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Old 07-06-19, 22:59   #1
Enya Brennan
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Default Lara’s moveset in the next game

Hey folks

Not sure if this has been brought up before. If so, close the thread and continue the discussion in the corresponding one

There’s no point in mentioning that Lara’s animations are in desperate need of a revamp, they’re generally awfully dated by now and don’t really reflect her evolution as a skilled explorer and make her appear inept and fumbling rather than the tomb raider she’s destined to be

But that’s not really what I'd like to debate, I’m way more interested in Lara’s skill set overall. It got me thinking when @Chamayoo opened a thread asking about the grapple mechanic, and after I replied commending Underworld’s grappling gun, it dawned on me how complete Lara’s abilities were in that game. I didn’t truly realise at the time when I first played but I watched some gameplay videos recently and it struck me. I kept thinking: is there something she CAN’T do?! Then I replayed parts of the game myself so I could attest and she definitely feels like a full-blown athlete, her wide array of movements and spectacular gymnastics are delightful, such an impressive display of what Lara is capable of!

Gameplay-wise, this expanded moveset not only shows Lara’s abilities artistically, but grants freedom and removes tons of boundaries for the player in terms of how they can communicate with the environment. Not counting regular and formerly performed moves Lara had in previous games, Underworld Lara also could:
  • Free climb along rocks and crevices
  • Pivot while perching atop columns and balance beams
  • Climb horizontal poles to line up jumps and reach farther areas
  • Use the grappling gun to abseil, wall run and interact with puzzle elements
  • Chimney jump between close walls in recesses
  • Wield weapons when crouching, hanging, perching and underwater
  • Aim and shoot at two different targets at the same time
  • Sidestep and hug the wall on narrow ledges
  • Attach/detach horizontal poles and use them as melee weapons
Some cosmetic moves that enhanced her diverse batch of skills:
  • Cartwheel while pulling up when climbing
  • Side flip after letting go of grapple cord when wall running
  • Parkour jumps on waist-high obstacles
  • Underwater flip and evasive dodge
  • Mid-air turn when jumping off ledges, columns, beams…
(I’m aware that certain moves have made it to the reboot games, but they’re simplified or miss certain functions)

There are also plenty of idle animations that make her look stylish, even when she’s simply adjusting her belt, fanning herself or placing her feet together near edges to avoid falling. This needs to return and portray Lara as a graceful and elegant adventurer. Currently, despite having an obviously capable but distractingly superhuman character, she unquestionably lacks any sense of grace and sophistication. All I see is an extremely clumsy girl whenever she jumps throwing her grappling axe, praying for it to attach mid-jump while performing an ungainly leap. Mind you, the animations have a lot to do, they all seem set to 2x speed with no transitions whatsoever, so every string of actions a player executes will look jarring and unsteady. Couple that with people’s obnoxious habit of sprinting whenever there are two metres of running space ahead and you’ve got a stoned flying monkey.

Going back to Underworld, the grappling gun was particularly well implemented in certain parts of the game, and in the Beneath the Ashes DLC, one of the puzzles requires to the cord to be wrapped around objects for Lara to reach her goal. That was spectacular and made Lara look extremely ingenious. And although not directly related to her moveset, the grappling gun along with the PDA, the field camera and the utility light add to her resourcefulness and I’d love to see her sport those gadgets again.

Summing up, Lara's animations and ability set go hand in hand and need to work together neatly in order to depict her as the acrobatic and deft character her occupation requires. Narrating her progression needs no flashy cutscenes, the way she moves and interacts with her surroundings is more than enough most of the time. Less is more!

EDIT: This thread should definitely be in the Future of TR section now that I think of it Despite evaluating Lara's moves in the current and past games, it's more fitting in that section. If a mod could kindly move it there, I'd be grateful.
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Last edited by Enya Brennan; 07-06-19 at 23:01.
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Old 07-06-19, 23:14   #2
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I totally agree with your thoughts. Underworld Lara’s moveset and gadgets were spectacular, and having that back would be great. Lara still doesn’t exude all that much confidence, and having a new array of animations that display an in-control, capable, adventurer would be wonderful.
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Old 07-06-19, 23:17   #3
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AOD animations are severely underrated in my opinion.
If you go back and just look at the animations themselves (removing them from the context of the glitchy mess they’re associated with) they’re really really detailed.

I’d love the movement and control of the LAU series mixed with animation complexity of AOD.
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Old 07-06-19, 23:22   #4
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Yeah I think the AOD animations are so much better than the majority of the Reboots.


Most of the animations for the reboot are just scruffy imo.
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Old 07-06-19, 23:24   #5
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Do you want me to move the thread?
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Old 07-06-19, 23:41   #6
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Justin, I moved it before I saw your post, sorry .
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Old 07-06-19, 23:44   #7
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Old 08-06-19, 00:18   #8
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I think this is the main reason why I can love TRU despite all its flaws. The moveset was incredible and it's a shame it was spoiled (not that much for me, but for many) by the weird animations.
When they announced the Reboot game after it, I was kinda sad because I must have to say goodbye to all that moveset and deal with an inexperienced and more realistic girl. Now we could see the return of the more polyvalent girl in the next game after the origin, and already Lara in Shadow wasn't that lacking on platforming skills.
I just imagine the return of a great moveset but with really good animations and controls. I'm totally up for this !

Here's some ideas of new moves and features (unseen in the main games) :
- I would like the spear mechanic from GOL to be reintroduced in the main series (even if the special arrows from Rise was closed to that mechanic)
- The vehicle slide from LC Relic Run
- Similar to Hitman games : kill someone depending of the environment they and Lara are. For instance : if there is a mirror or a window, Lara could throw the head of her enemy through it.
- Moving corpses (we just do once in TR4)
- A "protect" move, like the last RE games, to limited some damages in close combat, armed or unarmed.
- Would like the machete to come back but with a more useful use other than just being a big knife : cut brambles or webs.
- A shovel to dig and finding treasures, hidden switches, an entrance, ect...
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Old 09-06-19, 09:36   #9
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Originally Posted by SoraSakai View Post
AOD animations are severely underrated in my opinion.
If you go back and just look at the animations themselves (removing them from the context of the glitchy mess they’re associated with) they’re really really detailed.

I’d love the movement and control of the LAU series mixed with animation complexity of AOD.
The tea. AoDs animations are so gOOD! The swan dive from that game remains my favorite. It’s so smooth and elegant.

But on the topic of the thread, I’d love to have the ability to aim and shoot enemies whilst hanging from a ledge/cliff. There were a few moments in Shadow when I had the opportunity to shoot an enemy while hanging off a cliff but wasn’t able to. I’d like to see this be added to her move set in the future for sure.
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Old 09-06-19, 10:46   #10
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Well written OP, and I completely agree. Ever since I played it, I’ve held the standard of a definitive moveset for Lara Croft to Underworld’s. Say what you will about the animations or controls, you can’t deny the amount of options you have to traverse and interact is great.

My preference is to reintroduce the acrobatic moves (pole-swinging and standing) and grapple physics for similar puzzles to Beneath the Ashes. A chimney jump and motorbike that controlled similarly would be nice too.
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