Watch Out Tigers, Here Comes Lara

By John Walker on August 29th, 2008 at 12:00 am.

Any swimming tigers to kill?

Hooray! New Tomb Raider Underworld footage. In previous discussions of this game, I’ve made sophisticated and erudite arguments about why it’s folly to dismiss Tomb Raider as a franchise simply due to over-familiarity. This time I’m taking a more direct approach: If you don’t like the Tomb Raider games, you’re a fool, and you can’t come to my house for tea. And if you need any more convincing, below the jump is Lara kicking a tiger in the face.

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40 Comments »

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  1. Yage says:

    Kicking an in dangered species Lara tut tut tut.

  2. John says:

    Hey look, it’s Assassin’s Creed. Also, it’s endangered, not in dangered.

  3. AlmostGold says:

    She could be kicking a species in danger. That would be more logical.

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Crouching Tiger, Kicking Lara?

    Actually, the one detail I found interesting is what seemed to be Lara shoving plants away as she ran past by them. That’s the kind of little details I enjoy, like the avatar’s hand trying to cover his eyes in Morrowind ash storms.

    Cautiously curious for more, I am.

  5. tmp says:

    Actually, the one detail I found interesting is what seemed to be Lara shoving plants away as she ran past by them. That’s the kind of little details I enjoy, like the avatar’s hand trying to cover his eyes in Morrowind ash storms.

    I must admit my attention was drawn more to the breast physics during that particular move. It appears lovingly crafted, though of course it’s not the kind of detail one could really call little…

  6. Jochen Scheisse says:

    The game looks splendid, but why isn’t it taking place in ancient Persia all of a sudden, and why did the Prince have a gender change? Oh wait its jast Indy wif boobies lol

  7. Konky Dong XI: Tobias Sings Bluegrass - In Three Acts says:

    I’m actually really excited for this. I loved TR: Legends but Anniversary was a step back in graphics and boob physics and it kinda turned me off. Exploring ancient ruins and kicking animals in the face is a lot more fun with one hand, I have to say.

  8. Stromko says:

    I’m not sure if the comparisons to Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia are quite fair, as Tomb Raider quite invented acrobatic gameplay (in 3D that is, PoP 2D predated Tomb Raider and was a damned good game besides, I still have fond memories of sitting in mom’s car playing through Prince of Persia on a laptop while she was going around filing divorce papers).

    Though I WILL dismiss it because of over-familiarity, thanks, as I don’t find the core gameplay all that rewarding, and I still lack the motivation to even finish Tomb Raider: Anniversy (only TR game I’ve picked up since the first) so I have no reason to start in on a new one. The atmosphere was heavy on immersion but if I’m going to spend a few hours poking around some tombs I’d really like a nice 4 Colt 1911 or some Rare Booty Shorts, a carrot on a stick really, I could just never get deep enough into a Tomb Raider game to bother advancing just for the sake of seeing what was next. Perhaps my Platforming gene is inactive and so the pure joy of overcoming my surroundings just doesn’t get me going in the morning.

    But I understand they can’t just reinvent the game and add new reward features without pissing off longtime fans, and so long as enough people are buying it they won’t just let the franchise die. Tomb Raider is a franchise that just won’t die and can’t really be changed, while games like Assassin’s Creed or the new Prince of Persia titles will borrow all their good features and couple them with new ones, for good or ill. As much as Sand of Time’s autosaves pissed me right the hell off (to the point of destroying 2 X-Box controllers on the same battle when I realized my 10 hours of progress were once again useless in the face of having 5% health vs the god-damn Sultan), I don’t think I could touch a platformer that lacked a rewind button anymore.

  9. dirksauce says:

    I love games where you can shoot a vicious animal in the face (with dual pistols, no less!) and it doesn’t die.

    Every time I see a jungle setting in a third person game, I think of Uncharted now. I think it would be interesting to see her in that type of action, as opposed to these possessed animals and zombies and whatnot.

