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Old 03-12-19, 18:59   #1
_Seth
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Lightbulb Your Ideal Tomb Raider 12 Wishlist?

I think it would be good to have an all-encompassing wishlist for TR12, tbh.

You can look at contributing to this thread from the angle of if you were an exec at SE, how would you move the series forward, given free reign? If that includes continuing on with the reboot, what changes would you like to see, from Lara's hair to level design to game structure to storyline.

For myself, as I laid out in my Rise and Fall of Tomb Raider documentary, I'd commission Nixxes to remake TR1-3 (faithfully, unlike TRA,) with quality of life improvements and 360 degree analogue controls which would still incorporate precision, weight and momentum. It would be called the Tomb Raider: Classic Trilogy with the original branding, and The Last Revelation trilogy would follow 2 years later. This would reintroduce the original timeline to a new generation and simultaneously cement a solid foundation for a Tomb Raider 7.

If that wasn't to happen and the reboot was to continue, I would like to see:

Lara to be hard nosed and given a personality of some description.
No forced walking - a clear line between gameplay and cinematics, not constantly wrestling control away from me for for cinematic reasons, which incidentally just rip me out of the immersion.
The hub system to be reduced into a series of tightly formed levels one after the other which serve as their own mini worlds in themselves. This would trim all the fat off the hubs.
Introduce complex, multilayered level design in each environment with their own artefacts, mechanisms, traps and levers.
Consistent jump and grab mechanics that are reliable. If it looks grabbable, it should be grabbable, even if it leads nowhere. Shadow was guilty of heaps of cheap deaths for this reason.
A health and air bar to return.
Overhauled animations to make Lara move like a human, not looking like a crackhead squirrel on acid with bones made of jelly that defy gravity, as animated by someone as talentless as someone out of high school.
Fix Lara's mullet.
A storyline with actual depth, intrigue, unpredictability with authentic, charming, memorable characters to create an actually engaging piece of entertainment. Something with as much scope as the early Broken Sword games.
Get rid of Camilla and hire someone with a strong, confident mature voice that can actually do a solid English accent.
Adopt a colourful art style with rich, moody, atmospheric lighting while still based in reality.


Now, this thread isn't really to discuss my ideas, but more to post your own wishlist whether it be for a huge direction change, or just a few things you'd like changed.
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Old 03-12-19, 19:17   #2
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I still want to better develop my opinions on the narrative tone and on Lara as a character (which in a very basic TL/DR is "just do a large-scale version of what what the comics did, be it the Dan Jurgens/Andy Park classic run or the post-RotTR run"), but I will quote myself from a thread I did more or less a year ago. I did it before I played SotTR, but my opinion remains the same.

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Genre

I will start with the broadest aspect of a game, it’s genre. Of course, Tomb Raider is and should be an action-adventure game, but I’m talking about what kind of action-adventure game it should be. And I will start by saying that I don’t want Tomb Raider to become an open-world game. Yes, exploration is something that is essential to both Tomb Raider and open-world games, but open world games tackle a different side of exploration that is not the core of Tomb Raider. Open-world games are all about reaching the next destination, and about finding different landmarks, and while those moments were always present in the franchise, Tomb Raider is more about exploration at a micro-scale: about uncovering the secrets of ancient tombs, temples and civilizations, about how those ancient constructions were built and worked, so we can traverse them. Now, I’m not saying an open-word Tomb Raider game couldn’t work, but it would definitely need a development time that honestly I don’t see Square-Enix giving to any project that doesn’t involve Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest or Tetsuya Nomura.

Instead, I want the hub-based gameplay to be kept. Let’s be fair, even Core Design was very much leaning towards hub-based Tomb Raider games with both The Last Revelation and AoD (though they didn’t have the best hardware (TLR) or project management (AoD) to fully explore the idea). However, I don’t want them to follow the “bigger=better” trend that RotTR and SotTR followed. While I still haven’t played SotTR, TReboot hubs were much better than RotTR’s because their smaller size allowed for you to freely explore, without never being too far away from the main objective. Sure, there is fast traveling, but if not-traversing seems a better alternative to return to the main objective than actually traversing the hub you did, you’re doing your hubs wrong. What I actually want are smaller, yet more complex, interconnected hubs. Think of how Dark Souls areas all have several different entrance/exit areas, and how you keep finding new paths that more directly lead to different areas of the same or of different hubs. Better yet, think on how Metroidvania (especially those who more follow the Metroid side of that genre) work, only in 3D. That’s how I thought the reboot games where headed after TReboot (which quite frankly already works as a pseudo 3D-Medroidvania game).

