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Tomb Raider Review Thread!

CoolS

Member
They won't even charge you until they get a key. I preordered last week and they haven't charged me yet, no key. Besides, when pre-loads come up (if TR gets one), it's usually the Thursday/Friday prior to release, so I doubt they'll get a key until at least then.

That's at least good to know then, thanks.
 

sonicmj1

Member
I really empathise with games reviewers, particularly the good ones with a keen, critical eye. Gamers are quite happy to get on board the hype train at the very first stop, and woe betide the reviewer who wants to drive his car onto the tracks and say "hey, this game might not be everything we . You can blame the anemic, non-committal nature of previews, but we feed this beast in a way that differs from other media, be it music or cinema. Gamers become emotionally invested from following these games over a period of typically 2-3 years that they develop some kind of Stockholm Syndrome. It's only sometime after the fact that we can then have a measured and informed discussion about the fact that, say, Twilight Princess might not be the greatest Zelda game ever made, and that Jeff Gertsmann may have had some valid concerns with the game. However, in the immediate aftermath, it's more "fuck that guy, what does he know about that game, when I've been following it for three years."

It cuts both ways. It's not a coincidence that some people have been praising the Rev3 and Machinima reviews, both of which are below the general average.

Perhaps choosing these opposite extremes isn't quite fair, but you have posts like this...
The reviews that I read/watched (GT, Kotaku, Eurogamer, Edge, Rev3games and gamespot) all mentioned most if not all of the gameplay complaints I had. The thing is they all go on to basically say "the sum of its parts make it good" and I disagree with that. Because they're basically saying the gameplay blows but the story and other non gaming parts make up for it, and unless we're talking about adventure games (most recently the walking dead) who purposely set out to not have a ton of gameplay, story and "character development" doesn't make up for bad gameplay in a video game.
which are purposefully blind to the things those reviews praised, and then posts like this:

Played a lot more. The game continues to keep its great pacing, it is quite remarkable. Unfortunately, I have run into a couple of the over long shootouts. Looks like Lara falls victim to this problem as well. Also, pointless collectibles. That shit really irks me. It is cool to hunt around the different areas finding stuff but I wish they had found better stuff to hand out to the player. Another thing I didn't mention earlier is how incredibly atmospheric this game is. Crystal really deserves some credit for the design of the island. This place they have you traveling puts even a lot of horror games to shame. You notice it right off but some of the later areas really show off some talent.
Bu....bu....but Amir0x told me they destroyed the atmosphere!
... where Tricky cherry-picks the one positive point while ignoring the pointed critiques of tedious shootouts and pointless collectibles.

So there are people on both sides trying to take a bunch of data points and assemble them into the narrative they expect. And there's enough evidence that they can all be right at the same time.

In pretty much any review thread, the prerelease reviews are just fuel for a game's defenders or detractors. They never swing anything one way or another. I guess it's fortunate that people who are on the fence (people who can best use those reviews) can just look at the original post, read the reviews themselves, and avoid all the bickering.
 
I don't think you get a key until the game is released. I'm pretty sure Amazon don't release keys before the actual release date. I think GMG has released steam keys for preorders early but that's more the exception than the rule for Steam key preorders from other sellers.
 
Speaking of atmosphere, I really hope our PC Modding Overlords release a mod which hides the obnoxious "20 Murder Points For Axing Someone In The Skull" pop-ups every five seconds. They completely ruin the atmosphere of the game, and when someone does bring out a mod like this, I'll pick the game up. It's not Tomb Raider anymore, but it looks like a well-made open world Uncharted game, which is interesting to me. The mutually repellent "cut-scene Lara" and "gameplay Lara" is something I can live with, if only for the unintended camp value of the cut-scenes as a consequence.

*heroic upshot closeup of Lara*

MAKESHIFT LONGBOW
NEW GEAR ACQUIRED

CD be kickin that fourth wall's balls.
 

Deadbeat

Banned
LOL, this is great.

A large sect of GAF shits on the game for months. Game gets great reviews anyways. Day one.

New Hitman game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.

New Devil May Cry game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.


I am now confused as to why you are championing this pattern and feeling somehow you are proving people wrong when the game is pointing towards poor sales.
 
I gotta vouch for the atmosphere in the game as well. Just superbly done. I still find myself drawing comparisons to Alan Wake, mostly in terms of incredibly well done atmosphere/world , sound design, and sense of scale. So you Alan Wake fans that love it for those very reasons, should find a lot to like in Tomb Raider. Also I've felt that so far there is a good mixture of platforming, exploring, and mystery behind the game as well. Also while you do kill quite a few people, I do feel like I'm forced to kill these guys. They are brutal, they want you dead and it's a kill or be killed world. I like it. I truly feel she is out to try to survive regardless of how many times people want to show the animated gif of her blasting a bad guy point black range.
 
But that isn't what he said. And I don't think I'm superior. I was just stating my opinion. Nobody should rely on review scores especially in gaming.

Well not entirely. But if a game does look interesting from the get go and has a high review score I think its a sufficient enough reason to splurge on a game.

But i agree on just relying on review scores though as i made that mistake on Far Cry 2.
 