  10. LionsPhil says:

    It wouldn’t be a Tomb Raider game without shooting endangered species in the face. In fact, that whole video looks very TR3, just with more polygons. Not a bad sign.

    @Diogo: I loved the way Agent 47 actually picked up items with his hands in Hitman 1. Which…appears to no longer be the case in Blood Money. Muh. Crysis does it, though, so maybe people will latch onto the idea this time around. It’s about time animation caught up with rendering.

    In fact, Crysis also lets you look down and see legs, which would probably disqualify it as a FPS if it couldn’t counter with inexplicably populous exploding barrels.

  11. Matt says:

    Oh no! Bullet time(TM)!

  12. Seb Potter says:

    If it’s anything like previous incarnations, it’s not bullet time, just a slow-mo dodge that allows you to time two reticules converging for an accurate shot when the creature you’re fighting gets really upset and charges you.

    I’m rather looking forward to this. Legend revived my interest in the series after the lingering bad memories, and I’m currently enjoying the nostalgia trip of Anniversary. Hopefully Underworld will fulfil my running/jumping/puzzling cravings until the next PoP comes along.

  13. Zell says:

    Man, whoever makes Lara’s sports bras has access to some space age materials. That aside — may I just say that it looks like simply a really fun game?

  14. Cossix says:

    Yeah it just looks like Uncharted, with animation that isn’t quite as good.

    And tigers.

  15. El Stevo says:

    Do you actually get to kick tigers in the face? My usual tactic in Tomb Raider is to run away, pants staining brown as I go, to find a big rock to climb up so they can’t get me. Then I shoot them at my leisure.

  16. Bhlaab says:

    Tomb raider games always seemed like they thought they had way more personality than they ever actually did

  17. sinister agent says:

    It looks pretty, though I too immediately thought of Uncharted. I guess that’s inevitable really. Looked quite smooth. Not so keen on the invinco-tigers or bullet time, but … well, depends how it plays, really. Either this or Uncharted 2 would have to be a lot more explore-y to really pique my interest.

  18. Konky Dong XI: Tobias Sings Bluegrass - In Three Acts says:

    I’d be happy if tiger face-kicking was the only combat in the game. The gunplay in the new TR games is adequate but shooting the evil cronies of an enemy treasure hunter has lost its luster. I understand it’s part of the pacing of the game, but seeing other humans around really kills the explorative vibe of the game and makes each location feel a lot less “lost”. Crystal D, if you gotta break up the awesome puzzles and boob oggling with something action-y-ish-esque, do it with kung-fu animal antics.

  19. Y3k-Bug says:

    I like what I see. The animations look very fluid and seem to react dynamically to what Lara is doing.

    I really hope this is going to be more akin to Anniversary than Legend.

    EDIT: Konky Dong said it much better than me already.

  20. Leeks! says:

    Sweet, it’s Drake of Persia, etc. etc.

    Obvious boneheaded comparisons aside, that really does look sixty shades of awesome.

  21. The Apologist says:

    I really liked Anniversary – my first ever Lara game, but it all just got a bit difficult and frustrating, and I, well, bottled it.

    Are all the games in the series like that? If not, I’d be excited for this…

  22. Jonas says:

    There is no remedy for it now: Every time I hear about Underworld, my mind goes immediately to Deus Ex 3. Admittedly my mind tends to go towards the DX series anyway though, so it’s little inconvenience. I wonder if DX3 will also end up featuring a female protagonist, just so they can recycle the lovingly crafted breast physics…

    Mandatory boob joke out of the way, I did enjoy Legends quite a bit, so I suppose I will be giving Underworld a try. But I too am not too fond of tigers with inexplicably armoured craniums. Though I guess it wouldn’t be Tomb Raider without it.

    I’m not sure whether it’s good or bad that the Tomb Raider franchise haven’t gone the way of the Kill.Switch cover system like everybody else. Yet.

