Don’t Worry: Tomb Raider Also Has Explosions

By Nathan Grayson on December 11th, 2012 at 8:00 am.

Does the little glowy bit to the right of the explosion look like a magical, completely out-of-place cartoon star to anyone else?

Survival can take on many shapes and forms. Thus far, for instance, Tomb Raider‘s demonstrated it through climbing, hunting, resting, and fleeing from deranged cultists – so, you know, the usual stuff. But this is an ultra-budget prequel to a series that once featured DINO-BATTLES. In other words, it’s not a slow-paced sink-or-swim sim. Lara has to acquire skills and character traits that will eventually allow her to – again, let me emphasize this – bring down a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Those abilities, it turns out, aren’t often found in the realm of possibility. So then, here’s Lara running, gunning, hacking, slashing, and just generally trying to cope with a world in which the walls, ground, and most aircraft are made entirely of light-breeze-sensitive explosives.

Admittedly, this is the elongated version of a VGA trailer, so the focus on shameless manshootery isn’t entirely unsurprising. But even then, there’s always the chance that Tomb Raider could quickly morph into a standard kaboom-leaper along the lines of Uncharted (though I suppose there are worse places to draw inspiration from). Meanwhile, items like that bow-and-arrow/rope combo could make for some pretty unique combat and puzzle solving bits, so hopefully they won’t just devolve into the boogiemen implausibly rickety towers speak of to their children in whispered, fearful tones.

Obviously, though, people are expecting a lot out of Tomb Raider both narratively and mechanically. So what if it just turned out to be a really solid action game? As in, strong, but hardly revolutionary? Would you be upset?

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62 Comments »

  1. John Connor says:

    That screenshot up the top looks like it’s from the PS2 version of the game.

    • DutchDrunk says:

      You should probably consider getting your eyes checked.

      • Rian Snuff says:

        Lol.. I often remember older 3D games looking a lot better than they are compared to the games of today.. Perhaps, just take a second look..

        • Ny24 says:

          I think DutchDrunk is right. Just look at the light reflecting on her arm. Wouldn’t have been possible a few years back. But good looking games are about design, not about graphics. And the design hasn’t changed much over the years, I remember the first Tomb Raider in exactly the same muddy-grey-dark style. So John Connor is also kind of right. Maybe we’re all right and should hug each other … NOW!

  2. Pliqu3011 says:

    That trailer is like one big QTE.

    • yurusei says:

      One big QTE of several QTEs.

      I really hope they only constitute 5% of the game.

      • particlese says:

        I really hope they constitute 0% of the game. To me, it looks like they could just as easily be non-interactive transitions between different gameplay sections, so I’ll be optimistic and hope for that.

        If someone decides they have to have QTEs to sell the game, though, hopefully it’s at least something reasonably intuitive, fair, and unprompted like the rare slow-mo bits in TR:Underworld. (Though some might beg to differ on that description…) Or, if there’s not enough design/dev time allotted for that, a QTE autocomplete option should be a quick trick that would keep most people happy.

        Let’s hope for 0%, though, eh?

  3. SuicideKing says:

    I remember the t-rex from TR II…never reached the Vegas stage in the Golden Mask though. Rather Dad couldn’t progress beyond a level. I used to just sit in his lap and watch, and get scared lol.

    Recently i was unable to get it to work. Will try DosBox I think. :(

  4. PC-GAMER-4LIFE says:

    QTE hell after nearly 5 years stuck in dev hell what on earth is going on here the gameplay according to other previews is heavy on QTE’s which is the polar opposite of what people actually want!

    This is yet another 2013 game I can wait until its 75% off on Xmas 2013 Steam sales. Devs/Publishers need to do a lot more ot earn a full price purchase especially when the DX9 era is comign to an end its not like they need to spend long on the game engine when its proven as working so well in the other Tomb Raiders & no swimming sections whatsoever is a very questionable decision (1st TR game with no swimming seems wrong to me & I bought all the TR PC games @ full price when they were first released since 1996).

    Wonder if they spoke to a few drunken fratboys to see if the coverart was ok (its not BTW its horrible).

