No News: Tomb Raider: The New One

By Lewie Procter on July 15th, 2011 at 12:31 pm.

Sorry good readers, I have no news about that new Tomb Raider game. I was hoping to share some useful information about the game, but all I have is a 12 minute making of behind the scenes of the CGI trailer. Wait, what?

Yes, we’re at the boring stage of their PR schedule where they definitely want us to be talking about the game, but aren’t quite ready to show it to us yet. There’s lots of talk about partnerships and “bringing Lara to the next level”, so if you’re a fan of not actually finding anything out you won’t want to miss this.

We all know the importance of an E3 trailer. Many times over the years, I’ve been unimpressed with a game, until I remember that the game had a very good looking CGI trailer at E3, and instantly I find myself enjoying the game more.

Why stop here though? I’d love to see the making of behind the scenes of the Crystal Dynamics tea run.

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36 Comments »

  1. GetUpKidAK says:

    I want to see a behind the scenes video of this behind the scenes video.

    Frankly, I’m sick of looking at scenes, why can’t I always look behind them?

    • Raziel_aXd says:

      Never mind that, how about looking under the skirt of the scenes?

    • President Weasel says:

      I’m sick of looking behind things. Why must we always view things from in front or behind? Join me, and let us campaign for a slightly-to-one-side-of-the-scenes view.

    • Nallen says:

      I want to see the ‘beside the scenes’ where you get to see what everyone that sat next to someone that worked on this trailer was doing at the time.

    • stahlwerk says:

      easy solution: no more scenes.

      Now I wonder what a dogma CGI trailer would look like…

    • Xocrates says:

      The future of behind the scenes movies: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNzrZz75jQY

    • westyfield says:

      @Raziel_aXd
      Personally, I’m quite fond of looking down the top of scenes.

  2. noodlecake says:

    The CGI trailer was very very beautiful. My cousin who is pretty gullible and only plays games that have a sort of epic cinematic quality to them and gives up at the first sign of any kind of challenge was sucked in by it and has decided that he’s definitely going to buy it based on that trailer. He does that a lot.

    We have seen some gameplay though. Lots of those “press this button now!” interactive cutscene thingies and stuff.

    • Rii says:

      “We have seen some gameplay though. Lots of those “press this button now!” interactive cutscene thingies and stuff.”

      I wouldn’t assume that’s representative of anything other than the introduction/tutorial of which that sequence is a part.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Rii: The problem is that’s all they’ve shown, meaning that’s the gameplay they’re trying to sell. While I certainly hope the game proper to be fairly different (and it seems fairly likely that it will), I feel like we’re expected to assume that the game is like that demo.

      I would say that maybe they just suck at marketing their game, but it seems like they got a very positive reaction from the demo everywhere that’s not RPS and its comment section, so I really don’t know what to think or say.

    • Rii says:

      @Xocrates

      What they were selling with that footage is what they were selling with the trailer: the new Lara, maximum grit. During an interview with GTTV at E3 the presenter explicitly said that they didn’t show – for example – combat, because that wouldn’t have communicated what they want to communicate about the game at this point.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Rii: Which at best means that misleading information and pretty pictures is all we have in order to get hyped about the game.

      I also believe I’ve argued at some length in the past why I felt they’ve failed in showing the new Lara so I’m not going to bring that up again

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to disagree with you, my point is simply that while we can’t assume that what they’ve shown is what the entire game is like, we also can’t assume that the game will be any different either.

      Personally, I’m in an uncomfortable position. I know that Crystal Dynamics can make good and proper Tomb Raiders and as such I want to be excited for this, but on the other hand they still have shown nothing that would justify my interest and in fact undermined it with the E3 demo.

    • Rii says:

      @Xocrates: “my point is simply that while we can’t assume that what they’ve shown is what the entire game is like, we also can’t assume that the game will be any different either.”

      Sure. But that there’s reason to suspect that the footage we’ve seen isn’t representative of the broader game experience is reason enough not to prematurely reject it solely upon that basis, to be open to new information as it emerges.

      For my part I thought the sequence was effectively claustrophobic and desperate. I wouldn’t want to play a whole game like that, but of itself I’ve no objection to it.

