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Thread: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2002
    Location: Pacific Northwest
    So the new game has a selfie mode that allows Lara's expression to be altered on command. PC Gamer did a short write-up about it.





    Whereas most people scorned ME: Andromeda's Aspergers faces, someone at Squeenix saw them and decided it needed to be a feature. And the world is a better place for it.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    I was listening to the GiantBombcast and Brad was saying how it so far feels like Rise of the Tomb Raider but less polished. I really liked Rise but even so, it does make me concerned about the game.

  3. #28
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    RPS's review (John Walker, being surprisingly more restrained than I could give him credit for while still being massively annoying to read) mentions a mass of bugs with the PC release that may be quashed on release day. The animation blending seems to have issues during jumping, and the story is apparently about the franchise shooting itself in the foot.

    Honestly, I couldn't care less. I've already pushed the reboot's sad excuse for a narrative to the 'just stop already' corner; right now, all I want is grafx and a set of beautiful tombs to navigate with a decent set of puzzles, and it looks like EM and CD are delivering that. So I'm prolly doing the masochistic thing and getting it tomorrow despite every reservation about everything else.

    Also, that photo mode looks like the best thing ever.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 13th Sep 2018 at 05:47.

  4. #29
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I read a longish discussion thread on a German games site yesterday where the most convincing poster argued that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a considerable step forward, in particular in how it downplays combat and focuses more on puzzles and traversal challenges. It didn't convince me to get the game any time soon, but I've moved it from the "Meh..." pile onto the "Once it's come down in price" pile.

    But yeah, every single narrative scene I've seen of the game still makes rebooted Lara come across as the most boring person imaginable.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    I read a longish discussion thread on a German games site yesterday where the most convincing poster argued that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a considerable step forward, in particular in how it downplays combat and focuses more on puzzles and traversal challenges. It didn't convince me to get the game any time soon, but I've moved it from the "Meh..." pile onto the "Once it's come down in price" pile.

    But yeah, every single narrative scene I've seen of the game still makes rebooted Lara come across as the most boring person imaginable.
    I mean to be fair, the original Lara wasn't ever the most compelling character ever put into a game, but there are times in the new ones when I feel like they could be doing a better job. If nothing else make her more excited to find ancient artifacts.

    Anyway, I'll see what the general consensus is because as I said before, I really like the reboot games, but I always got them sometime after release and on sale. I'm contemplating doing the same with this one.

  6. #31
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I finished the prologue and can only offer a word on the presentation at this point because when I impulse purchase, it's usually due to shallow reasons: I wanted grefx, I sure as hell got grefx. The detail and art direction on this thing is through the fucking roof, combined with a TXAA solution that presents an image so clean, I think I'm in love. RotTR had terrible specular aliasing and jaggies all over the fucking place; this looks like an unblemished work of art everywhere you point the camera. The photographer mode is a good addition - it'd be a sin not to have the option for a freecam in a game this good-looking.

  7. #32
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I like the multiple difficulty sub-options, like System Shock 1 had.
    That's a feature I've planned to implement in my own games.



    Though I've quickly come to realise that I made a mistake by picking Very Hard on all of them, since one of those disables all checkpoints, which means that dying towards the end of the prologue mission threw me all the way back the beginning. That's a but much for me.

  8. #33
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Interesting, it didn't let me choose Very Hard. Some of those options seem pretty hardcore - base camps become usable with limited resources? Sounds like quite a thing. I wouldn't mind setting the puzzles to max difficulty, though even on Hard Lara drops almost no hints as to how to go about them, which is refreshing. The puzzles aren't any kind of brainscratchers so far, but the game letting you figure them out on your lonesome makes them instantly more compelling.

    I'm about 20% in and so far most of it's been exploration, hunting, and discovering crypts and tombs salted with a little bit of cold-hearted butchery and a fair bit of conversation - the story's still nonsense, but the game's pretty open about the fact that a large part of Lara's personality is that she's unaware of how much of an asshole she is, from her selfishness to her awkward interactions with some Peruvian natives. I like the fact that the experience skews less towards combat, because the forest location is gorgeous and I can't get enough of it, but combat tends to pull focus away from taking in and navigating the sights. And they've expanded the underwater component significantly in terms of flooded areas and lakes actually figuring into exploration and resources in an organic fashion. I'm enjoying it for the actual Tomb Raiding at this point.

