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Old 01-05-12, 11:33   #31
dcw123
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Watched the movie ''Thor'' the other night and it really opened my eyes to Underworld's and Legend's storylines alot..

I didn't know much about Norse Mythology, and I feel Underworld left ALOT out..

Here's what i gathered ..

1) The portal Lara and her mother used in both games is a gateway operated by the Guardian (Heimdallr) to Asgard - home of the Gods.

2) This gateway is named the Bifröst - a burning rainbow bridge that reaches between Midgard (the world) and Asgard, the realm of the gods.
These bridges/portals can be seen at the start of the last set of levels in underworld under the ice.. At the end of the bridge would be the portal to another realm..

Note Midgard Serpent - literally means the World Sepent .. fitting

3) Yggdrasil, the world tree - only briefly hinted at in Thailand, was actually a very holy tree in Norse Mythology, which branched out into 9 worlds or realms.. Does this link with the portals IDK..

4) Lara using excaliber to open the portal is exactly the same as the guradian used to open portals in Norse Mythology. The only difference is that Heimdallr had a horn aswell which he sounded upon the start of Ragnarök.

Just thought this was interesting and it opened my eyes to how the games plot worked..
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Old 01-05-12, 11:47   #32
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I don't see why this should've put in the game.
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Old 01-05-12, 23:34   #33
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Originally Posted by tomee View Post
Hmm, I don't think the backtracking part was that tedious. I mean up to exit of the Kraken room it's not even the same, you can explore the Kraken room from a completely different area and there's a different climbing method over the pit.
While that's true, it essentially all felt the same to me. It just seems like a cheap method for getting us out of Niflheim, that's all.

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Originally Posted by tomekkobialka View Post
And the MUSIC! In that bactracking section, I mean. It just repeats and repeats while you desperately look for a way out...I've had nightmares from it. lol not rly
I noticed that, too. It just repeats over and over again, and really gets drilled into your head.

Quote:
And I think I can explain why the place doesn't fill up with water after the explosion...Crystal couldn't be bothered to animate it. Or maybe they just watched the opening sequence of 'Cradle of Life' and thought: "Meh, it's been done before, why bother?"
That part was actually a joke, I knew that it was only to prevent Lara from going back the way she came. However, realistically, a big explosion like that wouldn't just cause a few rocks to fall.

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Can't wait for your next review!
Many thanks, tomekkobialka.

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Just thought this was interesting and it opened my eyes to how the games plot worked..
It is interesting stuff. However, I don't think any of that was truly necessary to explain how the mythology of this game worked; I got the entire basis of the plot with little trouble understanding it.
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Old 02-05-12, 20:29   #34
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Great review, Sheepman! I found those levels to be tedious as well - swimming aimlessly around the sea, and running aimlessly around dull hallways!
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Old 02-05-12, 22:53   #35
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Lol, I nearly forgot to read the new review.

Anyway, fantastic as usual. Although I disagree about the backtracking part. I actually thought it was quite good, as you come back a different way to the way you entered the area. I agree though that the level was quite boring, which most of the Mediterranean Sea section was.
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Old 03-05-12, 01:41   #36
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Great review, Sheepman! I found those levels to be tedious as well - swimming aimlessly around the sea, and running aimlessly around dull hallways!
Thank you Charlie! I really appreciate your comments.

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Anyway, fantastic as usual. Although I disagree about the backtracking part. I actually thought it was quite good, as you come back a different way to the way you entered the area. I agree though that the level was quite boring, which most of the Mediterranean Sea section was.
Thanks Seth. I suppose the backtracking just really isn't to my taste.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:37   #37
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The Mediterranean Sea
Part 2: God of Thunder/Realm of the Dead

So, I had above average feelings towards the first part of the Med Sea. Sure, there are some bits that I think could've been improved, but there was nothing bad enough to actually turn me off from the level.

The second part is different from the first in almost every way. Whereas the past three levels have focused on puzzles and exploration, the next two focus on combat and action sequences. While all we've gotten so far is plot related to Norse mythology, the plot here is centered around Amanda and what she's doing on this boat. It's really quite the contrast, which almost makes it difficult to really put these two parts into one level.


Well, that's one way to hitchhike.


"Since I'm going to kill you, I might as well do it with style."

For some odd reason, this level actually reminds me quite a bit of the Desert Railroad in TR4. In many ways, the two are quite similar. Both of them take place aboard a huge transportation device, and both are packed to the brim with humans. Every door you open, every crate you go behind... there's a bad guy awaiting you.

At first, it's not a bad notion and keeps you on your toes. However, once I reached the other end of the ship, it was getting a little tedious for a few reasons. First of all, Underworld's weapon system is a pain in the butt. Instead of allowing us to have all of the weapons on one weapon wheel (like in TRA), they instead force us to pick one "secondary weapon," and to actually change that weapon requires us to go to the PDA, and then change it. I found myself just resorting to pistols most of the time, since I couldn't be bothered to keep changing when my ammo ran out.


