Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

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Maryokutai
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Maryokutai » Sun Sep 16, 2018 7:39 am

I haven't used Instinct mode even once, so that's on you really. Secrets I don't find immediately after running around in the area for a bit will be saved for late- oder post-game while the story progression marker is shown on the map anyway so IMO there's no real reason to use it unless you want to 100% every area before moving on, which I think breaks the pace too much.

I'm not a fan of the hub areas with NPCs though. Too much life for a TR game just like having Samus be around other people in Corruption and Other M didn't work. The second hub makes sense at least (even if it's way too big) but the first one was totally unnecessary IMO both in terms of gameplay and narrative and it was pretty ugly to look at as well. That's my only gripe with the game so far though, really like the rest.

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by bellow » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:51 pm

Yeh! I'm plain a game that other people on the forum are playing.

It was bound to happen at some point :)
Is it on the Switch?

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Blakey » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:11 am

I haven't got much more to add to my previous posts at this stage as I've only played another hour so I'll just post a couple of pics I took

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Maryokutai » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:08 am

It's funny how little action there is in this game. I remember people saying that Reboot Lara was too much Rambo and to an extent I'd agree (particularly midway through from the temple onward until you arrive at the beach) while Rise reduced it quite a bit to get a more healthy 60:40 balance in favour of exploration. But this, so far, is more like a 95:5 balance. I think I've had three encounters with enemies so far after 12 hours and one of them was during the tutorial and the other two could be overcome by stealth as well. While I have absolutely zero problem with it - old TR games only had the occasional enemy as well - it kind of diminishes the weapon aspect of the game. Whenever I find a new weapon or can upgrade an older one it doesn't feel as important as it should because I know there'll only be three or four enemies between now and the next upgrade and chances are I'll be stabbing them in the neck anyway.

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by maf-me-quick » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:22 am

Sounds like they are trying to address the ‘Lara is a mass murderer’ stuff and make it more sensible?

But then Inplayed that opening in Mexico and there’s nothing sensible about it so who knows :lol:
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by bellow » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:37 pm

I'm not sure I like the sound of that.
Is it on the Switch?

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by maf-me-quick » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:29 pm

I keep going back and forth on this game. Like the strictly linear parts range from fine to good but the ‘open world’ bits, and I use that term lightly, feel prehistoric.

As much as I said this game conjures nostalgia of Tomb Raider 3 for me, and that in a lot of ways is meant as a compliment, the game also has some of that odd PS2 level design that I don’t feel like I’ve seen in a long time.

Like the hub area is really condensed and scattershot and makes no sense whatsoever. There are campfires placed in positions less than 30 seconds away from other campfires. These are fast travel points. Why? I could understand if they were near two things you might have to frequently visit. But that is not the case and in fact are only near collectibles you pick up and are never coming back too

There is a ‘mysterious beast’ introduced fairly early in the game in a linear level part which was already spoiled for me because, I don’t know if it was a glitch or what, but I saw that figure standing on an unreachable bit of geometry in a hidden crypt that the game wouldn’t allow me to shoot or do anything with. Broken or intentional? I don’t know.

Likewise as much as I have said before I dislike bits of games where NPC’s stand right around the corner from enemies yet never help or interact. Which is weird. This game just goes for it and plunks a small village which is surrounded by ruins, and death traps, and a massive pyramid like temple and in it’s ‘back garden’ has a hidden tomb and it’s like this is so unrealistic. Not that I need realism necessarily from a TR game but I can not entertain this as a functional scenario.

I feel like I’ve played tonnes of games that do this but I’m struggling to think of one. This is not a 1:1 comparison but it’s like in KotOR or Mass Effect where you’ll be talking to signpost NPC’s and then have a massive battle in front of them and then when you talk to them again they just still say their sign post stuff.

You don’t fight at all in this village or in front of everyone but the point is there is that massive disconnect between this hub and the rest of the game. There is one character who says too Lara ‘That thing is a legend and doesn’t exist’. It’s like lady it’s living in your backyard and is sitting on that ledge over there. I’ve been here for 30 minutes and already bumped into it twice how come none of you have never seen it?

There is one NPC sitting right on the end of a pathway that leads into a little playground area with challenges and tombs and hanging tribal stuff and I fucking hate this term but it is lido narrative dissonance I know, I know, fuk me

And even though this is part of the problem this is just a product of the overall problem with the game and that’s a lot of it honestly feels very amateurish to me and has had very little thought put in to it. The side activities feel very PS2, the layout of the hub parts is over packed and condensed but also just a pretty basic circle with very gamey and questionable connecting paths. The linear bits of the game are incredibly plain and so basic in structure. I guess they have always been that, but there’s no smoke and mirrors here like in a game that is better designed and has you not think about that you are walking in a straight line. This game doesn’t try that hard to not show you you’re walking in a straight line and the map betrays it entirely. Like here is the entrance to this set piece and here is the exit.

