Underworld, Overground, Tomb Raider Demo is Free

By Kieron Gillen on October 31st, 2008 at 1:35 pm.

'Octopus? No, but here's that Sick Squid I owe You.' 'WOT?''

Just about to run out the house to get to do my speech thing at Playful – clearly, I only actually wrote it this morning. Like, obv! – when I noticed the Tomb Raider: Underworld Demo has just gone live. I feel a bit sorry for it. In some ways, I share Walker’s sympathy for the game, thinking it a shame people are dismissing it through over familiarity. Admittedly, that’s not actually going to make it leap-frog spanglier, newer things to my “Actually playing it properly” pile. Anyway – get it from here and you’ll find some videos beneath the cut if you need a reminder of what Lara Croft looks like.

(She’s the one with the bosoms)

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66 Comments »

  1. Jonas says:

    I’ll probably get this one just to get an idea of the tech Deus Ex 3 will be using. I can be a bit singleminded like that. The moment I meet giant spiders though, I’m out.

  2. Bobsy says:

    Over a gig? Er, no thanks.

    Question: where does this come from? Usually I think of video and audio resources, though I suppose hi-res textures would contribute too. But in audio at least, they should be trying to make a saving. Telltale manage to make their episodic games easy to swallow by scraping the fat from the audio quality. Perhaps not the best plan for a full game, but when your demo has gone into four figures you need to start slimming down.

    IDEA! How about two demos – one with all the trimmings: full score, high-quality voiceovers, flashy dev logo videos, and all that… and another which has had all the crap trimmed for a quick and easy download. No spoken dialogue, just subtitles, a single jpeg for logos, that sort of thing. But the playable content will be the same in both.

  3. BC says:

    Because people on the whole are idiots.

    They’ll think that the trimmed version is going to be the quality of the full game.

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    A Tomb Raider post not by Walker? Shocker! :)

  5. Ben Abraham says:

    Re: Audio content,

    The score is done by Troels Folmann and employs some super-new magical music scoring he developed called ‘micro-scoring’. Knowing next to nothing but the name and the fact that it assembles pieces of score ‘on the fly’, I would cautiously suggest that that system is taking up more than its fair share of resources.

    But it sounds like it could be a really really cool music system!

  6. Ginger Yellow says:

    “Perhaps not the best plan for a full game, but when your demo has gone into four figures you need to start slimming down.”

    The EndWar demo is 2 gigs.

  7. Heliocentric says:

    Big demo’s actually boost sales on high profile but utterly average games.
    Think about it, if a game has a demo you assume the publisher has faith in the product, if you then tried the demo and didn’t like it you are back at step one, or worse less likely to buy the game.

    But lets say the demo is obscenely big, maybe even larger than the full game (see dreamfall) then you have the best of both worlds. A boost in media attention, you it to appear to act in good faith, also the demo is so big only someone who might be excited enough to buy it anyway will download the demo.

    Call me a cynic, but big demo’s are a trick.

  8. Bobsy says:

    @Ben Abraham:

    Holy shit… this is what I’ve been wanting in games for years…

    Okay, my level of excitement for Underworld is now through the roof. SO looking forward to this game.

    But back on demo sizes… I was referring merely to download size. Lots of content = super-yes, but long, ponderous download = super-no. It’s important to balance quality and quantity of content with easy distribution. Giving away gold bricks is pointless if no-one can get at them.

  9. teo says:

    Here’s a fast link:
    http://eidos.http.internapcdn.net/eidos_vitalstream_com/tru/trudemopc.exe

    I’m liking the demo so far except for the lack of manual grab
    At least I can turn off crosshairs and hints!!

  10. Heliocentric says:

    (x/X) = c/(y/Y)

    Where x is the size of the demo. X is the size of the full game. c is the percentage of the full game in the demo(1=100%). The quality of the demo y. Y being the quality of the full game.

    I’m glad this all breaks down to an equation or opinions might be subjective.

  11. AbyssUK says:

    the big question is however does it alt-tab ??

  12. Rook says:

    It alt-tabs. Runs nicely on my laptop 8600GT as well. Animation is super weird though.

