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Old 21-09-20, 22:05   #1
indigo1993
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Default What has Crystal Dynamics done right?

So, although I love hating on CD and their poor decisions with the franchise and our general consensus that they do a shabby job in many things, I thought it'd be cool to start this thread where we actually take the time to praise them on what they actually do well. Who knows, maybe some of the Devs visits this forum and if they do, it'd be good for them to know what they're doing well and that we are not just hating on absolutely everything.
Let's spread the Love™!

Here's my list of things I actually appreciate about them:
- gameplay has only improved with every new entry. The controls are mostly fun, fluid and responsive. Lara doesn't move like a robot anymore and doesn't stand with her legs 8ft apart for no reason when she's idle. Sure, there are certain mechanics that did not age well such as the bow and arrow, collecting stuff in the forest etc, but overall at least when I press jump she actually jumps.

- their portrayals of the sites she visits and the history behind them have always been very compelling and good since TRL. How they mixed the queen tiwanaku with king Arthur, and the whole legend of the monomyth was such clever storytelling. It's a pity their obsession with making Lara's personal life a Mexican telenovela takes the center stage, but their way of portraying ancient civilizations (especially in the reboot) has always been very good and shows they do their homework really well when it comes to that.

Sure, Lara is now a softie and her voice is annoying, but I'd rather have that than seeing her turn into some sort of Bayonetta. I think she could easily be hyper-sexualized like in the ads in the 90s and that'd be a very reductive way to see Lara be portrayed, since she's so much more than that. I still hope for a more decent portrayal of her personality and appearance tho.

- I actually prefer the physics based puzzles to the levers and random keys in places that don't make sense. Obvs thats cute and all, but I don't think it's a mechanic that would age well at all, and would just look really dumb in the new generation. I also like how the puzzles (especially in shadow and in the DLCs) generally left me feeling intelligent when I figured it out, unlike TRIII and IV that could be so ridiculous and obtuse sometimes to the point you feel the game has actually tricked you and it all feels cheap instead.

- I appreciate that even if they sometimes put out some titles that feel lazy and half-baked in some areas, at least they haven't outright killed Lara like Core (which loved Lara sooooooo much) tried to do after only 4 games.

What are your positive thoughts about CD? What is it you like about what they've done to Lara and Tomb raider since 2006?
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Last edited by indigo1993; 21-09-20 at 22:08.
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Old 21-09-20, 22:26   #2
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-trl, tra.

Best reboot and best remake ever one-two years apart.
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Old 21-09-20, 22:33   #3
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Crystal's achievements:
- Lara always looks stunning;
- Graphics are always beautiful;
- They excel with their physics puzzles;
- Anniversary's combat is the best the series has ever had;
- Underworld's grapple and its uses should make a comeback because they were really good;
- Amanda.

EM achieved other things, but this is all Crystal, isn't it?
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Old 21-09-20, 22:34   #4
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- Grapple
- Axes
- Fluid control
- Keeley
- Great soundtracks overall
- Stunning graphics
- Boss fights

Surely lot more, I will update later.
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Old 21-09-20, 22:37   #5
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-Sam Nishimura
-Joslin Reyes

Now if they'd bring them back and to be fighters instead of rescue missions
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Old 21-09-20, 22:37   #6
Yuna´s Wish
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamayoo View Post
- Keeley
THIS.

Definitely. Why didn't I say it?

Best voice actress for Lara. I usually wonder if Legend's lines would be so memorable without her.

EDIT: And the boss fights too (Legend and Anniversary). Chamayoo, I'm your fan.
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Old 21-09-20, 23:21   #7
indigo1993
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuna´s Wish View Post
THIS.

Definitely. Why didn't I say it?

Best voice actress for Lara. I usually wonder if Legend's lines would be so memorable without her.

EDIT: And the boss fights too (Legend and Anniversary). Chamayoo, I'm your fan.
I second that! To me she's THE voice of Lara Croft. They should have kept her in the reboot. Maybe that way she'd sound more likeable, who knows
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Old 22-09-20, 00:36   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indigo1993 View Post
I second that! To me she's THE voice of Lara Croft. They should have kept her in the reboot. Maybe that way she'd sound more likeable, who knows
Absolutely!

I believe Camilla grew a lot. She delivered a much more Lara-like acting in Shadow, but she's nowhere close to Keeley's performance. So whoever in Crystal thought of Keeley deserves a big "thank you".
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Old 22-09-20, 01:36   #9
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-Keeley
-Anniversary Croft Manor
-Underworld Movement/Platforming
-LAU Soundtrack
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Old 22-09-20, 01:57   #10
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You almost lost me with your opening couple of sentences. But hey ho.

What have Crystal D got right?

Lara. A tad too jolly hockey sticks in Legend and they took her confidence levels down a notch or two too much in TR'13, but otherwise, I've enjoyed their take on the character.

The environments. Say what you like about the use of colour, or lack thereof, regardless, the landscapes are stunning.

Introduction of the hub system. There needs to be a way to utilise them better within the main story, but their general inclusion was a good addition. Especially hubs such as Shipwreck beach, Mountain Village and Soviet Installation.

Campsites. I love these. I always used to imagine Lara using them so seeing them in use in a game was great. It's a lovely way for Lara to rest and reflect for a bit, as well of course for the player and the uses.

Though it had its issues, depending on the game, the grapple is fun.

The bow and arrows. Love this weapon, which can be used as a tool. Really fun to use.

Axe climbing.

The adrenaline dodge.

Physics based puzzles.

The manor, especially in Legend and Anniversary.

The myth, history and lore in the stories, the Arthurian legend, Himiko and Yamatai, and yes, even The Deathless Prophet and Kitezh, the Mayan apocalypse alongside the lost city and turmoil between the Kukulkan and Paititian rebels (I'm not sure how much input CD had on this, but I'm including it). Imo there's some fascinating stuff in here, including the extra stuff in the documents and journals.

Challenge tombs. Yes, they're side stuff, but I love having these as options. As long as there are main story tombs, which there has been.

Crypts.

Documents and relics (just not too many), and the added lore they bring.

Their VA choices. Both suited their iteration of the character well. And Camilla grew as Lara did.


The inventiveness of the instruments used in their soundtracks, such as The Instrument, the use of the Mayan death whistle things. I suppose this praise is attributed to the composers, but CD were involved, so, yeah.

Some of the outfits Lara wears are really nice.

I'll end here as it's late. I appreciate that some of those things on my list are probably considered unpopular. .
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Last edited by Rai; 23-09-20 at 15:10.
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