Eurogamer Retro: Tomb Raider Legend

By John Walker on July 18th, 2011 at 9:30 am.

She's a brave girl, existing without internal organs.

I really do like Tomb Raider Legend. Obviously I hate its boss fights, and clearly I’m not so stupid as to enjoy the QTE nonsense that occasionally infects it. But it was such a treat to see Lara brought back to life, once more in a world tailor-made for her personal jumping distance, in a way remarkably faithful to the game’s triumphant early releases. And even more so, with its surprising sense of humour. And so it is that I celebrate this, with caveats, over on Eurogamer. I say things like,

“It’s exquisitely British, too. When realising that the clues (oh yes ‘the plot’ well, Lara’s friend Amanda didn’t die when she thought she did, and there’s this sword in bits, and something about Lara’s mum, and so on) are taking them from their exotic worldwide locations to, well, Cornwall, Lara replies, ‘As in, take the M5 to the A30, Cornwall?'”

I also had a bit of an insane post-boss fight rant which didn’t make it into the final edit, that I’ve put below.

“I utterly fucking HATE Tomb Raider Legend. I hate it. I hate the people who made it. I hate stupid Lara and her stupid smug face. I hate anyone who marketed, sold it in a shop, or gave it to a relative as a present.

Which is a weird reaction toward a game I really like. But screw that. Screw everything good about this towering arsehole of a game. Burn it all. Because it’s just killed me for the eighth time in a row on its stupid, hideously programmed, badly conceived, and spitefully delivered final boss, and I want every copy in the world thrown into a giant hole, shat on by anyone who’s had to play this section, and then blown up with a thousand bombs.

I’m sat here boiling with rage, with no desire to write about what makes Legend such a fantastic and underrated game. Because I’d prefer it had never existed.”

Also, if you want to see something of a counterpoint to my perspective of what’s genuinely a lovely game, you can read Stuart “Idiotface” Campbell’s awful 80,000 word rant about a game he barely played and found too difficult to control, so addled is his brain with tiresome twin-stick shooters.

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120 Comments »

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  1. Alien426 says:

    you can read Stuart “Idiotface” Campbell’s awful 80,000 word rant

    More like a 3,190 word rant…
    Still, his is 3 times longer than yours.

  2. Novotny says:

    ^^lol, I was coming on to say ‘this proves John Walker is shit’, but I got beaten to it.

    Note: John Walker is not shit.

  3. Inigo says:

    you can read Stuart “Idiotface” Campbell’s awful 80,000 word rant about a game he barely played and found too difficult to control

    Worms?

    • John Walker says:

      No, he’s right there. Worms is rubbish.

    • RevStu says:

      “Worms?”

      Bioshock.

    • Gnoupi says:

      Worms’ controls are specifically designed to require the whole keyboard surface, to make it easier for other players to disturb you while you are trying to make your turn.

      It’s obviously a precursor to B.U.T.T.O.N!

    • MD says:

      Please look up the meaning of “rubbish”. Thanks!

    • BooleanBob says:

      What on Earth are you talking about, John? Didn’t Worms give us the grappling hook?!

    • LionsPhil says:

      I assume they must be talking about one of the new Worms games, rather than the classic, or Worms 2.

      Don’t look at me like that. Back when it started, the vectorized worms era was actually pretty chuffing brilliant and in most ways a solid step up from its DOS predecessor. (It’s just an absolute bastard to get to run these days. :/ )

    • MD says:

      @LionsPhil:
      Please look up the meaning of the wo… no, wait, the other thing. I recommend Worms: Armageddon! As you probably know it’s part of the Worms 2 lineage, but it’s received some wonderful semi-official patches, and now runs on modern operating systems, with about a million bugfixes, UI improvements and gameplay-related additions. It still has an active multiplayer community, and since it’s turn-based, lag doesn’t stop people from opposite ends of the world playing together. If you have even a hint of nostalgic longing, give it a go! It’s brilliant.

  4. bill says:

    Now TR:Legend is Retro I can officially feel far too old to still be alive. What does the original count as now? Prehistoric?

    I played one of these newfangled Tomb Raiders on Gametap back when they did free games (the retro-ages) and it was dull, annoying and I got bored and gave up pretty quickly. I can’t even remember which one it was because it didn’t make much of an impression.

    It didn’t have the feeling of exploration of the classic old Tomb Raiders, whatever one it was.

    • John Walker says:

      Please look up the meaning of the word “retrospective”. Thanks!

    • bill says:

      Retrospective (adjective)
      – directed to the past; contemplative of past situations, events, etc.

      Retro (adjective Informal) .
      – of or designating the style of an earlier time: retro clothes.

    • Urthman says:

      Next week is John’s Duke Nukem Forever retrospective. Remember that game?

    • mejoff says:

      No.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Anthile says:

    It’s four or five years old. How can it be retro? I’d like to say “That really bothers me!” but it really does not. bother me. I appreciate that there is at least one individual who has a different perception of the word retro than I have. Amazed by this discovery, I drink my coffee and proceed to do something productive with my time.

    • John Walker says:

      Please look up the meaning of the word “retrospective”. Thanks!

    • skinlo says:

      Well yes, technically I can look back at what I did a minute a go and be retrospective, but in ‘the common gaming language’, retro is usually considered to be considerably older.

    • Ravenholme says:

      But here “Eurogamer Retro” is used as a truncated form of the word “Retrospective”, which means “looking back”. If I look back upon yesterday’s events, I’m being retrospective.

      I’m not seeing what the issue you guys are having is.

    • bill says:

      no one is having an issue.

      except it makes me feel old… so i guess that’s kind of an issue. But many things make me feel old these days. Like the fact Terminator 2 is over 20 years old.

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      >:|

    • gallardo1 says:

      “common gaming language” is just full of imprecisions (think about the term “gameplay”), but yours is just lack of mental flexibility

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I still remember how revolutionary the original TR was. The only other thing remotely like it (graphically) at the time was Quake, which really made TR seem downright beautiful in comparison to Quake’s ultra-brown palette.

      Still love the original puzzles, many of which were thankfully preserved in the remake. Haven’t gotten out of the Mayan area in the remake yet, though.

  6. Jams O'Donnell says:

    Oh my goodness, I couldn’t agree more about the combat not belonging, or the hateful boss fights. Just let me treat the levels as a playground of running/jumping/climbing, please.

  7. itsallcrap says:

    You’re right, but his review is better.

    There, I’ve managed to be diplomatic in a way that both of you will dislike.

  8. NaFola says:

    The post fight rant is very similar to my feelings of street fighter 2 turbo on the SNES. BLOODY M BISON! I almost broke the console and cartridge several times because of “him”. It’s funny how games can evoke such intense emotions.

  9. Dominic White says:

    While the combat in Legend was definitely a bit naff, I never had trouble with it. In fact, most encounters could be won by holding the fire button and running around a bit until all the bad guys fell over. The final boss was a little fiddly, but otherwise you fight it the same way an any other enemy: Shoot a lot until it falls over.

  10. Tams80 says:

    Fight, fight, fight!!!

    I’ll get you your fighting trousers.

  11. MD says:

    From revstu’s article:

    “Later, Lara finds herself standing on the roof of a flatbed truck which is thundering along a desert canyon in pursuit of her friend Anaya’s jeep. Lara leaps off the cabin roof and, in a Matrix-esque bullet-time cut-scene, somersaults and spins through the air ahead of the lorry, shooting its driver through the windscreen and landing neatly in the passenger seat of the jeep.

    Never mind the fact that the instant her feet left the roof, what would actually happen would be that gravity and physics would catapult her “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph (depending on whatever speed the lorry was doing, given that unlike Lara it’s still having forward-propulsive force applied to it) and smush her messily all over the canyon floor. Don’t try this at home, kids.”