  5. Discopanda says:

    I don’t know where the fun in this game is. Will it have any semblance of a plot? Is watching Lara get the crap kicked out of her the fun part? The shooting? The climbing-up-stuff? I just don’t see any compelling reason to play it.

    • kament says:

      Well, you don’t have to play it, do you. Why bother commenting?

      • El_Emmental says:

        Maybe it’s a genuine question.

        Maybe he’s interested in the Tomb Raider series.

        Maybe… you know, comments and opinions, it’s not a “Like and comment if you like that game !” post, it’s a news entry about a trailer, so people talk about it.

        • kament says:

          Maybe it’s genuine. But then again, maybe it was not. TR was always about climbing up stuff, shooting etc, it’s really not surprising. Most games manage to entertain at least some of us gamers with shooting (or, say, climbing) alone, and any gamer knows that. So when someone asks where is the fun in shooting AND climbing AND presumably some other gamey stuff… well, I can’t help but wonder what is the purpose of the question.

        • CptPlanet says:

          He is not interested in the Tomb Raider series if he doesnt like shooting and climbing up stuff. What makes this franchise popular is exactly that. The only possible answer is, well, play another game.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      Yeah, and what’s the point in playing Planescape: Torment? Is all the talking the fun part? The running around? Killing other people? I just don’t see the appeal.

      I am not implying that Tomb Raider is the next PS: Torment, but do realize how your post sounds. Tomb Raider since the series’ inception has always been about climbing and shooting, with the occasional puzzle thrown in. And honestly, I see no problem with that.

      There are dozens of minutes of gameplay footage on the internet and jumping to such conclusions based on thin air is rather unjustified in my eyes. I would welcome survival elements in almost any game and a Lara that isn’t a superhuman sex-bomb is rather refreshing. Plenty can go wrong, but considering Crystal Dynamics’ pedigree you can AT LEAST give them the benefit of the doubt.

  6. f1x says:

    Guys do you realize this is just a trailer? (made probably for VGA audience)
    Lets wait until there is something playable or at least a gameplay video before veredicts

    • Rian Snuff says:

      Exactly this.. Trailers are such crap these days usually. They just want to sell to the average gamer / blockbuster style audience.. (Is that cool to say? Ahh’ whatever.)
      For a lot of us here I’m sure we want to see actual content, game-play and quality. Not just flashy trailers.
      Tis’ sad. Sometimes I just skip them to spare any unwarranted dismay.

  7. ramirezfm says:

    I can see it now. A deep psychological adventure, definitely story oriented, where we see a completely normal young girl killing people, stabbing people, mauling people, burning people, explode people and do-other-nasty-stuff to people. The story is told in killings of course. Completely normal.
    Maybe they should rename it Tomb Raider: Larcharted?

    • Lawful Evil says:

      But that’s what normal people do right? In the game that is…

      • Xardas Kane says:

        Talk about their feelings, cry and hug each other. What kind of a gamer are you?!

  8. Revolving Ocelot says:

    I’M TORGUE, AND I’M HERE TO ASK YOU ONE QUESTION, AND ONE QUESTION ONLY!

  9. Shadowcat says:

    That’s no star! That’s a fully-operational bullet-thrower!

  10. yurusei says:

    A golden star to you Nathan for spotting the star in the screenshot.

  11. Nim says:

    I remember when I played Tomb raider as a 11-year old. That Tyrannosaurus rex was pure terror.

  12. DutchDrunk says:

    TOMBFACE

  13. Innovacious says:

    No tombs, no raiding, no sale.

    This game is really starting to remind of of angel of darkness. The trailers for that were all about being a fugitive and surviving and tried to show of all the super cool action scenes.

    Spoilers for people that didn’t know. Angel of Darkness was a bad game.

    edit: Also, this new Lara sounds way too whiny for my tastes.

  14. Bhazor says:

    Well theres no rape threat in this trailer. So that’s an improvement on the last one. I guess. But still no Tombs.

    • Rian Snuff says:

      Was… There actually rape in the last trailer? Shit, I need to find that.

