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View Full Version : Do anybody think that Eidos/Crystal Dynamics should reboot the Tomb Raider series



yendor1613
12th Jan 2009, 17:04
I feel like Tomb Raider should get a reboot as far as the combat system. TRU (Tomb Raider: Underworld) has great graphics, challenging puzzles, one of the best if not the best realistic platforming and an interesting story. The only thing that has been holding Tomb Raider down for so long is the combat system. It is still basically the same (with very tiny updates) as the Tomb Raider games from PS1 days which was almost 13 years ago. I feel like they should not reboot the game series as a whole (story, character, and gameplay).

They should keep all the great things that comes with Tomb Raider (platforming, puzzles, swimming, acrobatics, motorcycle/motorboat sequences, timeline of the storyline, characters, & Lara's strong but emotional personality) that set trends for other games while they should just tear down and reboot the whole entire combat system.Even before TRU released all the developers were talking about what she can do as far as platforming goes, the story, and how the weather system looked so great They ever barley talked about the combat system unless it was convenient to the platforming. They are like 13 years behind with their combat system. What they need to do is take like a four year break and come out with anew combat system for Tomb Raider and let flow from their.

Jonesy
12th Jan 2009, 17:13
The combat system is definitely antiquated -- the notion of having to shoot a lizard twelve times just to kill it is completely outmoded in today's world of gaming.

Yet I think combat _needs_ to be part of the franchise. Getting rid of it altogether would probably kill the game in U.S., I'm sad to say -- pure adventure gaming has been in decline here for the past ten years, unlike in Europe.

How about if Tomb Raider had something the reverse of what Quantum of Solace has? Lara remains in 3rd person mode for jumping and climbing, but when all hell breaks loose, we shift into first person mode for some crazy gangsta action? :D

rg_001100
12th Jan 2009, 19:00
The combat system is definitely antiquated -- the notion of having to shoot a lizard twelve times just to kill it is completely outmoded in today's world of gaming.
The concept of health, healthpacks, jumping vast distances, shimmying across ledges, pulling ancient switches to open ancient doors, artefacts from an ancient civilisation that is the basis for all civilizations, infinite ammo pistols, etc. are all unrealistic, and "outmoded" in today's world of gaming. Games will always be unrealistic, it's a part of their fun. Shooting a lizard, tiger, or whatever, a dozen times is good fun for people who like that kind of thing; if anything the acrobatic system Lara has doesn't quite back it up as well as it used to. I don't think there's anything wrong with that stylised combat, any more than there is anything wrong with infinite ammo pistols, or other unrealistics within TR. Stylised combat against animals is a staple of the series.


How about if Tomb Raider had something the reverse of what Quantum of Solace has? Lara remains in 3rd person mode for jumping and climbing, but when all hell breaks loose, we shift into first person mode for some crazy gangsta action? :D

I don't know about this idea; consider the difficulty with the camera that people would have. There're plenty of complaints about it already.
I'm not sure how QoS deals with it, but to my understanding it is a FPShooter (in theory) for the standard part of the game, but it implements a cover system (which is 3rd Person) so you can shoot badguys without being badly shot up.
FPShooter controls are a full set of controls within themselves; cover system controls are fairly arcade. (Up/duck, left/right, aim/shoot, leave cover).
Combining the full set of acrobatic controls for 3rdPerson raiding, with another set of FP controls just for combat :hmm: It's has high potential to be annoying as hell. Beyond any difficulty in control, it would limit of combat to only when Lara is not running around in acrobatics.

In terms of mechanics for combat, I don't think they should stray from the 3rd Person view they have now. To make combat more intense, they could allow harder difficulty settings to "free aim" the weapons, rather than the standard lock on aim; to make the combat more challenging for those who go into TR for the challenge of combat, while letting those who don't want such a challenge to retain the lock-on system. The lock on system I don't think is the biggest issue with combat. (I don't consider it an issue, although it could be an area to look into).

