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Old 01-12-19, 15:01   #1
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Default What Makes TR 2 so Special to anyone?

Over the last 8 years TR 2 went from my second favorite TR game to my least favorite and Im trying to figure out why

I still think its an amazing game even if Its my least favorite
I know my biggest gripe with the game is the amount of enemies you fight
but other than that I still think its got top notch level design, fantastic music, really varied locations.

Maybe you guys can help me to discovering why it happened and maybe even help rediscover why it was

So post what you makes the game special to you and why you love it so much
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Old 01-12-19, 15:25   #2
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Maybe the huge amount of praise it gets? It has happened to me with other things, like every entry of a saga is compared to the 'best one' and it gets tired not to see recognition for them and you tend to care more about the rest entries. It happened to me with Asylum in AHS lol.
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Old 01-12-19, 16:14   #3
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Because it's perfect <3

In all seriousness though, it may have to do with the fact it was my first TR, but I can list multiple reasons.

- Expertly paced, the game feels as if it's constantly moving and evolving. (There is not a point in the game where the player should not know what they need to do, they should only question how they need to do it) The level design reflects this as it slowly becomes more complex and engaging, reaching its pinnacle with The Temple of Xian and Floating Islands.

- Amazing soundtrack. So many memorable motifs that add a perfectly executed cinematic flair to the game.

- Level variety. Going from China to Italy, to a oil rig, to a sunken ship, to a tibetan monastery and to the fourth dimension... It can be argued that TR2 features the series greatest level variety, also ending the game with the immensely satisfying 'Home Sweet Home'.

. Solid but fair difficulty. Alongside TR1, I feel that TR2 hit a perfect difficulty curve- If ever anything bad happened to you it was your fault as the player. The player would always be given a sound cue, a visual cue or foreshadowing about oncoming danger. The difficulty of the game encouraged the player to learn and think deeply about your actions (Unlike TR3 which often said "**** you" to the player and would throw random one hit death traps at you without warning). Even with the combat difficulty, the game still provided more than enough med-kits and ammunition for players who aren't a fan of combat to progress.

- Atmosphere. For an adventure game, TR2 certainly has a lot of Horror moments... Who doesn't remember venturing into the cave in Temple of Xian only for the creepy music and rattling of spiders legs around Lara to seep into your subconscious, or realising that the Maria Doria is upside down, or hearing the distant thuds of the Guardian coming for Lara after stealing the Talion. How many of you had a panic attack at the beginning of '40 Fathoms'? Moments like these were perfectly executed, and naturally fuelled the escapism of the game.

- Lara. Although Lara was for the most part, a silent protagonist in TR2, her personality still shone through the voice of Judith Gibbins- whom to this day is still regarded as one of the better Lara VAs due to the way she personifies the character- Cool, collected, smart, tough and full of British first-class taste. On the other end of the spectrum, because Lara was mostly a silent protagonist, this actually allowed players to project their own version of Lara into the game, deepening the players emotional connection to the character and world.

- Iconography. TR2 has some of the strongest pieces of iconography out of the TR series. Speeding through Venice in a motor boat, exploring a sunken ship, mowing down mafia members in a snowmobile, fighting a frickin' fire breathing dragon, facing off against a horde of home invaders whilst donning a nightgown- the list goes on. The varied, and justified iconography not only enriches the story elements of the game, but leaves a lasting legacy- people are more likely to remember unique iconography.

- Going against player expectations. How many of you gasped when you found out you could befriend the monks and have them fight with you? Or when you realised at the beginning of 'Offshore Rig' that you had to force the enemy to shoot the window and break the glass for you to progress? These are moments that actively reward thinking out of the box.

- Refined the controls. Compared to TR1, TR2 feels a lot smoother, the controls feel tighter, Lara overall feels like she responds faster and has more moves at her disposal.

Overall, TR2 did everything that is set out to do perfectly. It's a perfect piece of action-adventure escapism with amazing pacing and intelligent design that encourages the player to overcome challenges at their own pace and think carefully about their actions. It has some of the most memorable cinematic moments of the TR series, alongside its striking iconography- leading to a memorable experience.
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Last edited by michaeldt; 01-12-19 at 16:41.
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Old 02-12-19, 10:24   #4
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I think the reason it got so much hype and praise initially was that it was a heck of wild ride after the first tomb raider, TR1 on steroids if you will. We got a vast array of weapons this time from an m16 to a grenade launcher, not to mention our first time experiencing vehicles. Cruising through the canals of Venice on your speedboat & scaling up mountainous peaks with your snow mobile.

The game had a lot going for it in many ways and even though its still my second favourite in the franchise, i can kind of see why others might not warm to it.

- The Rig levels really drag down the standard that the opening 4 levels presented us with. Bad design to the levels & some pretty boring gameplay to add to it.

- The Maria Doria were far too long than they should have been, too much backtracking involved with these ones & weren't exactly the most aesthetically pleasing levels. Although i appreciate the size & challenge the deck presented.

- Floating Islands is the most overrated level in TR history for me, never liked the overpowered enemies in this or the ridiculously cheap deaths you suffer at the hands of a mis-timed jumps. I could say a lot worse about this level but it's something i look to get through as quickly as possible when playing it.

