Posts Tagged ‘Tomb Raider’

Tomb Raider To Continue As Comic, Before New Game

While a sequel to this year’s Tomb Raider hasn’t officially been announced, it’s obviously inevitable despite rumours of “mediocre” sales (ie. Square’s expectations were ludicrously high). And it seems the gap between the two games will be bridged by a comickybook.

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Rhianna Pratchett’s #1ReasonToBe

Recently, we had the wonderful fortune to post GDC’s magnificent #1ReasonToBe panel in full. It’s a powerfully eye-opening thing – regardless of which “side” of the equality “debate” you fall on – and you should absolutely, definitely give it a watch if you haven’t already. One person, however, was missing from its lineup: industry writing vet Rhianna Pratchett, who – in addition to whipping up words for the likes of Tomb Raider, Overlord, Mirror’s Edge, and heaps more – sorta, you know, created the #1ReasonToBe hashtag in the first place. She wasn’t able to make it out due to scheduling conflicts, but this is why they invented the Internet: so we could do anything from anywhere at any time. Thus, we bring you Pratchett’s #1Reason – not to mention her viewpoints on why equality’s very different from ‘pinking’ games, why the industry’s failing to attract female talent, what controversies surrounding Tomb Raider taught her, and how we can ultimately make games better for everyone.      
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Tomb Raider Thoughts From A Lara Newbie

peekaboo!

The only other Tomb Raider game I’ve ever played was the first one, which I found alternately brilliant and annoying. Oh, and I reviewed The Angel of Darkness for a magazine, but that doesn’t count. This year’s reboot, Tomb Raider, was my first experience of Crystal Dynamics’ work with Lara Croft, so I was a relative blank slate in terms of expectations. Perhaps that’s why I had a better time with it than John did – there wasn’t anything I knew to miss or call for, any pre-existing associations to be endorsed or threatened. That didn’t stop me from howling in misery at all the quicktime events and the often bobbins plot, of course, but there’s an awful lot in there I really dug.
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Wada Way To Go: Square Enix Loses Money & Its Boss

metaphor

It’s a bad day for Square Enix, latter-day publisher of Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex and Thief, as well as those dreary Final Fantasy things. Citing “slow sales of major console games” as well as uninspiring business from its arcade machine arm, it’s admitted that its recent monies “substantially fall below its plan” and its president Yoichi Wada has fallen on his sword as a result.
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Rhi, Light My Fire: Rhianna Pratchett On Tea, Cakes & Lara


It’s about five to seven on a Wednesday night and I meant to call my mum about an hour ago to tell her that I am a failure of a woman because I am twenty seven and sleeping on a beanbag in a loft, but instead what I did was look in the back of the fridge for dinner, which turns out to be a giant pot of Tesco’s Finest pea soup with ham in. I dump the pot of soup on a table and then have a slight heart in mouth moment – I can’t call my mum or eat soup I am interviewing Rhianna Pratchett and she is the Lara Croft of writing Tomb Raiders.
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Sadface: Tomb Raider DLC Will Not Offer Any New Tombs

B... but?

Although I was disappointed with the new Tomb Raider, there’s no question that the game really shone when it was offering you a tomb to explore, packed with puzzles to enjoy. In those moments it remembered the freedom the previous Crystal Dynamics games had offered, let you loose to solve for yourself, rather than get dragged down through its barely-linked cutscenes. That there were only seven of them (this number varying, horrendously, based upon from which shop you bought the game) was a massive shame. But DLC can fix that, right? Wrong. Very sadly, CD have said they’ve no intention of expanding the single-player game with DLC packs, instead focusing on the multiplayer.

