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Will Crystal Dynamics Return To Tomb Raider?

Now that Marvel's Avengers is all wrapped up, will the focus shift back to Lara Croft?

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gamer780487d ago (Edited 87d ago )

I hope so but with new story and art direction, less open worldly.

Batnut0087d ago

I doubt it, especially since they’ve confirmed to be working on expansions and more characters.

porkChop87d ago

That would usually be a smaller team of devs, not the entire studio.

cloganart87d ago

They will very likely keep a core team of leads and lots of outsourcing (for the character models.environments animations etc.)

monkey60287d ago

As a huge fan of the series all through my childhood it pains me to say this but after the recent trilogy I just couldn't care if they do or not

gamer780487d ago

Agreed the new one was just ok, I’d like it to see a return to its roots rather than a total open world, maybe some areas that are open but then others that aren’t to tell a better story with a better supporting cast. Also bring back Lara’s over the top attitude and look with acrobatics. Make it fun.

LucasRuinedChildhood87d ago

Polished but very generic games. There was some decent puzzle sections from Rise onwards but overall the games really lacked personality and the writing wasn't great. Really not a fan of Crystal Dynamics anymore.

nommers87d ago

" 'teh' writing" was never good with TR games. It was above average in the new trilogy and better than it has ever been by far, but I can't help by roll my eyes if anyone thought the writing should have been better. Better from what exactly?

LucasRuinedChildhood86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

@nommers

I'm not saying that the old games had a stellar narrative but the new trilogy's attempt to emulate the Uncharted games didn't work. There were no interesting or likable characters and, most importantly, the story was just bland. These are the only games that I've played where I've been put off by the ludo-narrative dissonance.

There's a point in ROTR were she gasps at a random person being killed while she goes around like a Predator in the trees, slitting people's throats. Like, c'mon! ffs. The gameplay and narrative teams just weren't on the same page.

Most lines in ROTR sound like they were copied and pasted from a trope handbook, e.g. https://youtu.be/v333f6Qr5s... Every line in this scene is a line I've heard elsewhere. The whole game is like this. You couldn't find a single original line of dialogue if you tried. The older games were cheesy and didn't take themselves very seriously, but they succeeded at what they going for whereas the new games come up short when really trying to deliver a compelling narrative.

I genuinely disliked the new Lara Croft as well. In ROTR, the audience is supposed to believe that Lara is intelligent yet she can't figure out who the Prophet obviously is with the same information that the audience has. Her accent is barely passable and the voice actress puts so much emphasis on particular words to maintain it that she sounds like she's high most of the time. She spends the rest of her time gasping for air in every scene. https://www.youtube.com/wat... She lacks a well-defined personality after multiple games.

I didn't play SOTR though. From what I've seen, it covers some material (e.g. Lara's mental state) that the first 2 games did a poor job exploring.

nommers86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

It doesn’t need to be some kind of amazing sense of writing though, because this style of game just like Uncharted games are based on an Indiana Jones vibe. Neither series has particularly interesting characters. Good voice acting and/script writing for dialogue alone doesn’t make a good character or a good story.

LucasRuinedChildhood86d ago

@nommers

I've explained in great detail why I strongly disliked the writing. You ignored all of that with a very reductive response so ... we're just going to have to agree to disagree.

The new TR trilogy doesn't have an Indiana Jones vibe at all, btw. The main music theme alone is enough to verify that that isn't true. A game series with a notable emphasis on survival mechanics (especially early on in each game) that remained extremely grim throughout with no sense of humour whatsoever hardly has an "Indiana Jones vibe". The old TR games, definitely, but not the new ones.

nommers86d ago

I didn't ignore it, but I see no reason to write more when I can summarize. Trope dialogue and generic-ness is present in Uncharted and IJ so I don't see what's so damning when TR does it. Some of your complaints are just odd too like Lara gasping too much or her accent when the overall voice acting sounds good. That just comes off as being way too nitpicky. Even if the tone is more serious than the earlier TR games; it's short sighted to think it needs great writing or something now just because its more serious.