EDIT: Misread the title:

Reasons i do love this game.

- The Great Wall is a perfect opening level to introduce anyone into the franchise, beautiful scenery, excellent location with it being on one of the natural wonders of the world. The relentless traps & challenge it brings would thrill anyone.

- Venice, Bartoli's Hideout & Opera House are definitely up there with the best bunch of levels in any TR game we've seen. Beautiful location, excellent level design & great set pieces were portrayed across all 3 levels. I never tire playing the 3 levels at any stage.

- The Tibetan levels hold a special place in my heart, as a young lad in the early 00's all i wanted more than anything was to level skip to tibetan foothills just to play on the snow mobile, I'd spend hours just playing this level for the snow mobile alone, it wasn't until i got older and realised how good Barkhang Monastery, Catacombs of the talion & Ice Palace were. All Stunning Levels in their own right particularly BM. The Snowy setting was beautiful in this game and i was very happy to see more added in TR2 Gold.

- Before playing one of the worst levels in TR history one has to enjoy one of the best in Temple Of Xian....Man if you don't like this are you even a TR fan? jk...but seriously this level had it all, the design, the atmosphere, the beauty, the challenge, the complexity, the fear(damn spiders) I absolutely adore this level it would easily be top 5 in all of the TR games and i think it really delivered home on how good of a game we got in Tomb Raider 2.

Last edited by Purcell91; 02-12-19 at 10:51.
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Old 02-12-19, 21:17   #5
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Those were the days of having to post in a Tomb Raider newsgroup to get answers to questions. TR2 was my first Tomb game. I found a demo of Tomb Raider in late 1997 and tried it, and then bought it. I can still see my postings from the late 90s if I search for them. Quote from one in 1998.


I recently purchased a Diamond Monster 3d II video card and now I can't view
the videos between the various levels in Tomb Raider 2. The Matrox card
plays them fine, but the game looks better with the Diamond. When a video
begins, the screen just blacks out and I have to hit the escape key to
bypass them. Does anyone know of a possible fix?

Tony D

I had just upgraded to a Pentium 200MMX cpu, but the board would register it only as a 166, so I got a new board to actually run it at 200. I also bought the Matrox Mystique card to play that game.

Last edited by TonyLee; 02-12-19 at 21:20.
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Old 03-12-19, 23:14   #6
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Arrow it was the first TR I've played

All the levels and the game scenery had that special touch that makes you remember a game like this many years after you've finished it.

Also, at the time it was launched, it was a game at a level of detail and magnitude comparable to the most recent TR games of our time.

All other things I could mention had already been said in previous posts, you said it better than I could!
The snow caves, Maria Doria, Venice, the final battle... all were memorable.
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Old 04-12-19, 14:37   #7
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I see TR2 as Core Design first custom level. And they nailed it. Not only the improvements but a great storyline too. I love the feeling of a good FMV that can leave you almost shaking before you start the game.

TR3 is my personal favorite but I'm starting to see why TR2 is an all time favorite. It's just some areas in TR2 I don't quite click with personally. TR3 is a better fit for a player like me.
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Old 05-12-19, 16:29   #8
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Most people tend to love it due to nostalgia.

It used to be very high on my list as well, but after replaying it a few times it lost it's wow-factor. The introduction is amazingly fun. Traps everywhere! Then the Venice levels introduce a warm and soothing environment despite having to kill human enemies everywhere. After that.. it changes completely. Things get darker starting at the opera house, which is quite an 'ehh' level to me. While most praise it as iconic.

Offshore rig is fun again but as soon as the underwater levels begin, so does the drag. The music is like brainwashing your ears, the mood is dark and unpleasant. I know that this is the point and that they tried to create it that way to make it atmospheric, but it's just too long. There are too many forced health losses, too many block puzzles, boring secrets, backtracking, enemies and all around weird level design. The biggest problem is that it's so long. The Snowy levels are fun again because you're finally in the open again but then they lure you again into a darker environment. Which worked miles better here than it did earlier. The monastery is arguably the best level in the game, along with temple of Xian. The ending is amazing. Everything China was executed in an almost perfect manner. But the midgame is just... I don't know. There is definitely something wrong with it.
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Old 07-12-19, 07:28   #9
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I like it because of the overall feeling of adventure. The pacing is solid (for the most part) and the progression feels like we're constantly moving ourselves forward. Even details like Venice getting progressively darker and we move from level to level adds to the overall feeling.

It reminds me of an Indiana Jones movie.
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Old 07-12-19, 12:29   #10
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I love the vibrancy of Venice and I love city levels in general anyway. I like that as Lara we get to explore usually off-limits parts of cities - going into people's apartments, climbing over rooftops, entering derelict buildings like the Opera House. All with the beautiful canals nearby...

I also love the Maria Dora levels. The entire concept of it.... a glamorous, Titanic-style ship to explore, which is decayed and creepy also with caves nearby and great white sharks in the water. The Deck is particularly atmospheric and even though we are underwater in a ship, they managed to make some of the levels exceptional in exploration terms. Discovering where to go was not always easy or obvious.

The later levels I'm less into although I still think they're excellent - the highlights being - the yetis, the flying warriors (very scary on first playthrough), the monastry and of course, the dragon itself.
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