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Tomb Conditioner: Lara Has Real-Time Hair, Apparently

apparently she also has a skull shaped like a baked bean now

I’m not sure how amazeballs this really is in practice, as PC Tomb Raider code is being witheld until the end of the week because reasons, but I dig the concept. Game hair’s not great, by and large – some engines certainly do OK by it, but the hair-helmet approach very much remains the norm. AMD’s come up with some tech to try and make locks more lustrous. Instead of taking two anti-aliasing systems into the shower, they’ve devised TressFX (oof), intended to make hair flow and change more convincingly. This will apparently first be seen in the impending Tomb Raider re-reboot, which has “the world’s first real-time hair rendering technology in a playable game”, it says here.
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Rambow: Tomb Raider’s Stealth And Shooty Shooting

That game of verbal Twister gone horribly, horribly wrong up there? I’m pretty sure it’s some kind of an attempt at combining the words “Rambo” and “bow [and arrow]” – not, say, “Rambo” and “rainbow,” which I immediately suspected upon reading it. But then, I also wrote it, so I’m pretty sure I understand the author’s intent more than most. At any rate, that brain-and-bone-spattering word pileup occurred because of Tomb Raider‘s combat, which is basically Rambo, but even bow-er. Which is kind of wild, because Rambo already had a bow to begin with. But yes, Lara sneaks and turns baddies into pincushions and slays infinity men on her “first step to becoming a seasoned adventurer.” They really make you earn that title, huh?

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Eleven Minutes Of Tomb Raider’s Monastery Escape


Hey, do you want to see over eleven (count ’em!) minutes of the new and handsome Tomb Raider game? C’mon now, it’s got drama, hiding, arrowing, shouting, and nearly some drowning. It’s all-action in Miss Croft’s part of the world. And what part of the world is that? Well, it’s not the dismal sub-rural periphery of Bristol, I can tell you that.

The game arrives on the 5th of March. Our reviewing temple’s candles are being lit, and the altar furnished.
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Raid On: Tomb Raider’s ‘Exploration System’

Lara Croft is Batman! Maybe. At the very least, she seems to have been watching the caped crusader carefully, although her study of his Arkham adventures doesn’t extend to mimicking Wayne’s restraint. When she’s firing ziplines across chasms or attaching rope arrows to destructible scenery to create new routes, she’d look right at home in Rocksteady’s Gotham, but then she shoots a deer in the face at point blank range, or sneaks up on a villain and perforates him unto dying. Batman would just break every limb in sight and then move on. The latest Tomb Raider ‘Survival Guide’ builds up to the reveal of an ‘exploration system’ that you may recognise from elsewhere. It’s called ‘fast travel’.

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Raid Rage: Deus Ex HR Devs Demo Tomb Raider Multi

BOWSPLOSION, apparently.

Somewhat surprisingly (by which I mean completely unsurprisingly, given the era in which we live), Tomb Raider has multiplayer. Naturally, this has been a source of great outrage among even the least fly-harming-est of gamers, as it’s a distinct disruption of The Natural Order. Granted, it does have two things working in its favor: 1) Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light added co-op multi to pretty great effect and 2) the mode’s an entirely separate, presumably cybernetic leg of the game being attached by none other than Deus Ex: Human Revolution developer Eidos Montreal. Here, now, brown cow, is a video of some finely mustachioed men introducing it to the star of spy dramadey Chuck for some reason.

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Gaming Made Me: Tomb Raider

June 2003: a remote jungle clearing outside Moshi, Tanzania. I am seventeen. It is sometime after midnight.

My skin is sticky with pesticide and sweat. In the treacle dark, my friend Rachael’s face presses hot against my shoulder. The hiss of the jungle soars into the sky in a cacophonous, unbearable symphony.

I need to pee.
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Life Lessons: Tomb Raider Teaches Us How To Survive

Challenges Lara will be forced to overcome: cultists, pirates, the elements, the sniffles.

