Zero Punctuation: Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Rise of the Tomb Raider

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Rise of the Tomb Raider.

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Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like the new Lara. She always felt unlikable to me, not helped by the plot bending over backwards to her every whim. So yeah, seems like a safe skip.

It's mainly the voice for me, too.

No offense to the voice actress, I'm sure she's a nice person, but the posh gasping behind every silibil grates on me so bad.

And next game, fix that perpetually wavey hair, girl!

Oh so they gave her tits now. Sounds like that innovation you were on about last time. Though i am pretty sure DOA has that area pretty ...UNcovered! Hahah! Oh, nnnnnnnnnggghh! Must digress before more digging into the ress.t; Is extra puncuation no longer a tuesday afternoon thing? Nobody tells me nothin'!

What i don't understand is why they don't put in different enemy types that require different weapons and tactics, even traps? Shadow Warrior makes it feel as if each weapon has a use for different enemies so you are constantly thinking on your feet. Do these AAA developers not play any great games at all? Make the game grow tougher enough against the player as they play, to force them to upgrade or die. The experience would be less monotonous and the player may even appreciate working for the next upgrade.

Le sighs. Just Cause 3 very soon, guys... amirite?? ;)

The 'too many options' problem sounds irritating in this one as well. If you don't challenge the player, no amount of decent functionality is going to stop it from getting boring when your story is also pretty by the numbers.

Probably worth a rent, then. I liked the rebooted Tomb Raider just fine, but I didn't buy it either.

Hmm, How I'd balance the upgradable weapons is make the gun ammo scarce (aka more ammo that Evil Within gives you, but barely so) and make the arrows equally effective as Deus Ex's tranquilliser darts.

So, am I to interpret it that this game is still trying to portray Lara as this poor young women way out of her depth, despite having the ability to murder a small nation? Y'know, like the last game did?

Did anyone else feel that Yahtzee made at least 4 jokes that sounded like they are the last one in the video, but then it continued?

I'm playing the reboot right now.
I don't like new Lara. She always sounds exhausted and she's exhausting to hear.
Game's fun but could use more puzzle-platforming, less set pieces. Don't mind the action as much as how rigurously scripted it is.

Depleted Uranium Friendship Bracelets, DUFB's will surely be the next big thing!

Thank you for the review, I really enjoyed it, right before the local holiday here! Now I will have polite conversation material - please pass the cranberry stuffing.

Ah what a bummer, when they do these reboot things, I am always filled with cautious optimism, I try to give it a benefit of a doubt. *sigh* In this day and age it seems that art is tapped out and no one wants to stick with truly expressing something so it feels real vs clamped on "so what is my motivation again?"

"that's as good as the writing gets", a phrase I have heard with every single game written by Rhianna Pratchett.

I think what utterly kills me about this reboot is how every keeps gushing about it, like it's some savior for the video game industry when in fact it's just an Uncharted-alike with writing that never rises above average. It's like how critics wore kid gloves for the awful attempt at a DMC reboot (though admittedly Tomb Raider is at least functional with a middling story as opposed to NT's....THING, that had bad gameplay with a downright offensive plot). We practically have stones loaded and ready when a series takes on aspects of games that came after it (just look at how much shit Thief 4 caught for blatantly ripping off Dishonored in places like setting and narrative) and yet people give Tomb Raider a free pass.

As for Lara herself, she's just a milquetoast non-character. She doesn't really make any choices, isn't anything close to a complex character, and her personality is just dull. All this makes me realize is that we are seriously starved for heroines if this Lara is somehow a groundbreaking revolutionary in writing when in fact she never even comes close to matching the legions of women who have come before her like Aya Brea, Lenneth Valkyrie, Elly van Houten, Terra Branford, Tifa Lockhart, Samus Aran, Kid from Chrono Cross, every female character in Blazblue and Guilty Gear, the girls of Persona, the Odin Sphere women, and tons of others. I have just named close to two dozen women that would curb stomp Lara in the character department harder than Kazuma Kiryu after he's had a few belts of whiskey. In their haste to not make Lara a caricature, they ended up just making her boring. One step to the side, with no real progress, the eternal tale of game writing.

Sheo_Dagana:
The 'too many options' problem sounds irritating in this one as well. If you don't challenge the player, no amount of decent functionality is going to stop it from getting boring when your story is also pretty by the numbers.

It's much better to find many uses for one mechanic than many mechanics for one use.

