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Old 16-05-20, 00:15   #1
Pillis
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Default It still looks amazing!

Re-playing Underworld now during my TR streak and loving it so far. Messy and sloppy as this trilogy might be, these are still fun games with high replay value. And Underworld still looks incredibly good, yes it has evident frame rate issues and a few bugs but overall I loved the cartoony visuals they went for in LAU. I also enjoyed the scope of some of the levels and the focus On exploration. Honestly I remember it having more puzzles (actually Shadow might take the cake in terms of puzzles) but Mexico is 100% old school classic tomb raider. Mediterranean Sea is also a great opening. Thailand looks pretty but it's a bit uneventful, too easy. The crypt under the manor is cool although a bit short.
But what makes Underworld iconic is its story and cutscenes, it's the TR game with the most Lara talking about mythology and artifacts, it's so cool! I still think it's the best TR game by CD followed by either Anniversary or Shadow. Legend is fun but just too easy and dumb but it's a guilty pleasure with witty lines by our heroine.
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Old 16-05-20, 08:25   #2
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I agree, it looks fantastic even today. They did a good job having the early gameplay demos be of Thailand.

It's also the most in LAU that I actively explored the most just to see what was there.

Story could've been better but it wasn't as shoehorned as it could've been.

It also brought us:
"You can smash her with a hammer, or shoot her in the face; you can smash her with a pillar, and blow up the whole place; you can throw her off a million cliffs with lava down below; oh, it doesn't make a difference to Natla, oh..."
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Old 16-05-20, 08:33   #3
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I also like the blood effect on enemies and slow motion thing. I still prefer the dodge system from Anniversary I think it's the smoothest the combat has ever been in the series but it's followed by Underworld. I wish the bigger levelvs could have been less linear but still they offered plenty of exploration and the white edges are definitely less obvious. I think Shadow really brought these things back. At this point I wouldn't mind a new reboot trilogy and have a different Lara for every generation. We're not going back to Classic Lara and current Lara is not that special so why not? I doubt they can do worse than TR2013 and Rise at this point.
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Old 16-05-20, 09:32   #4
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Glad you enjoyed the game. I personally love the way the game looks the first half of the game. After that everything resorts to the same blue/gray color scheme.

The story is very mediocre and basically ruined everything Legend began. An unpopular opinion, but I really missed how Zip and Allister suddenly didn't say a word anymore to Lara during gameplay. Not because I truly love them that much, but just because it interferes with the continuation of Legend. Why would Lara suddenly ditch her headset and helping companions? Natla should have never ever been a part of this storyline. It felt so incredible cheap.

The animations are garbage. Most of the inventory and gadgets are redundant.
The music score is really good though. Has some very nice musical scores.

The exclusive Xbox DLC is still saddening today. It's the only TR content that can't be played on the PC. Which is so disappointing. Not to mention that Windows is Microsoft's property so they basically excluded their own, biggest platform.
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Old 16-05-20, 09:40   #5
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Yes forcing Natla into the picture was bad but the story is very good still. At least it's about real myths and real cultures all mixed together, I think it was pretty original. Legend was total crap for me. Mommy disappears touching a sword, the cutscenes were so bad, combat so sloppy, levels so linear and easy and graphics were terrible. I liked the score, LAU trilogy has impressive music.
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Old 16-05-20, 11:08   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pillis View Post
Yes forcing Natla into the picture was bad but the story is very good still. At least it's about real myths and real cultures all mixed together, I think it was pretty original. Legend was total crap for me. Mommy disappears touching a sword, the cutscenes were so bad, combat so sloppy, levels so linear and easy and graphics were terrible. I liked the score, LAU trilogy has impressive music.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Legend did the monomyth idea first and it did it better. I like how indirectly the Excalibur story is inserted into other cultures (like Bolivian, Peruvian, Nepalese).

