Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Poland | Gender: ♂♂
TReboot on the cover of French Consoles+
- The adventure is divided into 3 big "episodes", each one corresponding to a part of Lara's transformation into an adventurer : survive, rescue, run away.
- The article insists on the fact that the game engine uses the laws of gravity, of centrifugal force... To allow Lara to go through her obstacles.
- The transition between cinematics and game is almost invisible.
- The grief of Lara is accentuated by some effects like close-to-face cameras, on-screen blur (flou, in french)
- Lara's changing through the game. She will evolve from a young inexperienced woman to an adventurer. It will be apparent on her equipment (the article says that it might be possible to see her double pistols back), for example.
- The "survival instinct" which makes some elements of the world shine to help the player cans only be used when Lara doesn't move.
- There are many ways to solve puzzles, and sometimes you have to try again and again as laws of physics are random.
- Buddha statues are visible through the game... Although they think these are save points, their exact role is unknown for now.
- Some elements of the world fall when Lara stand too long on them.
Originally Posted by sephiroth99
That's the main article, the small yellow box at the end and the editorial. Thanks to TheRCroft, larafan25 and Love2Raid
I don't think I'll do the interview, nothing really new is said.
What if the best way to swipe the dust of a myth, was to start all over again?
Fall 1996. An arousing and sensual figure enters the world of videogaming where testosterone reigns with absolute power.
This figure is the one of Miss Croft. An adventurer who is gifted like no other in uncovering treasures more deeply hidden than the forgotten El Dorado. Immediately, the beauty detonates (wut? [has the effect of a bomb]) and surprises, not only by her ability to polarize the male and female crowd, but also (and especially) because she struggles to embark on an exceptional series of adventures. At first triumphant under the protection of Core Design studio, the kitten lost a bit of her greatness (The Angel of Darkness) before being extremely remodelled by the aesthetics of Crystal Dynamics (Legend). Yes, despite of her (too?) many critics, Lara resisted both the ravages of time and her astonishing bossom the torments of gravity. Was she rust-proof, the first real heroine of video gaming? Not really, no. Because, like a lot of stars from the virtual world, Lara has developed a series of vices that she never really succeeded in breaking. Starting with the dry and cynical attitude that we thought was only reserved for true stars. As though her character was never anything more than a beautiful puppet without substance. To put it in one word: dehumanized. Lara is pretty. She always has been. But in this case, why not give her an authentic soul that goes well with that beautiful body? This is more or less what the developers at Crystal Dynamics told themselves when they reinvented their series from top to bottom. Not a sequel, not a remake, not even a big announcement: Tomb Raider is a reboot in the most noble sense, a piece of concept art foreshadows maximum risk taking. Starting with the rebirth of a Lara Croft who doesn´t have the slightest thing in common with the grave robber who strutted on our consoles until now. A rejuvenated Lara, neither a teen nor an adult (I´m not a girl, not yet a woman… ), almost candid, with shades of character that influence the gameplay in a way that we never expected… until her creators deigned to open oh so slightly a window into their den.
Somewhere to the south of San Francisco, a big screen illuminates an obscure clarity. Karl Stewart, the boss of Crystal Dynamics, prepares to launch the hostilities by commanding the trendy Croft. The touch of Irish in his accent would nearly betray a complicity with the British explorer. (The explorer..) which will then get stranded with others on a mysterious island during a journey to the Japanese seas that went wrong. Fading to black. This time, the game can really begin. In the heart (center) of a cave filled with bones, the camera moves towards a rope, on which Lara dangles like a tied roast beef. How did she get here, in this gallery? A mystery… The camera distances to provide a more global view on the scene, which reminds of a sacrificial ritual. While the blood rushes into her head, the captive starts to swing from right to left, clearly to reach the mummified corpse that is hanging next to her.
Her movement is gradually gaining amplitude. With the help of the centrifugal force, Lara is able, in the end, to propel the dead body into the fire. Very quickly, it boosts along the tightrope, consuming everything in its path until it reaches the cocoon of Lara. And suddenly, we understand. We understand what? While we believed to be in a passive sequence, Karl hints to us that it is, in fact, we are in control of the sequence. Though limited to two gestures (bowing to the right or left), we are still in control. It's almost as if the staging was mixing itself with the action to be only one.
