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More Tomb Raider thoughts

January 9th, 2009 · 1 Comment · Gaming

As I suspected, the gunplay in Tomb Raider is nowhere near the level that Uncharted managed to acheive. You pretty much lock on and shoot at stuff, and it seems you have a limited range in which you can deal out damage as well. You can switch between targets, and Lara will even divide her attention between two seperate targets when oppurtunities present themselves, but it’s all rather simplified action. Plus there are no cover moves. You can run and dodge and hide behind things, but you can’t take cover behind objects. Additionally, the crouch is not a toggle, which means you stuck holding O with your thumb and can’t maneuver the camera (R stick).

Getting close to enemies seems to be the best solution, as you can then shoot them and deliver melee attacks at the same time. However it seems that enemies can only die standing up. If you knock them to the ground with a melee attack and then kill them with a gunshot, they’ll pop back up to die and fall back down again. This puzzles me, as when Lara dies she clearly goes ragdoll, so why can’t the enemies go ragdoll when they die and just lay on the ground if they’re already down there? Why did they need to have a dying animation? I guess the upshot is that they end up dying in a variety of funny-looking positions:

It looks like he's *still* dying

I screwed this one up but you can still see his arm stuck through his leg

I screwed this one up but you can still see his arm stuck through his leg

This one made me laugh. Hes just sitting there. Dead. Hahaha

another guy looks like hes not yet dead

another guy looks like he's not yet dead

I’ve also been having a bit of trouble with getting around the levels, but I think there’s some mentality to the game that I’m just not getting having not played any prior Tomb Raider games – at least that’s what I’m telling myself to keep believing I’m not an idiot for taking like 5 minutes to figure out I had to jump across the top of the cargo containers on the ship to get to the next area. There are also times it’s not so obvious to me where I should leap to next when climbing along ledges and pillars and whatnot; I have to work the camera around to spot my next goal. Uncharted was much better in angling the camera automatically to show you where you had to go next.

However one thing still going for Tomb Raider is that it is undeniably beautiful when you’re outdoors, and has a nice dark mood when inside temples. It is, in my opinion, prettier than Uncharted, and this makes me all the more excited for Uncharted 2 because it’s supposed to be drop-dead gorgeous and I’m betting it will beat out Tomb Raider. Still, drinking in the visuals helps to get me past the rest of the game’s frustrations.

Oh and I got to battle tigers. That was cool but again, not as cool as I imagined it would be. Even the tiger animations seemed a bit rougher than I remembered from gameplay videos for some reason. The adrenaline headshot system is pretty sweet – actually any kind of slow-mo gunplay is pretty sweet so there’s nothing particularly cool about this except for an excuse to go all Matrix and kill with one shot. Which is awesome.

And if I Get Your Fail publishes the last two screens that I send them, I’ll pass along this one as well:

The diagonal line you see there is some kind of tear in the world. It’s a texture strip or something that can only be viewed from this angle, if you move the camera to the other side it disappears. At first I thought it was a rope or wire or something Lara could clamber up, until I ran through it of course. If anyone else wants to find it (if it’s replicable, I didn’t test that) go to where you first encounter the tigers. If you walk towards that spot along the creek you should see it to the right.

So, Tomb Raider continues to be mediocre but I think, even though the game has its issues, that’s largely the fault of me being utterly spoiled rotten by Uncharted.

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