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Op Ed

Gamer Horizon - In Defense of Tomb Raider.
While I can understand the disappointment regarding how the game is not like the Tomb Raider of yesteryear, allow me to put it into some perspective. In 2005, a relatively unknown director with 2 indie films and one moderately successful remake undertook a reboot for a once popular and successful franchise. The reboot was a critical and commercial success, so much so that most people see them as the definitive version of the franchise. The filmmaker was Christopher Nolan and the film was Batman Begins. Hard to believe, but there are still people who prefer Tim Burton’s version.

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17. Re: Op Ed Apr 5, 2013, 03:30 Jivaro
 
Prez wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 17:39:
How can it be called "TOMB Raider" if by the author's own admission there are "very few traditional tombs" in the game? The puzzles and the exploration were the best thing about the Tomb Raider series; the combat has always been dreadful and by far the worst aspect of every game. So how am I supposed to feel about a "Tomb Raider" game that is combat-focused? Again I ask, how is that "Tomb Raider"?

I guess the simple answer is because tomb raiding requires a set of survival skills and this "origin story" game is about how Lara Croft gains those skills...and her confidence to use them...not how she gains her archaeology knowledge.

*shrug* Seemed totally natural to me. Now if the next game is also lacking in tomb raiding...that would seem odd.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 21:43 Cyanotetyphas
 
What difference does it make if its a reboot or a sequel? Either way you'll see updates to the controls and graphics and the playstyle will come more in line with modern conventions. I think TR just stood out because they stuck to the old ways for a lot longer than most games in the field.

Most games don't have any kind of overarching story to get up in arms about. One off city. Everyone has reboot fever though now, I guess because it's efficient rebranding.

I think they might as well just call it something else though it would be more interesting to me if I didn't know where the character was going to end up.
 
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15. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 17:47 N2NOther
 
Prez wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 17:39:
How can it be called "TOMB Raider" if by the author's own admission there are "very few traditional tombs" in the game? The puzzles and the exploration were the best thing about the Tomb Raider series; the combat has always been dreadful and by far the worst aspect of every game. So how am I supposed to feel about a "Tomb Raider" game that is combat-focused? Again I ask, how is that "Tomb Raider"?

To use the author's goofy comparison, it's the same as if the Chris Nolan Batman remake turned Batman into an flighty, disinterested old man who bumbled about solving crimes through keen eyes and deduction, Sherlock Holmes style. While it is definitely a good game in its own right, the new game ignores the basic theme of what made Tomb Raider "Tomb Raider". I'll never understand the need to "re-imagine" the most iconic franchises in gaming to the extent that they are virtually unrecognizable to older fans.

First of all thank you for reading!

Again, I need to reiterate that I am a huge fan of the series having played and enjoyed all of the console games. I completely understand your disappointment but as an older fan, I recognize Tomb Raider in the game. I am assuming you've played the game, and as such, you know that by the end, the seeds were very much planted for the series to return to a more traditional adventure while having made the combat much more enjoyable.

I wouldn't say the game is combat focused by any means though. Sure, there is more combat than in previous games but there is far more exploration and platforming than combat in the game. And like I said in the piece, I hope next time around Crystal D can bridge the gap a bit more with making more complex puzzles.
 
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14. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 17:39 Prez
 
How can it be called "TOMB Raider" if by the author's own admission there are "very few traditional tombs" in the game? The puzzles and the exploration were the best thing about the Tomb Raider series; the combat has always been dreadful and by far the worst aspect of every game. So how am I supposed to feel about a "Tomb Raider" game that is combat-focused? Again I ask, how is that "Tomb Raider"?

To use the author's goofy comparison, it's the same as if the Chris Nolan Batman remake turned Batman into an flighty, disinterested old man who bumbled about solving crimes through keen eyes and deduction, Sherlock Holmes style... and that's all he did for the whole movie.

