View Full Version : Overall Impressions *Spoiler Alert*

29th Sep 2018, 18:21
I finished my game, but I didn't do the early access thing I just waited for the game to get to me.

The game was interesting at first but later on I got kind of bored with it, but that was pretty much the last half of the game. I don't know, but to me something felt missing, not sure what though.

I did like doing things with Jonah and seeing him more. It was interesting to fight along side the Yaaxil, especially with the Queen if that's what she's called, she could just be the Alpha Female for all I know. The Queen looks very human, except for her elongated teeth and obviously how yellow they are. One thing I may have missed but are these beings supposed to be god-like creatures or were they human at one point and sort of evolved into something different? I do realize they were there to protect the silver box, but I wonder how long they've been protecting something that wasn't there since it was moved or taken.

I was under the impression the darkness from the Eclipse would be brought very early on in the game, like a lot of promotional stuff and some cutscenes were shot at night so I mean it made it seem like we'd be in darkness through most of the game but we had it in all of about 5 minutes or less towards the end of the game.

It was also neat that the Queen of the Yaaxil was also the Crimson Fire.

I'm also glad that Jonah didn't die. I was actually prepared that he might, and when we were told he did die I thought "no way" but I was like well maybe they killed him to spite Lara for ruining Trinity's plans.

It was sort of nice to have less fighting with enemies but in the last half I feel like they went all at it and you had an enemy to fight every time you turned around. I could do with less swimming too, I realize people kept asking for more swimming so the developers tried to make those people happy and they also tried to appeal to the people who wanted less combat and more puzzles. They can't make everyone happy I know.

So, I'm confused, because at the end of Rise, after the credits, we hear someone talking on the radio but the voice didn't sound like Rourke or Dominguez, unless it was supposed to be Rourke.

So, I'd like to hear everyone's thoughts, good or bad and maybe discuss things that were left up in the air.

I personally feel like getting the Croft Steelbook edition was a waste of money. I should have just preordered the digital version. I mean, the game wasn't entirely terrible it just seemed to be lacking something.

Out of all three games I enjoyed the first one the most, because it felt like a complete story to me.

1st Oct 2018, 13:05
I'm mostly in agreement. To elaborate, and sorry for the long winded text:

The visuals were awesome. The mountains, waters, vegetation and structures were fantastic. I recall one spot in the jungle where I stopped and did a slow 360 to take it all in. Absolutely loved it all.

The puzzles were great - the doors with the tumblers on the sides was a nice memorable one. Some of the tombs were really cool. This often felt like "good ol' Tomb Raider-ing", with great structure and kooky ideas. Lara's reaction of delight and wonder really made it awesome, and I like how they played on that. This and the overall traversal was absolutely the highlight of the game and I found myself seeking out these parts more than the main story.

The immersion mode was fine for a while, but I had to turn it off as the subtitles kept breaking and it didn't really feel immersive for Lara to be speaking english in response to... Yucatan?

The story was... quite enjoyable. Guy does bad things to justify the apparent means, have to try and stop him. Intertwined cultures, some cool twists and the way it was portrayed was solid.
As far as I can tell, Lara as the namesake "Shadow" was only seen once, probably my favourite cut of the entire game, rising up out of the flames and absolutely freaking everyone out. Her then realisation and reaction that she hasn't lost everything nearly broke me. The rest of the time she was this "super nice" person to everyone (well, except Jonah).
Everything else was really... nice, I guess?

For me the gunplay was bad. It was almost a relief that there was virtually none of it, in favour of the stealth sections. I died quite often in those spots - but mostly because once I was seen I just stood there and took the hits. Even at max sensitivity, Lara could just not track a target, and in close quarters (e.g. the first Yaaxil encounter) it was horrible.

In saying that - where was the combat?! The videos said "it's all about fear" and frankly the enemies were so few and far between (other than the 'forced conflict' sections) that all fear was lost because nobody was left alive to feel it. I felt it was incredibly hard to "toy" with the enemies to cause them to freak out, a big disappointment. Every encounter had a "path" which leaned heavily towards stealth kills in order, made easier with the double-kill. And I guess everyone learned from the first two games because they were all wearing helmets!

I think there was one section right after getting the fear poison that I basically just hid in a tree and dropped on every single person from the area - after using the fear arrows twice then getting seen.
And so, so many skills that I barely had a chance to use!