Huh. Why the heck is Escapist hiding this review? It's not showing up on their front page.

I thought it was a unanimous conclusion that Yahtzee is all that's keeping this site afloat.

Spushkin:
Did anyone else feel that Yahtzee made at least 4 jokes that sounded like they are the last one in the video, but then it continued?

Yeah. And despite the video being a roughly typical length, when all was said and done, if not even a little short.

Guess there wasn't much to talk about, since all the mechanics are apparently exactly the same since the last one. Which is fine if you can make compelling setpieces -- it's the reason people appreciate the Half-Life 2 episodes, and for that matter the Half-Life expansion packs that weren't even made by Valve -- but the game I'm now choosing to call Tomb Raider Origins like a proper reboot-prequel should be was pretty spare in that department to begin with, and I wasn't really expecting the team responsible for it to suddenly do a 180 in that department.

Logience:
Huh. Why the heck is Escapist hiding this review? It's not showing up on their front page.

I thought it was a unanimous conclusion that Yahtzee is all that's keeping this site afloat.

The consumerism, all of a sudden, is strong with the escapist, for some reason. Stronger than their strongest content creator. Life lesson; money defeats all!
This may be my first escapist christmas. Maybe this is the norm here.

Aiddon:
"that's as good as the writing gets", a phrase I have heard with every single game written by Rhianna Pratchett.

I think what utterly kills me about this reboot is how every keeps gushing about it, like it's some savior for the video game industry when in fact it's just an Uncharted-alike with writing that never rises above average. It's like how critics wore kid gloves for the awful attempt at a DMC reboot (though admittedly Tomb Raider is at least functional with a middling story as opposed to NT's....THING, that had bad gameplay with a downright offensive plot). We practically have stones loaded and ready when a series takes on aspects of games that came after it (just look at how much shit Thief 4 caught for blatantly ripping off Dishonored in places like setting and narrative) and yet people give Tomb Raider a free pass.

As for Lara herself, she's just a milquetoast non-character. She doesn't really make any choices, isn't anything close to a complex character, and her personality is just dull. All this makes me realize is that we are seriously starved for heroines if this Lara is somehow a groundbreaking revolutionary in writing when in fact she never even comes close to matching the legions of women who have come before her like Aya Brea, Lenneth Valkyrie, Elly van Houten, Terra Branford, Tifa Lockhart, Samus Aran, Kid from Chrono Cross, every female character in Blazblue and Guilty Gear, the girls of Persona, the Odin Sphere women, and tons of others. I have just named close to two dozen women that would curb stomp Lara in the character department harder than Kazuma Kiryu after he's had a few belts of whiskey. In their haste to not make Lara a caricature, they ended up just making her boring. One step to the side, with no real progress, the eternal tale of game writing.

I would like to hear more about how you think RebootLara compares to OriginalLara. I thought the latter was more confident and decisive, if not a bit dim. And what you said about game series "borrowing" from other series brought to mind Duke Nukem: Time to Kill from the PS1. It felt like playing a Tomb Raider game, but with a more cooperative camera and smoother controls.

Yahtzee, Yahtzee, you should always wear deodorant before you visit a prostitute- while they have to service you, the less they like you the less effort they'll put into it! You don't want your money to be wasted, do you?

I kinda had a feeling that he would make some off-hand comment about fallout 4 by this time.

Mangod:
So, am I to interpret it that this game is still trying to portray Lara as this poor young women way out of her depth, despite having the ability to murder a small nation? Y'know, like the last game did?

Seems like it.

This is why I have a problem with 'origin stories' that depict characters differently than the source material does (ie, Man of Steel, Amazing Spiderman etc) and everyone jumping into it with "its an origin story! this is how they got there!"

no, this is how they want to write the character, more movies aren't going to solve it.

Aiddon:
"that's as good as the writing gets", a phrase I have heard with every single game written by Rhianna Pratchett.

I think what utterly kills me about this reboot is how every keeps gushing about it, like it's some savior for the video game industry when in fact it's just an Uncharted-alike with writing that never rises above average. It's like how critics wore kid gloves for the awful attempt at a DMC reboot (though admittedly Tomb Raider is at least functional with a middling story as opposed to NT's....THING, that had bad gameplay with a downright offensive plot). We practically have stones loaded and ready when a series takes on aspects of games that came after it (just look at how much shit Thief 4 caught for blatantly ripping off Dishonored in places like setting and narrative) and yet people give Tomb Raider a free pass.