Let’s think of a game where Lara has to explore 3 to 5 hubs at the same time, in order to gain access to a final hub. To make backtracking less boring, the more you explore, you gain access not only to new locations, but also to faster routes to previous ones. Now, progression in Metroidvania games are usually tied to gaining access to new equipment/abilities. Instead, I propose that progression to be mostly tied to both puzzle solving (alters something in a different hub/area) and key finding. It is very classic based, but I think it can well work with modern design as well. I mean, from previews EM already brought some classic puzzle elements like levers in a way that makes sense for modern game. But the most important thing here is, a 3D-Metroidvania game would bring exploration back to complete the main story, which is the thing I think the reboot games are mostly missing. Also, for major parts of the story, I think that some cool set-piece action and boss battles (more on these later) can be great ways to keep the game feeling fresh and exciting. Just not overused, and more varied (I basically can only remember the avalanche and the Syria escape in RotTR, because all set-pieces were the “run from the exploding/falling/following thing” kind).

But now for the big “problem” of this whole idea: this game structure would perhaps say that globetrotting would once again be missing from a Tomb Raider game, and many of us want that back. I also though like that, but I then remembered one word: Quackshot. Quackshot was an old platform-adventure game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, starring Donald Duck in a Indiana Jones hat, where Donald would travel across the world for an ancient treasure (sounds familiar? ). The think is that the game kind of works as a sort of globetrotting Metroidvania game: especially in the 2nd act, you could freely explore each level in the order you want, but you would soon find an area where you would need a piece of equipment or key that you had to get from a different level. Of course there was a “correct path” to play the game, and that one of the areas didn’t need a special item, but it shows that this sort of interconnected hubs/levels can work on a global scale. Maybe this idea is too big to be explored in the next Tomb Raider game, but maybe more down the line, if the 3D-Metroidvania works for Tomb Raider and CD/EM want to take things to the next level. And if you never played it, try QuackShot, it’s actually a really fun game. 

Platforming

Okay this is a quicker one: keep the mechanics SotTR already has (ledge climbing, axe climbing, rope-related actions) and expand on them, make them more intrinsic to hub-exploration, and, most importantly, make distances actually matter. You can even keep automatic grab in, but jumping distances should be consistent and should matter to make a successful jump or not. If any 3D Super Mario game can do it, even with automatic grab, so can Tomb Raider games.

Another thing: manual grab should return, even if as an option. But I don’t want the classic “have to keep pressing a button” grab back. I think that expanding how axe-climbing works to ledge climbing would be enough. By that I mean “if you need to jump to start climbing, you need to press interact to actually grab it”. I think that would be an easy way to implement manual grab.

One last thing: everything that looks climbable should be climbable. Everything that looks reachable should be reachable. No invisible walls. Not only for immersion reasons, but as a way to encourage something the best Metroidvania games always allow: sequence break (more on that later).

Puzzle Solving

Another quick one: keep and expand what SotTR seems to have done: more, more complex and more varied puzzles in the main path. Even if the most complex are in the Challenge Tombs, this should continue to be the trend, though I don’t think that it should come at the expense of the other pillars (more on that later). And remember: variety is important! We can only do so many rope-based puzzles before it gets tiring.

Speaking of Challenge Tombs, I think they should be kept. I just want them to actually be hidden (as in “I was exploring and accidentally stumble into one” hidden) and with no warning whatsoever that I’m near one. Let them be surprises. Also, I think the rewards should also be varied, and not just skill and collectibles. For example, the rewards could also include shortcuts to previous areas or hubs, or an alternate but more advantageous route to the next main area (maybe you start a combat encounter or boss battle at a more advantageous position).

Combat

Honestly, I don’t care if the current “over the shoulders, cover based, TPS” combat returns or not, or if a different system is implemented altogether (personally, I think that a Beat’em Up system like DMC and Bayonetta would be cool, but probably would suit Classic Lara better). What I do think is that a balance should be achieved, since the low combat in SotTR seems to be a negative point for most gamers, even if most fans actually prefer it. Personally, I think that RotTR had a good balance (maybe I could go for a little less, but it was far from the bullet fest TReboot was).

But really, I don’t think the quantity was ever the problem (except in Shanty Town, obviously). Instead, I think the problem was the combat variety. We basically just kill human or human-like enemies in the main path, and all of them basically have the same or way too similar strategies to be beaten. I think that lack of variety is the true problem with the Reboot’s combat. As such I think that we should not have just a return of several animals and monster-like enemies, but I also think that each enemy type should have a different strategy to be defeated. Maybe even have immortal enemies that you need to avoid and/or entrap instead of kill. I think a bigger variety of both enemies and strategies would make combat feel less same-y, and that would mitigate more the feeling of too much combat, since you’re not doing the same thing over and over again.

And of course, let’s have a return of proper, action puzzle-based boss battle. Baba Yaga was so cool because of it. I don’t know if SotTR goes in that direction, but if it doesn’t, the next game definitely should.