The stealth "walls" were also a previously stated concern for me. I expected something akin to slipping from walls to the sides of trees and blending in, as enemies walked right past you, shaking in fear from seeing their buddy strung up like a Predator kill. But this seemed to be very under-utilised - and I found sometimes they were oddly useless as the enemy just walked around and shot you there.

The swimming was virtually no more than a course from A to B, or a resource stash. Occasionally something had to be cut, or pressed. And the piranha sections were not fun.

There were quite some technical/usability issues - lighting, AI, damage direction, weird jump behaviours sending Lara to her death...

The ending was disappointing. There, I said it.
I loved that she became a co-queen of the damned, fighting alongside the Yaaxil, while the s is hitting every fan around them. And the run up to the end was fun, frantic - though I did not like the "shoot a stream of bad guys and Rourke gets suddenly offed".
But the end battle was... yep you were too slow, bad guy is now super powerful, break a few pillars, then "run around in circles, shoot at Dominguez until he goes 'ow' and stab him - repeat?". Now pretend to stab me, queen friend so I can obviously not save my family.
No crumbling structures, no pace change, nothing. It just felt typical.

TL:DR, good looks, good puzzles, good traversal, nice story. Bad combat and disappointing stealth.

10th Oct 2018, 00:33
We could use a sticky review thread. So I will just reply to it and hope it get's sticky.

Some pre-thoughts:

Fist of all I'm one of these old fans who are there since 1996. I played ever single Tomb Raider game dozens of times and would say I'm a huge fan of the franchise. I always was open minded about reboots and still the best reboot game for me is Anniversary though it's "just" a remake. But they did so many new interpretations that it counts enough for me. I kinda like the new trilogy but I also missed some things which differs Tomb Raider from Uncharted. I just can't say that I completely liked the 2013 even though the script was really nice. The gameplay was just too action based and mostly a no-brainer. The challenging tombs have been jokes tbh. The fighting was solid and it was the first Tomb Raider which included fighting as a main feature not just as side thing you had to get through to reach the next jumping puzzle. Still it was a good start but Rise had to deliver far more.

And Rise did deliver with many new features, more puzzles and wider levels. Still I missed this Tomb Raider feeling. Trinity is was never a good antagonist for me, just this mediocre private army seeking for power through artifacts. You could just say they are like the Nazis in Indiana Jones. Also the location was far too young for me. I know they just wanted to do something different than the old games but imo the only Tomb Raider feeling was at the start and then at the end in the frozen city. So my hope was kinda that the Trinity thing finally ends and that the whole game feels like Tomb Raider again. So Rise was nice step ahead but still not there where I wish it to be. But it was the Rise of the Tomb Raider, now I would hopefully get the Tomb Raider.

Impression Shadows:

I start instantly with the answer to my wishes. it did evolve in many ways to a Tomb Raider game and that excited me. Level design and especially the insane challenging tombs made this one already the best of the 3 to me at that moment, but now I don't want to get overboard with that excitement. I just don't like the whole thing behind the challenging tombs, in 2013 and Rise just whatever things they have been so good in Shadows that it was a shame that they have been optional. Why not involving these tombs into the main campaign? One said to me: Dunno maybe cause some people don't want a challenge and just play the game. I don't thing that's true. Especially the level design was enough to just love them. I would rather had them in the main and just have the small crypts as optional challenges again.

Which leads us to the next topic: The mainplot. I already said Trinity never satisfied me also not the drama with her dad. The sole plot in all Tomb Raider games, also in Shadows are decent but nothing special or memorable. I'm kinda relieved that it's over now. Still I felt some more depth in Shadows, the Rise thing with the prophet was a good idea but this Deus Ex approach Eidos Montreal did with the 3 villages was just a good evolve. Still it was again nothing special for the most part. The characters had far more interaction etc. I never felt so close to Jonah and the Paititians as 3rd party characters. Trinity was still bland for the most part. Even Dominguez could never deliver though he had so much screen time. I just hoped that Eidos could do what SE was lacking and they tried with the Deus Ex approach but didn't follow the path until the end. I also a bit disappointed that they didn't build a real open world like some expected. Thad could have worked, even though I know open world can also me poison for a good story telling. Still I felt it would have been great.

The ending was kinda meh BUT I just like how Eidos changed one of my main critique points. This very bad wave killing while running around an arena with a "boss". Spawning waves is so uninspired and bad, I just appreciate that they tried something else even though it could have been more challenging, like a real climbing part to destroy the links to Dominguez' peasants, instead of just "hacking" them. (yeah that was bad) But it reminded me of the patched Deus EX: HR bossfights where you could just move around and trick the boss, instead of just firing 1 billion shots lto 100 respawns like 2013 and Rise finished their games. Awful and an immersion breaker for me.

