www.tombraiderforums.com

Go Back   www.tombraiderforums.com > Tomb Raider Series > Tomb Raider

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 12-06-17, 19:18   #1
benjamin_2010
Archaeologist
 
benjamin_2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,362
Arrow Almost Completed + Semi-Final Thoughts

I bought this game shortly after it came out in 2013 but did not play it. I tried it and I was not a fan. In January, I picked it up again with the intent to beat it, so I could be ready for ROTTR (which I bought on pre-order to get the classic outfits). It's been a journey...

First of all, I was put off on the idea of "young Lara" finding herself on this shipwrecked island. The theme, the island, the grit ... everything about it turned me off. It didn't feel like Tomb Raider to me, it felt like Lost (the TV show). It still does. If you've watched the TV show, you will instantly recognize the theme: something mystical about an island that keeps people trapped on it, storms that devour any ships or planes, crazy people who inhabit the island. Bonus: I was not a huge fan of Lost.

Yet, I'm finally close to the end of this game. I made it through Geothermal Caverns and the Solarii Fortress after being stuck in the horrendous ambush at Shantytown (what a fugly waste a location). The pace of the game in those areas made me think it was the end: explosions everywhere, Matthias and Roth dying, finding the other shipwreck survivors. But no, I am wrong. Now I'm in Summit Forest, actually the most enjoyable part of the game thus far. The opportunity to kill the enemies with stealth (which I did successfully - yay!) is appreciated and there is a lot to explore in a relatively small area. Cool stuff. This is what the game should be, not staged ambush after ambush. I digress...

Since the entire point of Lara's adventure is to "get off the island," the story feels like it's trying to reach the end as soon as it begins. None of these people want to be on this island. They can't wait to leave. And I can't either! The whole game I'm wondering, "Is this over yet?" Frankly, I don't want to play through this miserable survival experience just as much as the characters don't want to live it. The setting and narrative set you up to feel this way. At least they succeed in making you feel something in a video game.

I've actually grown to love the new Lara a lot. I love the voice actress, I love the new character model, I even like her new modestly styled clothing. I do think the dual pistols are a must, so that we can have some semblance of the old Croft to keep us old-timers interested. It's her trademark weapons, man. Not that bow, not that pickaxe. Not one unremarkable pistol. There are gameplay elements that I enjoy thoroughly with the new equipment: the open areas to explore in nature, the stealthy approach with the bow, platforming and using the pickaxe (it's actually my favorite combat weapon lol). Those are all majorly improved from previous Crystal D installations to the series. I actually got pretty emotional when Roth died, despite his character being poorly developed up until that point.

I am not a fan of the new "FPS" style combat. I have terrible aim and do not play FPS for that reason. I miss the auto-aim ability. It would be nice to include auto-aim options for challenged players like myself, who waste their rounds misfiring. I am not a fan of the chronic, staged ambushes. There is WAY too much of it. You enter a new location and BAM, firefight with at least 30 people. There is no way in hell that ..HUNDREDS.. of 30 year old men are living alone on this island and participating in this stupid, barbaric cult. It's insulting to one's intelligence that we would even find that plausible. On that note, why are there no women combatants? Did I miss something? Are all these white men here from a giant gay cruise ship that crashed on the island? As I get older, I am not interested in murdering hyper-realistic people on the screen. It's just gross.

Overall, there are things I like about this game. I REALLY DO want to love this game. At times, it feels like the coolest Tomb Raider I've ever played. The developers missed the mark in too many key areas to make it an enjoyable experience. I'm ending the game feeling relieved, and annoyed. It's ridiculous that the "tombs" are optional side-quests that you have to go out of your way to find. The "puzzles" in tombs are merely environmental challenges that focus on reaching the top of a tall, narrow cave. Disappointing. The upgrade system is fun. Lara's character upgrade is good too: now that I'm nearing the end, Lara is tolerable and less wimpy/whiny. I like her at the end. She honestly feels bad-ass.

I'm really looking forward to starting ROTTR, because I've heard more positive things about that game than this one. I hope they learned from some of what I consider TR2013's fatal flaws. There seems to be a lot of replay, with all the trinkets I missed in previous areas. But will I be interested enough to go back? Not sure. Here's to pushing through to the end.
benjamin_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 20:26   #2
Rai
Moderator
 
Rai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: In a bubble outside the universe
Posts: 27,889
Default

I'm glad you like some aspects of the game. I like your review, it's nicely balanced with criticism that's not just a list of 'hates'.

I did enjoy TR'13, on the most part, but like you, I found the ambush gunfights too much. My understanding of the reason why there are no female combatants is because women are sacrificed to Himiko, to test them for compatibility for being the next vessel. But yeah, it makes it a bit hard to believe that there are so many 30-something men who all listened to Mathias and just started fighting any 'outsiders' and kidnapping women. And apparently children. We know families end up on the island as we pick up journals and toys as evidence of at least one. I know the men are basically tortured and locked up in the caverns until they submit. But that didn't make sense either as the inmates in Geothermal Caverns are clearly mad, the Solarii at least seem 'normal', well of sound of mind. If you listen to them some reminisce about home.
__________________
I need a new siggy, but this heat melted my brain so I can't think of anything.