Solo

Member
But that isn't what he said. And I don't think I'm superior. I was just stating my opinion. Nobody should rely on review scores especially in gaming.

Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned scores. Here's a revised statement that still has what I was getting at:

LOL, this is great.

A large sect of GAF shits on the game for months. Turns out the game seems like it might be pretty great anyways. Day one.
 
I don't think you get a key until the game is released. I'm pretty sure Amazon don't release keys before the actual release date. I think GMG has released steam keys for preorders early but that's more the exception than the rule for Steam key preorders from other sellers.

Yeah, that's what I fear is the case. I wanted the Steam key early, so I could at least use a VPN and play it Monday.
 

Erasus

Member
I gotta vouch for the atmosphere in the game as well. Just superbly done. I still find myself drawing comparisons to Alan Wake, mostly in terms of incredibly well done atmosphere/world , sound design, and sense of scale. So you Alan Wake fans that love it for those very reasons, should find a lot to like in Tomb Raider. Also I've felt that so far there is a good mixture of platforming, exploring, and mystery behind the game as well. Also while you do kill quite a few people, I do feel like I'm forced to kill these guys. They are brutal, they want you dead and it's a kill or be killed world. I like it. I truly feel she is out to try to survive regardless of how many times people want to show the animated gif of her blasting a bad guy point black range.

Well, damn. Played through Alan Wake last month and loved it for the atmosphere! Imma get this then as I also like the Uncharted series. I just hope there is a demo so I can see if my 7770 can handle dat hair tech.
 

IoCaster

Gold Member
After watching that GT review I was left scratching my head a bit. In any case, most of the reviews really prove out what I suspected when the game was first revealed in that they were taking the franchise in a direction I would not like. When I reflect back on playing some of the earlier games it never once occurred to me that the series needed more combat and less tombs/puzzles. Now that they've made most of the tombs/puzzles optional and forced ultra-violent combat into being the primary focus of the game it doesn't appeal to me in any way. Actually, regardless of the fact that it's considered a reboot, I'm having a difficult time reconciling the fact that they named it Tomb Raider™ when it barely resembles any of the previous incarnations and tombs are optional. That type of disconnect is pretty damn jarring to an old fan like myself. This is certainly a game that I can do without and from my perspective I have to consider the franchise dead at this point. :|
 
I gotta vouch for the atmosphere in the game as well. Just superbly done. I still find myself drawing comparisons to Alan Wake, mostly in terms of incredibly well done atmosphere/world , sound design, and sense of scale. So you Alan Wake fans that love it for those very reasons, should find a lot to like in Tomb Raider. Also I've felt that so far there is a good mixture of platforming, exploring, and mystery behind the game as well. Also while you do kill quite a few people, I do feel like I'm forced to kill these guys. They are brutal, they want you dead and it's a kill or be killed world. I like it. I truly feel she is out to try to survive regardless of how many times people want to show the animated gif of her blasting a bad guy point black range.

Thanks for that. Yep, Alan Wake's atmosphere in the first game is exceptional.
 

Sn4ke_911

If I ever post something in Japanese which I don't understand, please BAN me.
A 7.5 from X360A.



Damn, that's freaking cool!
 

Lime

Member
Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned scores. Here's a revised statement that still has what I was getting at:

I think the problem with your statement, Solo, is the fact that you reduce the stated criticisms of this game as being countered by the quality review scores, when the reviews already corroborate and repeat what people already had a problem with, e.g. ludonarrative dissonance.

So, I don't think "GAF shitting on big-budget Game X, yet still gets high review scores by the mainstream press" invalidates the former. In fact, we have seen numerous times how mainstream game reviewers suffer from a severe lack of critical thinking, especially when it comes to being seduced and blinded by technical polish. Arthur Gies demonstrates this perfectly:


As I mentioned on the last page, you're a better poster than your knee-jerk reaction and if you had read the criticisms properly, you would understand the situation a bit better than a simple "lol GAF".
 

Ricker

Member
I gotta vouch for the atmosphere in the game as well. Just superbly done. I still find myself drawing comparisons to Alan Wake, mostly in terms of incredibly well done atmosphere/world , sound design, and sense of scale. So you Alan Wake fans that love it for those very reasons, should find a lot to like in Tomb Raider. Also I've felt that so far there is a good mixture of platforming, exploring, and mystery behind the game as well. Also while you do kill quite a few people, I do feel like I'm forced to kill these guys. They are brutal, they want you dead and it's a kill or be killed world. I like it. I truly feel she is out to try to survive regardless of how many times people want to show the animated gif of her blasting a bad guy point black range.

Hey Slasher,did you make one of your reviews yet for this or waiting to finish it I guess..? looking forward to it.
 

Jawmuncher

Member
New Hitman game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.

New Devil May Cry game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.


I am now confused as to why you are championing this pattern and feeling somehow you are proving people wrong when the game is pointing towards poor sales.

But lets look at this, if lets say all these games were the way GAF wanted. Do you really think the sales would have been better?
In my opinion if this was Tomb Raider but more akin to the original formula, I'd bet it'd probably sell about the same. The same goes with just about everything even DmC.