  9. #34
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    You can't select Very Hard difficulties directly, you can only select the "Deadly Obsession" preset for overall difficulty, which sets all the rest to Very Hard.

    I wouldn't mind the limited resources, but the being unable to save for an entire level part? No, that's just too much.

  10. #35
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    While I'm taking a break from it to finish off Metro: Last Light, I'm finding Shadow of the TR to be something I like a lot. Once I ignore the story and uneasy horror movie vibe (there's more skulls and decaying bodies in isolated areas in this game than in the whole of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, making for a very uneasy, stereotyped outlook on Mayan and Incan culture), the meat of the game's in traipsing around, working out improbable mechanical puzzles, and taking in absolutely gorgeous graphics every other minute.

    Which brings me to something that I didn't mention, because the relative absence of it is interesting: combat. TR 2013 and RotTR were pretty heavy on the combat; I'd say the balance swung more in favour of combat than any actual tomb raiding. With SotTR, the balance swings the other way. There's far fewer combat encounters in this game than in either previous entry -- which is not to say that you don't end up killing hundreds of people, you still do that; it's just that it's confined to these occasional pockets of forced encounters, which makes this actually feel a little like an oldschool TR game. This is a pace-killer if you're expecting combat to be as regularly thrown into the mix as Uncharted or the last two TRs, and while I really don't mind lolloping around a huge jungle environment, exploring crypts and tombs and marvelling at the volumetric lighting and water caustics, everyone else might not be as inclined to appreciate those details.

    I was curious as to how it's doing, and no surprise: it's already seen two sales since launch, and Steam reviews complain about mostly the same things - underwhelming story, not enough combat, skill system sucks because you don't get to use combat skills often. It's currently sitting at a mixed rating at ~5K reviews, which as you can tell is probably not great. And yet the thing that bugs me the most is this: no one talks about the actual platforming being MIA. I know I do, but it's fairly obvious that unless you're Nintendo, the skill caps that oldschool platforming institutes aren't a good way to make your game accessible to more people.

    So... what does this all mean? If I were a publisher, the assumption I would make from all this is that the demographic trends were right, and CD was justified in making the first two TRs combat-heavy platformer-lite experiences. Violence sells and is easy to market; tricky platforming and tombs can't compete with that. Tomb raiding may be able to exist in combination with violence, but for its budget, a TR game simply can't just be about jumping around exotic locations any more if it wants to survive; the audience needs its shooten' and killin' and mass-murderin'. Which is disappointing to realise, because if there was a series that could have pivoted away from that it, it would have been TR. It's ironic because I probably have Uncharted to thank for opening this particular Pandora's Box, but Uncharted 2 ranks above every TR game I've played in history, so maybe... I was part of the problem?

    Anyway, Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks great, did I mention that? Just the opening hours have great bloody lances of sunlight glancing off ancient statues and altars suspended above dark inky voids, and all you can do sometimes is just stop and stare from a distance. It also has a large hub brimming with the kind of detail and layered design that sets my dopamine receptors abuzz. Last of its kind as it may be, I'm probably returning to it soon enough.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 3rd Nov 2018 at 12:01.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Sounds like they finally made a new TR game that would appeal to me.

  12. #37
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I’m looking forward to playing it, and even more so after reading that as I found the combat a drag. I don't think any of the Tomb Raiders have had an amazing story really and I've played every one of them, including all the dlc.

  13. #38
    Southquarter.com/fms
    Registered: Apr 2000
    Location: The Akkala Highlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Sulphur View Post

    I was curious as to how it's doing, and no surprise: it's already seen two sales since launch, and Steam reviews complain about mostly the same things - underwhelming story, not enough combat, skill system sucks because you don't get to use combat skills often. It's currently sitting at a mixed rating at ~5K reviews, which as you can tell is probably not great.
    I've read in a couple of places now that that majority of negative reviews are because the game went on sale only month after release. People who paid full price are (justifiably) upset. Metacritic has it rated at 77, which is quite a bit higher than it's current Steam rating (65). Seems like a bad precedent to set, because who will buy their stuff on day one now (which is what I'm assuming most companies want)?

    Usually when I consider ratings on games, I like to think Steam is the best representative, because the reviews are coming from actual gamers like us, and not some corporate web site. But when you see something like this, which is a bunch of angry fan boys watering down the rating on something that has nothing to do with actual game quality, it makes me wonder.

