View Full Version : Some general comments about AoD's plusses and minuses :)

14th Jul 2003, 23:48
Hey. :) I'll start by saying I had a hard time playing AoD, and not for the right reasons - i.e. cause the puzzles are hard :)

Sorry this is so long. :)

I've started playing tr III for comparison and noting just what changes have been made since this game, which is the last I played before VI.

I'm hoping to put down some constructive critiscism, rather than start an arguement... honest. I played it on the PC, so I expect much of the control issues won't mean much to ps2 players (i understand they have there own).

1. Firstly, a plus. Adding in a key press for walk, rather than holding it down. The problem is the walking isn't the same as before. With walk toggled on Lara will walk back and forth, but only turns on the spot using left and right. To side step you still have to hold down the walk key. The trouble here is you have to hold it down a moment before trying to side step or you'll simply rotate (worse, if you don't wait a moment she turns a little, then the side step kicks in). In TR III if you start walking forward, then press left or right you wil start to turn gently. Stand still and you side step (without needing to pause). This to me seems the best way of doing it and leaves me scratching my head over why they altered it (aside from the delat for side stepping which comes across as bad programming).

2. Hopping. I've seen others noting the problem of Lara swerving left or right when she hops, seemingly trying to land on a computer chosen spot which is in thin air. I'm guessing this is something all pc users have had to suffer. Best not to mention The Breath of Hades puzzle to them. Often she will hop straight, but when you need to actually use the hop move, 75% of the time she swerves.

Over frenzied key pressing can hamper your progess in any Tomb Raider, but that's the player not coordinating his fingers properly. You shouldn't be held up by what are clearly defeciencies with the controls - swerving isn't something you learn to compensate for either - you turn her alittle to left because she swerved right last time you tried the jump. Well this time she swerves left. You're stuck reloading until she makes the hop properly.

3. Now alot of new moves came in with VI, at least for someone who hasn't played since III. The new grabbing system was bliss - auto climbing low obstacles, no need to hold the action key when grabbing and the introduction of a grab bar was fine with me - is it new to VI or was it added into IV or V - as it opened up new puzzle options.

4. The new stealth kill move was great, excepting it didn't seem to work unless the enemy was standing still. Also the new hand to hand moves. But when I read about the character evolution I was expecting to unlock additional moves by using these methods to go through the game. Equally I was anticipating that dual wielding pistols was something that you would be able to do if you shot your way through the game, in a similiar way that you obtain sprinting (except that it seemed impossible to NOT get the sprinit ability).

5. Staying with the character evolution. It seemed to boil down to a new way of solving puzzles. Instead of a locked door which you need to hunt down a key for you now have objects you can't drag (or jumps you cant quite make) and you need to hunt down a smaller object to drag first to get a strength boost. As I say, it wasn't what I was expecting, but I didn't see anything wrong with it. Clever reinvention of a basic puzzle (locked door/find key).

6. The Camera. Eek. Playing TRIII again I instantly noticed that pressing the look button overrode absolutely any camera angle, and after realising the look key, the camera remained in its accustomed position over Lara's shoulder. This allowed the best of both worlds. The fixed camera allowed you to see something important (potentially) while the overridding look key allowed you to properly position Lara. In TRVI alternate camera angles are fixed and it got annoying, fast :). It was at its worst on a small timed puzzle before Eckhart's Lab. You pull a lever then make 3 jumps to reach the now open gate before time runs out and it closes. Sounds enjoyable - one of those Indiana Jones moments that first showed up in TRII. Trouble is the camera dramatically moves to show you the gate opening and if you wait for it to swing back behind Lara you've no chance of making the run. You have to start the run while the cameras looking at you face on, from a distance. So you have to take several tries just to work out how much you need to turn Lara, watching from the other camera angle.

I felt many puzzles were over complicated by failing moves and the like, turning enjoyable, 5-10 minutes puzzles into hour long sessions spent reloading.

6. Boaz. If the designers intended for the player to have to switch targets in order for Kurtis to shoot the back "wings" then they really needed to include some earlier instances where target switching was essential to moving through a situation. Because I didn't have to use the retarget button, I, like many, blindly tried this encounter for too long, in my case, not even realising why it wasn't working... :/ Boaz MkII was much more like it. After two deaths I was onto the puzzles solution, and I only needed a few more to succede.

7. Kurtis - when he blew the doors off wuth his powers I wanted to play him, when he turned out to have less moves than Lara and played worse (not to mention I didn't like not being able to control the farsee ability) I really wanted to kill him a few times. But I hope he survives and they give him a better deal.

So, overall, the increase in moves was good, aside from what seem like bugs/bad design. Nothing wrong with the story, or the content. Alittle disappointed because I got some high expectations from reading such things as "character evolution" the wrong way. Final judgement has to be held back til I play it again, fully aware of when the bugs are coming, when the moves are gonna hamper me, etc.. and can just view the game behind the problems.

I'm going to get IV and V soon, so I may change my mind again when I find out all the things I liked about VI were aleady in those two games =D

Salvestrom (no, it's not my real name :P)

PS Although crashing didn't help mounting frustrations with the game, if crashing was the games only problem, well, I certainly wouldn't be making a post about how I crashed 4 times playing it. I'd shrug and reload it. Wouldn't be the first game that's crashed on me for some reason or another.

15th Jul 2003, 00:27
I've only been playing TR AOD for two days so I haven't been very far into the game. There is a lot to be liked about this game, however several nuances popped up.

In either the cutscene or in the game half of Pierre's face was backwards. The side that I could see had his eye popping out and was disturbing to see.

Lara's turns are too sensitive while walking up or down stairs.

Lara's image remained the same whether the area was light or dark.

Even though I found it entertaining to watch Lara move I still prefer first person type games. I like the camera to be where the characters eyes are located.

When I first started playing it would lock up when loading a saved game or changing scenery. The document at customer support solved that problem.


1st Aug 2003, 17:09
The most annoying thing for me in controlling Lara is that they dropped the previous TRs method of directional control. I.E. if you pressed the up button she would go forward in the direction her torso was facing no matter how she was oriented on the screen.
Now it is more complicated to try and fathom out what input will get the desired result, especially in tight "plummet to her death" type places. If she is not facing the route you want to take, you now have to push the stick in the percieved direction from your point of view and hope this translates correctly to the screen.
I hope you all understood that explanation!!!