Though obviously without a time machine well never know.
 
Hey Slasher,did you make one of your reviews yet for this or waiting to finish it I guess..? looking forward to it.

I'm still waiting to finish it. Once I get done with singleplayer I'll get started on it. Most likely I'll post it on the OT. Should be up over the weekend or monday. I probably won't even touch multiplayer though. As people know, multiplayer is just not my thing.
 

XOMTOR

Member
New Hitman game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.

New Devil May Cry game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.

Haha interesting observation, wonder if Tomb Raider will follow suit. Myself, I'm not purchasing until it hits a Steam sale, by which time my money will do nothing to advance the possibility of this franchise continuing on its new trajectory.
 

Solo

Member
haha, I didn't mean to sound harsh. From what I've gathered beforehand, you just usually seem to post better, that's all.

Oh no worries, I just felt as if I were a child being scolded :lol

Honestly a lot of the criticisms (both GAF-invented and player/reviewer-confirmed) aren't things that particularly bother me, so I feel that based on what I've read, I should hopefully enjoy the game.
 
New Hitman game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.

New Devil May Cry game was criticized by GAF for its design decisions. Gets high review scores. It sold poorly.


I am now confused as to why you are championing this pattern and feeling somehow you are proving people wrong when the game is pointing towards poor sales.

Absolution didn't sell poorly. In the UK at least it's the best selling game in the series. Did well on the year-end charts across Europe too.

What about Tomb Raider is pointing towards poor sales? All the exposure its gotten? The positive reception so far? The big marketing budget? It'd take a miracle for it to NOT be the biggest TR since the PS1 days.
 

Kitoro

Member
I've only read the OP so far, and I'm impressed!

Any word on performance between the PS3 and 360 versions? Come to think of it, any word on the PS3 version at all yet?

I have a strong feeling this game will get a souped-up Director's Cut launch with PS4/720, but I could double dip.
 

Derrick01

Banned
Absolution didn't sell poorly. In the UK at least it's the best selling game in the series. Did well on the year-end charts across Europe too.

What about Tomb Raider is pointing towards poor sales? All the exposure its gotten? The positive reception so far? The big marketing budget? It'd take a miracle for it to NOT be the biggest TR since the PS1 days.

Absolution bombed extremely bad, so bad that SE won't even acknowledge that it exists anymore. It did well in the continually tanking UK market where it was half price almost immediately after release.
 

Harts316

Member
Great to see this game turned out so good!

It looks like steam has all of the pre-order bonuses unlocked. With 10% off it's a no brainer to pre-order.
 
Absolution bombed extremely bad, so bad that SE won't even acknowledge that it exists anymore. It did well in the continually tanking UK market where it was half price almost immediately after release.

There's a trailer for it in the extras section on the Tomb Raider disc ;)
 
Absolution bombed extremely bad, so bad that SE won't even acknowledge that it exists anymore. It did well in the continually tanking UK market where it was half price almost immediately after release.

Tomb Raider is a much bigger franchise than Hitman ever was though. It's been getting some damn good marketing too, and the brand is a household name - I can see this doing quite well.

I'm gonna pick this up as ShopTo have it for £30, and I'm in the mood for a violent cinematic action game. I see there have been a few comparisons drawn to the Uncharted series already, and I absolutely loved that series - so if this is a well done clone or a polished/engaging TPS then I'm all on board. My issues with it being a reboot won't detract from my enjoyment of it as an individual product (hopefully).

If I were to write up a review of Tomb Raider and post it on my own (amateur) blog, would it be fine to post it in this thread btw?
 

nel e nel

Member
I think the problem with your statement, Solo, is the fact that you reduce the stated criticisms of this game as being countered by the quality review scores, when the reviews already corroborate and repeat what people already had a problem with, e.g. ludonarrative dissonance.

So, I don't think "GAF shitting on big-budget Game X, yet still gets high review scores by the mainstream press" invalidates the former. In fact, we have seen numerous times how mainstream game reviewers suffer from a severe lack of critical thinking, especially when it comes to being seduced and blinded by technical polish. Arthur Gies demonstrates this perfectly:

You're assuming that all subjective experiences have some sort of objective analysis that everyone must kowtow to. "Ludonarrative dissonance? Minus 2 points. Not enough emphasis on raiding tombs? Minus 1.5 points." People complain about boxes being checked off a list for a game's elements, and then condemn reviews that refuse to demerit a game by a certain amount for every flaw they find, no matter how slight.

It's perfectly normal for people to recognize flaws, and still award something with a high score. (aka the fun parts outweighed the bad parts for them; the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts)

It's also perfectly normal for people's opinions to vary on subjective experiences. So one person's 10 will be another person's 3.

I've been reading several of the reviews and while almost all of them mention the weird narrative disconnect at the beginning of the game, almost all of them also say they quickly forgot about it and went on with enjoying a well crafted experience. Of course, YMMV, so what one person can overlook or forgive another will find intolerable.

Reviews are opinions, nothing more, nothing less. The best we can do as readers/buyers, is to find reviewers who's tastes line up the closest to our own so we can have some sort of guidepost as to whether or not we'll enjoy a particular release.
 
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