Underworld’s attempt at the monomyth idea was executed terribly. Norse mythology-related statues like Thor and snakes scattered all around the world??? What?! At least Legend made it blend with local cultures. Not to mention the abrupt transition from Arthurian lore to Norse mythology.

The graphics are OK I guess. But I didn’t like the clashing art style of Lara’s cartoony look and other realistic-looking characters + realistic locations. Also, I’m not a big fan of the grey, dark corridors mid-way after Mexico.
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Old 16-05-20, 15:14   #7
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Originally Posted by Tomb Raidering View Post
Sorry to burst your bubble, but Legend did the monomyth idea first and it did it better. I like how indirectly the Excalibur story is inserted into other cultures (like Bolivian, Peruvian, Nepalese).

Underworld’s attempt at the monomyth idea was executed terribly. Norse mythology-related statues like Thor and snakes scattered all around the world??? What?! At least Legend made it blend with local cultures. Not to mention the abrupt transition from Arthurian lore to Norse mythology.

The graphics are OK I guess. But I didn’t like the clashing art style of Lara’s cartoony look and other realistic-looking characters + realistic locations. Also, I’m not a big fan of the grey, dark corridors mid-way after Mexico.
I don't know, Legend passes little time talking about mythology and way too much about Lara's mother so the narrative is pretty bad imho. I agree that the passage between Legend and Underworld is abrupt and I think they should have been 2 self-contained stories.

Having said that, Underworld has much better cutscenes and a better written story: the medias res opening is iconic and finally we have some tension, some pathos...Lara has more personality too. I love that she talks and explains all the myths while you're exploring the ruins. It's still such a unique experience, no other game, including the classic TRs, spends so much time immersed in mythology and archaeology. Shadow is similar as well and I think it's where the franchise shines the most.

After Mexico I agree that the art direction becomes stale, you can tell the game is a bit rushed after the lush and rich levels up to that point. Still, the Jan Mayen level is pretty awesome nonetheless.

Also I think every character is very cartoony, especially Natla and Amanda so all in all I think the art style is pretty cohesive and it makes the graphics still tolerable today whereas the realistic ones are bound to become dated pretty quickly (see TR2013).

Sad that this trilogy was rushed and underbudgeted, it had lots of potential if only the engine was more polished and CD had more time in developing more interesting levels...maybe a fourth game instead of reboot? Who knows what would have happened. I only know that the reboot killed Lara for me and it was one of the biggest disappointments and embarrassments of the past few years as far as gaming is concerned. Luckily Eidos Montreal put the franchise back on track with Shadow but judging but the lukewarm sales and reviews I fear it was too late.

Also I want to remind you that Underworld outsold both Legend and Anniversary, it was the best selling TR since Last Revelation. That's also why the reboot felt so unnecessary to me, even tho it went on to become the highest selling title in the franchise.

Last edited by Pillis; 16-05-20 at 15:32.
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Old 16-05-20, 16:46   #8
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TRU looks amazing even today. But the gameplay is kinda stiff. Animations and such. Especially if you played TRA and then jumped into TRU right after.
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Old 16-05-20, 17:12   #9
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Yes Anniversary is smoother because she has less moves and less realistic animations but it was still a mess, I think the grappling hook was improved in U and she has some nice movements like all the rolls she does on those beams that can be useful. In A I still jump left instead of right A LOT, St Francis Folly and Obelisk of Kamhoon are a mess and so frustrating. Reboot trilogy has still control issues but it's a biig improvement although it's less TRish. I miss the crazy choreographed acrobatics.
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Old 16-05-20, 18:46   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomb Raidering View Post
Underworld’s attempt at the monomyth idea was executed terribly. Norse mythology-related statues like Thor and snakes scattered all around the world??? What?! At least Legend made it blend with local cultures. Not to mention the abrupt transition from Arthurian lore to Norse mythology.
This perfectly explains my problems with Underworld, thank you. Legend did it way better because it blends into each other a lot, whereas in underworld it's more like oh you see this culture? nahh there's secretly a Norse mythology hidden underneath!
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