    Can a physicist come and explain this, please? As far as I can tell Stuart has this dead wrong. She’s travelling at the speed of the truck, and she doesn’t magically lose that speed when she loses contact with the truck. She’ll slow down because of air resistance, but surely that’s not enough to bring about the situation Stuart describes.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Not a fizzsist but as something of an expert in the field of falling off motorbikes at speed I can attest to the fact that when de-coupled from a vehicle at speed the body retains significant forward momentum.

      Also, attempting to *run* down the A40 at sixty miles an hour somehow results in launching ones self to altitudes sufficient to give air traffic control a scare.

    • westyfield says:

      I’m not a physicist, but that seems wrong to me as well. She would stay moving at the speed of the lorry + however fast she jumped forwards, aside from speed loss due to air resistance, which wouldn’t be very much. Unless the lorry and jeep were both accelerating a lot, she would pretty much keep up with them.

    • johnpeat says:

      The Rev is wrong – you’d maintain your forward momentum and indeed could slightly increase it by leaping.

      Here’s how to prove that – we’re standing on a rock which is rotating at about 900 miles/hour and travelling at 10s of 1000s of miles/hour relative to the centre of our galaxy – and at even greater speeds relative to other objects…

      Jump up! – do it now!!

      Did you fly backwards and hit a tree/building so hard you become paste?

      If so – he’s right and I’m sorry for the mess

      If not – he’s wrong

      Simples

    • RevStu says:

      “Can a physicist come and explain this, please? As far as I can tell Stuart has this dead wrong. She’s travelling at the speed of the truck, and she doesn’t magically lose that speed when she loses contact with the truck. She’ll slow down because of air resistance, but surely that’s not enough to bring about the situation Stuart describes.”

      Oh boy. What Lara does in the game is actually magically accelerate when she jumps, so that she’s going FASTER than the truck and is therefore able to smash through the windscreen and land in the cabin.

      If you think air resistance is trivial, climb out of the sunroof next time your friend’s driving his car down the motoway and try to stand on the top. If you can manage that, then jump forwards at a 45-degree angle, and see if (a) you overtake the car and crash into the windscreen, or (b) the car shoots off into the distance – since it has the same forward momentum you do PLUS a continuing forwards force of 50mph or whatever being exerted by the engine – and you get smeared all over the tarmac some way behind it.

      (If you’d rather not die, just wind down the window next time you’re moving at speed and stick your hand out, flat against the air.)

      At very low levels of schooling, children studying physics in this country are taught to regard air resistance as zero because it simplifies the understanding of some principles. In fact air resistance is a very long way from being zero, as any pilot will tell you.

      “The Rev is wrong – you’d maintain your forward momentum and indeed could slightly increase it by leaping.”

      Sigh. You: momentum plus leaping power. Truck: momentum plus engine power. If you can jump forwards at more than 50mph, you may want to get yourself down to the British Olympic Association pronto. And obviously, jump there rather than taking the car, it’ll be faster.

    • MD says:

      Hush Mr. Campbell, I asked for a physicist.

      @ johnpeat: it’s not that simple though! Air resistance is the interesting part here, and your example doesn’t involve any (as the air is spinning at the same rate as the earth, so is stationary relative to you).

      it the same forward momentum you do PLUS a continuing forwards force of 50mph or whatever being exerted by the engine – and you get smeared all over the tarmac some way behind it.

      That doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t think the truck has “the same forward momentum you do PLUS a continuing forwards force of 50mph or whatever”. (To nitpick, it has much more momentum than you do, but needs it to travel at the same speed because it’s heavier. But more significantly,) the “continuing forwards force of 50mph or whatever” would actually just be whatever force is required to counteract wind resistance and friction and keep it at a constant speed. So we’re left with the same question of “how significant is air resistance in this example?”. And I don’t trust you on the answer.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Ok armchair fizzicks. Surely one “can” move forward in a leap *if* the human body can create enough force to overcome the air resistance at 50mph. That’s not to say that a human has to run faster than 50mph.

      If a human can’t overcome this then this would mean that one can’t also run along the top of a moving train (running in same direction as train) without falling off the back of the train, as running involves both feet off the ground for significant part of the stride.

      Similarly – what would happen if I were to run against a sustained 50mph wind – if I move forward then I *can* leap forward from a moving truck, if I drift backwards then I can’t. I’d posit that I’m quite able of running forward against a 50mph wind. Now there’s obviously some artistic licence here, if it turns out that Lara Croft is more acrobatic than me, Superman is more super than me and Ironman is more irony than me then I guess I can live with that. But I’m pretty sure that I can run forward against a 50mph headwind. For all of about 30 seconds before I collapse in a wheezing fit and spark up another ciggy.

    • The Question says:

      I’ve just seen a video on Youtube of a guy basejumping off a moving truck atop a bridge. Funnily enough, as he falls he keeps pace with the truck.

    • RevStu says:

      “as running involves both feet off the ground for significant part of the stride”

      Jumping, however, involves having your feet off the ground for 100% of the duration of the jump, which is a fairly crucial difference. If jumping was so powerful, people in movies who run along the top of trains would bunny-hop instead, because it’d be quicker.

      And just to remove the discussion from physics completely – Lara’s stunt would be pretty great in an action movie, right? So if it’s possible, how come in all the decades of action movies there have been, with all the incredibly talented and brave professional stuntmen, it’s never (to my knowledge) been done? How come Jackass never tried it? If anyone can point me to an example of someone JUMPING from the top of a fast-moving vehicle and crashing through the windscreen of the same vehicle, I’ll happily concede the entire issue.

    • RevStu says:

      “I’ve just seen a video on Youtube of a guy basejumping off a moving truck atop a bridge.”

      A truck moving much slower than 50mph, however. Air resistance increases greatly with speed. Do you think you could stand unaided on the top of an aeroplane taxiing along a runway at 5mph? I’d imagine you could. Could you stand unaided on the top of that same aeroplane flying at 400mph? If not, why not?

    • MD says:

      Haha, I wasn’t expecting video proof!

      But yeah, even just as a thought experiment, I can’t see any reason why the wind resistance from you moving forward at 50mph would be any different from a 50mph wind when you’re stationary. And nothing Stuart said makes sense unless the wind resistance is enough to decelerate you really dramatically. But when you jump straight up in a 50mph wind, it doesn’t do much to you at all. And if you jump forward into a 50mph headwind, you end up ahead of where you started.

    • MiniMatt says:

      “Jumping, however, involves having your feet off the ground for 100% of the duration of the jump, which is a fairly crucial difference.”

      Not at all – running *is* jumping – it’s a series of jumps tied together to form a stride and if you move forward during that portion of the time you are completely airborne then whether it’s called a run or a jump is irrelevant. Explain to me the difference between hopping forward on one leg (or a jump if you will) and one stride of running?

    • Ralphomon says:

      As an actual physicist, I feel I should add some authority to this thread. I am having issue with this part of RevStu’s analysis:

      “Sigh. You: momentum plus leaping power. Truck: momentum plus engine power. If you can jump forwards at more than 50mph, you may want to get yourself down to the British Olympic Association pronto. And obviously, jump there rather than taking the car, it’ll be faster.”

      This shows a basic lack of understanding of how momentum works. If the truck is accelerating, he has a point, however at this speed trucks don’t accelerate that fast: the air resistance arrests the force of their engine. I think if you were to adopt a more aerodynamic shape (say, dive forwards) the force of your legs could accelerate you so that you’d make some headway on the truck. Wait, actually, you’d add the force of your legs to the force of the engine for the instant of jumping, so you would be travelling faster than the truck after jumping. This becomes much easier if the truck is travelling at a constant velocity.

      The problem then springs entirely from air resistance. If there were no air resistance, we have two cases to consider: the truck is moving at a constant velocity or it is accelerating. If it is moving at uniform velocity, you’d be travelling faster than the truck in a horizontal direction for your whole time of flight until you either land on the jeep or smash into the road and then get run over by the truck. If the truck were accelerating, you’d manage to get ahead of it, but because you’re not wearing your jetpack, you have no way of accelerating more, so the truck would catch up to you after a while.

