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Old 16-02-20, 03:33   #21
Kapu
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I'm late to the party...but I agree, TR3 (and the classics in general) had great attention to detail. Overall I think TR4 had the best presentation, but most of the biggest graphical improvement happened in TR3. Colored lighting, triangulated polygons for smoother geometry. The particle effects for blood were really good, too. TR4 used crappy pink sprites instead.

Of course the blocky geometry did not age well, but I feel like Core made the best of it. Compared to something like Legacy of Kain, for example (a title with similar gameplay to TR), even though LoK is less a lot less blocky, the environments of TR feel more solid. And TR had better draw distance. Most PS1 games had specific strengths in terms of graphics, and I think TR had a well rounded package.

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Old 16-02-20, 10:22   #22
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Originally Posted by Kapu View Post
I'm late to the party...but I agree, TR3 (and the classics in general) had great attention to detail. Overall I think TR4 had the best presentation, but most of the biggest graphical improvement happened in TR3. Colored lighting, triangulated polygons for smoother geometry. The particle effects for blood were really good, too. TR4 used crappy pink sprites instead.

Of course the blocky geometry did not age well, but I feel like Core made the best of it. Compared to something like Legacy of Kain, for example (a title with similar gameplay to TR), even though LoK is less a lot less blocky, the environments of TR feel more solid. And TR had better draw distance. Most PS1 games had specific strengths in terms of graphics, and I think TR had a well rounded package.
I think your mixing up TRIII with TRIV. TRIII had pink blobs of blood, the blood in water looked similar to the one thatís going to be used as blood in the next yearís title TRIV. TRIV displayed blood as something foggy and red.

And I feel like TRIV was a revolution in terms of graphics. Apart from the controls, the game still holds up this day with its level design and graphics. It looks like a game with a specific artstyle for modern newcomers. I mean, itís successor Btw, Iím not stone-shaming TRIII, itís one of my top TRs. Truth be told, yes, it is one of the best games of its time graphics-wise.
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Old 16-02-20, 12:19   #23
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I feel like TRIV was a revolution in terms of graphics. Apart from the controls, the game still holds up this day with its level design and graphics. It looks like a game with a specific artstyle for modern newcomers. I mean, it’s successor Btw, I’m not stone-shaming TRIII, it’s one of my top TRs. Truth be told, yes, it is one of the best games of its time graphics-wise.
I don't know... TRIV felt like a step down to me. Suddenly they reduced the render distance, which does show in quite a few areas. You can just look into the infinite until you come closer and the wall renders.
Suddenly bodies disappear. A lot of the levels went back to square design which can work for indoor rooms but feels a little cheap outdoors.
This is minor and not really graphical but they also removed the circular menu and replaced it with a basic one where you don't clearly see where your items are at.

I think that they only added water dripping off Lara and the volumetric fog that I saw as a graphical update. Some textures are nice and the lightning is pretty cool too but I can say the same about TRIII.
Oh and they also added that lens flare which was cool in Alexandria.
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Old 17-02-20, 00:16   #24
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I think your mixing up TRIII with TRIV. TRIII had pink blobs of blood, the blood in water looked similar to the one that’s going to be used as blood in the next year’s title TRIV. TRIV displayed blood as something foggy and red.
Nah, I just wasn't specific enough. Forget what I said about color for the moment. I mean the effect for displaying blood splatter. In TR3, blood is made of smaller, individual particulates that spray directionally from the enemy when shot. When the enemy dies, there's a moment where blood sprays out of them in all directions. In TR4, when Lara/an enemy is hit, many copies of the same blood spite appear around the character at various sizes, and expand/shrink as they fall to the ground. It's way less realistic (IMO) compared to TR3's particle-like effect.

I made a quick (somewhat gruesome) video to show the difference. Compression makes the blood a bit hard to see, but there's some zoomed in and slow mo shots to help.


I guess neither one is the right color. Not pink, but BRIGHT red. Whereas actual blood is a deeper shade. I can't remember what underwater blood looks like in TR3, but in TR4 it's shared with the sprite for flames. Blood has its own (crappy ) spite.