As for Lara herself, she's just a milquetoast non-character. She doesn't really make any choices, isn't anything close to a complex character, and her personality is just dull. All this makes me realize is that we are seriously starved for heroines if this Lara is somehow a groundbreaking revolutionary in writing when in fact she never even comes close to matching the legions of women who have come before her like Aya Brea, Lenneth Valkyrie, Elly van Houten, Terra Branford, Tifa Lockhart, Samus Aran, Kid from Chrono Cross, every female character in Blazblue and Guilty Gear, the girls of Persona, the Odin Sphere women, and tons of others. I have just named close to two dozen women that would curb stomp Lara in the character department harder than Kazuma Kiryu after he's had a few belts of whiskey. In their haste to not make Lara a caricature, they ended up just making her boring. One step to the side, with no real progress, the eternal tale of game writing.

Who is calling the reboot the savior of the games industry? Every review and site I've been to have called it pretty much what it is: a competent reboot that plays everything safe and by the numbers, much like the original uncharted was at least inspired by Tomb Raider, the reboot seems to jack a lot of mechanics from the Uncharted series.

I've seen some people praise the rebooted lara as being a better character than the original, but that wasn't exactly a high bar as old lara barely had a personality worth ripping off, even then most will still acknowledge that the gameplay and story aren't exactly going to be winning any innovation awards.

You compare it to Thief 4, but I played that game, and it had a hell of a lot more problems than the TR reboot did, and I think that's why people are generally warm towards it, in a world where reboots of series that have been dead for awhile are often just shitty cashins, even a middling decent reboot can be seen as a positive. They really do need to add more actual ruins exploration and traps though, the game only seems to have spike pits and spear traps, I know timed trap puzzles are kind of archaic nowadays, and the puzzles in the sequel are a step up from the previous game, but the series would really be improved with some more interesting puzzles and platforming between combat set pieces.

Darth_Payn:

Aiddon:
"that's as good as the writing gets", a phrase I have heard with every single game written by Rhianna Pratchett.

I think what utterly kills me about this reboot is how every keeps gushing about it, like it's some savior for the video game industry when in fact it's just an Uncharted-alike with writing that never rises above average. It's like how critics wore kid gloves for the awful attempt at a DMC reboot (though admittedly Tomb Raider is at least functional with a middling story as opposed to NT's....THING, that had bad gameplay with a downright offensive plot). We practically have stones loaded and ready when a series takes on aspects of games that came after it (just look at how much shit Thief 4 caught for blatantly ripping off Dishonored in places like setting and narrative) and yet people give Tomb Raider a free pass.

As for Lara herself, she's just a milquetoast non-character. She doesn't really make any choices, isn't anything close to a complex character, and her personality is just dull. All this makes me realize is that we are seriously starved for heroines if this Lara is somehow a groundbreaking revolutionary in writing when in fact she never even comes close to matching the legions of women who have come before her like Aya Brea, Lenneth Valkyrie, Elly van Houten, Terra Branford, Tifa Lockhart, Samus Aran, Kid from Chrono Cross, every female character in Blazblue and Guilty Gear, the girls of Persona, the Odin Sphere women, and tons of others. I have just named close to two dozen women that would curb stomp Lara in the character department harder than Kazuma Kiryu after he's had a few belts of whiskey. In their haste to not make Lara a caricature, they ended up just making her boring. One step to the side, with no real progress, the eternal tale of game writing.

I would like to hear more about how you think RebootLara compares to OriginalLara. I thought the latter was more confident and decisive, if not a bit dim. And what you said about game series "borrowing" from other series brought to mind Duke Nukem: Time to Kill from the PS1. It felt like playing a Tomb Raider game, but with a more cooperative camera and smoother controls.

I fail to see how she's "non-character" at all, I think she's very well written, far moreso then the original Lara, who was little more then a one-dimensional sex doll.

Also I liked the DMC reboot, the critics did not wear "kid-gloves" just cause they *gasp* liked something that you didn't! The horror!

I for one really loved the 2013 game and thought this one was pretty damn good too, you won't hear me complaining about a game having several options to kill enemies, better then having too few.

This game will drive you nuts if you want 100% though, I knew it would though, so I made damn sure to buy a strategy guide.

I found the story mostly compelling, though I for one was disappointed at how my favorite side characters in the previous game-Reyes and Sam were totally absent from the game. You have to read the comics in order to find out why, and I found it annoying that the game assumes that you already know that.