      Taking air resistance into account, the situation is very similar to that last situation: the truck accelerating and you moving at the same speed is affectively the same as you slowing down and the truck travelling at the same speed: the difference is the discrepancy between your deceleration and the truck’s acceleration and the absolute (ie. compared to 0 mph or rest) distance travelled before you meet the truck again. If the truck is accelerating as well, then the effect is worsened: you stay ahead of the truck for a shorter time, have a lower maximum distance from the truck obtained, and travel a shorter absolute distance in the air.

      I hope that helps! It’s nice to mix it up and apply my knowledge to video games once in a while, as opposed to boring lasers and liquid helium and quantum dots.

    • Chris D says:

      Minimatt

      The difference is all in your momentum, innit. You don’t get very much acceleration from one stride alone, you build speed by chaining them in series. You can’t do that with a single jump.

      On the wider issue the main point of contention seems to be whether 50mph worth of air resistance is a little or a lot. Someone with a car and an iPhone do some research and get back to us.

      Then there’s also the issue of whether it would be possible to aim your landing accurately enough to land in the seat or just bounce merrily off the top and under the wheels of the oncoming truck. We should probably just let that go, though. Frankly, if we’re going to rule out every occurecnce of this kind of thing in games then no one would get anything done.

    • MiniMatt says:

      I think MD’s got the simplest analagy for the whole thing:

      Faced with a 50mph headwind, from a standing start, if you leapt forward would you find yourself ahead or behind your starting position?

      To start the experiments, I’ve just tried outside against what the BBC are calling a 9mph wind. Result: I leapt forward! I can do science me! So, can we achieve the same against a 50mph headwind? My hunch is very much that we can. Against 400mph, nah, flatbed trucks don’t go at 400mph. But 50mph, no problem.

    • Chris D says:

      Footage of people in allegedly 50mph winds. In the interests of scienciness.
      People in 50mph winds

      Edit: Bonus Science Fact. 50mph is equivalent to Force 9 on the Beaufort Scale.

    • MD says:

      Interesting! I admit that does look more powerful than I’d pictured. It still doesn’t seem like enough to make jumping forwards impossible, though.

    • RevStu says:

      “So, can we achieve the same against a 50mph headwind? My hunch is very much that we can.”

      Sure you can. For roughly half a second, which (if you’re lucky and adopt an aerodynamic position and don’t, for example, have a couple of water-filled basketballs stuck on the front of your ribcage) might get you something in the region of 12 inches forward relative to your starting position before you run out of momentum and hit the ground. The truck has no such problems – it keeps on trucking, because it’s still having propulsive power applied to it after yours has run out.

      The question, then, is: can you get up into the air, travel forwards, also cover a distance of around six feet downwards, do a somersault and twist and shoot the driver, all in half a second? Because after that, your speed is effectively zero to the truck’s 50mph+, and you’re getting smushed.

      (Also: a constant 50mph wind is a very different proposition to winds *gusting* at 50mph, which is what we tend to experience…)

    • Chris D says:

      Well, perhaps not impossible, but high enough to clear the cab roof and long enough for cab+at least half a jeep length?

      I think my ruling on the matter would be as follows: In the Reverend Campbell’s original point it does look as if he’s getting the rules of physics a bit wrong. He then tries to save face by going “Oh, yeah.. wind resistance.” While I think this is enough to show it’s extremely unlikely we’ll ever see anyone actually pull this off in real life I think we should still ignore him as if we insist on that level of realism we don’t have any action movies left at all, and if it’s anything Tomb Raider is very much in the action movie genre.

    • RevStu says:

      “as if we insist on that level of realism we don’t have any action movies left at all”

      Well, that brings us to the original point of the feature – most action games are built to some degree or other on the willing suspension of disbelief, but it only works if (a) you’re internally consistent about it, and (b) you don’t completely take the piss to the point where you’re just insulting your audience. Which is what TRL does from start to finish.

    • MiniMatt says:

      “The question, then, is: can you get up into the air, travel forwards, also cover a distance of around six feet downwards, do a somersault and twist and shoot the driver, all in half a second? Because after that, your speed is effectively zero to the truck’s 50mph+, and you’re getting smushed.”

      Arrrgh – no, no it’s not. You’re claiming that your inherited velocity of 50mph relative to the earth is eroded in half a second by the resistance of the air to zero. Now from personal practical experience I can categorically state that this is most definitely not the case. Having fallen off motorcycles way too many times I can state that falling off at (eg) 50mph results in me sliding down the tarmac for considerably longer than half a second (though not as long as it feels at the time) and that’s under the effects of air resistance and the considerably greater friction effect of my arse dragging along asphalt.

      Now if someone can dig up a friction coefficient for the human body we can work this out once and for all :)

    • RevStu says:

      “You’re claiming that your inherited velocity of 50mph relative to the earth is eroded in half a second by the resistance of the air to zero”

      In that particular instance I was saying no such thing. (And friction is completely irrelevant, since Lara isn’t skidding along the ground.) The point was that the velocity/distance/momentum/whatever gained specifically from the jump expired within half a second, whereas the truck’s didn’t.

      I’m not sure that falling off a motorbike a lot makes you a physics expert. Isn’t the idea to NOT fall off?

    • Chris D says:

      MiniMatt
      Well, sure, but that’s relative to the ground. Compared to the speed you were travelling to begin with you’re still decelerating, whereas Lara needs to accelerate relative to the truck and maintain that speed in the air in order to jump ahead of it. While the air resistance won’t immediately drop her to zero mph relative to the ground it probably does drop her below the 50mph the truck is doing pretty quickly.

      RevStu

      Fair enough, though I should note my ruling was on this specific example. I’d have to play the game itself in order to judge the entire case, and I believe someone just wrote an 80,000 word rant on why that would be a bad idea.

      Edit: Note to self: Must learn to type faster

    • MiniMatt says:

      So now you’re saying that your speed is not effectively zero to the truck’s 50mph?

      Your forward speed relative to the earth at the end of half a second will be:
      50mph (inheritied from truck) + forward speed attained by jump – speed scrubbed by air resistance.
      Your forward speed relative to the truck at the end of half a second will be:
      Forward speed attained by jump – speed scrubbed by air resistance.

      Care to guess what those figures might be?

      And no, I’m not a physics expert, as already noted. I have an a-level in it from about a gazillion years ago if we’re getting into willy waving. And falling off motorbikes has at least given practical experience in the effects on the body of free motion at high speed, which is what you seem to be trying to come across as authoritative in.

    • Chris D says:

      “Care to guess what those figures might be?”

      Not really, the reason why we treat air resistance as negligible in schools is not because it’s actually negligible, it’s because it’s damn diffiucult to work out.

      The easiest way to think about it might be

      L=distance Lara can cover with a somersault.*

      T=time Lara spends in air during said somersault (and allowing for extra time to drop to level of jeep)

      D=imagine you’re in a 50mph wind tunnel. You drop for T seconds. D is how far behind your original position you land.

      If L>=D Lara can make the jump. If not she can’t.**

      *Assuming run up made against 50mph wind. This is probably important.

      ** Assuming she can keep her balance on landing, but that’s another story

    • MiniMatt says:

      Yep Chris D I’d go with your formula exactly.

      And whatever guestimates I can come up with none of them come even remotely close to Stu’s proposition of “Never mind the fact that the instant her feet left the roof, what would actually happen would be that gravity and physics would catapult her “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph”

      Not saying Lara would make the jump or not but I would say that it’s very much within the realms of possibility, that it’s certainly possible to jump forward from a moving vehicle and land forward relative to where you started (though potentially not clearing a cab etc), and is an entirely realistic proposal at least compared to Lara’s staggeringly unrealistic body proportions. I find it more difficult to believe she can stand upright without a counter weight to balance those chesticles.

