Tomb Raider Review Thread!

Morrigan Stark

Arrogant Smirk
It's mostly casuals and people who never really played the classics beyond a superficial level that think the old games were "shitty".Also people who have become way too comfortable with today's automation and handholding trends in gaming.For these people the upcoming TR seems to be a blessing but for oldschool TR fans (those who didn't give a shit about Lara in the first place) this direction is the final nail in the coffin.

I can sympathize with this, but.... no, the old TR games played like shit, bad controls and camera ruined it for me and many others. And I'm not one for the hand-holding at all, as my favourite games are Demon's and Dark Souls.

I would have preferred the new TR were a puzzle/tomb exploration game with minimal combat but with modern, updated production values and fluid controls over it being Uncharted 2 redux, sure, but I can't say I'm terribly sad that it's not.
 
Yeah trying to know who to beleive when it comes to reviews, especially the journalist can be tough. Look at the rocky road they have traveled and continue to do so. I'm not saying discredit their thoughts, but the idea of their views being tainted or skewed in favor or not is there for a reason. It's happened in the past and could happen again.

Now everyone has different expectations for a long running franchise. When you change it and some of the core fundementals of a game, your going to piss off or alienate some people. There is simple no way around it. Alot of people came to Tomb Raider for the lack of combat, the heavy exploration and puzzles.

With my time spent on the game. I can say while there is still minor puzzles, there is some platforming goodness, and there is alot more combat. I really like the combat and it feels pretty good, granted I'm playing on hard my first go so sometimes the enemies feel like they can really take a beating. So yes the core gameplay has been altered completely in many ways. I've been a huge Tomb Raider fan and I've enjoyed almost every iteration sans Angel of Darkness and Chronicles and even those I didn't hate. With that said I really am enjoying this rebirth, restart, remake... whatever you want to call it. I'm much more accepting of changes though and generally have a postive look overall so you could consider my viewpoint skewed but at least I'm very honest about it.

What the new Tomb Raider does have is great atmosphere, some amazing visuals and locations, the feeling of exploring and discovery is somewhat there, not completely but I still have been awe struck by the scenery and finding notes that are explaining either backstory to some of my crew or the legend on the island. I still don't know why the enemies are after me, and that makes me feel vulnerable because all I know is since the very first encounter is that : They want me and they want my friends dead. But why? I still don't know and the mystery behind the island is slowing starting to take shape. So yeah the game still has some ideas and elements from Tomb Raider and for what this new envision is, I'm absolutely loving it. Though I'm accepting of change. Now I know alot of people are saying "Lara is just a hard core killer now" and yeah if you look at it from that way then yes your right. Though I feel they absolutely gave me the impression that these guys are out to kill anyone that gets in their way and Lara, will defend herself as much as possible. I have a machine gun at this point but still haven't been able to pull off that animated gif, so not sure if that unlocked later or what.

I still need to play deeper into the game because I'm fairly certain I've only played a fraction of what the game offers. I've only done one tomb after all and yes it was short. Though I still felt that level of excitement and expploring when coming upon it. This will vary depending who you ask, but as a game I'm absolutely enthralled and compelled to keep playing and love the world Crystal Dynamics have crafted here. As a long time Tomb Raider player and fan, this is a different beast, and I'm ok with that, but this won't get anywhere close to repeating the same feeling the first Tomb Raider did. This is a whole other beast in comparison.
 

Kinyou

Member
I'd love to see what was going on during the development of the game. How could anyone think that this fits to the game's premise?

(from the GT review)

Kind of a shame because I was actually interested in playing a more human protagonist.
PC has next-gen hair effects and 16 times higher texture resolutions (and obviously rendering higher resolutions and lots of AA as well):
I wish there was some demo to test if my PC can handle that hair.
 

Mr_Zombie

Member
Still a better option than trusting GAF for that.

You know, I don't understand this kind of thinking.

First, GAF isn't an entity therefore you have a bunch of folks, each with different taste in games that pay attention to different things. While a game like Enslaved was mainly prised by reviewers, on GAF you could read opinion of gamers both who enjoy the "experience" type of games, and gamers who prefer pure gameplay over the focus on pretty scripted sequences; you have people who think the story was deep and characters were well developed, and have people who were bashing both the story and characters and could point what they think were wrong with them. That way you have a full picture of what the game is about according to various people and it's your choice who you will listen to.

Secondly, we have to pay for our games and usually want to get as much as we can from the game before putting it aside. Reviewers get the game for free and have only a limited time to spent with the game, so very often they rush through it, play it on easy/normal difficulty level (and that is important in certain genres) or sometimes don't even finish the game. You also have cases like the one with GiantBomb (IIRC) and RE6, where the guy who was reviewing the game didn't even know you could dodge and glide - something that adds a lot to the whole combat system (and something that you could discover by simply checking what does each button do during the game).

And third, you can discuss with those people, ask them questions, ask for explanation for their opinion, why do they think this is bad or that is good etc.

So even if Gaffers can hyperbole things and very often either hate games for the sake of it or join the hype train and praise games, I think that getting opinions from GAF is still better than getting it from reviews printed in magazines or posted online. Especially if you don't plan to buy the game day 1 and thus can wait for the hype/hate to calm down.
 
I'd love to see what was going on during the development of the game. How could anyone think that this is fits to the game's premise?

Well the premise with these guys unrelentless wanting to kill you and your friends, I feel it's fair enough to say she is fighting as brutal and they are. Dog eat Dog world. I feel it fits within the context of what's going on in the game, but wether or not that should have been included in a new Tomb Raider game altogether is the real question.
 

rvy

Banned
I'd love to see what was going on during the development of the game. How could anyone think that this is fits to the game's premise?

(from the GT review)



So, so terrible. They thought this was a good idea why? It just portrays Lara like a psychopath. I guess you don't have to use it, but it's fucking hilariously bad.
 

Kammie

Member
Going through some more reviews, I decided to take a chance on the PC version, though the focus on murder and the lack of tomb raiding doesn't appeal to me in the least. At best, it'll be a competent action game, and at worst I'll be out 34 bucks.
 

Kinyou

Member
Well the premise with these guys unrelentless wanting to kill you and your friends, I feel it's fair enough to say she is fighting as brutal and they are. Dog eat Dog world. I feel it fits within the context of what's going on in the game, but wether or not that should have been included in a new Tomb Raider game altogether is the real question.
I kind of get that, but it feels weird that some college kid is suddenly doing these Gears of War executions. I think they could have implemented those differently, maybe with Lara acting less cold blooded or something like that.
But yeah, I guess you're right, the real question is if these executions were really necessary for a tomb raider game.
 

XOMTOR

Member
I'd love to see what was going on during the development of the game. How could anyone think that this is fits to the game's premise?

(from the GT review)

Kind of a shame because I was actually interested in playing a more human protagonist.

Crystal seems to have borrowed quite a bit from the Uncharted franchise so it wouldn't be surprising if they "borrowed" a finisher like this from The Last of Us. Unfortunately, it's out of place in the context of this game and the franchises past.
 

RagnarokX

Member
I kind of get that, but it feels weird that some college kid is suddenly doing these Gears of War executions. I think they could have implemented those differently, maybe with Lara acting less cold blooded or something like that.
But yeah, I guess you're right, the real question is if these executions were really necessary for a tomb raider game.

When you first start shooting dudes, multiple enemies will remark about how good a shot Lara is as a seeming handwave of why Lara has such skill.
 
I kind of get that, but it feels weird that some college kid is suddenly doing these Gears of War executions. I think they could have implemented those differently, maybe with Lara acting less cold blooded or something like that.
But yeah, I guess you're right, the real question is if these executions were really necessary for a tomb raider game.

Exactly. Only because we have a history of Lara and other games can we say it feels a bit out of character. If this was a new IP we probably wouldn't think as much of it, cause I know when playing, I want these guys dead. They want me dead and I know they will stop at nothing to kill me so I'll do what it takes to survive. It really reminds me of one of those survival/action drama movies where the character is forced to fighting even though they don't truly want to. Yet then I'm like wait... this is Lara Croft. It can feel a bit off when you tihnk about it. Granted I'm past those feelings now. I hate these guys because I still don't know why they want me dead and are pushing so hard to kill me. Fuckers will pay. :p
 

Shinta

Banned
I kind of get that, but it feels weird that some college kid is suddenly doing these Gears of War executions. I think they could have implemented those differently, maybe with Lara acting less cold blooded or something like that.
But yeah, I guess you're right, the real question is if these executions were really necessary for a tomb raider game.

I think they're awesome. From a fight choreography standpoint, the gifs I've seen are fucking sick. I think it's more likely that they just hired a really creative guy with an eye for cool melee kills in the mo-cap department.

And yeah, it does fit. The whole introduction of the game is just brutality. Yet, she survives. How do you think she manages to do that? By digging down deep and being more brutal than they are. Sounds awesome to me.

No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.
 

RagnarokX

Member
Exactly. Only because we have a history of Lara and other games can we say it feels a bit out of character. If this was a new IP we probably wouldn't think as much of it, cause I know when playing, I want these guys dead. They want me dead and I know they will stop at nothing to kill me so I'll do what it takes to survive. It really reminds me of one of those survival/action drama movies where the character is forced to fighting even though they don't truly want to. Yet then I'm like wait... this is Lara Croft. It can feel a bit off when you tihnk about it. Granted I'm past those feelings now. I hate these guys because I still don't know why they want me dead and are pushing so hard to kill me. Fuckers will pay. :p

No, it's out character in the context of the game itself. These finishers aren't desperate moves of someone fighting for survival. They're much too stylish.
 

Shinta

Banned
They're much too stylish.

If that was my only complaint with a game, I think I'd be pretty happy.

And I just want to note how insanely ironic this all is. The biggest complaint I heard from everyone was that they were depicting Lara as too weak. Now everyone's bitching because she's too strong?

Seriously?
 

Sn4ke_911

If I ever post something in Japanese which I don't understand, please BAN me.
I'd love to see what was going on during the development of the game. How could anyone think that this fits to the game's premise?

(from the GT review

What the hell were they thinking? so fucking terrible.
 
I think they're awesome. From a fight choreography standpoint, the gifs I've seen are fucking sick. I think it's more likely that they just hired a really creative guy with an eye for cool melee kills in the mo-cap department.

And yeah, it does fit. The whole introduction of the game is just brutality. Yet, she survives. How do you think she manages to do that? By digging down deep and being more brutal than they are. Sounds awesome to me.

No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.

I like you. Good comment.
 
No, it's out character in the context of the game itself. These finishers aren't desperate moves of someone fighting for survival. They're much too stylish.
Yep. Taking somebody who is already downed, and then putting a shotgun up against their chin and pulling the trigger is seriously fucking sadistic, period.

Does the game explain or contextualize this at all? Or is it just in there because its *cool*?

No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.
You gotta be kidding. Lara is a well-known character. Sex has nothing to do with it. You are kidding, right?
 

antitrop

Member
Crystal seems to have borrowed quite a bit from the Uncharted franchise so it wouldn't be surprising if they "borrowed" a finisher like this from The Last of Us. Unfortunately, it's out of place in the context of this game and the franchises past.
Looks like something far closer to Spec Ops: The Line or Dead To Rights.

Although not quite as sadistic as either of those.
 

Derrick01

Banned
Can't wait to read Derrick's impressions. Real talk.

At first I wasn't sure if I'd be able to since I was going to use gamefly and they're notoriously shaky on new game releases for me, sometimes taking weeks to get it out, but I decided to buy the PC version for $27. I'm not the kind of person to "make a stand" with money unless I'm not going to play it at all, and since I was still going to play it I decided to not put myself through a shitty console version.

So no matter how bad or good the game ends up being at least I won't have to worry about how it looks. Hopefully my PC can handle that hair tech.
 

Shinta

Banned
How have you managed to avoid all the complaints about Nathan Drake's warpath up to this point

I heard people say it's weird that Drake doesn't seem to care that he kills a lot of people. I heard people say it's weird that he's such a jovial joker after snapping necks.

I never once heard anyone say that they are uncomfortable with him snapping necks, or that it's too stylish. People enjoyed it, clearly. The 3rd game sold the best out of all of them didn't it?
 

Kinyou

Member
No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.
If it makes you happy, I didn't like the protagonists switch from college kid to cold blooded murderer in Far Cry 3 either.
 

Andrew.

Banned
At first I wasn't sure if I'd be able to since I was going to use gamefly and they're notoriously shaky on new game releases for me, sometimes taking weeks to get it out, but I decided to buy the PC version for $27. I'm not the kind of person to "make a stand" with money unless I'm not going to play it at all, and since I was still going to play it I decided to not put myself through a shitty console version.

So no matter how bad or good the game ends up being at least I won't have to worry about how it looks. Hopefully my PC can handle that hair tech.

All of the bashing, and yet you still give them your money lol
 
No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.

Well, except for all the people who make exactly the same observation about Drake. So much so that Uncharted's own ludonarrative dissonance is practically a running joke. And the same about Issac (or Brossac) in Dead Space. But sure, ignore that if you like.
 
No, it's out character in the context of the game itself. These finishers aren't desperate moves of someone fighting for survival. They're much too stylish.

Well you don't have to use them, as a matter of fact, I've never done it once so far. It can be a point of griping but I don't think its enough to ruin a solid fun game. Then again I don't analyze shit to that extent like some of you folks do. It's a game. I'm shooting and killing people trying to kill me. Fair enough. Now if I was walking into a persons home, fast asleep, not trying to kill me, just doing there thing... you know sleeping, and no context of why I'd hate said person enough to kill them. Then I'd feel pretty appauled.
 

RagnarokX

Member
If that was my only complaint with a game, I think I'd be pretty happy.

And I just want to note how insanely ironic this all is. The biggest complaint I heard from everyone was that they were depicting Lara as too weak. Now everyone's bitching because she's too strong?

Seriously?

Complaining about her being weak? People have complained about the amount of unavoidable scripted damage thrown at her. The irony is that the developers described old Lara as teflon, but this Lara has autoregenerating health, survives abuse that would have killed old Lara, and is way more brutal in her killing.
 

Derrick01

Banned
All of the bashing, and yet you still give them your money lol

If we had respectable consoles I wouldn't have to, but I simply cannot do another sub HD 20fps game. I just can't do it anymore man. Besides it's not like I can't afford it and I got nothing else to spend it on until Last of Us comes out.
 

Mr_Zombie

Member
No one would ever even ask this question if it was a man. Kind of ironic to see this much soft-sexism from the game's critics.

It's not sexism. It's just that the protagonist is a young, "vulnerable" teenage girl from rich house who just got on her first adventure. And according to the PR we "will want to protect her". It's simply out of character for her to do the things she is doing.

And if this was a young inexperienced teenage boy many would probably still criticize the game for those finishers. I mean, can you even imagine Harry Potter walking around and brutally murdering deatheaters by blowing their heads off or thrusting pickaxe into their spine? C'mon.
 

Andrew.

Banned
If we had respectable consoles I wouldn't have to, but I simply cannot do another sub HD 20fps game. I just can't do it anymore man. Besides it's not like I can't afford it and I got nothing else to spend it on until Last of Us comes out.

You're telling me you have zero interest in Ascension too? I mean, it doesnt do much for me either, but I figured you'd at the very least want to check it out from a technical/contrast n' compare perspective. That's the only reason why I have any intrigue about it anyway.
 
Well, except for all the people who make exactly the same observation about Drake. So much so that Uncharted's own ludonarrative dissonance is practically a running joke. And the same about Issac (or Brossac) in Dead Space. But sure, ignore that if you like.

Um, what. lol there is no end to people making strange complaints about things in games.
 

Derrick01

Banned
You're telling me you have zero interest in Ascension too? I mean, it doesnt do much for me either, but I figured you'd at the very least want to check it out from a technical/contrast n' compare perspective. That's the only reason why I have any intrigue about it anyway.

I have God of War paid off with gamestop credit. I do like the series but it's hard to muster up any of the excitement I had for 1, 2 and 3. I'm guessing it won't sell as well either on the purely anecdotal evidence that my local gamestop didn't sell enough to have a midnight opening for it, a first for them.
 

Shinta

Banned
It's not sexism. It's just that the protagonist is a young, "vulnerable" teenage girl from rich house who just got on her first adventure. It's simply out of character for her to do the things she is doing.

And if this was a young inexperienced teenage boy many would probably still criticize those finishers. I mean, can you even imagine Harry Potter walking around and brutally murdering deatheaters by blowing their heads away or thrusting pickaxe into their spine? C'mon.

Literally everyone was bashing this game because she was depicted as vulnerable. They said the old Lara is far tougher and that this is a grievous insult to a female icon because it robs her of her power. They compared it to Metroid: Other M or 3rd Birthday.

Now you guys are mad she's not vulnerable and is instead quite strong?

I expect the worst from message boards, but this kind of hypocrisy surprises even me.

And yeah, I do think it's sexism, completely. Is the guy in Watch Dogs a hardened killer? Looked like a hacker to me, but no one cares that he's sliding over cars, beating people with retractable metal sticks and then executing them at point blank range. No one gives a fuck about this kind of thing, ever. Only when it's a woman apparently. Too weak, too strong. I'm sick of it.
 
There lies the problem in your logic.The first 5 TR games are still being loved by the majority of long time fans and they want the core elements of the series to remain and be improved without being dumped down and dilluted like they have been in the past 3 Crystal games and from the look of things in the upcoming one as well.