      “Which at best means that misleading information and pretty pictures is all we have in order to get hyped about the game.”
      If you want to look at it that way. For my part I don’t understand why gamers seem to have this belief that what they see in a trailer is some kind of even-handed cross-section of the game. Trailers and presentations are crafted to particular purpose, and certain elements and game mechanics play better than others. A poor inventory system (as in Mass Effect or The Witcher 2) can significantly compromise the game experience, but that doesn’t mean anyone wants to look at an inventory screen in a trailer, or that by not showing it the developers are being misleading. And if by chance the inventory system is shown any issues with it may not be apparent anyway.

      The funny thing is that trailers are derived from cinema and use their language, and when it comes to cinema, people seem to have a much clearer grasp on what they are and aren’t getting with a trailer. I mean, nobody would complain that Star Trek (2009) didn’t actually feature vocal recordings from Apollo 11 as were featured in the excellent teaser, or assume that the film is some bizarre mash-up of 1969 and the 23rd century, would they?

    • Vandelay says:

      Remember the E3 video wasn’t a trailer, it was gameplay footage. It wasn’t a CGI video nor random snippets of ingame clips spliced together. It was a sustained few minutes of someone playing the game. The whole propose of a playthrough like that should convey what the game is actually like to play. For example, if a game did feature a inventory, as Rii uses as an example, I would expect a playthrough of the game to show one, as we saw in the Skyrim E3 video, but a trailer may not.

      I’m still looking forward to this one, but it is based solely on what I know of Crystal Dynamics past Tomb Raider games and nothing to do with its E3 showing.

    • Xocrates says:

      “that there’s reason to suspect that the footage we’ve seen isn’t representative of the broader game experience is reason enough not to prematurely reject it”

      And likewise, it isn’t reason enough to excuse or accept it.

      Also, the key word in the second quote you used was “misleading”. I’m perfectly fine with different trailers focusing on different aspects on the gameplay. However misleading information has caused the downfall, or at least the infamy, of many otherwise good games and movies. Brutal Legend for instance got a lot of flack (and overall poor sales) because at no point did they mention the game was an RTS.

      The problem here is that the gameplay demo either a) attempted to show a cross-section of gameplay, but did it in such a way that it ends up as misleading (the demo is set in a linear and claustrophobic environment in a supposedly open world game), b) they focused on one aspect of gameplay without the audience knowing how it fits in the grander scheme.

      If everything they showed me is is a weak and defenceless Lara, why am I supposed to believe she’ll become a strong survivor and adventurer?
      If everything they showed is linear claustrophobic environments and quick time events, why am I supposed to believe the game will play otherwise?

      And that’s the thing, either the gameplay video lacks context and is misleading (which is at best a dumb move and at worst a dick move) and as such is useless for me as someone who might otherwise be interested in the game, or the video was representative of the gameplay and I’m not interested at all.

      I’m not saying that it will be bad game, I’m saying their first impression sucked.

    • Rii says:

      @Vandelay: “The whole propose of a playthrough like that should convey what the game is actually like to play.”

      No, you don’t get to tell the devs what their purpose should be.

      @Xocrates: “I’m not saying that it will be bad game, I’m saying their first impression sucked.”

      Hence the numerous ‘game of show’ awards.

    • Xocrates says:

      @Rii: “Hence the numerous ‘game of show’ awards.”

      I noted in my first post that outside of RPS the video had got a widespread positive reaction.

      This does nothing to change the fact that they either failed at showcasing the game or that the game is going in a direction that I, as a fan of the previous entries, do not enjoy.

      EDIT: And before the obvious counter-argument: No, I’m not saying that they should be trying to cater to me, or that my opinion is the correct one. I’m just pointing out my personal disappointment and why I’m not the only one thinking like that.

    • Vandelay says:

      Rii said: “No, you don’t get to tell the devs what their purpose should be.”

      Of course not, they can have whatever purpose they want. However, as a viewer of a playthrough session, I kind of expect that to be representative of what the game should play like. If they had of wanted to show that the game was a grittier take on mythos and character, than they could have easily done that with a regular trailer, as their CGI one being examined in the above video managed to do (whether that style of marketing is what the game industry should be using is a separate argument, often discussed on here.)