    • MiniMatt says:

      Final stab at this one I think: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-11846493

      Now – if the interview is to be believed, ie. no green screen, train going at 50mph – then what we’re witnessing is someone leaping from one train carriage to another, both feet airbourne, travelling in the same direction as a 50mph train.

      Not only did Denzel Washington *not* catapult “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph the moment his feet left the roof but he was able to attain sufficient extra velocity relative to the train to leap through the air over and above the effects of wind resistance for the time necessary to land forward of his starting position. Not a somersault over a cab no, but most definitely not anything like Stu is persistently trying to claim.

    • Chris D says:

      I think applying physics to Lara Croft to any extent is going to throw up a bunch of problems. It does look a bit like RevStu forgot about conservation of momentum initially and then retconned in wind resistance to cover it. Still, physics mistakes happen to the best of us, there was the time I decided that if I moved the soup into my mouth fast enough it wouldn’t have time to fall off the spoon…

      Now I’ve thought a bit more I think I’d criticise my own equation by saying I’m making the phrase “Assuming run up made against 50mph wind.” do a whole lot of work. I’m not sure I could even achieve running speed under those conditions. Of course you could argue that the cab provides enough shelter to negate that effect, but then the jump requires a greater vertical component and consequently more time in the air…

    • Chris D says:

      MiniMatt

      Ah, just saw your last post. Seems like running is possible under those conditions after all, although I don’t think both videos are showing the same windspeed. Someone is lying to us, I wonder who it is.

      Anyway, I’m guessing the question is now not so much, is this possible or not? But how fast do you have to go before Lara Croft can’t do it anymore. Although, to go back to an earlier point, blatantly breaking the laws of physics also breaks suspension of disbelief. Merely bending them is something action movies do all the time.

    • RevStu says:

      “It does look a bit like RevStu forgot about conservation of momentum initially and then retconned in wind resistance to cover it”

      I’m a bit bemused as to what you’d think I was imagining would cause Lara to lose her speed OTHER than wind resistance.

    • Urthman says:

      Everybody’s wrong. The cutscene makes perfect sense if you assume the driver hears something on the roof and takes his foot off the gas, so the truck is decelerating slightly. When Lara begins her leap, she’s going a bit faster than the truck, but then because of air resistance (the truck has more mass/inertia than Lara so Lara is slowed by the air more than the truck), the truck catches up to her just as her feet are in front of the windshield.

    • Chris D says:

      RevStu

      I think it looks like you thought that when she lost contact with the truck she’d immediately stop moving forwards because she’d stopped touching the thing with the engine. I think that’s not an unreasonable interpretation of the words:
      “Never mind the fact that the instant her feet left the roof, what would actually happen would be that gravity and physics would catapult her “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph (depending on whatever speed the lorry was doing, given that unlike Lara it’s still having forward-propulsive force applied to it)”
      Which mentions gravity (which has no effect on horizontal motion) and physics and not wind. Though I recognise that you were being hyperbolic and to take it too literally would be a disservice. I also used the phrase “looks like” on purpose.

      Urthman

      You’d have to assume the jeep breaks at the right point too, but sure, I’d buy that explanation.

    • Chris D says:

      Urthman

      Had second thoughts.Sorry I’m not going to buy it after all. The physics work out Ok but for this to work the truck and the jeep both have to brake independently of each other and Lara has to know they will do this before making the run up. There’s no margin for error on this, if she misses the landing then she’ll just tumble off the back.

      Theoretically maybe Lara can read people well enough that she’ll know the driver will brake if he hears something (seems an odd reaction to me), maybe she knows her friend will see her in the mirror,work out what she’s going to do and reacts with enough precision to pull it off. But, by this point,I think I find “Lara is just awesome enough to somersault off a moving truck onto a jeep” to be a more plausible explanation.

    • RevStu says:

      “The cutscene makes perfect sense if you assume the driver hears something on the roof and takes his foot off the gas, so the truck is decelerating slightly.”

      That’s an *awful* lot of assumption. It requires not only the somewhat irrational response on the part of the driver (something crucial to the events but which isn’t depicted by the cutscene), but that Lara somehow knows to leap at the split-second moment before the driver lifts off the pedal (because once he’s slowing down, so is she), and also an absolutely dizzyingly enormous degree of assumption about the convenience of the two objects’ relative rates of deceleration due to wind resistance. (Yeah, the truck has more mass and inertia but it’s also much less aerodynamic than Lara.)

      Plus, if they’re both decelerating rapidly from 50mph, but travelling at practically the same speed, then the chances of them colliding with enough force to smash through the windscreen are pretty low even allowing for it having a couple of bullet holes in it…

    • RevStu says:

      “Theoretically maybe Lara can read people well enough that she’ll know the driver will brake if he hears something (seems an odd reaction to me)”

      It’s even more than that – she has to know that he’ll lift slightly off the gas, because if he actively brakes to almost any degree, or even if he lifts right off the pedal suddenly, she’s going flying off the front.

    • The Question says:

      Wait, why would she go flying off the front? Why wouldn’t the air resistance keep her from moving faster than the truck if the truck stops, but would if she tried to jump?

    • MD says:

      I don’t think the people in the Antarctica video are trying to walk forward and finding it almost impossible due to the wind. I think they’re just leaning into it, letting the force of the wind keep them stable at an angle that’d normally unbalance them.

      That aside, I’m still getting a dodgy vibe from Stu’s posts.

      “The question, then, is: can you get up into the air, travel forwards, also cover a distance of around six feet downwards, do a somersault and twist and shoot the driver, all in half a second? Because after that, your speed is effectively zero to the truck’s 50mph+, and you’re getting smushed.”

      “The point was that the velocity/distance/momentum/whatever gained specifically from the jump expired within half a second, whereas the truck’s didn’t.”

      If the velocity gain from the jump expired in half a second, you would now be travelling at the same velocity as the truck. Your speed is 50mph+ to the truck’s 50mph+, and nobody is getting smushed.

      I don’t want to be too presumptuous, but it really does seem like you made a false assumption about momentum when making your Wile E Coyote comparison, and you’re still a bit confused about how it works.

      Initially, your velocity is 50mph, and so is the truck’s. If you are capable of jumping forward with enough force to (briefly) overcome wind resistance, you’ll be travelling at more than 50 mph. In order to be catapulted ‘back’ “at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph” relative to the truck, your speed needs to drop to zero. For this to happen, you need to lose not only the velocity gained by the jump, but also the initial 50mph. Do you really believe that the wind will do this near-instantly? If so, let’s get a definitive answer on that. If not, just admit you made a mistake!

    • RevStu says:

      “If the velocity gain from the jump expired in half a second, you would now be travelling at the same velocity as the truck.”

      Oh for fuck’s sake. No you wouldn’t, because the truck is still having propulsive power applied to it to counter the wind resistance, but you’re not. I’m not wasting any more time on people who think wind resistance is a negligible factor in this scenario, because it’s anything but.

      As Chris D has already noted, the piece was hyperbolic – of course Lara wouldn’t have her speed reduced to zero instantly by the wind, so it’s not absolutely literally accurate. (Except – since evidently we’re all splitting hairs for the sake of it now – that it doesn’t actually specify what speed the truck is going at, so it’s not empirically wrong even on that.)

      But she’d as sure as hell have had it reduced quickly enough to have her gooey corpse shovelled up off the road behind the truck rather than OVERTAKING and somersaulting through the windscreen, which was the text in question’s only point.

      You want to argue that she’d have been going 10mph or 20mph slower than the truck after X seconds, rather than 30mph or 40mph? No problem. I’m not a physicist, I’m not laying claim to being exact on the fine details. But if you want to argue that she could have overtaken it and come even remotely close to the manoeuvre depicted in the cutscene, you’re just being stupid.