  13. The Sombrero Kid says:

    sub 1gb demos are for the 90s!

  14. Nick says:

    Why is she shooting Cthulhu?

  15. OldManTick says:

    I went over to Fileplanet to get this demo and I saw Vampire:Bloodlines on sale via Direct2Drive for $10, that is a 2GB download. I tried to buy it after so many glowing references I’ve seen here, but because I’m in France I’m not allowed to buy it. Hopefully it will still be half-price tomorrow when I’m back in the US.
    Maybe I can proxy through a server in the US and buy it.

  16. Mike says:

    The bears in the last game made me jump so I think the spiders in underground will probably make me cry!

    Looking forward to it.

  17. Rook says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if bloodlines didn’t end up as the weekend sale on steam for $4.99. I’m pretty sure it was cut price last year.

  18. Bobsy says:

    Nick, the question is why wouldn’t she shoot Cthulhu? It’s Cthulhu!

  19. teo says:

    The demo was great
    Much much much better than any level in Legend. The only problem I have with it is all the animation glitches

  20. Rook says:

    Yeah, the animation is really ropey, which is odd as it’s the first time it’s been motion capped. Obviously picking Mr Fantastic as the mo capped artist is proving more of a mistake than they realised.

  21. Mman says:

    After playing Anniversary again a few days ago I’m almost surprised by how much more robust the controls feel, the demo doesn’t push it enough for me to be sure but they seem to have fixed the consistency issues that plagued parts of Legend and Anniversary.

    I thought the new sprint would be mapped to the “fast movement” function (when shimmying etc) to consolidate things; I’m a little dissapointed it seems to still use the same annoying “hammer use” concept, especially as the demo doesn’t seem to let me map use to the mouse like I could in Legend and Anniversary (hopefully just a demo thing).

    There are still some annoying invisible walls, but it generally seems that they’ve worked on the non-linearity; there are various parts you could just fly through if you follow the obvious path but have alternative routes and side areas if you explore.

  22. Mman says:

    Ugh, forgotten stuff.

    Unfortunately the camera doesn’t seem to have been changed much from Legend and Anniversary, although movement seems much less tied to it (it seemed like it HAD to be aligned for certain moves in L&A) which helps a lot even when it is doing something a bit dodgy.

    I can’t so much for combat, but frankly I just blasted everything with the tranq (it’s a beast for a “non-lethal” weapon) and then threw in some grenades; now that’s animal cruelty!

  23. Surgeon says:

    Nick says:
    Why is she shooting Cthulhu?

    If you were insane, you’d shoot at him too.

  24. teo says:

    If you think there aren’t any real hidden areas it’s just because they’re quite hidden =)

  25. DigitalSignalX says:

    re: tombraider
    “I’m almost surprised by how much more robust the controls feel”

    I had to laugh. I am a small, and petty man, but I laughed.

  26. Mman says:

    “If you think there aren’t any real hidden areas it’s just because they’re quite hidden =)”

    Was that to me? Because that’s pretty much what I was saying.

  27. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Had a play of the 360 demo the other day. It’s got a couple of nice new touches (sticky ‘nading Tigers for the win) and the melding of the Legend narrative style with Anniversary’s impressive environments seems to be a winner, but I think I’ll still be saving Underworld for the long dark months which will inevitably follow this release explosion.

  28. YogSo says:

    Ben Abraham said:

    The score is done by Troels Folmann and employs some super-new magical music scoring he developed called ‘micro-scoring’. Knowing next to nothing but the name and the fact that it assembles pieces of score ‘on the fly’, I would cautiously suggest that that system is taking up more than its fair share of resources.

    Errr… System Shock 1 already did that more than 12 years ago…

  29. Will says:

    “re: tombraider
    “I’m almost surprised by how much more robust the controls feel”

    “I had to laugh. I am a small, and petty man, but I laughed.”

    At first I thought you were confusingly saying the controls were BUST (i.e. broken), as opposed to robust. Which I thought was a poor pun. But then… heh, I understand, sir.