Enemies are probably the biggest area in TR that could be improved. The animal enemies in TR:U were pretty good, Lara's acrobatics/dodging weren't up to scratch to meet them as they were in previous games, though.
Human enemies are probably the enemies that need the most attention; they act like targets rather than mercenaries, or humans. There is a bit of AI in them, but not quite smart enough. They should be able to operate behind cover (like JB in QoS), (give Lara that ability, too), and should be able to operate cleverly. If Lara is hiding behind somewhere as cover, they should be smart enough to know how to flank her, just to challenge the player in combat. There should be tough, semi-boss humans that pack a fair punch (like taking 50-100 bullets to kill, and with a rocket launcher or a chaingun, or dual shotguns, etc.). This sort of thing would be more exciting than just mercs placed into the level.

Anarae
12th Jan 2009, 19:24
Reboot again?

Two developers, three reboots already. Something isn't right here. :(

Jonesy
12th Jan 2009, 19:37
The concept of health, healthpacks, jumping vast distances, shimmying across ledges, pulling ancient switches to open ancient doors, artefacts from an ancient civilisation that is the basis for all civilizations, infinite ammo pistols, etc. are all unrealistic, and "outmoded" in today's world of gaming.


Not really. You still have health and health packs in games like Medal of Honor. As for the rest of it, those elements aren't "outmoded" in the sense they've been replaced by something better.

Combat's different, though. The combat in games has become much faster paced and intense, so the leisurely situation you have in Underworld where you can perch on a ledge and fire several rounds into a lizard as it rolls about helplessly _is_ antiquated, and can actually detract from the enjoyment of the game. Legend and Anniversary took steps in the right direction to improve combat with bullet time and special moves, but at least in the Wii version of Underworld, there was none of that!

What happened? This is one area where going "back to basics" is a _definite_ step in the wrong direction, and if the goal is to generate good buzz about Tomb Raider, I can guarantee you keeping combat as is will generate the most derision in reviews.

You make good points about the possible pitfalls of FPS mode. It might be difficult, but it's at least a fresh idea on combat. And to me it's always awkward to have her move around and move the reticle around at the same time in third person mode - much easier to do as a FPS.

And I agree enemy AI _needs_ to be improved. The grave robbers in the Mexico level were just pathetic.

GoLarago
12th Jan 2009, 20:00
I realize that health packs and unlimited ammo isn't realistic. But I like them it fits the game style. I like to be able to horde my health. I find regenerating health takes from the skill needed to play the game. Gee no need to worry about my health, if I'm hurting ,let me step behind this rock while my health regenerates. In stead of damn I got a small health pack left, I've only got one quarter of health on my bar ,humm what shall I do? More challenging to me.

One thing that has really started bugging me maybe over the last 2 years is all this screaming for realism---why. Why this constant push for realism. A small group of super geeks that have the money to run Crysis at 600 fps keep wanting more. Most people can't afford it and don't really see much of a difference. Give me good solid game play, controls, story and Aod or Legend level graphics is more than adequate to me. I appreciate better graphics than that but that is not the reason I would buy or hate a game. If you want eye candy get HD cable with a HD TV. It's will always at least for a long time to come be better looking than any game can be.

I actually thought about not FP but over the shoulder camera whenever a weapon is drawn. You kind of get the best of both. I'm a rabid FPS but I'd miss Lara if she went FP. Wouldn't mind it as an unlockable view though.

rg_001100
12th Jan 2009, 22:42
...Legend and Anniversary took steps in the right direction to improve combat with bullet time and special moves, but at least in the Wii version of Underworld, there was none of that!


On the next-gen platforms of TR:U, there were adrenaline, bullet-time moves, some advantages and disadvantages of the adrenaline moves in TR:L and TR:A.
A lot of people were upset with the Wii version of underworld, compared to the next-gen version. I hear a lot of the enemies were left out of the Wii version, etc. (there was a lot of ranting about it a while ago), so I'm not sure if you know about the combat of the next-gen versions enough to speak so poorly of it.