    • MD says:

      “Oh for fuck’s sake. No you wouldn’t, because the truck is still having propulsive power applied to it to counter the wind resistance, but you’re not. ”

      Yes, you would. If you mean that you’d still be decelerating, then of course that’s true. But after half a second (under the assumption that that’s how long it takes for your jump-velocity to be lost), your velocity would be the same as the truck’s.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      I don’t think the people in the Antarctica video are trying to walk forward and finding it almost impossible due to the wind. I think they’re just leaning into it, letting the force of the wind keep them stable at an angle that’d normally unbalance them

      Dude, I’ve encountered wind that was very nearly impossible to walk into in the exotic locale of downtown Buffalo, New York. No idea of the exact wind speed, but there were long gusts where I could not walk forward. It exists. On a clear winter day, no less.

    • MD says:

      I don’t doubt that, but I do doubt those gusts were only 50mph. I’m open to being proved wrong, though — at the moment all I have to go on is intuition and not-entirely-reliable videos and my own experiences of high (but I don’t know exactly how high) winds.

    • RevStu says:

      “But after half a second (under the assumption that that’s how long it takes for your jump-velocity to be lost), your velocity would be the same as the truck’s.”

      Yes, for 0.00001 seconds. After that the wind resistance would be slowing you, but not the truck.

      “Dude, I’ve encountered wind that was very nearly impossible to walk into in the exotic locale of downtown Buffalo, New York. No idea of the exact wind speed, but there were long gusts where I could not walk forward. It exists.”

      Yep. I’ve been up on some very insignificant little hills in Scotland, in wind not strong enough to be even passingly noted on the weather forecasts, but where it not only wasn’t possible to walk forward in an upright position, but in which you couldn’t even *breathe* if you were facing directly into it. (Properly scary, as it happens.) Which is why I have so little patience with muppets who treat wind resistance at even modest speeds as negligible or non-existent.

    • MD says:

      I’m not saying it’s “negligible or non-existent”! My first post was basically ‘i think stuart’s wrong but i’m not sure, can someone knowledgeable confirm’ and in my second I said “Air resistance is the interesting part here”.

      All I’m saying is a) I think, but am not sure, that you’re overstating the effects of wind resistance on a human body at 50mph; and b) your explanations have been imprecise at best, and in any case all I really need at this point is a definitive answer on the question of wind resistence on a human body at 50mph.

      I’ve actually become pretty interested in this, and am trying to work out the answer. It’s harder than I expected to find the relevant numbers and equations, though!

    • johnpeat says:

      I can’t believe TheRev is debating this – he said

      “Never mind the fact that the instant her feet left the roof, what would actually happen would be that gravity and physics would catapult her “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph (depending on whatever speed the lorry was doing, given that unlike Lara it’s still having forward-propulsive force applied to it)”

      That is complete and total nonsense based on even more nonsense. Gravity has NOTHING to do with her momentum, air pressure acts upon her (before and after she jumps) but it’s not a brick wall and wouldn’t “stop her dead” let alone make her go ‘backwards’. You’re also assuming the truck is being propelled/accerated when reality is we’ve no idea about that or the truck’s speed/the wind speed/the wind direction (if there were a tailwind faster than the truck it would accelerate her, for example) or much of anything else.

      What would NOT happen in almost any situation is her flying backwards at the speed of the truck ala Wile Coyote – nothing remotely like that would happen – in fact was DOES happen is far closer to reality that your ACME suggestion :)

      and….

      It’s a game FFS – who cares anyway?? Mario does some physics defying things in Super Mario Galaxy and it’s the greatest game ever made – WTF are we arguing about here again?? :).

    • MD says:

      [edit: fucked this up, editing!]

    • WJonathan says:

      A sustained 50 MPH wind is indeed significant. It can topple you backward while standing if you’re not careful. However, even discounting wind resistance there is another factor I haven’t seen mentioned: the earth’s gravitational pull. A body in motion retains its inertia unless acted upon by another force. Ignoring wind resistance, the earth’s gravity will alter vectors of movement toward its own center. An object thrown horizontally retains its momentum, but falls relative to the earth’s surface. So Lara would indeed slow down a bit relative to the steadily moving vehicles. Add in wind resistance, and she would need some impressive leg strength and perfect form to make that jump.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      Well here’s a thought: The definition of a storm is winds of ~55mph or more. A hurricane starts at ~75mph (rough numbers since I’m converting from km/h). Anyone who’s been out walking in a proper storm will know there’s serious wind resistance but it’s still entirely possible to walk, run or jump against the wind, and if you do jump you certainly won’t be catapulted any significant distance by the pressure of the wind.

      We had a fairly big hurricane where I lived a couple of years ago (not like the tropical hurricanes that hit the US every now and then, but bad enough to destroy vast areas of forest and rip the roofs off buildings). That evening I was out walking, drunk, carrying a small tree (about as tall as I am). I’m not anywhere near the physical shape of Lara Croft and while I wouldn’t say it was entirely without problems I wasn’t about to go flying off either, though the tree tried to get away once or twice.

      That’s not saying Lara’s stunt is in any way plausible, but saying she’d drop like a brick the moment she lost contact with the vehicle is a little silly.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      Not a “physicist”. Anyway, the internet reckons the terminal velocity of a human body is about 120 mph. This, by definition, is when the air resistance on the body balances (equals) the force of gravity (plus the buoyancy, possibly relevant for Lara) acting on said body.

      Since we can all (easily) jump upwards against gravity, it’s safe to say we could jump against a 120 mph wind, assuming we could actually stand up in one. Since we know we can stand up in 70 mph+ winds, I’d say there’s no real issue to jumping atop a moving vehicle. Those complaining about walking into a headwind remember this: you don’t walk as “hard” as you can, because you’d fall on your face the moment the wind dropped for a nano-second (been there.)

      If Lara were to be pulled off the back of the truck at such a rate of knots the moment she broke contact, she certainly wouldn’t be able to stand on it in the first place. Westerns have long shown us that jumping across speeding trains is do-able, and Lara is obviously an action heroine, so the usual rules apply, as much as I detest them.

      Now, about that scene in the Uncharted 2 trailer, where a freight / goods wagon barrel rolls, then accelerates towards the camera, which is still moving at the same speed…

    • MD says:

      Okay I did some calculations. There could VERY EASILY BE SOME HUGE MISTAKES (and I did indeed do something very dumb the first time around) so maybe someone could check my work!

      The sources were originally links, but that got my comment flagged for moderation, so I converted them to descriptions of how to find the relevant pages.

      F=(Cd*A*p*v^2)/2 (source: google diracdelta drag coefficient)

      F is force of drag in N
      Cd is drag coefficient
      A is frontal area in m^2
      p is density of fluid in kg/m^3
      v is velocity of object relative to fluid in m/s

      CD = 1 (source: as above, and the assumption that Lara is at the more aerodynamic end of the spectrum)
      A = 0.84 (source: google calculating Terminal Velocity for a skysurfer, also wikipedia body surface area and assume that the frontal area is roughly half, which fits with the previous source)
      p = 1.2 (source: wikipedia density of air)
      v = 22.35 (this is 50mph in m/s), so v^2 = 499.52

      so plugging those numbers into the equation, we get:

      F = 251.76

      And to calculate the effect of this force on Lara Croft:

      a = F/m

      a is acceleration in m/s/s
      m is mass in kilograms
      F is force in newtons
      m = 60 (estimated weight of Lara Croft in kg)
      F = 251.76 (from the previous calculation)

      plugging the numbers in gives us:

      a = 4.196

      So Lara’s initial deceleration relative to the truck, if she jumped directly upwards, would be roughly 4.2 metres per second per second. As she lost speed, the air resistance would decrease sharply (at 15 m/s, her deceleration due to wind resistance would be 1.89m/s/s).