Blood and Guts
Soon, under the heat of the flames, the cocoon breaks. Lara falls abruptly. But instead of focusing at her fall, the camera is set near a metal rod on which the girl is impaled. Appraisal: a flank pierced from side to side, punctuated by a Quick Time Event urging us to extract the object from the body of mini Croft. To better show the seriousness of the injury, the unbearable pain is filmed in close-up. Her porcelain face tenses. Her generous curves get filled with blood. In our memory of gamers, we never saw our muse spread her suffering like this. To say that Lara is done for is a step Crystal Dynamics would not be ready to take (I'm not sure of the translation here, I don't even get the wording in french lol). Rising with difficulty, the heroine staggers between the walls of what looks like a dark labyrinth, stumbles in potholes appearing here and there. The field of view is blurring, a symptom of her being almost falling into unconsciousness. Lara is fallible, still inexperienced, and it shows in each of her moves. And when a native attacks by surprise, she does not neutralize him with a break-neck attack, but with a reflex kick in the face. No killer made-up reply we would get from a jaded woman, only an appropriate "That was close..."
The Ideal Woman?
Yet Lara scans, listen, assimilate. She is already not quite the same when she rushes into the narrow gut. The water level is flirting with her delicious lips. The torch falters under the friction of the rock. The camera shows all that very closely. Claustrophobia gets to her, and to us too. Little Croft takes quite a lot ... and it is far from being finished! As soon as she gets out of the water, an earthquake resounds, threatening to bury her alive (but isn't she already half-dead?). Finding an inclined passageway, Lara climbs furiously, clinging to rocks as you cling to life, while the point-of-view narrows as the passage is collapsing. Breathtaking gameplay, literally! Finally, in a last effort, Lara returns to the surface, taking in a big breath like she is being reborn in the open. Final step of a scenography that promises to be immersive and visceral. Outside, at a point in time we imagine a little bit after, Lara finds a survivor from shipwreck. Conrad Roth was the captain of the Endurance and he seems to have had his leg bitten by a furious canine. Lara has no choice, she must go and recover the medikit located up there, in the distance. It's the opportunity to admire her emerging acrobatic abilities, which are very useful to bounce from rooftop to rooftop towards the lookout located up in the distance. What, another cave? Well ... So, decidedly Lara lights up her torch and advances step by step, asking if she is intruding (yes, really!). She recovers the stuff not before killing the big bad wolf who was passing by. "Excuse me, but it was you or me..." unglazed, altruistic and vulnerable: how much do you bet we'll all fall in love with the new Lara?
Zoom : And what about puzzles?
No stress, there are lots! They only are based on special gameplay mechanics
A solid wood fence is blocking Lara? It's the time to activate the "survival instinct". In a pinch, the skylight switches to a sepia color, and the elements of the surroundings supposed to help her are colored a "curry" yellow. Immediatly, the task gets a litte bit easier. But we would wrongly think that the task is done, as a lot of the puzzles seem touchy to solve in the heat of the moment. Most of them will need us to use physics (like centrifugal force, etc.) to get them done.
(Finally) a naked Lara!
She does have gunned down a lot of men: those who wanted to kill her, those who opposed her, or simply those who are one of her passionate lovers . But, after giving this dry and indifferent attitude for so long (unless it is the famous British composure?), the mythic Lady has started to tire part of her audience. As good as they are on a gameplay point-of-view, the latest Tomb Raider titles were always portraying an overphysical Lara, with a will of steel, in a sexy body, but not so sensual because of a caricatural portrayal. When, in the video game industry, it is well perceived to reduce clichés, what better for the adoptive fathers of Lara Croft than to offer her a rebirth, impregnated of realism?
No more heroine
When you talk realism about a young lady starting her adventuring life, you necessarly say goodbye to "all mighty"-ism and strong character. In short, the persona we (nearly) started to hate. That's where the entreprise started by Crystal Dynamics gets interesting. It's when changes to the character translate to changes in the atmosphere and gameplay, like if they were not interchangeables. The tension of a survival-horror game, a setting where realistic laws of physics are present, a young lady free of her untouchable heroine prison; what a reboot!
Last edited by Pietras; 17-05-11 at 03:02.