Now technical wise: Graphics insane and awesome, Sound same, nice voice acting. Level design good but I felt there could be far more possibilities. It would have been insane for an open world. AI was really bad, again. I loved the stealth part with the mud etc. but it's kinda only for the hardest difficulty. Gunplay was too easy and powerful felt a bit odd though. On console I had problem to aim cause most enemies just ran around me in circles and Lara was stiff. I wanted to stealth anyway but the part with the Yaaxil was just about shooting ranges. I liked that you had only one scene with waves and had less enemies later on. Cause waves are for Uncharted, I always hated that about 2013. Still a far more advanced AI would have been nice. With real flanks etc. It sounds worse than it was, it was again good Gameplay with some nice ideas but I felt I wanted more than that.

Featues: Maybe the weakest point in the game where you felt the switch to another studio. Eidos Montreal was mostly conservative in their decisions with that. Most features are known with all the stuff to collect and to find, also these small challenges. Outside the insane tombs and crypts they just used most things from Rise, also cut some features like the arrow climbing, which was a good decision. But yeah, they just didn't want to risk anything here and just concentrated their resources into design and telling. I think this will really change with the next game or trilogy cause CD will come back or Eidos will have the full creative control without being chained by the prequels.

And after playing with the small Lara, which part I loved the most....Give us the Croft manor back!!!! Jeez I loved that so much. Also the pre patched ending triggered me so much lol.

So as already said. The game has it's flaws also maybe cause Eidos didn't want to change the recipe too much to appreciate the fans. So it was kinda lacking innovation in game play but the design, the feeling through the whole mystic Maya and Inca culture cornered by these insane challenging tombs gave me the feel of playing a modern Tomb Raider game. I felt the Tomb Raider for the first time since Anniversary and that's why Shadows is just the best of the 3 new ones.

For what I hope, for now at least, for the new game is: Just follow the path of nice tombs which have been challenging but far away from old difficulty level (which is okay, people maybe don't wont to break their heads anymore) and implement them into the main story. Don't waste so many nice ideas to optional stuff. Stay with optional crypts, or do real side storylines for the big tombs. Still first one is the best for me. Second, I hope that Trinity wont be followed by another iffy organization. Maybe just complete myth again or more creative enemies if they have to be humans. Still I would like to have a more open world. Maybe not complete open but we need far wider places to explore. The instances have been too strict here.

One good step after another even though Rise's was a bit bigger than Shadow's one. But it was also because Rise had done many things better and good to just reuse it. So I'm already excited how the next step will look like.

25th Oct 2018, 20:29
I never experienced any bugs with this game. I guess I was lucky.

14th Nov 2018, 07:13
I didn't read all of your posts as I have just finished the (first?) Croft Manor section although I did read the bit where you said you didn't enjoy the second half of the game which was a little worrying. So far I am loving it and think it could be the best of the Three reboot titles. I love the locations and didn't realise how much of a real distraction the white ledges were until now! The rappelling and swimming add a bit more to the game and it is starting to feel like a "proper" TR game, particularly when you find yourself falling to your death because you missed a jump! Doing the puzzles without Survival Instinct makes it more of a challenge, so much so that if there is an upgrade option I probably wont upgrade it.

So far so good, but I am sort of feeling what you mean about Jonah being around a little too much. i prefer Lara as a lone wolf.

14th Nov 2018, 08:20
These are just their opinions. It's subjective. Personally, I enjoyed almost everything about the game (to date). The combat was intuitive, responsive and not ubiquitous. Which, given it's a story about survival (at the core) makes sense to me.

No Tomb Raider game, ever, heavily focused on combat. Some titles gravitated more "towards" combat than others. At it's core, TR is about exploration and survival. The combat encounters are meant to be life or death moments, not constant or consistent.

I found the latter half of this game to be a bit creepy, personally. Not bad, but being a fan of history, that context added to this games narratives, did make me wonder. The ending however, was beautiful and haunting given realities. It's implications provide much fodder for thought.

I haven't been dreadfully disappointed in anything about the game, that isn't associated or solved via subsequent patches and mostly to do with achievements and collections. Do remember the title just released and these are UI/UX issues. Not gameplay or narrative ones.