      Next: calculating how far she’d be able to jump forwards!

      (PS, @ WJonathan: unless I’m totally mistaken, gravity will just add a downwards component to your velocity, without reducing the horizontal component)

      [edit: fixed lots of little typos/things I’d left in or out by mistake/writing five point something instead of four point something else]

    • Highstorm says:

      This debate is incredibly amusing, but one thing has been bugging me. Many of you have made mention of “50 MPH winds” working against both Lara and the Truck, but isn’t there a difference between a “50 MPH headwind” and simply the air friction encountered when traveling at 50 MPH?

      In the case of the former, you have a force actively pushing against you in the opposite direction. In the case of the later, you’re simply being slowed by the drag of your body through the air. It’s not actually “wind”, right?

      Unless I’m just completely off my rocker, this would seem to be the main thing Rev got wrong in his description of The Way It Should Have Been™. If indeed there was a powerful force pushing against Lara, she may have been thrown backwards – though only if that force were greater than the forward momentum she already had. However if that was the case, she probably couldn’t be standing on the truck at all to begin with (unless she lowered her center of gravity and the surface area of her body causing drag.)

      In the real world, I think she would have been able to jump forward on the Truck, but with nowhere near the force it would require to do the stunt she performs. She wouldn’t be flung off the vehicle like the victim of a giant vacuum cleaner, but neither would she go smashing through the front window with graceful acrobatic finesse. She’d do a little hop forward and probably stumble a bit.

      But I think we can all agree that doesn’t make for a very exciting game.

    • Premium User Badge

      skalpadda says:

      “isn’t there a difference between a “50 MPH headwind” and simply the air friction encountered when traveling at 50 MPH?”

      Of course there is some difference since air moving in either case wouldn’t be a static force evenly applied over a defined area. For the general force it exerts it doesn’t make much difference which one is moving through or against which though; it’s the friction as the body meets and moves the air that matters (the air in front gets compressed and pushed around and to the sides of the object that’s moving or that it is moving against).

    • MD says:

      Right now I don’t have the time/smarts to do a really proper calculation regarding the jump. But to get a rough estimate out there: it seems that a person can make a standing horizontal jump with a horizontal velocity of about 2.7 m/s. (source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9670497 and http://bura.brunel.ac.uk/bitstream/2438/537/1/%27Standing%20Long%20Jump%27%20Post-print.pdf)

      If we add this to Lara’s initial 22.35 m/s, we get 25.05 m/s, and using the same equations as before, an initial deceleration of 5.26 m/s/s due to drag, which will decrease as her velocity decreases. Even if the deceleration remained constant, it would take more than half a second for Lara’s speed to drop to zero relative to the truck (5.26 * 0.5 < 2.7). So if she made a standing long-jump with a hangtime less than or equal to 0.5 seconds (which seems plausible based on a bit of googling) she would be moving forwards relative to the truck for the entire time, and would end up ahead of where she started, relative to the truck.

      I think I have now officially set the standard! If anyone still thinks she'd go flying backwards relative to the truck, it's time to argue with science: point out where I've gone wrong (which I readily concede might be just about everywhere) and do a better job yourself.

    • MD says:

      In case my use of the 2.7 m/s figure seems dodgy, my assumptions are:

      – the wind won’t affect the force she can exert on herself with her leg muscles, and
      – the drag she experiences before takeoff is counteracted by the speed of the truck carrying her along (since that’s exactly what happens when she stands on the truck and remains stationary relative to it).

      So, although she starts decelerating faster than usual (i.e. faster than if she was jumping with no relative headwind) once she leaves the ground, at the moment of takeoff her velocity will be the same as usual (i.e. the same as if she was jumping with no relative headwind).

    • Chris D says:

      MD, I salute your tenacity, you crazy, crazy fool.

      But not as big a fool as me it turns out, both for letting myself get sucked back into this, but also because I’ve been missing the obvious this whole time. In order to make the maths easier I was only taking account apparent wind caused by the truck and assuming no actual wind, but that’s not a good assumption. If there was a sufficiently strong tail wind would negate all air resistance because the apparent wind would then be zero. Then you just have to worry about whether she can cover the distance and ignore air resistance entirely.

      OK, it’s suspiciously convenient, but still plausible. It’s a canyon, not unlikely that wind could be funneled down it. It’s also a factor Lara would be fully aware of before making the attempt. Of course it’s still really difficult to somersault onto a moving target but then if it was easy everyone would be doing it.

      All right, now I’m going to bed, in the hope that this problem will stop going round in my head now I’ve written this. Good night everyone.

    • RevStu says:

      “That is complete and total nonsense”

      Says the man who thought wind resistance should be a factor if you jumped in the air in wind of 0mph, because of the spinning of the Earth…

      :D

      “It’s a game FFS – who cares anyway?? Mario does some physics defying things in Super Mario Galaxy and it’s the greatest game ever made – WTF are we arguing about here again?? :).”

      It would seem we’re arguing about the fact that you didn’t bother reading the piece, since it specifically addresses the issue of what happens in Mario games and why that’s fine where TRL is shit.

    • johnpeat says:

      Stu, you’re the only man alive who continues to argue long after he’s been proven wrong – as if you somehow HAVE to do it – as if it’s required of you (or your persona?)

      You’re right – I stopped reading your stuff a while ago, I was responding to the physics question only – I stopped reading your stuff when you changed from a passionate and sometimes funny games journo into the man who just attacks everything like his life depends on it.

      My example of jumping was to show that when you leave a ‘moving’ surface, you don’t instantly lose the momentum it’s given you. As for ‘wind’ – try jumping on a really windy day (gusts easily top 40-50mph) and see how little effect it has before gravity returns you to the surface. If your version of events were true, you’d “fly backwards”??

    • RevStu says:

      “Stu, you’re the only man alive who continues to argue long after he’s been proven wrong”

      Nobody has as yet “proved” anything, least of all you. I’ve happily conceded that I may be wrong on the fine detail, because I’m not a physicist. All the piece is ultimately saying is that the scenario depicted is ludicrously implausible, and I’ve as yet heard absolutely nothing to plausibly contradict that assertion.

      “I stopped reading your stuff when you changed from a passionate and sometimes funny games journo into the man who just attacks everything like his life depends on it.”

      Then fuck off, because you’re self-admittedly arguing from a position of far greater ignorance than my rudimentary grasp of physics. (Although do feel free to put a date on that transformation, I’m sure it’d be enlightening.)

    • The Question says:

      We’ve got videos of people jumping off moving vehicles without being hurled backwards at all, jumping between moving train carriages without being hurled backwards at all, someone with experience of leaving a moving vehicle at 50mph without being hurled backwards, someone else who’s figured out the maths for jumping off a moving vehicle… and yet there’s no proof?

    • RevStu says:

      There’s a reason the word “backwards” in the original piece is in inverted commas. Tired of arguing with illiterates now.

    • The Question says:

      Pretend there are inverted commas around every instance of ‘backwards’ then, if you like.

    • identiti_crisis says:

      RevStu, you have been proven wrong. You were wrong to try to use a criticism of an “implausible” situation to pile on top of your already tall heap of bile simply to put yet another nail into your critique that would be TRL’s coffin. I’ve mentioned another ridiculously implausible situation already – does that one make Uncharted 2 “shit” ?
      No. It has no fucking bearing on it whatsoever, and that game is full of such things.
      It’s an action game and, like action movies, “implausible” is de rigeur.

      Also: “illiterates”? Speak for yourself, why don’t you.

    • MD says:

      Stuart, you’re acting like some sort of loathsome politician now.

      You were clearly using the truck incident as an example of the game getting the physics so wrong as to be insulting, and creating a situation so implausible, even within the context of the game, as to be illusion-shatteringly ridiculous.