    Apologist: I found Legend to be relatively easy in the puzzle/platforming department. I only had to look up a walkthrough twice: Once was because I didn’t realize a big cage was pushable, another was because I couldn’t figure out if there was a particular trick to a certain boss fight (there wasn’t).

  23. espy says:

    Cue worried parents who want the game banned because it encourages kids to engage in hand to hand combat with tigers. Hand to paw, possibly.

  24. Biff says:

    You can get Legends free from http://www.gametap.com without needing to register, although you do need to install their client thingy. They’ve got Pyschonauts gratis, too.

  25. Tom says:

    Legend was awesome. Anniversary felt like a bit of a step back really. Basically it was exactly the same game play in pretty much identical enviroments, each of which just featured a different cost of paint. I did enjoy it but it was starting to get a little repetitive by Egypt. Underworld looks awesome though.

  26. Bobsy says:

    Legend was an amazingly fun game, glittering with atmosphere and with the best soundtrack in a game ever. Lara was an immensely likable character, and the banter between her, Zip and Alistair was just plain lovely. More of this, please!

  27. Schtee says:

    I liked her “Fucking plants!” animation. You tell em, Lara. Fucking plants.

  28. Meat Circus says:

    Holy shit, she’s kicking a tiger in the face!

    They seemed to have turned up the shiny since Legend and Anniversary. Is it still using the same engine? They were both pretty games, but this looks especially lovely.

  29. Robin says:

    I got Anniversary free with something and couldn’t believe how finicky and dated it felt. I thought it might be because it was an overly-authentic remake of the first game, but Legend (and indeed Underworld) look similar. Sorry John :<

  30. Mooey Poo says:

    It’s worth pointing out that Lara also has a tranquilizer gun in this installment, so your conscience can rest easy. Quite how you tranquilize the inevitable undead monsters remains to be seen though.

  31. Meat Circus says:

    @Robin:

    I don’t understand what you mean by ‘finicky’. The Crystal Dynamics Lara is smooth and easy to control. I do and always have loved runny-jumpy-climby subgenre of platformers, and Lara, despite some strong competition from an upstart Iranian Prince, a free-running dystopian rebel and a lovable all-American action hero called, she’s still the absolute best at what she does.

  32. monkeymonster says:

    Can’t believe there hasn’t been a Tiger style Kung Fu gag made…..

  33. Jonas says:

    Meat Circus: Nope, the Underworld engine is new :)

  34. MetalCircus says:

    Lol @ the assassins creed references in this thread. You bloody nut bags.

  35. Rook says:

    The only problem with Tomb Raider is that they spent so long milking the franchise and running it into the ground it feels like the new ones are 2-3 years behind where they should be. Still, definite pick up for me, hopefully it’ll get a steam release too. Needs more Alison Carroll though.

  36. Plum says:

    What really bugs me is that in the scene where two tigers knock her to the ground, they both then wait patiently for her to get up again. Imagine how much more exciting it would be if they both pounced on her right away, only to get judo thrown off (ignoring the fact that they’d weigh 600 lbs and would crush her to death :P ). Make them behave like tigers, not 60’s kung fu villains.

  37. Sören Höglund says:

    I’m sorry John, but I can’t get excited over the exact same thing I’ve seen before done competently. :( (Well, outside of my particular peccadillo, the western rpg. But then again you’re lucky to get one decent example a year with those.) I don dislike Tomb Raider in any way, mind you. I just don’t care at all.

  38. EyeMessiah says:

    I want to fk her so hard…?

    Looks good to me, but then I’m relatively new to TR, being that Anniversary was the first TR game I managed to get get more than 5 minutes into.

  39. Greg Masit says:

    Meh, I might pick it up when it’s $20.

    It doesn’t really wow me. & a pair of boobs doesn’t sell games to me like it did when i was 13 & the original came out.

  40. Champagne O'Leary says:

    I can’t believe people still think Lara’s boobs worth comment, when we have the likes of SoulCalibur IV in the world.

    That and her breasts are probably smaller than the average celebrity nowadays anyway.