      • El_Emmental says:

        rape threat, re-read what Bnazor wrote.

        It’s a physical submission by a dominating male enemy in a context where it looks like a rape threat, because of the physical proximity, pushing her against the wall and his hand slowly going lower (before getting kneed).

        Then, he proceed to grab her again, push her against the wall again. For what purpose ? if you want to beat/control someone, pushing it to the ground is the best way to do it, and if you’re looking for humiliation it’s less effective to do the same thing again and again (diversity builds fear of what will come next).

        And, once she’s on the wall again, the guy proceed to place his head (and mouth) on the side of her neck (like when you kiss someone there) while having his both hands on her hips. His breathing pattern and rhythm is also not the one you would expect from a normal torturer.

        If you fail to see the possible sexual meaning of the situation, I really can’t help you.

        • Rian Snuff says:

          Ah, no. I actually just woke up and misread what he typed. Need to get in the habit of drinking a coffee before I reply. My bad. : P Thanks though.

          • El_Emmental says:

            aw, now I feel bad for being so rude :s

            please accept my apologies, I had a bad day and… nah, I have no excuse: I’m sorry Rian Snuff

    • CommanderZx2 says:

      Why does everyone bring that up yet no one talks about the actual repeated rape of a character in Far Cry 3, a game which for some reason people are falling over themselves to give 10/10 for?

      • Whenn says:

        Dude.

      • Rian Snuff says:

        I uninstalled that game so fast it wasn’t even funny. The end.

      • Innovacious says:

        I don’t care about either because it’s a story. Nobody is getting raped here, there is nothing wrong with a story for having rape in it. Unless, of course, the author or narrator is trying to say it’s a good thing it happened.

        edit: Well, unless the narrator is also a character in the story. A character can think whatever they like. You can dislike the character for it, but they are still just a fictional character with fictional views and beliefs. Their views have nothing to do with the authors (or actors in movies/games) views.

      • Bhazor says:

        You’re implying I was fine with that. I wasn’t.

        You can not take such a serious issue and just have it as a throw away plot point.

        • darkChozo says:

          Does it have to be, though? While I will admit I didn’t follow the Tomb Raider controversy too closely when it happened, from my understanding (and from a rewatch/reread of some old stuff) it comes from a 30 second segment from a three minute trailer, in addition to some comments from the developers following the initial outrage. That doesn’t seem sufficient to draw any real conclusions about the full product/story — for all we know, it’s a recurring issue in the rest of the game and it treated with all the respect such a thorny issue deserves. Even if it’s not, I don’t see how the reaction at the time could be anything but knee jerk; there just wasn’t enough information to make a reasonable judgement, beyond the fact that it was a really stupid thing to include in your game’s second trailer.

          I suppose my real point is to ask: at what point does including rape in a game’s plot become okay? I would strongly object to the idea that it never is; that’s not the case in other media, and I don’t think that setting any issue aside as untouchable is ever a good idea, no matter how serious. I would also very much agree that it’s not a subject to be treated lightly, and injecting it into a story just to be shocking or edgy is, at best, in poor taste. However, a lot of the time the opposition to rape in games seems to be less “I don’t like how this game treated this serious issue” and more “rape is bad and we shouldn’t talk about it ever” (the latter seems to have a subtext of “games are for fun only”, but that’s a whole other issue entirely).

          *Far Cry 3 spoilers*

          Just to illustrate, in Far Cry 3 there is a scene where a character threatens the PC and one of his friends with rape (not referring to the Citra thing, that’s another issue). This is certainly reasonable for the character in question (he’s probably the most amoral character in the game, has been torturing the friend for several missions by this point in addition to using the friend as leverage against the PC, and is going to sell both the PC and the friend into [likely sex] slavery after this scene), and it is a game that tackles (with… varied success) other very serious things (for example, late in the game, you are forced to torture your own brother, in what is an exceedingly discomforting scene). Is that unacceptable?