      Never mind the fact that the instant her feet left the roof, what would actually happen would be that gravity and physics would catapult her “backwards” like a Wile E Coyote contraption gone wrong, at an effective reverse speed of 50 mph (depending on whatever speed the lorry was doing, given that unlike Lara it’s still having forward-propulsive force applied to it) and smush her messily all over the canyon floor. Don’t try this at home, kids.”

      “Backwards” was in inverted commas because you meant “backwards” relative to the truck. You may have been exaggerating about 50mph, etc. etc., but you clearly thought that physics dictated Lara would lose her velocity dramatically as soon as she broke contact with the truck, to the point of being flung backwards (relative to the truck) and ending up in a heap on the ground.

      We’ve demonstrated you’re completely wrong about this, and that it would actually be possible to jump forwards relative to the truck. (Though yet again I’ll say I’m totally open to being proven wrong by a better use of physical calculations, or an empirical example.)

      Once you’ve been proven wrong, you respond by ignoring most of the posts that did so, throwing insults at the people who disagree with you, and then trying to insinuate that you didn’t quite mean what you actually said, and also maybe it hasn’t really been proven so wrong anyway.

      OF COURSE the actual stunt is pretty boody unlikely. You didn’t say that, though. You said it was a ludicrous travesty of physics, to the point of being ridiculous even in the context of a video game.

      You were trashing someone on a point of science, and got your science significantly wrong in the process, rendering your point invalid and embarassing. If you can’t handle that ever happening, you need to either stop being so enthusiastically bilious, or learn a lot more about the world so you can be right all the time. But it’s really not that big a deal! If you just accepted it gracefully, you would look briefly silly then everyone would forget about it and get on with reading your articles. If you still doubted you were wrong, you could look at the underlying physics. That way you’d either find a way of arguing your case that wasn’t just asserting you were right and insulting everyone else, or you’d learn something!

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Astounding stuff, gentlemen.

      As a warning, heated words and opinions are *just* bordering on direct insults. We’d appreciate it if you don’t push it further.

      KG

    • Spectre-7 says:

      @The Question

      Thanks for the link to that base jumping video. I was just hiking under that bridge a little more than a month ago, which made the video all the more entertaining. :)

    • RevStu says:

      Sigh. Last word from me, because we’ve clearly crossed the threshold from fun debate to tedious abuse.

      “You were clearly using the truck incident as an example of the game getting the physics so wrong as to be insulting, and creating a situation so implausible, even within the context of the game, as to be illusion-shatteringly ridiculous.”

      Bollocks I was. I was using it as a typical example among many (the one I particularly emphasised being the helicopter gunship, not the truck). And it IS illusion-shatteringly ridiculous, except perhaps that any illusions would have been shattered long before the player got to that point. Especially by the helicopter gunship bit.

      ““Backwards” was in inverted commas because you meant “backwards” relative to the truck. You may have been exaggerating about 50mph, etc. etc., but you clearly thought that physics dictated Lara would lose her velocity dramatically as soon as she broke contact with the truck, to the point of being flung backwards (relative to the truck) and ending up in a heap on the ground.”

      Indeed I did mean precisely that.

      “We’ve demonstrated you’re completely wrong about this,”

      Er, no you haven’t. You’ve made a load of vague assertions and thrown in some bits of random maths with most of the variables in the equations missing or replaced by wildly spurious assumptions.

      “Once you’ve been proven wrong,”

      Which as yet hasn’t happened.

      “you respond by ignoring most of the posts that did so, throwing insults at the people who disagree with you,”

      I’d say I’ve addressed pretty much every single point that’s been made, and I’m not sure when I’ve insulted anyone.

      “and also maybe it hasn’t really been proven so wrong anyway.”

      Well, it hasn’t, so I’m fine with saying that.

      “OF COURSE the actual stunt is pretty boody unlikely. You didn’t say that, though. You said it was a ludicrous travesty of physics, to the point of being ridiculous even in the context of a video game.”

      In the absence of any remotely coherent evidence to the contrary, I’m happy to continue in that position.

      “If you just accepted it gracefully, you would look briefly silly then everyone would forget about it and get on with reading your articles.”

      I’ll be sure to do that, if anyone ever actually proves it.

      “If you still doubted you were wrong, you could look at the underlying physics.”

      As I’ve said, I’m not a physicist and nor have I ever claimed to be. I’ve already repeatedly said that I may well be wrong on the precise detail, but I remain entirely content with the assertion that the stunt depicted in the cutscene is ludicrous beyond even the conventions of fantasy action movies let alone reality, which is perhaps why despite being a reasonably obvious idea it’s never (to my knowledge) been seen in a movie.

      You think that because you’ve thrown in a few numbers like some sort of half-drunk cross between Heston Blumenthal and the A-Team your argument is somehow more empirically sound than mine, which I freely admit is based in part on my own anecdotal experience of driving at speed and (very occasionally, having looked extremely carefully to make sure there was nobody anywhere near me) chucking small objects out of the car to see what happened. But I’m afraid it isn’t, which makes your entire outraged moral-high-ground schtick about as secure as Lara standing on the top of that truck.

    • MD says:

      As a prefix to my response: I still pretty strongly suspect that this isn’t really a discussion about air resistance, and that there is a fundamental misunderstanding behind your intransigence. I’ll leave this here as an example — it was your response to someone who said ‘you’d maintain your forward momentum and indeed could slightly increase it by leaping’.

      “Sigh. You: momentum plus leaping power. Truck: momentum plus engine power. If you can jump forwards at more than 50mph, you may want to get yourself down to the British Olympic Association pronto. And obviously, jump there rather than taking the car, it’ll be faster.”

      Regardless, I will respond to your most recent post. This isn’t much fun anymore, but It’s hard to let go when you seem to be either deliberately misrepresenting me or demonstrating a lack of understanding of what I actually wrote.

      “You’ve made a load of vague assertions and thrown in some bits of random maths with most of the variables in the equations missing or replaced by wildly spurious assumptions.”

      If by “random maths” you mean the equation for air resistance. And by “most of the variables missing or replaced by wildly spurious assumptions” you mean ‘none of the variables missing’, and values assigned to them as best I could, based on sources which I provided.

      Did you just read the word ‘assumption’ a couple of times and assume I pulled the figures out of nowhere?

      Seriously, if you actually mean any of what you said, please be specific about it. Which variables are ‘missing’? Which are ‘replaced by wildly spurious assumptions’?
      Otherwise this is pretty much me making a good-faith attempt to solve this problem with the very opposite of “vague assertion”, and you, instead of pointing out any flaws whatsoever in my mathematics or physics, simply waving your hands and saying it’s rubbish.

      If you’re being at all honest, you must have a mental list of actual problems with my argument. Let’s have them! I’ve said a billion times that I’m totally open to being corrected. But I’m not open to being talked down to by someone who’s either unwilling to or incapable of criticising my argument in any specific way (and who made some vague criticisms which varied from patently false to completely unsupported).

      I was having fun with this, and enjoyed tackling it as an actual problem to be solved and learned from. I know some of my words have been a bit combative, but I don’t think I’ve brought any negative vibes to this conversation that weren’t already present in your attitude. You seem to be treating it as a personal battle to be ‘won’ with insults and obfuscation and entirely empty ‘criticism’ of my attempt at the physical problem.

      “I’d say I’ve addressed pretty much every single point that’s been made”

      This isn’t true, and you must know it. I won’t drag out every example of you dodging a point, but the most glaring one is probably the fact that you ignored every piece of maths in the thread, except to dismiss it in a way which screams ‘I haven’t actually followed and understood this, but I sure as heck don’t like it’.

      You basically said it was “random” without explaining what you were referring to or what on earth you actually mean by “random”, claimed that variables were “missing” without giving a single example, and said that others were “replaced by wildly spurious assumptions” without saying which ones, let alone what was wrong with the assumptions .

