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Had enough of Tomb Raider: Underworld

January 16th, 2009 · No Comments · Gaming

Well I wasn’t impressed with Underworld much besides the visual quality of the game. Underworld is stunning in its visual detail and lighting and overall environmental design. If I could just watch the whole game being played I would – I’d pop the popcorn and sit back to watch the story unfold in the various beautiful settings. Unfortunately I can’t do that. Instead I’m forced to puzzle my way around the levels, spending the majority of my time climbing, swinging and hopping around ruins. Every now and then I get attacked but that mainly involves me running around in circles and shooting repeatedly. There’s no manual aim (that you can use while moving) and my guns pretty much have unlimited ammo so what’s the point in being conservative? It’s just hold down L2 to target and blast away until everything is dead. *yawn*

Plus the game bothers me technically a lot. Lizards and people seem to die in the most awkward of poses, many times lizards would die half inside of a wall. Bats seem to spawn out of a single point in thin air to attack you. The animation system has no real means of transitioning smoothly between a lot of moves – the worst is an example I highlighted in my last post about people having to die standing up. The camera has a few issues when Lara is hopping and climbing around. Has anyone else entered the area with Shiva’s statue and noticed one of the lizards running in a circle on the wall down the corridor to the left? I could target it, but could not damage it at all when I shot it or stuck a sticky grenade on it. And it failed to notice me – it just kept circling on the wall. WTF?

The clincher for me however was this:

This is where you use Thor’s Gauntlet to move the pedestal around the circle to advance to the next location. Well if you move it past the exit, you can retrieve the Artifact that is next to the statue of Thor. However despite spending more than 30 minutes trying to figure out how to get the pedestal rotated back to the exit and get back on top of it, I couldn’t. I think I was close at one point, but then I slipped off the ledge at the base of the pedestal and died. Again. So in desperation I tried to grapple the ring back at the start of the puzzle by jumping off the top of the pedestal. I was successful, climbed back up and ran back to where the level started, jumping into a pit to kill myself hoping that it would reset the pedestal. Well the pedestal did not reset and I did not revive atop it, which meant I was now stranded out of reach of the pedestal. I exited and restarted the game but upon resuming it dropped me straight back to the same spot, where you see in the screen above.

This means I would have to load my last saved game, which would take me about 2 hours back. No thanks, I’m kinda sick and tired of climbing around so much and I don’t have enough stake in the franchise (this being my first and only Tomb Raider game) to want to continue for the sake of the story. I’ll most likely end up trading this in towards a copy of Uncharted, as that was borrowed from a friend and I don’t own it. I’d rather play through that a fourth time than bother continuing with Underworld. Sorry Lara, you’re hot and all and fun to watch, but not fun to play.

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