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Thread: Are Tomb Raider reboots trying to do to much?

  1. #1

    Smile Are Tomb Raider reboots trying to do to much?

    Been thinking but since the last reboot and this one follow the same vein. Does it feel to anyone else who is a Tomb Raider fan that the reboot games are trying to do to much? Such as action with gun play, bows, stealth, tombs, stories, multiple characters, platforming, cinematics, puzzles, treasure, world building????

    Seems like all of those things are in the new games is it possible its just to much of everything which kind of detracts from the overall experience as a whole? From the TR2013 game right from the start it felt a bit handholdy? Maybe if some elements were focused on isntead of all the all of the above approach the game would be more distinct instead of coming off like white noise in the action genre? Animations in the game are great with alot of attention to all those areas mentioned above, really leaves a thought about how great it might be if instead they just chose a couple things to focus on???

  2. #2
    I can't speak for rise yet thanks to the lovely exclusion deal but for the reboot I think the expression jack of all trades but master of none comes to mind. It was a check list of all the at the time popular trends. Automated platforming with no challenge, optional tomb raiding but compulsary 3rd person cover shooting, qtes, cinematic setpieces falling over every two steps, grim dark nolan origin story and tacked on deathmatch multiplayer are just a few examples.

    While it did many things the implimentation of them ended up being shallow and the main thing, the actual whole point of the series being a tomb raider and the gameplay associated with it became this little "optional" side diversion every couple of hours for everything else. They say tomb raiding is back in a big way in rise as if there was any justification for it to be absent in the first place, apparently there is 9 in the new one and well if they are anything like the last games "tombs" they will be over in 9 minutes.

    A reboot doesn't give licence to erase all that came before, it is still meant to retain the essence subject material. You don't see batman go around slaughtering hundreds of people like the terminator in nolans origin story because that goes against the core of the character and like wise you don't see him giving up the costume, the gadgets remain, as does the mansion, the butler, the wealth, the and most importantly the personality. New lara however is practically unrecognisable it's not like oh this is the woman who will become the tomb raider one day, it's just this completely new thing, a new ip with different aims/goals and sensibilitys which has hyjacked a famous name to do so.

    I hope rise is different because doing all these different marketing bulletpoints half heartedly (things like they say you can swim again... but unfortunately only in the most basic sense of the word or people talking about going to these great looking locations just for them to be nothing more than backgrounds for yet more combat) has took away what made it unique and used to differentiated the series from everything else on the market.

    At the very least considering how in love the reboot is with shooting things you would have thought the dual pistols would have been a no brainer here but I am hearing that in rise the duals are still not back in favor of the self proclaimed "iconic bow" instead.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    New lara however is practically unrecognisable it's not like oh this is the woman who will become the tomb raider one day, it's just this completely new thing, a new ip with different aims/goals and sensibilitys which has hyjacked a famous name to do so.
    That is very true and I do hope that we see our Lara the Tomb Raider again in the future. CD seem to be trying very hard to steer away from classic Lara and go their own way. Even just a small amount of fan service would have gone a long way.

    Don't get me wrong, TR 2013 & RISE are awesome games, but they have more in common with 'Uncharted' than 'Tomb Raider'.
    "Aha!" - Lara Croft (1996).........."Arrrghhhh!" (2016)
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  4. #4

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    I can't speak for rise yet thanks to the lovely exclusion deal but for the reboot I think the expression jack of all trades but master of none comes to mind. It was a check list of all the at the time popular trends. Automated platforming with no challenge, optional tomb raiding but compulsary 3rd person cover shooting, qtes, cinematic setpieces falling over every two steps, grim dark nolan origin story and tacked on deathmatch multiplayer are just a few examples.
    Hmmm thats a real interesting thought. Enjoyed the whole post but this really stuck out about the platforming. Something in the game should be difficult or tedious. As mentioned in another part of the post, maybe the traditional element of the platforming being difficult requiring skill would be nice to see be more challenging in the future? Reading an Interview with a CD Developer, Noah mentioned that Lara's deaths in a tomb should feel like they have repercussions or leave some impact on the player. Currently since the platforming is so automated it doesnt feel like there is much "impact" for us as players either when we succeed or fail. Maybe making us use more skill in platforming where when we succeed we feel "impact" and fail could work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    While it did many things the implimentation of them ended up being shallow and the main thing, the actual whole point of the series being a tomb raider and the gameplay associated with it became this little "optional" side diversion every couple of hours for everything else. They say tomb raiding is back in a big way in rise as if there was any justification for it to be absent in the first place, apparently there is 9 in the new one and well if they are anything like the last games "tombs" they will be over in 9 minutes.
    After reading this part, its something def been feeling but couldnt put into words, thanks for taking time to post this part. Seems like the games are all kinda backwards where the tombs should be the focus and the story optional. Its like making a Deus Ex game where you just play as a regular person and go around hating augmentations like Lara Croft said "I hate tombs", it just feels backwards in these reboot Tomb Raider games where the Tombs are optional and the story is the primary focus instead of letting the tombs tell us the story.