I was mostly referring to the structure and sense of adventure of these franchises when talking about IJ. In the new TR's case its more serious in some things, but it still has that same "exploration and sense of adventure/danger" vibe going to exotic locations, discovering treasure and tombs etc that IJ and Uncharted has. It's not like Indiana Jones hasn't had some darker moments either like in the temple of doom or the end of the last crusade. There are differences between IJ, TR and Uncarted, but they all maintain a very similar structure and goal.

monkey60286d ago

I agree with everything Lucy's said. I can summarise it all down to one or two sentences to make it easy and save me repeating points.

Tomb raider lost its sense of adventure and instead became a masochists wet dream

LucasRuinedChildhood86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

@nommers, PART 1

NOTE: This is very long response. It's a good read. haha. Tbh, I've gotten a bit too carried away. We're both entitled to our own opinions. That being said ...

This conversation is like having an argument about a game being repetitive. "That's not a fair criticism. All game's are inherently repetitive!" Sure, but it's all a matter of degree. I think that the new TR games are polished but very bland with the exception of the optional puzzles and many others share the same opinion. That's not a common critique of Indiana Jones or Uncharted. There are reasons for that disparity and they didn't come from nowhere.

"Trope dialogue and generic-ness is present in Uncharted and IJ so I don't see what's so damning when TR does it." But I've already explained the distinction. The dialogue in Indiana Jones and Uncharted has a lot of energy, it's fun and there's good relationships between the characters. They bounce off each other. Reboot TR is very flat by comparison, and I couldn't enjoy most of it. You keep insisting that they're the same but they're really not. They're substantively quite different.

If you want proof, well there is actually a section of ROTR that has some decent dialogue - it's just not in the main game. The Croft Manor DLC is the only time where Lara actually felt like a real person to me, where I got a worthwhile insight into her personality and where I actually liked playing as her. **That's ultimately all I'm asking for**. I think that the script was done by a different writer than the main game though.

And there's nothing wrong with embracing the campiness and tropes of a genre (e.g. Sam Raimi, Paul Verhoeven, Indiana Jones, Uncharted, OG Tomb Raider games, etc). It can actually be very endearing. There is something wrong with just lazily cycling through the tropes that usually come with a genre and, I'll say it again, **having no personality**.

I found the plot of ROTR to be very insincere as well. You have a character who is going around knifing people in the head, setting people on fire with flammable bows, etc but the cut-scenes never address any of it and just present her as warm, brave, kind and moral. It's awkward, bizarre and I did just have to laugh at it sometimes. Most games suffer from some degree of ludo-narrative dissonance but these games take it to an extreme.

What makes it worse is that the first game set the groundwork to examine Lara's mental state and question her actions, and ROTR's CGI trailer presented her as having PTSD. That was all cool and it had great potential but Crystal Dynamics copped out and didn't deliver.

LucasRuinedChildhood86d ago

@nommers, PART 2

"It's not like Indiana Jones hasn't had some darker moments either like in the temple of doom or the end of the last crusade." I knew that you would bring that up but you've just said it yourself, "darker moments". There's contrast. The new TR games have a grim, oppressive atmosphere throughout most of their runtime. There's nothing wrong with that but that's not the same as having some dark moments.

The textbook definition of vibe is "a feeling or atmosphere" (I know that you know that). Uncharted and Indiana Jones have a very similar vibe. Reboot TR shares some similarities, and I was wrong to say that they don't share the same vibe at all, but overall it's certainly the outlier of the three. https://youtu.be/iyVHV7ct4g... **It's not a campy, fun romp that sometimes strays into bleak territory**. It spends most of its time there.

"it's short sighted to think it needs great writing or something now just because its more serious." The bottom line is that they put way more emphasis on the cutscenes and presentation so they should be good.

The accent sounds off to me and I don't believe that's a nitpick. I'm an Irish person and I used to work a part time job in a call centre to earn some money while in college. I helped thousands of British people with their phones, routers, etc. Maybe you're American (not an insult, you just wouldn't be as familiar with British accents) and you don't notice it as much.

You say that neither series has particularly interesting characters but there's loads of likable and memorable characters in the Uncharted series. Nathan, Sully, Elena, Chloe, Sam, Nadine, Charlie Cutter, Marlowe, and so on. Most of TR characters are less engaging than Jeff the camera guy in Uncharted 2 and he died after an hour. As far as games go, Naughty Dog have some of the best dialogue in AAA games.