Last edited by Rai; 12-06-17 at 20:49.
Rai is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 21:00   #3
Blue_light
Explorer
 
Blue_light's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portugal
Posts: 917
Default

I enjoyed reading your thoughts, and I basically agree with everything.

I was thinking about this quote, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin_2010 View Post
Since the entire point of Lara's adventure is to "get off the island," the story feels like it's trying to reach the end as soon as it begins.
IMO, I think it's the opposite. The whole "mystical island" is clearly an aside plot that tries too much to be the main plot, and is determined to pad the game as much as it can. I mean:

- We are immediately introduced to Sam's origins as a descendant of Himiko;
- Mathias kidnaps Sam, and just Sam;
- Lara finds Himiko's tomb with images of a fire ritual covering the whole tomb;
- Lara sees Mathias trying to burn Sam alive;
- The fire ritual is stopped by an obvious, too-convenient wind.
- Add that in between we have Lara commenting that snowing wasn't normal, and a huge storm appearing out of nowhere and crashing a plane, accompanied by a ghostly voice saying in Japanese "no one leaves", to which Lara clearly heard and understood.
- Lara finds Mathias workplace/office(?), filled with documents and inscriptions, mentioning the fire ritual and "no one leaves".

And what Lara says: "Why is Mathias so interested in it?". Really? I mean, really? It took her finding a document on a Stormguard soldier's sword (but not before getting tools to fix a boat) to finally piece things together, even though everything was just thrown at her face?
__________________
"A B C D L M N O G! Don't you know your alphabet Double D?" - Ed
Blue_light is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-17, 23:50   #4
JoelCaesar
Explorer
 
JoelCaesar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: An Australian Tomb
Posts: 872
Default

^^^
Yeah, I think a lot of people figured out the plot way before Lara did.
JoelCaesar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-17, 15:32   #5
benjamin_2010
Archaeologist
 
benjamin_2010's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,362
Default Another Long Post!

Well, I finally finished the game last night. I must say, the pace of the game changes significantly after Shantytown, because I had way more fun with the game after I finished that segment. Either that, or I became accustomed to how this game plays, and I generally enjoyed it more as a result. Because I REALLY fell in love with the game by the end. I loved the dark forest, loved the shipwrecked beach, LOVED the ending through the Chasm Shrine and the epic climb to the top of the temple. That was really about as cool as it gets, for me.

My gear was significantly upgraded by the end of the game, so taking out enemies was much, much easier (thank goodness). I was still very annoyed to repeat some of the ending combat segments more than once, due to dying. Also, I did not love some of the QTE necessary to take out Matthias and some of the other mini-bosses. Still, it was rewarding to finish them. Um, P.S. was I the only one who thought Roth killed Matthias after he was "axed?" That confused me.

Overall...... I'm actually really happy with the game. It had a sharp, sharp learning curve. There wasn't enough tutorial, in my opinion. The upgrade system was really overwhelming at first. Taking the time to stop in your environment and look for all the hidden treasure did not occur to me until late in game. The game encourages you to race through, it's easy to progress to the next area without taking a breather and unwinding a little. Knowing that now, I will play this game differently the next time.

At the very, very end though, I still felt a bit frustrated. The focus on this game seems to be more "survival horror" than "adventure." The menus and themes look like they belong in Call of Duty, not Tomb Raider. I don't like the tagline "A Survivor Is Born." Is Lara Croft the next Bear Grylls, doing all these extreme survival stunts for the thrill of saying "I survived that?" Or is she a woman on a hunt for artifacts and mystery? Lara herself alludes to the latter as the boat rides off into the sunset, and I thought her monologue was nice. Yet the very end of the game flashes "A Survivor Is Born." Just something that I'm thinking about moving forward.

Also..... WHAT A TEASER with the dual pistols at the end of the game!! I'm sad to know that they aren't part of ROTTR. That was the perfect way to bring those puppies back (yes, it's that important to me ). Are they concerned it won't work well with their controls/combat style set up?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Rai View Post
My understanding of the reason why there are no female combatants is because women are sacrificed to Himiko, to test them for compatibility for being the next vessel. But yeah, it makes it a bit hard to believe that there are so many 30-something men who all listened to Mathias and just started fighting any 'outsiders' and kidnapping women. And apparently children. We know families end up on the island as we pick up journals and toys as evidence of at least one. I know the men are basically tortured and locked up in the caverns until they submit. But that didn't make sense either as the inmates in Geothermal Caverns are clearly mad, the Solarii at least seem 'normal', well of sound of mind. If you listen to them some reminisce about home.
Ah, your reason as to why there are no women remaining makes sense. Though I'm a little tripped up: Sam is supposed to be a distant relative of Himiko, and that's why she was compatible as the next vessel, right? If so.. theoretically the Solarii only should have "sacrificed" women with Japanese heritage.. Still, way too many 30-something men to be remotely believable.