Fire/underwater blood sprites


Blood sprite

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Old 25-02-20, 20:14   #25
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TR in general feels way more organic compared to other games.
There are only very few games in the PSX era that can come close to Lara's smooth animations.
There are games that had more flexible vertex animations (Spyro, Crash Bandicoot), but their overall animations are cut-off and the gameplay doesnt feel as smooth. With Lara you can move into every direction however you want and you can climb (almost) wherever you want. The games feel much more open compared to Gex or soul reaver which had handcrafted environments although they aren't open at all.

These "Demake" videos are actually what I think of 90% of PSX games. weird camera movements, horrible animations. You don't have this with TR. You have a somewhat free camera - you can look where you want and no one stops you and Lara may be a full tank, but her animations are smooth as butter.

@Kapu: The Blood in Tr3 is resolution dependent. The smaller the resolution the "bigger" the blood since they are just some colored pixels. You can't see **** in this video :P
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Old 26-02-20, 01:38   #26
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@TR-Freak that's why I added the crops and slow downs. Sorry it still wasn't good enough
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Old 26-02-20, 05:34   #27
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Those huge 2M squares were outdated even in the PS1 days, and it's not a couple of fancy effects that will change that.
The blocky environment is actually a strength of TR if you think about it. It allows fast iteration in the level design process. You can easily create huge environments with it (Cistern, Lost Valley, Tibetan Foothills) and it's integrated into gameplay (long jump gets you over 3 squares, standing jump over 2 squares)

If you compare Tr1 with Spyro, you will notice that Spyro's Environments are quite empty and bland looking in most cases.
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Old 26-02-20, 10:18   #28
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Considering these games were made for the ps1 some of them are a technical marvel.

It does sometimes make me laugh when some say how limited the development changes were between the releases of each game.

This is due to people looking from the future into the past.

The games were released annually on a system with very little computing power compared to today with a staff of less than 20 (for some of the releases).

If you were there at the time you know how they were lauded at the time for always innovating between releases, albeit these innovations seem simplistic in today's world with systems that have significantly more computing power, workforces that are in their hundreds and releases 5 and 3 years apart....

In their time, these games were advanced and very innovative.
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Old 26-02-20, 12:48   #29
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^this

In today's games you still see the same engine used and they barely change the internals. Meshes and Cutscenes are different, but the mechanics are the same but take three times more development time because of the technical art.

If you switch the engine or create one from scratch you get more development time. TR2013 took 5 years after TRU to be released.
TRL took maybe 2 years (1 year maybe to decide to kill Core Design) and after that engine was setup, all they did was switching models and cutscenes and you had anniversary within a year. One more year and we got TRU.

The quality of gameplay we see in classic TR is only visible in Indie Games nowadays. The AAA titles focus on cutting edge graphics with casual gameplay to get large sales.
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Old 27-02-20, 09:07   #30
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Tbh back in 1998 there were some reviews mentioning that the engine feels already outdated, eg:
https://www.ign.com/articles/1998/11...f-lara-croft-2

I suppose by "new engines" the author especially meant Unreal Engine, since Unreal was released the same year, but already in May (TR3 on November). An incredibly good looking Metal Gear Solid was also released in September on Windows and PSX and it featured both great graphics and gameplay. Half-life was released just one day earlier and it quickly became a huge success both in terms of gameplay and graphics.

Of course from our perspective the comparison like that seems horribly unfair. Unreal and Half-life were both PC exclusives. Only Metal Gear Solid was made for both PC and PSX (although not sure if PC wasn't a later port?). Compared to them a lot of multiplatform games seem outdated.

That being said, by the time of 1998 there were already dynamic lights, fully skinned characters, different blending modes, more open level design etc.

I suppose if TR3 was released earlier in 1998, it would have received far more positive reviews (it still did get mostly favourable reviews btw). Unfortunately that year was the moment when graphics and gameplay have quickly changed, while TR3 basically gave us the same stuff TR1 and 2 did, only more.
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