Other Small Things

• Streamline gameplay a bit: there’s no need for different types of the same weapon, there’s no need for so many different crafting materials. Hell, maybe there is no need for crafting (maybe only keep them for ammo and health) or RPG elements whatsoever.
• Maybe limit how many weapons Lara can carry with her at each time (can only change weapons at basecamps, different weapons may lead to different paths, if a specific weapon is absolutely necessarily for that portion of the game, have a base camp near where it should be used);
• Mix everything together: most areas should have combat, exploration, puzzles and platforming, even if they are mainly focus on one pillar.
Embrace sequence breaking: it is something that Nintendo always explored with Metroid and more recently with both Zelda BotW and Super Mario Odyssey and I think it would be a nice challenge for more hardcore players. Maybe even have the story or some cutscenes change if the normal sequence of events is broken. It could also help in making the game gain traction on Twitch and on Youtube, mainly with the speedrun community, and I think it could give the game a bigger exposure and potentially reach more players. This is why I think that everything that looks grabbable should be, every jump that looks like it can be made should be, and every area that seems reachable should be.

So TL/DR: No to open-world, yes for 3D-Metroidvania game, where exploration is mandatory, platforming is more consistent, puzzles are complex, combat is more varied in both enemy types and strategies, with a return of action puzzle-based boss battles. Globetrotting is doable but maybe try the 3D-Metroidvania formula on one location before, and let sequence-braking be a thing.
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Old 03-12-19, 19:24   #3
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Here's my wishlist

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Originally Posted by Vaskito View Post
So, it was implied that the games after SOTTR might be isolated adventures, instead of having one main plot spawning through multiple games. So, what I'd like for TR4 would be something similar/inspired by TR1/TR3.

I'll use TR1 as example. Imagine the next game being a TR1 reimagining

Since the Scion has three pieces, the game would have three main locations - each location would have a main hub, similar in size to Mission of San Juan (and nothing nearly as big as Paititi).

Each hub would branch out with explorable map around it, and basically the story would be Lara getting clues, and interacting with the environment, and progressing the story with puzzles in the main path, as well as some optional ones, and well balanced combat along the way, until the end portion of that hub, where she gets the piece of the Scion. Obviously, there would be lots of stuff to do and solve before you get the piece. Then, once the first piece is found, Lara travels to the second location, and something similar will happen there. A small hub, with a surrounding explorable area, where you'd get to solve multiple stuff, and progress the story, until you find the next piece. Once the second piece is found, off we go to location 3, and do something similar.

Once all three pieces are found and combined, we then get the "point of no return", in which you can't go back and must progress the final phase of the game, with a couple of more linear levels (let's say 3 or 4), until the final boss confrontation (Natla, in this case).

Since this is within the reboot systems and reimagining, a couple of set pieces, and cinematics around the story would be present. Similar combat with improvements, such as melee combat. Duals should make a return as well. The bow is kept. Let there be freedom to the player to play with the ones they enjoy the most.

Transversal would be similar to the reboot, with some improvements, such as less "magnetization", and maybe multiple ways to reach a place.

Docs should still be present, as I think they are vital to enrich the lore of the game. Maye have less in quantity. Survival Caches should be ditched. Keep the crafting system, as I like to upgrade weapons and gather resources to make stuff. The skill trees should either be ditched, or completely overhauled to something that makes more sense than what it did in SOTTR.

The tone of the games should also be less focused on Lara as a character, since her biggest struggles are mostly dealt with. Have her be less serious, and have a natural evolution that makes sense for the reboot character - that being showing more the side of her that she displays in the comics, where she's more snarky and witty, but isn't a one-liner robot, while still being a caring, respectful, liking character.

I'd like also to have familiar faces coming with her to each location. But they should be around Lara all the time. Maybe in some small portions, where they help her reach something, and that's it.

In combat, I think the reboot has gotten it mostly right in variety, so those type of enemies should come back. Bears, Wolves, Jaguars/Leopards, etc.). Also, I know people are tired of them, but realistically, Trinity should be dealt with that easily. So by this game, Lara should simply know they'd be in some places just to pest her. Trinity as an entity stops being the main focus, and are reduced to those annoying guys. They should be less afraid in supernatural enemies, so they could have a couple of non-humanoid ones. Each main location should have a boss fight before acquiring the piece of the Scion.

Maybe have Kennard as the main "competitor" to Lara, which could lead to some interesting personal confrontations, where it would entice Lara to show her more sarcastic side, and maybe even having him messing with her in some gameplay portions, such as both trying to reach some place/some object, and them trying to cause delays to one another using the environment, for example.

IMO, this game would be a nice Classic/LAU/Reboot hybrid.