      When you say “I don’t understand why gamers seem to have this belief that what they see in a trailer is some kind of even-handed cross-section of the game,” that is not a fair comment in regards to the reaction to the E3 footage; it wasn’t a trailer. I really don’t see how that expectation could be unexpected.

      Kind of a stupid argument though. We clearly are all interested in the game anyway. If it is true that other sites and commentators liked what they saw, then I guess that means the marketing was a success, no matter how much that bemuses me and Xocrates.

  3. Rii says:

    Great trailers can resonate for a long while – everyone remembers the DNF trailer from E3 2001 – and clunky dialogue aside that Tomb Raider teaser certainly qualifies.

    So will the Visual Works folks who did the trailer be working on CGI for the game itself or not?

  4. ceson says:

    I’m not your buddy….

  5. skinlo says:

    Probably quite interesting actually.

  6. Berzee says:

    I don’t like to raid tombs. Can I play this game as a traveling merchant instead?

  7. Iskariot says:

    I am not really interested in this behind the scenes of a of a trailer stuff, but this will definitely be the first Tomb Raider game I’ll want to play.

  8. johnpeat says:

    That this game was pretty much lauded as “game of the show” at E3 – despite no game being shown – says more about that waste of resources (E3) than anything else could.

    I’ve a lot of time for Crystal Dynamics but I’m not sure they’re upto this high-polish stuff – they make good GAMES – I’m assuming all this fancy crap is being foisted upon them??

  9. Dawngreeter says:

    Can we get a behind the scenes look at the making of this post?

  10. Big Daddy Dugger says:

    I have no problem with quick time events as long as they aren’t “hold down left mouse button to watch car drive through heavy action movie scene for the next 30 seconds” in the style of modern warfare. Witcher 2 has a few QTE’s like the fist fighting sequences that would be great if they were a bit harder.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I hate the QT events in Witcher 2. Hate ‘em with a passion.

      The fist fights are a perfect example. The game is telling me what to do, and when to do it, instead of me telling the game what to do. It makes me a passive performer instead of the active participant that Geralt is in the main body of the game. What is the rationale for shifting modes between active and passive like that? It makes no sense.

      It’s also lazy programming, for those sequences where they want to show you something impressive and cinematic, like that one bit near the end of the Kayran battle, but the sequence doesn’t quite fit with the game’s normal control scheme for movement and combat. So they just show you a little movie while you press a stupid button, instead of integrating that sequence with the main game controls so you can do it yourself.

      I thought Witcher 2 was great overall, but those QT bits kept it from being a near-perfect game for me. This new Tomb Raider probably isn’t the kind of thing that I’d get on release, but I’m mildly interested. The odds go way down of me wanting to play it at all, if it’s chock-full of QT events instead of letting me actually control the character.

  11. Navagon says:

    So will we ever get another Tomb Raider game? Or is it just going to be about barely interactive movies now?

    • Odessa says:

      You raise an excellent point. Every other game to be released after the first Tomb Raider have been missing the point entirely, concentrating on Lara rather than the other reason everyone fell in love with her: Exploration of epic environments.

      This looks very immersive, don’t get me wrong, but so was the original and you know what? It didnt need any pretty visual effects or anything mentioned in this making of video. Everything entertaining to come out of it was with the interaction the player had in an environment that wasnt limited by linearity, QTE’s or cut-scenes. It was fun beacuse we were actually playing a game.

      Now it just looks like a linear film with QTE’s and a few puzzles here and there, with a mass onslaught of cut-scenes and ‘character development’ moments so we care for this old-but-new Lara with this father-figure guy who will probably die. Making this an animated CGI film seems like a much better idea.

  12. Tergiver says:

    I saw the trailer. I saw the “action sequences”.

    Dragon’s Lair sucked in 1983 and guess what? It hasn’t gotten any less suckier over the course of 30 years!

    Why do we keep having to deal with this crud? For me a cut-scene is my reward for the past N minutes of play. I sit back and relax and… what’s this? I have to click the right sequence of buttons at the right time to get past the cut-scene?

    I’m so done with that.