  5. #5
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    In answer to the OP, no I don't think the new TR games are trying to do too much. I think Rise is the best TR game ever. It has a range of difficulty levels, a range of skill sets and weapons, the ability to play in different styles. It mixes up different game play - I spent the majority of the time roaming around on my own exploring. There are extra challenges and side missions to add further play time. The Expedition modes are another optional way of enjoying the levels and add competition if you want it. The collectables are a reasonable number and help you build XP etc to progress in the game. You can choose to race through the story and go back or do as I did and do some additional stuff along the way then mop up after. 50+ hours without the forthcoming DLC is good value in my book.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BridgetFisher View Post
    Been thinking but since the last reboot and this one follow the same vein. Does it feel to anyone else who is a Tomb Raider fan that the reboot games are trying to do to much? Such as action with gun play, bows, stealth, tombs, stories, multiple characters, platforming, cinematics, puzzles, treasure, world building????
    In recent weeks I played a new Pokémon game, some of JC3 and a new Sonic game. All of them stayed rigidly to their format (Pokémon has for game after game) and yet all of them I really loved. I loved them because they did what they do but did it well. It isn't always about reinventing the wheel.

    CD have this concept of the 3 pillars system: combat, traversal and puzzles. TR(2013) had a bit of an imbalance in that mould focusing on the combat neglecting the others but from what I hear the puzzles were the best bit of ROTTR. The TR(2013) platforming was rather automated and I feel there needs to be more of a skill component in lining up/executing the jumps. I think as it is Tomb Raider far more/bigger tombs (with big puzzles) and less automated platforming would be positive. When you get the pillars in balance it works and the feedback of ROTTR seems to back this up. More layers can be okay but keeping it simple enough that all 3 pillars shine though is best.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlueSkiesXXV View Post
    That is very true and I do hope that we see our Lara the Tomb Raider again in the future. CD seem to be trying very hard to steer away from classic Lara and go their own way. Even just a small amount of fan service would have gone a long way.

    Don't get me wrong, TR 2013 & RISE are awesome games, but they have more in common with 'Uncharted' than 'Tomb Raider'.
    I love it when you have these fan service moments where they put something in deliberately for the fans and things that can appear tiny can raise the game to a different level for those who get the reference. I would go as far to say it would be foolish not to include the classic outfit.

    I feel reboot portrayal of Lara is like a diluted Lara. Still some essence of Lara but missing that impact to amaze. When CD (and perhaps Rhianna specifically) start to embrace more the aspects of Lara (like astrocratic background, fashion style, dark humour) rather than running from them will make it a lot better. Not to say is bad now but would be way better.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Error96_ View Post
    I loved them because they did what they do but did it well. It isn't always about reinventing the wheel.
    Wow, this is so funny for me to read, and not in a bad way, far from it. Earlier today I was playing a Sega Genesis/Megadrive game from 1991 and recording it for my YouTube (not a plug, I swear.) and as I always try to do I was explaining what I liked about the game and what kept me coming back to it and I literally could not think of any other reason than that alone. A great game doesn't have to be innovative or a "groundbreaker", it just has to be well made and a lot of fun to play. Those are the 2 things that I think will hold a game up to "The Test Of Time". This probably isn't much worthy of a response, and I'm sorry if it's wasted anyone's time but yeah, I agree 100% with that particular sentiment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Error96_ View Post
    I feel reboot portrayal of Lara is like a diluted Lara. Still some essence of Lara but missing that impact to amaze. When CD (and perhaps Rhianna specifically) start to embrace more the aspects of Lara (like astrocratic background, fashion style, dark humour) rather than running from them will make it a lot better. Not to say is bad now but would be way better.
    Who said they haven't embraced these aspects of Lara? They may not have used them yet but that doesn't mean they haven't. The point is as you said, this is reboot Lara and her story hasn't yet reached a point where these aspects can surface.
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  9. #9
    Good video on platforming from Tomb Raider to New Raider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQRr3pXxsGo and what has been lost in the transition. They are completely different philosophys between classic and new, best example of this the trex in cores original vs anniversary

    In the original lara goes into the valley and out of the darkness emerges this monster and the player has to deal with it right there and then it's an amazing moment, in anniversary the game stops you in your tracks to say hey look this is important, this is epic look at this cutscene look at what is happening. The original understands that the best story telling in videogames is to just let the player experience it themselves through interaction while anniversary has to take control away in a misguided attempt to ape hollywood.