A good example of the difference is the main villains of each game. Lazarevic was so over the top but it was enjoyable for what it was and it worked. Konstantin (had to look that up) was dull af.

Anyway, after this long comment I've realised that we're never going to change each others' minds. "I can't help by roll my eyes if anyone thought the writing should have been better". We've both already made up our minds. haha. I have been considering playing through SOTR because I heard that the story is finally decent (no longer Crystal Dynamics) and I'd like to do some challenge tombs but I'm afraid that I'll just end up getting annoyed with it. From looking at my long comment, that's probably a fair assumption, haha

nommers86d ago

I’m not addressing all of that text. But two things that stood out to me was regarding

1. characters being presented differently in regards to their actions in terms of killing.

Nate and IJ kill so many people. You can try and say theirs were more justified in some instances or they weren’t as dark but this is never addressed at least from what I played in U2 and U4 and from what I recall of IJ movies. It’s all just kind of played off in a light hearted fashion or of unimportance.

2. Good characters in uncharted

I didn’t think any of their characters developed well at all. ND are masters at masking character development with voice acting and animations. I never felt Nate ever progressed past the every mans man or had a side to him that was particular interesting. I didn’t feel much at all attached to Sully and everybody else either. The only thing I thought that stood out about Nate at all was when him and Elena were trying to patch up their marital issues in U4. However, the quick structure of these games and franchises just make it feel like everything is rushed or isn’t that big a deal. Nate just seems to go almost nonchalantly at times from being a witty quip guy to a somewhat serious guy. He’s down to earth as it gets in regular dialogue so nothing he says ever really stands out. Being more human like=\= interesting though by itself.

nommers86d ago

I see what you're trying to push for in terms of "rate of atmosphere type" comparisons but regardless of that all 3 franchises have so many similarities.

It might be because of the style of these franchises you prefer more lightheartedness, that's fair, but structure of these franchises alone creates limitations on how effective time can be spent with characterizations because they're always moving to different places with so many of the same tropes: All 3 main characters are enthusiastic about history and culture. They all get into a lot of danger in exotic locations. They all kill a lot of people without remorse; even if say Nate didn't want to kill some people in the heist of U2, he still ends up killing a lot of people throughout the game; justified or not and it doesn't bother him much at all. And finally, the platforms they're standing on almost always fall apart...like every time :P

Even the down time doesn't really feel like good use of down time; I found it either boring or cliche like a typical action movie. You may not agree with that with Uncharted, but I felt pretty much the same about the characters between TR and Uncharted. The style of both series and IJ never got me into the mindset of "Well if these characters aren't good then the whole game/movie is unenjoyable." I found them to be par between all 3. Not great/good, not terrible.

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RememberThe35787d ago

It was the way they told their stories that dampened it for me. There was this really corny element to it that I can't put a finger on. The visuals were fantastic the combat was good enough, but the way they wrote these games just felt off to me. Every thing was so flat and straight forward narratively. I never felt compelled to learn more about what was going on because I felt like I already knew what was going to happen. Seeing how they wrote this Avengers game it looks like nothing has changed.

LucasRuinedChildhood86d ago

You put it a lot more succinctly that I did. "Flat" is the perfect word to describe the writing.

NapalmSanctuary86d ago

Yeah. Needs less 3rd person shooter/stealth crap and more tombs. The original first two games were the best in the series.

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Scissorman8287d ago

how about returning to legacy of kain?

RememberThe35787d ago (Edited 87d ago )

Now we're talking!

MWH87d ago (Edited 87d ago )

"Most ironic of all, was the last gift that Raziel had given me. More powerful than the sword that now held his soul, more acute even than the vision that his sacrifice had accorded me. The first, bitter taste of that terrible illusion: hope."

..and our hope is the return of LOK.

isarai87d ago

Hope not, the first in the new trilogy was a great 1st step, but it never really went anywhere after that, and we never did "Become The Tomb Raider". Puzzles were lackluster, especially when compared to the rest of the series. Writing got worse with each game, and the open segments really didn't add anything to the story besides padding. I'd rather it return to its roots honestly

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