I'm definitely excited for another game with the way the cliffhanger sets things up.

undeadsuitor:

Mangod:
So, am I to interpret it that this game is still trying to portray Lara as this poor young women way out of her depth, despite having the ability to murder a small nation? Y'know, like the last game did?

Seems like it.

This is why I have a problem with 'origin stories' that depict characters differently than the source material does (ie, Man of Steel, Amazing Spiderman etc) and everyone jumping into it with "its an origin story! this is how they got there!"

no, this is how they want to write the character, more movies aren't going to solve it.

I'm personally fine with origin stories giving a different depiction, as it would get rather boring if it was told the same way every single time, I personally never got the dislike for Man of Steel, I thought it was a damn good movie.

Xsjadoblayde:
Oh so they gave her tits now. Sounds like that innovation you were on about last time. Though i am pretty sure DOA has that area pretty ...UNcovered! Hahah! Oh, nnnnnnnnnggghh! Must digress before more digging into the ress.t; Is extra puncuation no longer a tuesday afternoon thing? Nobody tells me nothin'!

What i don't understand is why they don't put in different enemy types that require different weapons and tactics, even traps? Shadow Warrior makes it feel as if each weapon has a use for different enemies so you are constantly thinking on your feet. Do these AAA developers not play any great games at all? Make the game grow tougher enough against the player as they play, to force them to upgrade or die. The experience would be less monotonous and the player may even appreciate working for the next upgrade.

Le sighs. Just Cause 3 very soon, guys... amirite?? ;)

Everyone has their own definition of what a "great game" is though, many people like Shadow of Mordor for example, though I personally was not one of them.

Casual Shinji:
It's mainly the voice for me, too.

No offense to the voice actress, I'm sure she's a nice person, but the posh gasping behind every silibil grates on me so bad.

And next game, fix that perpetually wavey hair, girl!

I don't see anything wrong with her voice, to me it makes her sound more realistic and less cartoonish then previous versions of her character.

Not sure if I'm going to try out this iteration, sounds like they've still got most of what I disliked from the first game.
- Giant set pieces falling apart around you in such a convenient way that they leave you exactly one linear path to leave through
- Setting things up to make you feel protective of Lara, and as such they'll beat her up to try to make you feel sorry for her (as opposed to making a character you'd want to be)
- Lara's voice

I liked the first game, but I'm not sure I can deal with another game full of these

A fairly bland and generic game, now I don't feel so bad about it being an Xbone exclusive.

EternallyBored:

Who is calling the reboot the savior of the games industry? Every review and site I've been to have called it pretty much what it is: a competent reboot that plays everything safe and by the numbers, much like the original uncharted was at least inspired by Tomb Raider, the reboot seems to jack a lot of mechanics from the Uncharted series.

Ahem, direct quotes:

"delivering a game that's as much a video game as it is work of cinematic art - and setting a high bar for adventurers of the future" (New York Daily News)

"The fact that you care about Lara's well-being is also testament to the writing and Camilla Luddington​'s excellent portrayal of the iconic heroine. Even alone at a campsite, you're in Lara's head learning more about the story." (Digital Spy)

"The main game itself is easily worth the price of admission. A gripping story in spite of its cliches, with an expanded serving of the gameplay that made Tomb Raider such a wild ride" (The Jimquisition)

"As a third-person adventure game, Rise of the Tomb Raider excels. Rather than collide, gameplay and story share the space, supplementing each other and emerging as a cohesive whole." (Gamespot)

"Behind the depth of Lara's character and a compelling and emotionally charged story, the series is at its best in Rise of the Tomb Raider." (Attack of the Fanboy)

Need I go on? Because these aren't isolated. That's what kills me about the games industry at the moment; we've gotten so used to mediocrity in gaming in terms of writing (despite having higher standards barely a decade ago) that when something merely hits competent, we're astounded. That isn't a reflection of Tomb Raider being good, it's a reflection of us having such low standards. Congratulations Eidos, you've hit adequate, now aim higher.

I miss the old lara who was always doin the whole tomb raiding thing because she was massively rich and bored.

synobal:
I miss the old lara who was always doin the whole tomb raiding thing because she was massively rich and bored.

And psychotic. Don't forget psychotic. Sane people don't go backflipping out of the way of a charging Tyrannosaurus while emptying a pair of uzis into it's open mouth.