"Look man, this ship is going down and you'd end up going down with it. I'm really just doing you a favor, you know."

Secondly, the enemies don't really vary much. It's just a bunch of guys with guns, that's really it. And finally, there are no real puzzles involved of getting into the ship. If the humans weren't there, getting to Natla's specimen jar would be a stroll in the park. Then again, I don't think this level is really aimed at puzzles of any sort... that's fine (I don't mind an up-tempo romp every once in a while), but a level like Desert Railroad managed to accomplish the same while adding in some juicy gameplay bits other than a shoot-em-up.

Upon reaching the interior of the ship, we're greeted by more men with guns, as well as an interesting little sequence where some idiot henchman decides to pepper a pipe with bullets.

By this point, we've almost surely noticed all of the NATLA logos around the ship. Thus, we get another connection between Legend and Anniversary, especially once we meet the (god) queen herself.


"You see, when I spread my wings like this, it makes me look intimidating."

I get the impression that Natla, who is frustrated from being confined like a bug in a jar, enjoys pressing Lara's (and, for that matter, Amanda's) buttons. After all, what has she got to lose? With Amanda keeping her under tight security, there's no way Lara's getting in there by herself. Natla does manage to let go of some important information, though, like the teeny-tiny detail that Lara's mother actually went to Helheim. She also mentions Thor's Hammer, and something about the west coast of Thailand. OK, thanks Natla, but Thailand's western coast is quite long, you see. Any coordinates for that?

Of course, Natla's massive jar gets whisked away by a helicopter before she can elaborate on that subject, which leaves our heroine in a rather dire situation, as the ship is about to pull a Titanic.


Just imagine this in slow motion... oh wait.

I think this is my favorite part of the entire Med Sea level, actually. Yes, it could be a lot better (I personally think there should be a time limit for getting out), but the intensity is really nice and it truly feels like you're going down with the ship. The flames, exploding objects, and clatter of everything really keeps you alert and is electrifying.

I also really love the way that the ship actually turns over while Lara is inside of it... that definitely disorients the player for a quick moment. It also allows for a fun little part of the gameplay where we ascend up a few shafts, which are thankfully pockmarked with objects we can use to climb.


Thank goodness for conveniently placed valve wheels!


There is nothing more frightening than Lara Croft pointing a gun at you while you're dangling helplessly from a wire above the open sea.

In the last few moments, Lara catches Amanda flying away, the gauntlet clutched tightly in her hand. Her pistol seems to be the quickest way to force the thing from her, and Amanda eventually gives in and tosses it into the Mediterranean. After all, it doesn't fit her hand. Just as the ship sinks into the blue, Lara grasps the artifact and gets aboard the yacht (which somehow managed to survive all of this ). And with that, the Med Sea level comes to a close.

Pros:
+ I liked the cutscene where Lara talks to Natla
+ Escaping the ship is lots of fun

Cons:
- Too much action for my liking
- Really linear

There's not really too much else to say about this pair of levels. The second level is clearly the standout here, while the first one falls into a pit of boredom. Considering that we actually play the exact same thing later on in the game probably doesn't help this level's cause, but oh well.





Conclusion

All in all, the Med Sea level tries a lot of different ideas. Some things it excels in, while other things it does not. For instance, the whole idea of the Kraken room and that massive creature really appealed to me, along with the final mini-level where Lara escapes the sinking ship. On the other hands, swimming around aimlessly in the sea, traipsing through dull hallways, and fighting goons aboard Amanda's ship weren't the best.

I think that the negatives end up outweighing the positives, though. I found myself bored for a good portion of the level, hoping to get to Thailand and, after that, Mexico (which are the two highlights of TRU in my opinion). Overall, I love the emphasis on tomb-raiding that this level has, and the action-packed sequence it closes out on, but all in all it feels too scatterbrained and doesn't manage to focus on one concept well enough. The use of really long hallways, backtracking, and human enemies puts me off a bit as well.

So, I'm going to go with a pretty average rating. For those who have read my past reviews, this is going to seem like a harsh score, but I've modified my scale a bit and it's not quite as lenient, so...

Rating - 5/10

All screenshots by Katie Fleming.

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Old 03-05-12, 02:44   #38
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Reading that review revealed two things I haed about Underworld. That second pctue where she is flipping backwards highlights my massive annoyance of the insanee over manouvreability. I actually felt like I was tossing around a rubber chicken rather than controling Lara. And also the entre game was like seriously easy. I was also offended by the fact that you didn't even have to fight the sharks, you could jst swim right past and noone would care!=
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Old 03-05-12, 05:12   #39
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nothingtoseehere
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Old 03-05-12, 09:10   #40
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I like your reviews very much

and I agree with you, but the result could be a 6/10; i mean backtracking and swimming aimlessly, that was in the classics; but CD should have made backtracking dangerous, like flooding places and rocks falling down over you and maybe the pathway a bit different from where we got in.

Waiting the reviews of other levels
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