource scarcity, a theme TR alluded to in the previous game, finally happens, and you're free to enjoy the stealth and combat gameplay free of the story.
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Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
That sounds awesome and now I really, really hate that I can't get it until next week (and then XCOM 2 comes out).

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
Considering how much I enjoyed TR 2013, I'm looking forward to playing this very much (in 2-3 years when I've bought it on sale for 90% off and cleared out some of my backlog).
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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
First Tomb Raider was awesome (2013), one of the few games where I went back and found all the collectibles and destroyed all the enivronmental targets.  Will pick up the new one for my 360 when the price drops a bit, unless I happen to drop some cash for an xbox one first.

Also having played Uncharted 1+2 I can understand the comparisons but personally have found Tomb Raider 2013 to be the better game.  Tomb Raider allows for more stealth and the platforming is more seemless, particularly the rope interaction.  Sneaking around with the bow, creating ropes, taking out guys, distracting them is all much more interesting.

Uncharted 1 was action-heavy with too much gunplay, which was boring, and not enough puzzle solving.
Uncharted 2 has a better mix but the climbing and platforming is practically zero-risk, there's very few timed jumps and despite the spectacle of things nearly falling on you, or things breaking as soon as you leap it's all triggered by script and wont actually catch and kill you.  Some of the sequences like the Tank sequence drag on for far too long and some of the puzzle solving is a bit, silly for lack of a better word with environments and mechanisms so impractical they defy believability.  Not to mention the repetitive event of "searching some super-secret room for a hidden entrance only to find that the fancy room doesn't contain the goal but instead just has a window overlooking the entrance which is in plain view of everything".

Uncharted 3 I haven't played yet.

Tomb Raider improves on UC in more simple ways as well, such as the way Lara has a bit of voice-over which you look at an artifact. Find a chinese hairpin, she'll talk about it. In Uncharted 2 it's just a collectible with no interest at all in my experience.

Either way can't wait to play Rise of the Tomb Raider. Though, not gonna lay down 80 CDN for it.

  

Offline The E

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Re: Rise of the Tomb Raider: still in Uncharted territory
What Uncharted does better though is storytelling. In RotTR, the only character you care about is Lara; every other character you meet is so archetypical that they're pretty boring.
Let there be light
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Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis