3 Jun 2007

Tomb Raiding

Being a veteran home computer and PC gamer I was never really interested in the Tomb Raider games. But a lack of good new 360 games in April and May, the fact that I heard good things about Tomb Raider Legends and the unbeatable price tag of 20 Euro (new) seduced me to give ol' Lara a try. And I must say I'm enjoying the game quite a bit. The graphics are relatively simple but next-genish-enough (nice dynamic lighting and shadowing, although overall the game is a bit dark). The character designs differ a lot in quality. Lara is well done, but most of the other story characters ... not so much. I like the fact that Crystal Dynamics went with a clear comic style for the characters instead of going the realistic route or some mishmash style. And Lara's British accent is simply hot, thank the gods they didn't choose one of those typical American mickey mouse voices. The game feels best when climbing around in the levels, controlling Lara is very intuitive and the animations are very well done and connect to each other nicely. But where's light, there's also shadow:
  • Interactive cut scenes: this Quick Timer Event crap needs to go. It's the single poorest game play mechanic in all gaming history. The point is, humanity knows this since Dragon's Lair. But those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it. QTE's reduce the gamer to a trained lab-monkey who needs to push a button when the red light flashes to get his next cookie. Personally I'm slightly offended by this shit. Why did we suffer through millions of years of evolution when a chimpanzee could do the exact same job??
  • Some of the boss fights require heavy guesswork. At one time I even had to look for a walk-through in the intertubes because I was stuck. That's just poor. I don't want to trial-and-error my way through the game, I want to have logical clues presented how to proceed next, please. In contrast, most of the in-game puzzles are very well done and logical, but may require some serious hand-eye-coordination.
All in all, good game, but I guess it was the right decision to wait until the price comes down.

3 comments:

Thermo said...

I loved the first two TRs, but lost interest after 3. Legends might get me in the tombs again.

Chook said...

Loved the 2nd TR, also lost interest after 3rd. I remember I was amazed with water realization in 2nd, the underwater objects looked so real... Till now I can't remember if I saw such water in any other game, including the following TRs (it was a long time ago - possible that this is only my imagination :) ). 4th was awful, didn't play after that.

Eric said...

i never played much TR. But as everyone cheered about water realization in Legend I had to take a look onto it because I had to do water in our game.

After having a "professional look" i found it very disillusioning: only a single layer uv-animated bumped thingie with lots of ugly deformations and no alpha!! but was enough for lots of eyes though ;]