I got lost in a forest once. Admittedly, there weren’t any horrific plane wrecks or crazy gibberish-screaming cultists, but I learned a lot. For instance, never go anywhere that’s not your own bedroom without some form of map, and also poison ivy is the absolute worst. But presumably, I gained some kind of applicable skill from that experience. According to Tomb Raider, however, the reason I haven’t figured it out yet is that I need to go sit at a camp fire and absorb its wisdom-imparting fumes. That’s the base camp system in a nutshell, and – in addition to making perfect sense – it provides Lara with quite a nice range of options in her bid to make it off the island in one piece. Raid the tombs beneath the break – coated in cobwebs and haunted by the ghostly echoes of pun threads long since passed – to see a video of it in action.

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Don’t Worry: Tomb Raider Also Has Explosions

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.

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Editorial: The Pre-Order Heist

NOWWWWWWW!

Over the last few years we’ve seen the pre-order become a central aspect of gaming. Heavily relied upon by both major publishers and the smallest indies, more people than ever are paying for their games long before they’re even finished. And with Kickstarter and its crowd-funding sisters, the matter’s become even more complex and nuanced. Shops tend to so massively over-stock on major console releases that there’s no real need to bagsy a copy, while PC games are of course infinitely available via digital channels. And yet pre-ordering games is a bigger thing than ever before. Why’s that, eh?

Time was you could loudly declare yourself for or against the concept – now it’s a subject that requires a little more thought. I’ve given it some below.

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The Two Deaths That Defined Tomb Raider

'Can't we talk about this,' asks the deer's facial expression. Unfortunately, deer cannot talk.

Tomb Raider‘s demo made me realize something: it’d be a stretch to call what we do in games killing. I mean, yeah, we’re probably the only medium that can (and frequently does) tout multiple physics systems specifically capable of calculating the way bullet-perforated brain bits dance majestically through the air. But really, all we’re doing is knocking down hyper-detailed action figures. We pull the trigger or aim the bow or bury the shank in a fertile bed of neckflesh, and they go down. Then we move on to the next faceless thug, rinse our knives, and repeat.

The Tomb Raider scene I sat in on during E3 really struck me because it didn’t let Lara cut people (or animals) down and then continue gleefully on her way. Death is messy and scary and awful. While the Nathan Drakes and Persian Princes of the world slay 300 people and then sweep corpses under a rug with a dumb joke, Lara – intentionally or not – sticks around for her victims’ final moments. I guess what I’m saying is, I sympathized with an irredeemable, cold-blooded murderer and, er, some random deer. They died scared and spittle-soaked and alone, and I really didn’t feel good about that.

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E3 Day Zero: When Game Violence Becomes Vile

One of the most striking scenes of yesterday’s E3 press conference gauntlet didn’t take place on a stage or a screen. It wasn’t rehearsed or pre-planned, and it most certainly wasn’t expected. I sat in a jam-packed arena-sized auditorium and watched a game demo unfold on a screen bigger than my hometown. OK, that wasn’t the surprising part. I’d been doing that all day. This one, though, came to a rather abrupt halt when – mere inches away from the camera – a man’s head erupted into a volcano of hyper-detailed gore after a point-blank shotgun blast. And then: deafening applause from hundreds of people.

This was the blaring exclamation point on the end of a day of gleefully grotesque neck-shanking, leg-severing, and – of course – man-shooting. I can honestly think of maybe five games – in four multiple-hour press conferences – that didn’t feature some sort of lovingly rendered death-dealing mechanic. And oh how show-goers cheered. So then, have we all become brainless barbarians with a lust for blood bordering on fetishistic? Hardly. That’d be a simple black-or-white (or, I suppose, red) answer, and this issue’s a whole lot messier than that.

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Fresh Tomb Raider Trailer, Release For March 5th 2013


Tomb Raider‘s latest resurrection is scheduled for March 5, 2013. So there’s a while to wait, but it could be worth that extra six months wait, if the latest trailer is anything to go by. There’s some spectacular scenery and ugly violence. Oof, yes, it’s all looking a bit Uncharted to me. Go take a look.
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