All of this is not to say I’m not having fun with it, I am. But it just feels very dated. In some ways that’s good but in a lot of ways it is not. I’ve just cleared 30% of the game so maybe they do this stuff better later but early I feel like this is substaintially the weakest game of the 3
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by maf-me-quick » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:39 pm

But I do really like the atmosphere to the game, I actually like that there is reduced combat, for the most part the game looks really good, and doing Tomb Raider-y things is still fun and satisfying. I just think the places in which your doing it are very lacking.
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Maryokutai » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:17 am

I think my 'issue' with the reduced combat is that it almost nullifies replayability. Platforming segments and puzzles are always the same, no matter how you play it. Reboot and Rise had a more or less balanced approach to it so if you played them a second, third or fourth time the pace of the game kept it from getting boring because you never did the same thing for too long and when they threw you in a combat area you could try different tactics or weapons than in your previous playthrough. As much as I'm enjoying Shadow (even though the second hub is starting to get old) it feels like a game that I'm never going to revisit because it barely gives you any choices. It's all very linear platforming or puzzle solving for the most part and ironically up-and-close combat is way harder than it was in the other games so going for a stealthy approach is pretty much the best way to play it. I don't know what I could do differently in a subsequent playthrough and while that's not a deal breaker per se, it's a step down from Crystal Dynamics games.

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Blakey » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:53 pm

I started to properly explore the second hub area yesterday and it really is magnificent.

It is just such an inviting place to explore with so many caves, inlets, streams, hidden passages, collectibles and interesting trinkets to look at. Almost everywhere you look whilst exploring you'll see something interesting, whether it's the native population going about their daily routines, coloured clothes and ornaments strewn about the place or the weathered lived-in feel of the walls and buildings.

The best thing about it is that you can feel the history of the place just walking around, it has a lived in feel that is very difficult to achieve but it really is masterfully done how Eidos Montreal has made it feel such a real living, breathing city in the middle of the Jungle. It feels SO much more lifelike than the open world areas and dead cities of RotTR and pretty much delivers everything that game didn't have in terms of cities - every hub should be interesting and feel like a real place otherwise don't bother.

I honestly felt like I was in an Assassin's Creed city whilst playing this yesterday - and that's a huge compliment for me - it just feels so real, so evocative and interesting to explore, all the collectibles dotted about making you want to dig into every nook and cranny and see every NPC going about their routines just like in an AC game.

I'm still relatively early in but I'm gonna come out and say it. Eidos Montreal have made the sequel that Crystal Dynamics should've done, pretty much everything about it is better in every way than RotTR - and most importantly it makes Lara primarily a Tomb Raider again rather than a mass murderer.

Also, there's Llamas:

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Maryokutai » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:08 am

The AC parallels are on point and that's probably the reason why I don't really like the hub. It's a complete pace-breaker and I don't think it fits into this game in terms of gameplay. I probably wouldn't mind so much if it didn't have any sidequests which infuriatingly usually only pop up after you activate the next story progression point.

That said I think I'm almost through that segment now. Didn't get to play yesterday because I was too tired but I'm looking forward to what comes next. It's really hard to gauge how far I am in terms of progress as the percentage tracker also considers collectibles and such. I do hope there's still a bit to come because as much time I've spent with it already, it kind of feels like very little has happened so far.

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Maryokutai » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:15 pm

Alright, it finally clicked. Definitely later than the previous games but I just didn't enjoy the second hub as much as I should and unfortunately the game spends about five hours in that area, at least. I really liked what comes after that and even though they introduce another hub shortly afterwards, it's way more accomplished in terms of size, visuals and points of interest. I hope it keeps the current pace, really great at the moment.

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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by Blakey » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:36 pm

Played a little more today after finishing Spidey, up to about 19 hours played according to Steam

Goddamn that time has flown by as well, I've never once felt like it has dragged in the slightest. I just find it so damn compelling, even just exploring the world I find intoxicating and find myself wanting to reach the next room or complete the next puzzle before signing off for the day. There was a couple of story sections I played earlier that were fantastic as well, dripping in atmospheric with a sense of dread and unease, something I rarely experienced throughout the entirety of RotTR.

I still don't really think the story has got going though really, it all still feels strangely low key and I think I'm probably half way in at the moment. I do find it compelling though and I want to see what happens in the next story mission but it has this low key quality to it that the first two didn't have which I just think is kind of great. Like the atmosphere and exploration have had time to breath without being tied to this bombastic cinematic action fest where Lara mows down a million dudes. A new enemy introduced itself to me this evening too and felt so fresh and new compared to the identikit soldiers of RotTR.

Some pics:

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Maryokutai wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:08 am
It's a complete pace-breaker and I don't think it fits into this game in terms of gameplay.
It's funny you should say that as that's the exact same way I felt about the hub areas in RotTR.

In this though I just don't feel the same way at all, the hubs themselves are far more realised and fleshed out, they feel like real places that could exist in the world rather than some large open area, there's just something natural and organic about them for me. I'm probably not as far in as you but at the moment the story still feels to be relatively low key and nowhere near the levels of bombast of TR 13 or RotTR so I haven't felt like the pace has been affected at all.
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by One-armed dwarf » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:09 pm

Man these threads really aren't friendly to bad internet connections :o
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Re: Shadow of the Tomb Raider |OT| Mayan Mischief

Post by big mean bunny » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:19 am

Anyone played this? Mr Biffo had an article up about how unlikeable the new Lara has become and so that has put me off, returned to Rise of the TR recently and whilst I enjoy the gameplay and the game loop, I was already finding Cut scene Lara annoying and had become disinterested in the story.

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