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GoranAgar
16th Jun 2010, 07:26
Dear Lara Croft fan community,

My wife and I were invited to Square Enix/Eidos Germany last monday to have a first look at the new Lara Croft game. They say it is not a Tomb Raider game, but in my opinion they aren't entirely correct. :)

After dear Nils from SE/Eidos Germany played through parts of 3 different levels in single player mode we were able to lay hands on the controllers ourselves. We jumped right in the cooperation mode since that is the feature we expect the highest entertainment value of, because we like coop games.

One player plays Lara, one player plays Totec, who apparently just arrived in the present. We played on an XBox386 on the same screen, just like you do in the PS2 Baldur's Gate games. One can play on two devices (PS3, XBox and PC) over the net, but only on the same platform. And then you'd need two copies. The camera is fix and at places where Lara hides behind a pillar you get an indicator so you do not lose her. When the two players run opposite ways the camera zooms out until a certain point.

The puzzles we got to see are enviromental puzzles. How do we get up there/down there/over there? How do we pull that lever without dying? The puzzles are set up in a way that they require both players to combine their special skills and equipment. Lara with her grappling hook and Totec with his spears and shields complement each other nicely. For example Totec can hold his shild above his head so Lara can jump on it to reach higher. We had extraordinary fun running Totec around while Lara was standing on his shield shooting bad guys. That may not have any tactical value, but it looks hilarious. :D In the single player mode you get everywhere, but you might not get all secrets.

As expected the game has a lot of action. Arcade like shooting all sort of weird monsters with a variety of guns that you aquire throughout the game. We saw some mercenaries, but they got dealt with by the monsters in a movie sequence. Maybe Lara gets an opportunity to deal with some of the evil henchmen later in the game. Although I can do nicely without them. :)

The game has a touch of role playing implemented where you can upgrade weapon and health points and speed up or beef up with the help of artifacts.

Also in best Tomb Raider tradition you have decrepit bridges and grounds that crumble under your weight which forces a bit of hectic on the grot cruising. Or a giant fish urges you to haste along a path making it quite tricky to collect all goodies and secrets. Making it tricky to jump or survive for that matter.

After I failed to perform a swan dive Nils confirmed that there also is no hand stand. But I forgot to try it myself. Since you can not move the camera or zoom in you can not have a closer look at Lara. Which is a pity because I like doing that in every new game. And intensive auto saving does not replace manual saves.

Since I was not expecting a Tomb Raider game I could not really find anything that bothered me, except for the lack of camera movement. The goodies and secrets are a bit too obvious for my taste, but that is not a problem with this particular game alone but all current games.

The cooperation mode was fun. And that is what mainly sold the game for us. Sitting together in front of the console, shooting monsters, finding secrets and seeking out old civilizations. What we saw is a very good attempt at a multi player Tomb Raider game. And for me it has enough Tomb Raider elements in it.

The classic isometric view only appears antique on first glance, but did not bother at all. Things are destructable, plants are moving. The shooting is entertaining, the puzzles are solveable. I neither expect to end up with knots in my fingers nor in my brain.

I do not know if I am going to play the game in single player mode, but the coop mode is a Must! Gimme gimme gimme. :D

What we saw in the game:


Lara Croft
grots
monsters and mutations
medi paks
ammunition paks
enviromental puzzles
forward roll
double pistols with unlimited ammo
isometric view
"press B here"
timed runs
crumbling grounds
spear traps
eternal automated spear turrets


What we did not see:


stupid "Put grapple hook there"-help
swan dive
Kurtis :D
tombs
Zip
Croft Manor

Max 28
16th Jun 2010, 10:00
That's all sounding pretty good. :) I'm really looking forward to the multiplayer, like running around with Lara on Totec's shield, it's fun to just muck around on the game with a friend. I will certainly be letting go of the grapple when Totec is holding on for dear life a couple of times. :D The competitive value will be cool too.

And nice to read what you saw and what you didn't. But I'm a little unsure of what you meant by 'no tombs'.

GoranAgar
16th Jun 2010, 10:11
Well, I did not see any tombs in the levels we saw. Just grots and caves. :)

mushroom079
16th Jun 2010, 13:02
I know this is prob not the place to ask - but did you ask about TR9?
Did they give you any info?

Thanks for sharing your experience with GOL.
I am looking forward to this game - but more so getting back to the TR roots of exploration.
I loved underworld - just missed the LEGEND impact!

Keir
16th Jun 2010, 15:58
Nice write-up Goran, I'm pleased you got to have a go on the game :thumbsup:




I know this is prob not the place to ask - but did you ask about TR9?
Did they give you any info?


There's no news on TR at the moment I'm afraid.

hiMe
16th Jun 2010, 17:34
http://www.gametrailers.com/video/e3-2010-lara-croft/700044

Your write up does reflect the game play. Looks very exciting, and I'm jealous that you and your wife got to play it. :P

_Love2Raid_
16th Jun 2010, 21:39
Sounds great, thanks for sharing! :D

So jealous! :p

Co-op seems like a lot of fun, can´t wait to ´accidentally´ drop my buddy in a pit full of spikes. :naughty:

So who was Lara and who was Totec?

GoranAgar
17th Jun 2010, 10:13
Of course my wife played as Lara while I played as Totec. Totec seems to be a fun and tough guy. His dress code is a bit bothersome, but I like his hair cut. ;)

BlueSkiesXXV
17th Jun 2010, 15:03
Hi Goran, I hope that you are both well. Thanks for sharing your experience with the new game. After reading your thoughts & the write up from Kotaku (see below) I am starting to look forward to it.

Kotaku Link: http://kotaku.com/5541615/lara-croft-and-the-new-addictive-game

Danielsun_
17th Jun 2010, 19:06
awesome post thank you Goran

look forward to playing this game, ive seen a trailer of it (on the ign interview) and i havn't seen any ragdoll deaths, so im sold :D

sanjosalt
18th Jun 2010, 04:18
Ok so in light of the worldwide nervousness about the isometric version, how awesome is it that now there are potentially *two* distinct threads of quality titles to expect within the overall Tomb Raider franchise? Very.

So instead of sweating bullets hoping for a traditional TR game every couple years or so, we now can look forward to not only the traditional format but also this new style of Lara action being released periodically.

Yes of course, neither has been released but all the reviewing heretofore has been solid and positive. My money is on quality titles.

News couldn't be better in my opinion.

jordan_a
21st Jun 2010, 07:47
I played the game at E3 for probably more than an hour with various dev guys. It was so so funny, with great mechanics and multipath approach.

Hope they'll put it on retail eventually to reach more people because it really deserves to be played massively!