          *End FC3 Spoilers*

          [I apologize in advance if this sparks something flamewar-y, I'm hoping RPS magic turns this into actual discussion instead of "you support rape! well you hate freedom of speech!"-type mudslinging]

          • CommanderZx2 says:

            My point exactly, why was there so much mud slinging at Tomb Raider and the developers for a small struggle scene in that trailer yet no reaction at all to the far worse scenes in Far Cry 3?

          • El_Emmental says:

            I thing it mostly has to do with the context of such scenes and how the context of their revealment/discovery by the public.

            The Tomb Raider drama:
            - started on a marketing video (= what the publisher wants people to think/remember of the game)
            - first and foremost given to journalists, so they can put that on their website and get thousands of ‘hits’
            - in a context where the ‘victim’ (of the rape attempt/scene) is previously shown as weak and passive to her surrounding (and according to the publisher/devs, the whole design is around that => the rape attempt is “part” of that coming-of-age ? is it how the devs wants to introduce her sexual life ?)
            - of a character often used (more and less rightly/wrongly) as the icon of the 90s video game female character
            - protrayed by the media as -the- strong female character of the 90s, right from the first (or at least, second) game of the series
            - right in the middle of a “omg sexism !” drama

            Meanwhile, FC3 scenes/threats:
            - weren’t the main focus of the marketing material (we saw an island, a crazy guy, dead bodies, wild animals, torture, men-shooting-men and boobies)
            - the scenes are provided in the middle of the game, for the players (and not directly to the journalists)
            - in a context where it’s one part of the long tortures/threats made during the game, by a crazy guy playing with its victims
            - the characters involved are disposable characters we won’t see again (beside FC3 DLCs), they are not iconic or representing anything noticeable (so far) in the History of video game or in the media.
            - after the sexism drama died down (because it became old news) ** and let’s not make waves during the VGA, organized by the ultra-sexist Spike TV Channel **

            Most of the drama surrounding the sexism in video games is made of opportunism (let’s look good for a few days) and people venting off what they always felt/wanted to say (like “Super Mario Bros is sexist ! There I said it, phew !”), trying to find logic and reason in that mess is in vain.

            Sexism requires much profound thinking (which mean it’s not just down to the ingame characters), ‘collateral’ thinking (makes connections with real-life, business and social sexism) and both genders approach (sexism hits everyone and is enforced by both genders, it can only be dealt with as a global element).

            Of course we saw none of that in the headlines, just a few people mentionned it in a few corners of the Internet but never went beyond that, because they knew it was pointless in that “debate”.

            Just forget about that drama, like everyone else. Sure, a few will come barking/shouting “YOU MUSTN’T IGNORE IT – Know your privilege !”, and go away as fast as they bursted into the conversation (because they’re not looking for fruitful debate, they only want to be in peace with their ego) – just ignore them and keep an eye open on the actual sexism issue in your society.

  15. televizor says:

    What the hell’s wrong with Uncharted?

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Nothing, it makes wonderful walkthrough videos on youtube.

  16. CobraLad says:

    EXPLODING LIGHTING BOLT
    Seriously, that kind of crap looks normal for Quake, but even WarFace genre shooters consider it weird.

  17. f69 says:

    Hey as long is it’s “manshootery” and not the dreaded “violence against women” it’ll be ok.

    • AndrewC says:

      As the main character is a woman, it’s all womanshoots, isn’t it.

      If you are going to be a blithering men’s rights idiot, try not to be actively counter-factual – it makes you look like a blithering idiot.

      • Koozer says:

        But doesn’t manshoot imply the shooting of the mans? That’s what I always thought.

      • f69 says:

        I’m not any mra and it’s just a poke at the previous “controversy”. “Manshootery” is taken from the article you moron. Clean that mouth of yours from insolence before you address someone next time.

  18. Ny24 says:

    Sitting in a mast, 50 meters high … a snowstorm is blowing … nearly topless. Her nipples must be huuuuge.

    • Citrus says:

      You are about to become a topic of another twitter hashtag and an RPS article that will remain linked on the front page for months (cause incase you didn’t pay any attention).

      Congratulations in advance. Sign my moobs?