  14. #39
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    SotTR's reviews fluctuated between 'Mostly Positive' and 'Mixed' before the sales, but now it's a steady 'Mixed' because user reviews are apparently the easiest way for irate people to be heard and cause some collateral damage.

    In my experience, a good majority of the user reviews on Steam are useless at best and harmful at worst. One game got review-bombed because its DLC was 2 hours late; Firewatch got review-bombed because they issued a DMCA notice on PewDiePie in an effort to get his Firewatch Let's Play taken down; Agony, a game that had some pretty awful content cut from its final release (involving graphic rape) got torn down not just because it's a fantastically terrible game from all appearances, but because the devs 'lied' to them. Now that Steam's relaxed its stance on adult content, they've released the Unrated version and it's currently at... yup, Very Positive. (To get a Mostly Positive rating alone, a title needs >70% positive reviews, IIRC.)

    And then there are the discussion forums which, if you wade into them, are essentially teenagers ranting at each other. Honestly, I'd take a well-written review from someone who seems to have sense over any user ratings on any platform, because accounting for mass stupidity and/or banal whinging is tedious.
    Last edited by Sulphur; 3rd Nov 2018 at 12:58.

  15. #40
    Moderator and Priest
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Location: Dinosaur Ladies of the Night
    I recently came across a one star review for The Incredibles 2 while checking to see if it was available for streaming. The guy was just asking a question wondering whether some character or other was in the movie, and said he'd remove the review once he got the answer.

    THAT'S NOT WHAT REVIEWS ARE FOR, DIPSHIT!

  16. #41
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Yeah, I was quite enjoying SOTTR too up until that darn cowpoke game got released.
    The story may be bunk, and Lara's voice actress still annoys the piss out of me, but it's a good attempt at returning to what defined the series in the first place, exploration and light puzzling.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I felt that there was a bit too much random stuff in that game, it felt like I spent more time on the various random side-quests and collections than actually platforming and raiding tombs.
    When you're racing you stop a cataclysm, but still have time to find all the survivalist stashes, rare animals, bizarre challenge, and gather ceremonial items for the natives.

  18. #43
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland

    thead rez / about those immersion options

    I picked this up, with all the DLC during a sale recently, and have been dipping into it over the last few weekends.

    The game gives you some options to make the game more immersive, including turning critical path hints off, and having characters speak in their native language, but these paradoxically ended up making the game less immersive, imo. Without the white paint to show where you should mantle, it's often impossible to tell which ledges can be mantled, so you just end up jumping (sometimes to your death) at a ledge hoping Lara will grab it, but then she doesn't. And the language translations apply to the Peruvian natives, but Lara still speaks in English. This becomes especially silly when Lara dons a mask to infiltrate a cult. These guys are speaking to her in Spanish, and Lara, with her obviously white arm and leg skin exposed, will answer in the Queen's English. "HELLO, FELLOW CULTISTS!" and they're totally convinced she's one of them! If you turn off the "immersion option" in the audio settings and just have everyone speak English it's less immersion breaking. I ended up turning both these options off and the game is better for it.

    Besides that tho, the game is indeed lighter on action than the ealier entries. There was one particular stretch of the game where I noticed, astonished, that I hadn't fought anyone for like 2 hours. But later on it does get more stealth/action-focused again. Not sure how far in I am, approaching the refinery right now. Animation does feel less smooth than previous games. Overall, I'm not enjoying it as much as Rise, which had me hooked until the end. But this one I dip into for maybe 20-40 minutes at a time before getting bored. I can't say I'm really following the story either, it's pretty messy.

  19. #44
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by henke View Post
    And the language translations apply to the Peruvian natives, but Lara still speaks in English. This becomes especially silly when Lara dons a mask to infiltrate a cult. These guys are speaking to her in Spanish, and Lara, with her obviously white arm and leg skin exposed, will answer in the Queen's English. "HELLO, FELLOW CULTISTS!" and they're totally convinced she's one of them!
    Okay this needs video, it sounds hilarious.

  20. #45
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Ok I finished it. It was ok. More epic than previous entries, but also with a messy and poorly-paced story. The gameplay might be a slight notch up from previous entries though, both puzzle-solving and stealth/action-wise. Eh, 7/10? Rise is still my fave in this trilogy.

    Currently playing the DLCs from the season pass.

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