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Old Today, 09:10   #1
Final Count
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Denmark
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Default How should I approach a ranking of all Tomb Raider levels?

I want to make either a big video, or a series of videos, ranking all Tomb Raider levels... ever. But I'm having a lot of trouble with it, since I can't really figure out how I should approach such a project.

In my opinion, the Tomb Raider games have changed so much, I'm not even sure that levels can be judged by the same parameters. Like, how do you compare a classic exploration-heavy level like Palace Midas or Aldwych, with a super casual linear experience like Bolivia or Nepal in Tomb Raider Legend? And it's not even like the Core games can be judged by the same parameters either, since The Last Revelation started introducing these tiny hub-like levels that don't really compare with anything from the classic trilogy. How do you compare a hub-like level like Parisian Ghetto from AoD, with Temple of Xian, for example?

Then there's the modern games. Can you even define levels in those? For example, Shadow of the Tomb Raider rather has areas, than what I would call levels. The Amazon village on the river, does that really qualify as a level? Wouldn't it be impossible to separate the modern games into levels? Sure, there are the challenge tombs, but I'm not sure if they fit either.

So... to boil it all down. Would it make sense, and would it be possible at all, to rank ALL Tomb Raider levels/areas from all games in the same ranking? Or should such a project be divided into smaller videos focusing on each trilogy (1-3, LR-AoD, L-U, TR-SOTTR)? How would you group the games for level rankings?

Last edited by Final Count; Today at 09:11.
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Old Today, 10:55   #2
Cochrane's Avatar
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The simple answer is that there is no simple answer. Any ranking of levels is always going to be subjective, because both how you evaluate them and the metrics you choose are subjective. I think you should consider this less like a science experiment and more like a work of art, because that's really what this is.

Why are you making this ranking? What is the story you want to tell with it? Do you want to highlight all eras equally, or do you want to explain why you prefer a certain game or type of game? What things about Tomb Raider appeal to you, and how do the various levels reflect that? (And it is perfectly okay if the answers are inconsistent, i.e. if you like one game for one thing, and another game for another thing)

Ultimately, the only rating criteria is some combination of how much you personally enjoyed your time in each level, how memorable it was, how it included the parts of Tomb Raider - or that game - that you like, and how well it succeeds at setting the mood, telling the story and providing the gameplay that it tries to. And yeah, that is very vague.

So to (not) answer your question: It's up to you. I think multiple videos makes sense. I think one big video can also make sense. How you divide the levels in the modern games is also up to you. Figure out what you want to talk about in particular; that's your starting point for finding your answers to these questions.
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Old Today, 13:11   #3
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Join Date: May 2006
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I think, for me, it would be easiest to consider each level within the scope of the game that it makes up a part of, so to speak?

You know, like, the Cenote could be to Shadow what Catacombs of the Talion is to TR2. They're certainly different experiences, but somehow equally important to their respective contexts.

In other terms, I agree with @Cochrane.
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Old Today, 14:23   #4
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I don't really think you can rank them against each other fairly.

How can you fairly rank Caves against Temple of Xian for example? One is an introductory level and one is at the climax of an already very hard game.

I don't think some levels can/should be compared.
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Old Today, 15:40   #5
Final Count
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Thank you for your excellent input guys! The more I think about doing this, the bigger a headache it gives me though
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