Played Lately: Tomb Raider (2013)

Posted by AnjinM (110 posts) -
  • Okay, I actually played this nearly two months ago, so "Lately" is not the right word. Just bear with me, please, because this is still important.
  • When our family came to the town to celebrate my daughter's second birthday, my brother brought along a copy of the latest Tomb Raider game. The two of us tend to stay up late and catch up on gaming since we rarely see one another. So we decided to pop in the disc and see how far I could get before I passed out.
  • As would be expected, Tomb Raider looks amazing. The environments are detailed and beautiful. Climbing around, leaping and grabbing, and shooting dudes is all satisfying visually. And, of course, Lara herself looks great. The well-documented makeover really brings her to life in a way that has been lacking in prior games. (My proclivity is to mention that her breasts are much less pneumatic, but this recent article by Jenn Frank has me second guessing whether I should care so much.)
  • The gameplay is surprisingly similar to the earlier games, though I'm not sure why I assumed otherwise. There is all of the exploration, puzzle solving, and combat that you would expect. You can tell the Crystal Dynamics has been at this a while as it is quite polished. They've just updated everything to match modern sensibilities. I had quite a lot of fun for those first several hours. Some of it was nostalgia, but it would not have worked if it wasn't a really good game. Except for one thing.
  • I do not, and I never will, understand why this game needs Quick Time Events. It really doesn't, but they can't help but put in several "Press X to not die" sections. It is so boring. And I am so very bad at them. It's just one button, but it invariably takes me three tries to get them right. And god help me if they string multiple prompts together because I have to learn each in triplicate. So in one case, I say Lara die several times because I can't react to the prompts. I have to memorize them. Slowly. It throws the pace of the game completely off and kills whatever tension they were hoping to build. I'd rather just watch a movie than be forced to endure so many pointless failures before I can get on with the game.
  • This is the reason I've been holding onto this post, even though the actual play took place in early March. This faux gameplay is a travesty. It's a design tool that needs to be put back in the drawer and locked up. I will probably play Tomb Raider again because there is so much that I do like. But it's sad that this one part can spoil so much of it.

© 2013 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved. (Originally posted May 1, 2013)

#1 Posted by believer258 (11914 posts) -

I also recently completed Tomb Raider and yes, it is a fantastic game. For the most part.

On the topic of boobs, I thought they were pretty big. Then I threw in Tomb Raider Anniversary to see how it compared to this newest one, a little refresher so to speak. And Jesus, they needed that reduction in size. I know what the article you linked said, but that only made me think about this more, so there.

#2 Edited by Yodasdarkside (276 posts) -

I bought it on the PSN flash sale and it's easily the best $30 I've spent this year on games. I agree that the QTEs are far too severe in their timing, but as it's almost always the same button that you're pressing, they ended up being pretty easy in the end. The game itself was an unexpected joy - I wish I had picked it up at launch. The only downsides for me were that I suffered the minesweeper glitch, so I can't 100% the collectibles and the multiplayer was so dull I can't get the motivation to platinum it. Really amazing adventure though and I did not find the character swing as harsh as Brad said it was. That 'I hate tombs' line was terrible though.

#3 Posted by Rorie (2912 posts) -

I'm still working my way through it. For a game I generally enjoy, it's surprising how quickly I get tired of it. I can only really play it for around half an hour before I have to take a break. Not because it's super intense or anything...it's just not something I can play for extended stretches, for some reason. Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend.

Staff
#4 Posted by Avanzato (87 posts) -

Tomb Raider has been the most fun gaming I've had so far this year. Yes the QTE are obnoxious because they break the flow of the game but at least they weren't made difficult, it could have been worse. I do hope that Crystal Dynamics are listening and any sequel does away with them.

#7 Posted by gogosox82 (424 posts) -

If they get rid of the qte's and put in more puzzles and tombs and keep the combat the same, the next game will be excellent. This game is just ok because of the qte's and a little too much focus on combat instead of exploration and puzzles.

#8 Posted by wjb (1662 posts) -

I recently played and finished Tomb Raider, too. I knew I was going to enjoy it, but I ended up enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would.

I'm okay with female characters having slightly large breasts; it happens, as long as they look natural (floppy natural?) when the game is trying to be realistic and/or serious (for instance, I thought Cortana in Halo 4 looked fine). The only issue about Tomb Raider concerning Lara was the usual video game complaint of "protagonist is in the cold, snowy mountains but still wearing summer clothes".

The overall scope of the story was fine, but the major issue I had was the details of the plot and the side characters were too one-dimensional.

#10 Posted by Optix12 (615 posts) -

Im playing this game now and its one of those games ive been able to marathon for quite a while without stopping to do something else. Not many games catch me like that (ni no kuni is next so I suspect that will do the same). The only QTE which sucked for me is the Y button in the QTE events (not the one where you dodge and press y to kill/incapacitate them), after I figured its the same button it became easier but was still stingy on timing

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