JCAll:

synobal:
I miss the old lara who was always doin the whole tomb raiding thing because she was massively rich and bored.

And psychotic. Don't forget psychotic. Sane people don't go backflipping out of the way of a charging Tyrannosaurus while emptying a pair of uzis into it's open mouth.

A Tyrannosaurus makes this a perfect mix. Why aren't these made anymore again?

I like how they deflated her boobs but inflated her butt.

That's not sarcasm.

Aiddon:

EternallyBored:

Who is calling the reboot the savior of the games industry? Every review and site I've been to have called it pretty much what it is: a competent reboot that plays everything safe and by the numbers, much like the original uncharted was at least inspired by Tomb Raider, the reboot seems to jack a lot of mechanics from the Uncharted series.

Ahem, direct quotes:

"delivering a game that's as much a video game as it is work of cinematic art - and setting a high bar for adventurers of the future" (New York Daily News)

"The fact that you care about Lara's well-being is also testament to the writing and Camilla Luddington​'s excellent portrayal of the iconic heroine. Even alone at a campsite, you're in Lara's head learning more about the story." (Digital Spy)

"The main game itself is easily worth the price of admission. A gripping story in spite of its cliches, with an expanded serving of the gameplay that made Tomb Raider such a wild ride" (The Jimquisition)

"As a third-person adventure game, Rise of the Tomb Raider excels. Rather than collide, gameplay and story share the space, supplementing each other and emerging as a cohesive whole." (Gamespot)

"Behind the depth of Lara's character and a compelling and emotionally charged story, the series is at its best in Rise of the Tomb Raider." (Attack of the Fanboy)

Need I go on? Because these aren't isolated. That's what kills me about the games industry at the moment; we've gotten so used to mediocrity in gaming in terms of writing (despite having higher standards barely a decade ago) that when something merely hits competent, we're astounded. That isn't a reflection of Tomb Raider being good, it's a reflection of us having such low standards. Congratulations Eidos, you've hit adequate, now aim higher.

Really, out of all the bad things in this industry such as season passes, pre-order DLC, buggy games on launch, etc. The thing that "kills" you is positive reviews for a game you don't like? Seriously? That's just insane.

There's plenty of games I find massively overrated like the aforementioned Shadow of Mordor, Dishonored, Bioshock Infinite, Bloodborne, etc. But you don't see me claiming that it's "killing me" just because I disagree with the popular opinion on those games.

You not liking the game does not automatically mean every single game critic that gave it a positive review did so because they were "so used to mediocrity", maybe just maybe you have different opinions? What an incredible concept!

People don't have "low standards" just cause you don't like something, that's asinine. Eidos have aimed really damn high with these games and they have definitely hit their mark in my eyes.

The Almighty Aardvark:
Not sure if I'm going to try out this iteration, sounds like they've still got most of what I disliked from the first game.
- Giant set pieces falling apart around you in such a convenient way that they leave you exactly one linear path to leave through
- Setting things up to make you feel protective of Lara, and as such they'll beat her up to try to make you feel sorry for her (as opposed to making a character you'd want to be)
- Lara's voice

I liked the first game, but I'm not sure I can deal with another game full of these

There's actually a lot less of the second one this time, the game less about her getting graphically beaten up and more about her personal journey.

I seriously don't get why people find her voice annoying.

I don't see what's wrong with linear set-pieces(I personally found them exciting) the Uncharted games all do the same thing and I never heard people complain about that.

slo:

JCAll:

synobal:
I miss the old lara who was always doin the whole tomb raiding thing because she was massively rich and bored.

And psychotic. Don't forget psychotic. Sane people don't go backflipping out of the way of a charging Tyrannosaurus while emptying a pair of uzis into it's open mouth.

A Tyrannosaurus makes this a perfect mix. Why aren't these made anymore again?

They definitely could use something different to mix it up, the combat system and lack of superhuman jumping would mean you couldn't handle it like the originals, but we've had two games now where the supernatural enemies have turned out to be just really long lived ancient dudes in armor, and Rise didn't even have the big giant guys.

It's a neat mechanic, but I don't think they can keep pulling that card in the future, while a lot of casual gamers nowadays would probably see dinosaurs as cheesy, they definitely need to mix the enemy types up, the addition of Trinity as a secret illuminati group gives you a handy source of human enemies, so you can go hog wild on the supernatural end whilst still having a steady supply of mooks to fight.

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