      That’s not addressing a point, that’s ignoring a point.
      If you do want to tell me where I’ve actually gone wrong, so we can get a better answer together (or throw out my calculations completely, if you can show me that they’re fundamentally useless), I’m up for that! Otherwise I’m going to withdraw from this discussion too, and leave this thread as a record to be judged by others.

      I had a couple of pithier endings written, but they probably both TECHNICALLY amounted to direct insults, so I grudgingly self-censored out of respect for Kieron’s request.

      (On the plus side, we both now have a pretty good answer to the question ‘what’s the longest, silliest internet argument you’ve ever engaged in’.)

    • MD says:

      Before I go, some fun facts:

      This thread (my comment and all of its replies) runs to more than 10,000 words. I posted about 2800 of them, and Stuart about 2400.

      Regardless of right and wrong, and insults and obfuscation and incomprehensible similies (seriously, “you’ve thrown in a few numbers like some sort of half-drunk cross between Heston Blumenthal and the A-Team”????) and my “outraged moral-high-ground schtick”, I think we can all be a little bit proud.

      It was better than the fucking Vampire: Bloodlines fan-patch thread, anyway.

    • RevStu says:

      “(On the plus side, we both now have a pretty good answer to the question ‘what’s the longest, silliest internet argument you’ve ever engaged in’.)”

      Not even *remotely* close, I’m afraid. Mr Walker can tell you all about a MUCH longer and more insane one than this…

  12. Po0py says:

    It’s the only Tomb Raider game I’ve ever played beyond the first two hours. I finished it and enjoyed it. Not a bad effort at all. But I get the feeling that Legend is really the best of what Tomb Raider has to offer and I can’t see much reason to try any more of the titles.

    • Dominic White says:

      Legend is actually the worst of the trilogy developed by Crystal Dynamics. If you liked it, you’d likely love Anniversary (a remake of the original Tomb Raider, and prequel to Legend) and Underworld (sequel to Legend, end of the plot arc).

      Guardian of Light is a spinoff, but it’s also one of the best two-player cooperative games you can get.

    • sjjs says:

      Legend itself was okay (well, Tokyo was asinine, but what can you do), but the best thing about it was that its engine could be borrowed to make Anniversary. Which not only was based on a proper TR game to begin with, but enhanced in the proper TR spirit of things as well. (Except for said QTEs, obviously, but the rest of it was superb.)

    • Xocrates says:

      Personally, I would call Legend one of the best games in the Crystal Dynamics TR crop (I did not enjoy Anniversary and its fetishistic love for timed jumping puzzles while the camera is out to get you, and underworld was released in a blatantly unfinished state), but the worst Tomb Raider of said crop.

    • Po0py says:

      I was thinking along the lines of the kind of iterative, improving and refining what has gone before. And Legend, for me was the best of what that kind of puzzly tomb exploring genre can offer (I say this having not completed any of the others, admittedly). It’s a bit like how Twilight Princess was in most, if not all aspects an improvement on Ocarina of Time but yet OoT is considered the classic.

  13. Premium User Badge

    Carra says:

    I remember spending an hour trying to kill the T-Rex in Tomb Raider Anniversary.

    After that I stopped playing the game.

    • Dominic White says:

      Huh? It’s insultingly easy in Anniversary. You just press the big glowy buttons when it says and it dies. The original version was far, FAR harder.

    • Mman says:

      “Huh? It’s insultingly easy in Anniversary. You just press the big glowy buttons when it says and it dies. The original version was far, FAR harder.”

      The Anniversary version of the T-Rex is much more intensive than the original one; where all you have to do is somersault backwards and shoot.

      What the Anniversary version completely misses is that it wasn’t the difficulty that made the original T-Rex encounter iconic.

  14. TsunamiWombat says:

    Anyone else actually prefer Legend to underworld GREATLY? I tried playing Underworld and felt it was just…shit. It lost me in it’s platforming and it’s combat. But I loved Legend. yes, I am aware that mechanically they are almost identical, but it FEELS different.

    Also I get a boner for anything with King Arthur.

  15. airtekh says:

    All three Crystal Dynamics TRs are very good.

    Personally, I liked Anniversary the most.

  16. brulleks says:

    I played Legend to the end, while with Anniversary I got fed up with animals charging and killing me before I’d even seen them, and those undead that have to be jumped on in Underworld? They can fuck right off.

    What I want from a Tomb Raider game is this:

    1.platforming/puzzling around picturesque, lethally high and insanely convoluted locations
    2. no combat whatsoever, or at least insultingly easy combat nearly to the point of non-interactiveness (i.e. aim, shoot, watch it die)

    Of this trilogy, Legend came closest to the second objective, despite not being quite so good at the first, and is the only one that hasn’t eventually caused me to gnaw through the DVD case in abject frustration while yelling incoherently at the developers.

    • Urthman says:

      You do know you can play on Easy difficulty and the combat is just what you asked for, while the puzzles and platforming stay the same?

  17. Mman says:

    While I think Legend is a good game in itself, the more time goes on the more my distaste for it grows for it as part of the series. I could nitpick many things, but it’s really all just window dressing around the main flaw for me that is the level design (or, more specifically, the layouts). There’s that “90’s FPS map design vs modern FPS map design” image that goes around, and honesty it applies to any of the better original TR games vs Legend almost verbatim. The only sections that aren’t ruler-linear are Ghana and the second half of Kazakhstan, whereas the earlier games (and Anniversary and Underworld to some degree) generally have one entrance and exit but are almost free-roaming in between; if Legend was like that I could forgive most of the other issues I have with it.

    Although that’s partially a symptom of how intrusive Legend’s storyline is with it having to funnel you into cutscene after cutscene; it’s the best story in the series, but to me it feels like it achieves that with quantity over quality.

    • Premium User Badge

      BathroomCitizen says:

      Please, don’t talk about the ’90s while I’m here. I might cry.
      Damn, I wish we were still in the ’90s :(
      Where has the creativity gone?!

  18. Chris D says:

    oops, wrong place

  19. RevStu says:

    !

  20. Rii says:

    Hmm, another Walker Retrospective Wherein He Complains About The Boss Fights. Still, at least it sounds as though there’s substance to the complaints this time around.

    • Dominic White says:

      Yes and no. The boss in question has attack strings that, if the first attack hits, then the remaining ones will hit you while you’re still down. That’s frustrating. But it’s also a boss that can be defeated by circle-strafing around and mashing the attack button a lot.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      I love boss fights. LOVE.

      However, as is true of most things, ninety percent of them are utter garbage. For every fight with The End (in Metal Gear Solid 3 – say what you will about the game as a whole, but that fight was goddamn brilliant), you have ten Konstantin Braykos (from Alpha Protocol, and probably the worst boss fight of the last ten years) or Amanda What’s-Her-Chopses.

      I have no idea if that was grammatically correct, so let us simply assume I am using Space Grammar, which be the grammar what you use in space.

      Yes.

  21. RevStu says:

    Oops.

  22. RevStu says:

    Etc.

  23. The Question says:

    Ugh, me too.

  24. Jibb Smart says:

    Out of curiosity, where does this “50mph” number come from? Just Stu’s article? Or is it stated in the game? To me, videos of that scene don’t seem as fast as 50mph, but even if they are: games AND action movies exaggerate. The guy in the other video showed very little effect of wind resistance on him at 30mph IRL, so surely a game can do the same at exaggerated speed without breaking the contract of suspension of disbelief.

    Quite frankly, I didn’t like that part of Stu’s article. What I saw was: This hyperbole of a stunt is totally unrealistic, because what should happen is [insert much less plausible scenario]. The stunt isn’t that bad, and if you have to nit-pick then keep up with your own standards.

    Most game journalists can handle a “You’re right! I guess that was silly of me!” quite a bit better than this.

    EDIT: Oops. That was totally meant to be in response to the thread on the first page!