While it is definitely a good game in its own right, the new Tomb Raider game ignores the basic theme of what made Tomb Raider "Tomb Raider". I'll never understand the need to "re-imagine" the most iconic franchises in gaming to the extent that they are virtually unrecognizable to older fans.
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 17:35 Asmo
 
Jerykk wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 16:37:
Cognitive dissonance is the least of the game's problems. The absence of challenging platforming and puzzle-solving is the biggest issue, particularly since those were the two pillars upon which the series was built.


Yeah, Croft was always about the archeology first and the murderous rampages second.

Shooting in the former games (particularly the early ones) was a minor art of the gameplay. I like the new TR game in it's own right but it did need a lot more puzzling/exploration etc (particularly since the game does have decent physics which could have led to fiendishly hard puzzles).

In the end, it was a fun game that I got close to 100%'ing so I'm pretty happy with it.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 17:04 KS
 
But...but...but it's the Heath Ledger reboot of Tomb Raider! We don't need no steenking puzzles!

I, for one, cannot wait for the Thief reboot. To hell with "first person sneaker". Gimme that console controller so I can leap around like Assassin's Creed, stabbing warriors in the top of the head!
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 16:37 Jerykk
 
Overon wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 15:16:
Problem with tomb raider is that the plot does not mesh well with a gameplay. Laura does not want to kill a deer for food, has a problem with violence against humans, and the next scene she's doing brutal executions as if it's gear of war. Makes no sense.

Cognitive dissonance is the least of the game's problems. The absence of challenging platforming and puzzle-solving is the biggest issue, particularly since those were the two pillars upon which the series was built.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 16:31 N2NOther
 
Overon wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 15:16:
Problem with tomb raider is that the plot does not mesh well with a gameplay. Laura does not want to kill a deer for food, has a problem with violence against humans, and the next scene she's doing brutal executions as if it's gear of war. Makes no sense.

That's not necessarily true. She is hesitant to kill because she has never done it. After she kills her first couple of attackers, she comments on how it was so easy it was scary. She never says she has a problem with violence against humans. Just because she has a visceral reaction to her first kill, doesn't mean she is morally against it.

Her execution kills come much later in the game as they are unlocked. It's actually right in step with the character progression as she is pushed further and further by her assailants.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 15:57 Verno
 
Overon wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 15:16:
Problem with tomb raider is that the plot does not mesh well with a gameplay. Laura does not want to kill a deer for food, has a problem with violence against humans, and the next scene she's doing brutal executions as if it's gear of war. Makes no sense.

I recognize this from a review but it isn't really true though, the game actually paces you to that point. You don't wring your hands about slaughtering deer then magically pump shotgun blasts into dudes in the next scene. Croft (and the player) go through quite a bit that leads her to the point where she realizes she has to kill to survive.

edit: beaten by jacob
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 15:51 jacobvandy
 
Overon wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 15:16:
Problem with tomb raider is that the plot does not mesh well with a gameplay. Laura does not want to kill a deer for food, has a problem with violence against humans, and the next scene she's doing brutal executions as if it's gear of war. Makes no sense.

She may not want to, but she knows she has to, that's the point of the entire story. She starts out a timid bookworm and gradually becomes the confident and capable badass we knew before. The transformation happens a lot more slowly and methodically than you repeatedly insist... (You don't get the ability to perform executions until much later in the game, and anything else like that happening before were acts of necessity.) It isn't until she's literally baptized in that lake of blood and guts in the final act that she, as a character, is really recognizable as one who a) seeks out violent conflict and b) is not overtly regretful of it afterward.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 15:16 Overon
 
Problem with tomb raider is that the plot does not mesh well with a gameplay. Laura does not want to kill a deer for food, has a problem with violence against humans, and the next scene she's doing brutal executions as if it's gear of war. Makes no sense.  
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6. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 14:33 N2NOther
 
InBlack wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 09:15:
Hmmm. Im sick of people comparing every reboot with Christopher Nolan and his fucking way too overrated trilogy. Sure the second movie was terrific, but the first and third were merely decent.