It's mostly casuals and people who never really played the classics beyond a superficial level that think the old games were "shitty".Also people who have become way too comfortable with today's automation and handholding trends in gaming.For these people the upcoming TR seems to be a blessing but for oldschool TR fans (those who didn't give a shit about Lara in the first place) this direction is the final nail in the coffin.
Others have pointed out, including myself, that we were fans of the old games and we don't have too much of a problem with the direction it's going. I'll admit that they could've done something "better". Who knows....maybe they'll surprise us with some awesome DLC that has minimal combat and is just exploration and puzzle solving. It wouldn't surprise me at all. The Lost in Nightmares DLC for RE5 seemed like it was made for fans of the old games.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and say he probably only liked TR1 and TR2.

I personally like 1, 2, and Last Revelation. I barely liked Last Revelation, but it was such a step up in level design from 3 that I ended up enjoying it. I don't like Chronicles for the same reason I don't like TR3....I didn't enjoy the levels and the game was already stale as fuck by TR3, so Chronicles certainly wasn't helping that. Angel of Darkness I don't think I really have to say much about that mess.
 
Literally everyone was bashing this game because she was depicted as vulnerable. They said the old Lara is far tougher and that this is a grievous insult to a female icon because it robs her of her power. They compared it to Metroid: Other M or 3rd Birthday.

Now you guys are mad she's not vulnerable and is strong?

I expect the worst from message boards, but this kind of hypocrisy surprises even me.

And yeah, I do think it's sexism, completely. Is the guy in Watch Dogs a hardened killer? Looked like a hacker to me, but no one cares that he's sliding over cars, beating people with retractable metal sticks and then executing them. No one gives a fuck about this kind of thing, ever. Only when it's a woman apparently.

Lara Croft has got by being "strong" for years without vicious finishers trying to overcompensate for the amount of torture they put her through. It's like the game can only act in extremes, going from torture porn weakling to visceral Gears of War executions. It's like there's no middle-ground anymore.
 

Lime

Member
And I was responding to your implication that game reviewers are a bunch of idiots who are easily entertained, by showing that your opinion does not negate their experience/review score. It's a two-way street.

And by calling out journalists for not thinking critically and then citing Arthur Gies as an example, yes, you did take it into subjective vs. objective analysis territory.

"If a game I don't like gets a high score, the reviewer must not be thinking critically enough."

This is the same argument that comes up every. fucking. time. the debate about games reviews comes up, and all it really boils down to is that people just want their biases confirmed.

So far, all the reviews I've watched and read have been very well thought out and balanced, with equal parts praise of Tomb Raider's strengths and criticism leveled against it's weaknesses, and yet the overwhelming majority of the scores are 8s and above.

The point of my post was to show that reviews don't negate people's criticisms. That was the primary purpose.

However, on a side-note, I did make the arbitrary statement that reviewers are in general not incredibly thoughtful or thorough when they assess their games. This does not impact my above claim, but I'll still elaborate on what you seem to misinterpret. Reviewers mostly have a blockbuster-like quantitative approach to their reviewed games where they tick off what features the game in question has without any qualitative description of their experiences. See Bennett Foddy's twitter conversation with Arthur Gies as an example of this. It boils down to a similar imaginary scenario in which the majority of film critics gave Michael Bay or Ronald Emmerich films 8-10/10 simply because they had nice effects and were decently shot. This is currently the state of the mainstream game reviewers and thus they sorely need to apply higher standards to the things they are reviewing.

Basically they don't have a coherent methodology and they don't think about the consequences of the experience they are having. It's rare to see a mainstream game reviewer ponder about aspects of a game like: What's the over-arching theme of the game and is it successfully depicted? How do the mechanics impact the emotional state of the player in relation to what experience the developers are aiming for? What is the history of the genre and how does the game relate to its past entries? Does the game provoke or motivate any thought on specific issues in the world and how well is it executed? Does it draw upon any prior aesthetics in other media and if so how is its take on the affinities? If the game relies on its narrative, are the characters well-rounded and properly portrayed in relation to the story's intention? And on and on. These are just some examples of deeper questions that reviewers often don't pose to themselves during reviews, but keep in mind that they are only suggestive.

My problem with game reviewers has nothing to do with confirmation bias, but rather the low standards and lack of thinking that most reviewers display. It is unfortunate and somewhat offensive that you reduce some people's problems with game reviews to a simple "people are only looking for reviewers to confirm their own initial bias".
 
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