One thing that they messed up with was the super-weapon of Tomb Raider: Underworld; it lead to an arms race in terms of combat, and killed off that section for the rest of the game. :hmm: Combat was no longer about this cool, stylised acrobatics, but about spamming the shoot button. Before then, combat vs. animals was damn good.


I realize that health packs and unlimited ammo isn't realistic. But I like them it fits the game style. I like to be able to horde my health. I find regenerating health takes from the skill needed to play the game. Gee no need to worry about my health, if I'm hurting ,let me step behind this rock while my health regenerates. In stead of damn I got a small health pack left, I've only got one quarter of health on my bar ,humm what shall I do? More challenging to me.
ReGen health the way underworld did it was nice; don't get hurt and you recover up to 25% health. It allowed Lara to go around the environment without being so concerned about dying, and still kept enemies a significant danger.
"Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway" doesn't really have a health system; the player will fully heal behind cover, and will die if in a position where exposed to danger. I thought it was pretty neat, but I doubt it would work with Tomb Raider.
There was more strategy in healthpacks when it was the tradition big/small combo. AoD overdid it in terms of variety. I like the big/small configuration, it works well. One healthpack to restore health to 100% just isn't as fun.



I actually thought about not FP but over the shoulder camera whenever a weapon is drawn. You kind of get the best of both. I'm a rabid FPS but I'd miss Lara if she went FP. Wouldn't mind it as an unlockable view though.

Perhaps FPS as a switch/toggle view; but even then it would require "free aim" controls from a 3rd person perspective in combat. If they do go with "free aim", then perhaps it might be interesting if the platforming aspects were allowed to be first-person as well (it would be pretty dull, but it would be consistant).

Jonesy
12th Jan 2009, 22:50
so I'm not sure if you know about the combat of the next-gen versions enough to speak so poorly of it.


Well, that's why I specifically mentioned the Wii, didn't I? :rasp:

But as I mentioned, bullet time and special moves are only _steps_ in the right direction. The innovation will need to continue in order to make combat feel not only relevant, but fun -- a reason to buy the game for the uninitiated, and a draw for those who left the franchise out of frustration.

And I'm not sure just how much even bullet time would enhance the experience of shooting a helpless lizard from a safe vantage point. :)

The over the shoulder idea isn't bad. Or toggling between FPS and 3rd person view at will, allowing the gamer to choose what works best for him/her.

rg_001100
12th Jan 2009, 23:16
So long as they do not over-emphasise any new feature they put in, and don't make bullet time too easy. If all the combat sequences require, or can be done with bullet-time, then it's just not a good look.

Same thing applies with cover systems in games, it is often overused and overemphasised, so that it becomes a critical feature in combat rather than an enhancement of it. I have read reviews that are annoyed about this in UDF, and in QoS. In BiA:HH I found that the cover system had heavy emphasis. The health system is based on cover, exposure being deadly. I found that just ducking behind a ledge in First Person view (not using the cover system), would still be hazardous compared to pressing the "take cover" button, which would *instantly* heal the player. It was odd enough to be a pain. BiA:HH did lighten up on the use of suppression, (shooting at an enemy so he doesn't shoot at you, using a red indicator to show how suppressed the enemy is), and although suppression was important for making moves, it let up a bit to make room for the cover system.

Forcing the player to do things a certain way is tedious, and I hope they steer away from this.
TR:L's "Aerial Assault" (the adrenaline move) was cool, and I don't think it was overemphasised because of the need for the player to be up close to the enemy. A little odd, though, and it didn't require adrenaline; it was free, could be done any time on any enemy.
TR:A's Adrenaline Dodge wasn't quite as good, although had some interesting ideas.
TRU's Adrenaline moves were good; the use of the adrenaline meter as a player stat was nice. Concentrated fire was good; the Headshot should've borrowed a bit more from the Adrenaline dodge, but was still pretty good.