Also - speaking of Geothermal Caverns - that segment ****ed me up. That was the scariest thing I've experienced in a video game since I was a little kid playing Resident Evil for the first time. Ack!!! I was screaming like a little girl the whole time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_light View Post
IMO, I think it's the opposite. The whole "mystical island" is clearly an aside plot that tries too much to be the main plot, and is determined to pad the game as much as it can. I mean:

- We are immediately introduced to Sam's origins as a descendant of Himiko;
- Mathias kidnaps Sam, and just Sam;
- Lara finds Himiko's tomb with images of a fire ritual covering the whole tomb;
- Lara sees Mathias trying to burn Sam alive;
- The fire ritual is stopped by an obvious, too-convenient wind.
- Add that in between we have Lara commenting that snowing wasn't normal, and a huge storm appearing out of nowhere and crashing a plane, accompanied by a ghostly voice saying in Japanese "no one leaves", to which Lara clearly heard and understood.
- Lara finds Mathias workplace/office(?), filled with documents and inscriptions, mentioning the fire ritual and "no one leaves".

And what Lara says: "Why is Mathias so interested in it?". Really? I mean, really? It took her finding a document on a Stormguard soldier's sword (but not before getting tools to fix a boat) to finally piece things together, even though everything was just thrown at her face?
I'm a little confuddled: if the Island Mystery isn't the main plot of the story, then what is? I couldn't determine that from what you were saying. Sam/Himiko story is intertwined with the "island mystery" story in that they are cause/effect to each other. So, if Sam is the main plot, then so is the "island mystery" in my opinion.

Aside from that, I was pretty amused at Lara's "aha" moment way late in the game. Either I already knew enough about the plot line (since it has been 4 years, after all) or the game provided enough intelligence along the way that it was DEFINITELY clear why Matthias wanted Sam and why Sam was integral to being on the island in the first place.
benjamin_2010 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-06-17, 16:29   #6
Blue_light
Explorer
 
Blue_light's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portugal
Posts: 917
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by benjamin_2010 View Post
I'm a little confuddled: if the Island Mystery isn't the main plot of the story, then what is?
Lara's origin story to how she was innocent in the beginning, but was forced to survive adversities, and become strong, and become the "Lara we all know". It's the main focus of this whole game, it's what has been marketed constantly, it's also the main thing the game cover focuses on. From the very first (and only) CGI cutscene, to the final line "A survivor is born". It was all supposed to be Lara's character story.

It didn't even need a mystical island to achieve that purpose.
__________________
"A B C D L M N O G! Don't you know your alphabet Double D?" - Ed

Last edited by Blue_light; 13-06-17 at 18:17.
Blue_light is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-17, 02:33   #7
Zreen001
Archaeologist
 
Zreen001's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,079
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_light View Post
Lara's origin story to how she was innocent in the beginning, but was forced to survive adversities, and become strong, and become the "Lara we all know". It's the main focus of this whole game, it's what has been marketed constantly, it's also the main thing the game cover focuses on. From the very first (and only) CGI cutscene, to the final line "A survivor is born". It was all supposed to be Lara's character story.

It didn't even need a mystical island to achieve that purpose.
Agreed. It could've been a game about her on a plane crashing in the Himalayas, losing her fiancÚ, and getting kicked out by Lord Henshingly.

...oh right... reboot.
__________________
College Undergrad studying Film Score and Screenplay. TR Fanatic.
Zreen001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-17, 13:47   #8
Revenge
Archaeologist
 
Revenge's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: France
Posts: 1,529
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoelCaesar View Post
^^^
Yeah, I think a lot of people figured out the plot way before Lara did.
Though the whole story is about Lara believing in herself and accepting supernatural stuff, imo. It's not supposed to be taken for granted as soon as the game begins like the previous TRs or like many video games, you have to see it as if you were on the island and it was all reality, and you were there considering that the whole thing was supernatural and thinking if undead soldiers and a queen blocking an island could be real or not. Don't tell me you would immediately come to that conclusion xD

At least that's how I understood it. Of course otherwise the story makes no sense and they all look completely stupid.
__________________
"C'est mieux qu'une psychanalyse."
Revenge is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 14-06-17, 15:53   #9
Blue_light
Explorer
 
Blue_light's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Portugal
Posts: 917
Default

That as well. However, if I were there during the plane crash scene, I think that even I would start to think that something fishy is going on.
__________________
"A B C D L M N O G! Don't you know your alphabet Double D?" - Ed
Blue_light is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 15-06-17, 03:23   #10
Fantasy Fan
Hobbyist
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Perhaps Durotar or Uldum (World of Warcraft locations)
Posts: 55
Default

I honestly don't like fps shooter games either, and I would be a lot happier if she could fight in the Reboot series as she did in the LAU trilogy.

Another thing, (and please don't judge me on this, because I don't judge others myself this way) I felt that Lara was a little too...vulgar. She just didn't seem the calm, dignified lady she was shown to be in the earlier games. The same goes for ROTR. Although, I can understand this if she starts speaking as she did in the older games in the games to follow ROTR.
Fantasy Fan is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 14:23.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions Inc.