  19. Artista says:

    Please, just make a TR game where it’s you, the environment, some exotic animals and a few baddies here and there. I know this is Lara Croft’s 8789th origin story, but I don’t see why it had to be about shooting/stabbing hundreds of bad videogame men.

    I like Uncharted. Great visuals, good characters, OK B-movie story and dialogue, but I wish I could skip all the shooting parts in that game.

  20. Cinnamon says:

    So imagine that this is an unexceptional video game that doesn’t do anything particularly poorly and adheres to all major current game development trends? How does that make you feel exactly?

  21. xcession says:

    Try listening to that trailer with your eyes closed. It’s a juvenile deluge of pseudo-orgasmic female grunts, moans and breathless panting.

    Giving a strong action role to a woman has despite the curious focus on her physical form over the years been one of Tomb Raider’s better qualities, but although it seems this instalment has finally done away with gratuitous T&A, this just seems like it’s been replaced with a masturbatory soundscape instead.

    • f69 says:

      I think Camilla Luddington would be offended if you told her that’s what she’s doing.

  22. Citrus says:

    So that skinny girl is taking on a bunch of armed fighters who are more trained in surviving that world (since they have been there before she arrived)?

    Meanwhile in real life..

    Nah but seriously though. I hope they aren’t aiming for people to be emotionally involved with the whole survival thing. Heather in Silent Hill 3 was more human and interesting than Lara Croft will ever be.

  23. pilouuuu says:

    I have to admit that I like it. And it seems like a nice alternative to Uncharted which we never got on the PC. Why are people so critical of these games when they find The Walking Dead a masterpiece?

    Let’s give this game a chance. It seems more interesting than past Tomb Raider games.

  24. Whenn says:

    Anyone noticed the plot is identical to Far Cry 3?

    Change “tourist” to “Explorer” and you get the exact same plot. Seriously.

    • Kasab says:

      “The ability to see him as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear,” he said. “He literally goes from zero to hero… we’re sort of building him up and just when he gets confident, we break him down again.”

      In the new Far Cry, Jason Brody will suffer. His best friend will be kidnapped. He’ll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape him.

      “He is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in his evolution: he’s forced to either fight back or die.”

      • Brise Bonbons says:

        That is quite a thing, bravo. Actually I think that is one of the most effective efforts I’ve seen to examine how Lara is being presented in this game, and how that presentation is colored by social attitudes regarding gender.

        Good show, internet person!

        Anyway, now we can go back to patting ourselves on the back for moving beyond sexism. Great job, men!

  25. teamcharlie says:

    Man am I getting tired of these grimdark game pitches. Sure, she’s a pretty young woman and she’s in trouble. I also appreciate that modern audiences are still having trouble getting over the idea that a female human is vastly more vulnerable than a human male.

    But if you want me to care about the imperiled adventures of a woman in a tank top and shell out $60 before a single review comes out, you’ve got to do better. Give her a sense of humor, or wonder at the universe, the classic snarky personality, a comic relief sidekick who’s actually funny, or some deep philosophical insights. Hell, a pair of grade-A chesticles wouldn’t hurt (me. Her lower back muscles had to have been herculean for most of the series). At this point all we seem to have is a fairly grim, kinda prissy chick who’s having a crappy week and presumably has to give up her precious prissiness.

  26. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Hm, it will be a while before any news of Uncharted 4, and I would like to see Uncharted’s gameplay on something other than PS3…

  27. Urthman says:

    Why do these idiots think that what people want from a Tomb Raider game is a compelling story?

    We want them to create some cool tombs and then let us raid them. We want to jump and climb and dive off of cliffs and occasionally shoot a wolf or a mummy or run away from a T-Rex. And we’d like to solve some cool puzzles and avoid some nasty traps. We want to find hidden treasure and then look around some more and find some even more cleverly hidden treasure. We want to see some huge and implausible ancient architecture and then climb on it.

    Crystal Dynamics have amply demonstrated that they’re great at creating fun environments to explore and terrible at telling stories and making compelling characters. Why do they insist on pretending it’s the opposite way around and expect us to get all excited about their terrible storytelling?