    The reboot took this line of thought to extreme where more importance is placed on the narative than on player interactivity. Climbing to the top of the radio tower should of have been a really exciting sequence but if all you do is push up with no possibility of falling down what's the point anymore, all style no substance.
    Last edited by Larafan1996; 29th Dec 2015 at 15:31.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tecstar70 View Post
    Who said they haven't embraced these aspects of Lara? They may not have used them yet but that doesn't mean they haven't. The point is as you said, this is reboot Lara and her story hasn't yet reached a point where these aspects can surface.
    It is either that these aspects are yet to emerge or not there as a point of separation from classic Lara. I hope the first is true.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    Good video on platforming from Tomb Raider to New Raider https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQRr3pXxsGo and what has been lost in the transition.
    I agree on this issue of too much automation taking the excitement and skill out of the traversal style and making you feel a bit disconnected from the character. I loved the style of lining up jumps rather than missing but the game saves you. The return of manual grab option may help may players feel more connected to the Lara movement but should really be a default of toughest difficulties than add-on. Still glad to see this in there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Larafan1996 View Post
    They are completely different philosophys between classic and new, best example of this the trex in cores original vs anniversary

    In the original lara goes into the valley and out of the darkness emerges this monster and the player has to deal with it right there and then it's an amazing moment, in anniversary the game stops you in your tracks to say hey look this is important, this is epic look at this cutscene look at what is happening. The original understands that the best story telling in videogames is to just let the player experience it themselves through interaction while anniversary has to take control away in a misguided attempt to ape hollywood.
    The original Lost Valley sequence is one of my favourite gaming moments of all time alongside the St Frances Folly Thor room. There was a real suspense element to the Core titles that you could enter a new area and get ambushed or find yourself in a trap. Now too often in gaming generally such events triggers a cutscene and any shock value of the attack is gone. Some of the bits like the T-rex, TR2 yetis/ floating island statues, TR3 Tinnos monsters are very scary and you know the danger of attack but not what the trigger is. This feels more organic with exploration themes than a cutscene broken-up style but modern games tend to sacrifice suspense for narrative.

    The second thing is I have to say that the scary tune that it plays when you enter that area is just so incredible. You hear that tune at any point in the game and immediately set your pulse racing and like 'ahh!! what's coming at Lara. Nathan Mcree's TR work is amazing to bring emotion and atmosphere. I wish CD would bring back the idea of set panic music scores like each time I hear this particular tune awful things about to happen.
    Last edited by Error96_; 30th Dec 2015 at 03:05.

  11. #11
    "A bit" handholdy? Hell, trying is optional in these two games. There is absolutely no challenge whatsoever. As much as I love the environments in the second one, it's the perfect example of how zombifying games of today are. In the first Tomb Raider challenging parts struck fear into you since you couldn't save that often. In this one? Don't worry, the last checkpoint is only some seconds away. And all of the supposedly depth-providing aspects are optional, unnecessary. Stealth? Why bother when you can just gun your way through an entire base of enemy soldiers? Tombs? Nice, you get extra skills to use on your uninspired main adventure. Only problem is you don't need them since you're invincible anyway.

    Exploration? Just follow the icons in true this-gen fashion! It's all on the map, so keep hunting for those blue, green and golden spots. Pf ...!

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Error96_ View Post
    It is either that these aspects are yet to emerge or not there as a point of separation from classic Lara. I hope the first is true.



    I agree on this issue of too much automation taking the excitement and skill out of the traversal style and making you feel a bit disconnected from the character. I loved the style of lining up jumps rather than missing but the game saves you. The return of manual grab option may help may players feel more connected to the Lara movement but should really be a default of toughest difficulties than add-on. Still glad to see this in there.



    The original Lost Valley sequence is one of my favourite gaming moments of all time alongside the St Frances Folly Thor room. There was a real suspense element to the Core titles that you could enter a new area and get ambushed or find yourself in a trap. Now too often in gaming generally such events triggers a cutscene and any shock value of the attack is gone. Some of the bits like the T-rex, TR2 yetis/ floating island statues, TR3 Tinnos monsters are very scary and you know the danger of attack but not what the trigger is. This feels more organic with exploration themes than a cutscene broken-up style but modern games tend to sacrifice suspense for narrative.

    The second thing is I have to say that the scary tune that it plays when you enter that area is just so incredible. You hear that tune at any point in the game and immediately set your pulse racing and like 'ahh!! what's coming at Lara. Nathan Mcree's TR work is amazing to bring emotion and atmosphere. I wish CD would bring back the idea of set panic music scores like each time I hear this particular tune awful things about to happen.
    Great post. Thought about that as well: All of the dangers (if they could even be called that) being introduced in cut-scenes really takes away from the experience. Obviously, with checkpoints around every corner no sense of danger will be invoked anyway.

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