  30. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    I actually rather enjoyed the demo, apart from the tiger killing. I killed 5 in 15 minutes! That has to be something like 10% of the remaining population or something. It was horrific, and I felt terrible. Stop making me kill cuddly endangered animals Eidos!

  31. Mman says:

    Use the tranquiliser?

  32. teo says:

    Mman no sorry that was just a general ‘you’ to anybody

  33. Rei Onryou says:

    Tomb raiding: now with added motorcycles.

  34. mashakos says:

    from what I’ve seen of the demo, the quality of the game is far below that of other next gen titles. Notably Uncharted when it comes to the cut scenes and Assassin’s Creed where the climbing is concerned.

  35. Mman says:

    “Notably Uncharted when it comes to the cut scenes…”

    Notably? Two minutes maximum of a 20-30 minute+ demo?

  36. tmp says:

    Stop making me kill cuddly endangered animals Eidos!

    No one is twisting your arm to kill them, you know. Just put down your weapons and let them eat you.

  37. Rook says:

    Assassin’s Creed’s climbing was pretty much hold a button and point in the right direction. I think TR still has the edge in making it fun to play and part of the game.

  38. mashakos says:

    Notably? Two minutes maximum of a 20-30 minute+ demo?

    Yup. When it looks like a daytime cartoon series for early teens from the first few minutes, it’s pretty much going to be the same throughout. I guess Core doesn’t have the budget Naughty Dog had to hire great composers and voice actors but what about the character animation? The direction of the cut scene itself? It is not on the same level unfortunately.

    Assassin’s Creed’s climbing was pretty much hold a button and point in the right direction. I think TR still has the edge in making it fun to play and part of the game.

    it’s the same thing in tr:u. The difference is it’s a lot less fun. Either way, the one button approach has worked really well in the past.

    *cough* Zelda + Ocarina + Time *cough*

  39. Rook says:

    cough Ocarina of Time isn’t that good cough.

  40. mashakos says:

    cough Ocarina of Time isn’t that good cough.

    LOL!

  41. Mman says:

    “Yup. When it looks like a daytime cartoon series for early teens from the first few minutes, it’s pretty much going to be the same throughout. I guess Core…”

    Oh right, you were just trolling, never mind.

  42. mashakos says:

    Oh right, you were just trolling, never mind.

    not really, but whatever.

  43. Y3k-Bug says:

    I didn’t like the feel in the demo.

    There are ALOT of animation bugs. Just having Lara run, you can easily see the animation loop. Her left leg jitters and shakes every other step. Is this something that is outright horrible? Of course not. But its distracting and pulls me out of the world.

    Also many animation bugs for jumping up on ledges, running into walls, and shooting.

    Combat felt really, really hard to me for some reason, much less fluid than Anniversary. Did anyone else get that impression?

  44. Katsumoto (jvgp100) says:

    Can’t say I noticed any of these issues. On my PC at least it looked incredibly smooth and the graphics were lush. I thought this would have to be pushed back to the new year but I may end up getting it on release day on the strength of this demo.

  45. Theory says:

    It’s a shame they’ve dumped the ‘last-gen’ graphics option: I always preferred the cleaner and more colourful world it offered.

    I wasn’t as keen on the game in general as I was with Legend, unlike seemingly everyone else here. There were several places where I fell to my death thinking that I could grab hold of something I couldn’t (plus one case where Lara clipped bodily through a grab-able ledge…luckily it worked on a second attempt), and several more when I didn’t realise I could jump onto something I could. The combat is annoying too – pretty much hammering dodge/jump and holding down fire. I’d no idea what was actually happening.

    It’s a far cry from leaping about confidently and smoothly in Legend.

  46. Flubb says:

    Not a single wombles reference…. :(

  47. Mman says:

    I kind of wondered whether the title was a reference too…

  48. The Vile Baron of Infant Torture says:

    I’ve had the “UNCLE BULGARIA…” bit blaring triumphantly through my head since this came up too.

    RPS shows a blatant disregard for the sanity of its readership again. I wonder why I continue to pay my license fee.

  49. teo says:

    The running animation glitch only happened to me when she was running inside for the first time

    Also, use the tranq gun for the tigers

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