I have given TR1 and Scion reimagining as an example, it could be something more like TR3, or some other artifact/s unrelated to any reimagining.
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Old 03-12-19, 19:52   #4
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I agree with you people and there's little else I could say.
I'd like a remake of the classics like Seth described.

For the actual TR12, I do think it should have:
  • Many big mandatory tomb-like environments with interconnected puzzles
  • Sassyness and coldness from Lara
  • Consistent jumping, no spoken or visual hints
  • Lots of traps
  • Maintain underwater segments
  • Maintain Shadow's good color use
  • Acrobatics to come back finally
  • Dual guns and the braid to come back finally
  • Key and lock puzzles to come back, interspersed with the usual physics puzzles
  • Less combat (like Shadow? I didn't play Shadow)
  • Hubs that are tomb-like and/or smaller hubs or no hubs at all
  • No forced walking segments
  • Vehicles to return
  • Perhaps globettroting too
  • FOr Lara to stop altogether speaking to herself (maybe tied to option to turn off hints)
  • For Lara not to swear or reduce it DRASTICALLY
  • More animal/mythological enemies. Less human enemies.
  • No daddy/mommy storyline
  • All that looks climbable should be climbable
  • No skill trees, Lara has grown enough already
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Old 03-12-19, 19:59   #5
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Keep everything the way it is gameplay wise but put some more work into the story. Oh and please finally add the manor to the game. That‘s all I could wish for.
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Old 04-12-19, 13:39   #6
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Grabbing ledges is boring.
Gimme effortless landing-based superhuman acrobatic platforming and context-free wallrunning.

Then we'll talk.
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Old 04-12-19, 14:52   #7
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My wishlist at this point is very very short: take Dishonored 2 as an example.

Add a good/decent even mediocre story (just as an excuse for Lara to go somewhere) and I'll be really happy.

I don't need drama, cliché filled story and sidekicks to like a game and its protagonist.

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Old 04-12-19, 21:11   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulojr_mam View Post
I agree with you people and there's little else I could say.
I'd like a remake of the classics like Seth described.

For the actual TR12, I do think it should have:
  • Many big mandatory tomb-like environments with interconnected puzzles
  • Sassyness and coldness from Lara
  • Consistent jumping, no spoken or visual hints
  • Lots of traps
  • Maintain underwater segments
  • Maintain Shadow's good color use
  • Acrobatics to come back finally
  • Dual guns and the braid to come back finally
  • Key and lock puzzles to come back, interspersed with the usual physics puzzles
  • Less combat (like Shadow? I didn't play Shadow)
  • Hubs that are tomb-like and/or smaller hubs or no hubs at all
  • No forced walking segments
  • Vehicles to return
  • Perhaps globettroting too
  • FOr Lara to stop altogether speaking to herself (maybe tied to option to turn off hints)
  • For Lara not to swear or reduce it DRASTICALLY
  • More animal/mythological enemies. Less human enemies.
  • No daddy/mommy storyline
  • All that looks climbable should be climbable
  • No skill trees, Lara has grown enough already
This and i want to add less gore and blood and a bit more lighthearted story. We had 3 dark games the 4th should be a game with more happy moments.
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Old 04-12-19, 21:25   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paulojr_mam View Post

For the actual TR12, I do think it should have:
  • Many big mandatory tomb-like environments with interconnected puzzles
  • Sassyness and coldness from Lara
  • Consistent jumping, no spoken or visual hints
  • Lots of traps
  • Maintain underwater segments
  • Maintain Shadow's good color use
  • Acrobatics to come back finally
  • Dual guns and the braid to come back finally
  • Key and lock puzzles to come back, interspersed with the usual physics puzzles
  • Less combat (like Shadow? I didn't play Shadow)
  • Hubs that are tomb-like and/or smaller hubs or no hubs at all
  • No forced walking segments
  • Vehicles to return
  • Perhaps globettroting too
  • FOr Lara to stop altogether speaking to herself (maybe tied to option to turn off hints)
  • For Lara not to swear or reduce it DRASTICALLY
  • More animal/mythological enemies. Less human enemies.
  • No daddy/mommy storyline
  • All that looks climbable should be climbable
  • No skill trees, Lara has grown enough already
Exactly all of this in detail!!!
One more thing though: Bring back the original Lara's theme mixed with the new.

I really want the next game to be a remake or remakes.
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Old 04-12-19, 21:44   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JsotoTRSaga View Post
One more thing though: Bring back the original Lara's theme mixed with the new.
This, but maybe not even mixed. I've been saying this for a while now, but I think the classic theme could work really well as the franchise theme, while the reboot theme could work really well as Lara's theme.

Kinda like how Metroid has separate themes for the franchise and Samus herself.
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