On a related off-topic note has anyone seen Dredd? Its fucking BRILLIANT. Now that is a great reboot, briliant cinematography (reminds me soo much of Blade Runner), gritty atmosphere and just the right mix of cliches and a very believable future and a proper villain. You know one that isnt EVIL for evil's sake like ala 50's cartoons.

Anyway back on topic, Ive never been a fan of Tomb Raider since it always felt like an Indiana Jones ripoff, just with more tits and ass.

While opinions are clearly subjective, and I happen to disagree with yours a Nolan's Batman trilogy, the point here was more that there are fans of Burton's Batman who still don't like Nolan's Batman Begins but the movies were incredibly successful. As films, commercial movies and a reboot.

And yes, Dredd was really good. Though it suffered a lot in the third act. Dredd getting shot was a non-issue, and his confrontation with Ma-Ma was anticlimactic to say the least. With that being said, I liked it quite a bit. Too bad it was such a flop that a sequel is unlikely.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 13:24 fujiJuice
 
InBlack wrote on Apr 4, 2013, 09:15:
On a related off-topic note has anyone seen Dredd? Its fucking BRILLIANT. Now that is a great reboot, briliant cinematography (reminds me soo much of Blade Runner), gritty atmosphere and just the right mix of cliches and a very believable future and a proper villain. You know one that isnt EVIL for evil's sake like ala 50's cartoons.

Yeah I loved it, and I have a lot of respect for Karl Urban for agreeing to do the movie without ever seeing his face. I can imagine most actors scoffing at the idea, hell Sylvester wore the helmet for like 10 seconds.

I watched some of the behind the scenes on the BluRay, it is funny/interesting how they filmed the exterior stuff in Johannesburg and had to add/change very little.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 09:30 InBlack
 
Yeah thats what I meant, its exactly what a Judge Dredd movie needs to be, the action is great and believable (apart from that one scene, which was still fun) and I feel that they left the exposition off screen on purpose, maybe saving it up for an even better sequel??

In any case it blew me away probably because I expected another generic action trash flick. I would rank it higher than all these superhero movies combined, apart from Watchmen and TDK.
 
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3. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 09:23 Verno
 
Dredd was fine as a straight action vehicle but it has the most shallow characterization ever, you learn practically nothing useful about the protagonists without knowing the background ahead of time. It could have used a little less slow-mo 3d and a little more exposition. It was a good action movie though and I like that they didn't try to beat you over the head with social commentary.

I thought Batman Begins was good, TDK was excellent, TDKR was mediocre and bloated.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 09:15 InBlack
 
Hmmm. Im sick of people comparing every reboot with Christopher Nolan and his fucking way too overrated trilogy. Sure the second movie was terrific, but the first and third were merely decent.

On a related off-topic note has anyone seen Dredd? Its fucking BRILLIANT. Now that is a great reboot, briliant cinematography (reminds me soo much of Blade Runner), gritty atmosphere and just the right mix of cliches and a very believable future and a proper villain. You know one that isnt EVIL for evil's sake like ala 50's cartoons.

Anyway back on topic, Ive never been a fan of Tomb Raider since it always felt like an Indiana Jones ripoff, just with more tits and ass.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Apr 4, 2013, 09:07 Verno
 
I was initially very disappointed to hear about the Tomb Raider changes but gave it a chance and ended up loving the game. My biggest complaint was that the tombs were just one off puzzles without any depth. I really like what they did with collectibles though, many of them are hidden in plain sight with metroidvania style progression and others are just a puzzle unto themselves to obtain. Figuring out the proper path and terrain traversal to get some of them is fairly rewarding. It's one of the few games I've bothered to try getting 100% in every area because I found it entertaining instead of a grind.

The games narrative and Lara's character were well written too, very interesting mix of Uncharted and Indiana Jones. The voice actor for Croft did a great job, conveying vulnerability but determination brilliantly. That they managed to make Lara an interesting female protagonist without focusing on her sexuality or being contrived about female empowerment is a rare thing in the industry.
 
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