TR: Legend - A belated rant


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Dr.Haggard
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I see praise for Tomb Raider: Legend wherever I go and I don't get it. I thought it was shite.

What on earth are people thinking when they say it's a return to form? Just because Toby Gard said they were going 'back to Lara's roots' and back to what made the original so good, and just because the game does actually feature a fair amount of tomb raiding (hurrah!), doesn't mean it's any good.

Is it because I haven't played a TR game since the second one, and therefore the scale against which I judged this game is different from those who've had to suffer the apparently dire games in between? I've avoided them because I heard they were shit. I played this one because I heard it's good. It bloody well isn't.

Almost everything about Legend is mediocre IMO, often descending into laughable territory (eg the motorbike sequences, and practically every line of cringe-worthy dialogue) and gives the impression of a game designed by committee, pandering to a perceived audience who simply must have gun fights with baddies and driving sequences every half an hour. It's atrocious.

They did precisely what I feared they would and put bad guys in every level, in every tomb, around every corner. Even in those rare moments when it looks like you might get a bit of peace and quiet, the atmosphere starts close in and the hairs on the back of your neck are starting to twitch into life, the fucking comedy duo pipe up in Lara's earpiece and kill the mood stone dead.

It's bollocks and I wish people would stop praising it, because it makes me think we have very different ideas about what made the first game great.
#1 at 17:51:06 - 06/02/2007
Kay
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Hopefully the forthcoming anniversary edition will be a return to form.

K
#2 at 17:53:04 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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But it was better than any Tomb Raider since the second one, which is why its a "return to form" (ie its no longer shit). It must have been okish as I actually completed it, which I never do.

There were some good bits. England was fun. Although thats about all I can remember. There were also some shit bits. Kazahkstan, m0t0r81k3s, Tokyo (?).

She looked hot in that dress too.
#3 at 17:55:26 - 06/02/2007
quedex
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TR:L was fun.
It may have been too short, the motorcycle sections might have sucked animal appendages, and there were definitely more bugs than an [insert random Peej analogy], but it was still fun.

Not only that, but it showed promise. TR was finally in the hands of a dev team who gave a damn, and made us believe that they had the potential to make a stonkingly good TR game with enough time and money.

I'm just hoping that the next TR game delivers on this promise and wasn't just a dead cat bounce. Not that I'm advocating violence against cats, you understand.
#4 at 17:57:48 - 06/02/2007
disusedgenius
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How can having motorbike sections possibly be a 'return to form'?!?

Big winding caves with no one else around except hungry animals and old, fiendish traps/puzzles sounds more like it.

Looks like one developer needs to play Metroid Prime to see how it should be done...
#5 at 18:01:10 - 06/02/2007
Dr.Haggard
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quedex said:TR:L was fun.
It may have been too short, the motorcycle sections might have sucked animal appendages, and there were definitely more bugs than an [insert random Peej analogy], but it was still fun.

Not only that, but it showed promise. TR was finally in the hands of a dev team who gave a damn, and made us believe that they had the potential to make a stonkingly good TR game with enough time and money.


See this is what concerns me. I didn't find it fun, save for the odd few minutes here and there when it started to get going and then failed to deliver.

I don't think it shows much promise either, I think it shows more than ever that they simply don't agree with those of us who constantly bleat on about the first game, and despite a few pretty and potentially quite atmospheric levels in Legend, they are as intent as ever on making cheesy action games that take their cues from the films rather than the original premise.
#6 at 18:12:31 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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Return to form doesnt mean "as good as", it just means back on an upward slope.

If Wayne Rooney has 6 bad games on the bounce, then has a much better game, you could say he is "returning to form". Of course, you really need to see if he's better in the next game to be more sure, which is what we're waiting for.
#7 at 18:21:37 - 06/02/2007
quedex
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I'm not trying to argue that it was as good as 1 - it wasn't.

But I do think that it deserves some credit considering Crystal had to take over the game at the (relatively) last minute and had to knock out something that stood a chance of making money. You have to admit that it was definitely better than Core's last attempt, surely?

And if they managed to get even a few levels that were nicely designed and looked pretty, then imagine what they could do with a clean slate and a decent amount of time.
#8 at 18:30:21 - 06/02/2007
spanky
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Shit bums, i just bought this and blazing angels for a tenner each... but everyone said blazing angels was shite and i'm liking it so... hmmm. er.
#9 at 18:32:57 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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Sorry quedex, that was more at dg and the Doc. I pretty much agree with you to be honest :)
#10 at 18:35:30 - 06/02/2007
Dr.Haggard
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quedex said:I'm not trying to argue that it was as good as 1 - it wasn't.

But I do think that it deserves some credit considering Crystal had to take over the game at the (relatively) last minute and had to knock out something that stood a chance of making money. You have to admit that it was definitely better than Core's last attempt, surely?

And if they managed to get even a few levels that were nicely designed and looked pretty, then imagine what they could do with a clean slate and a decent amount of time.

I guess you're just more optimistic than me. I agree that there were elements that could be said to show promise for a return to the design of the first game, but personally I look at all the horrible stuff - the gun fights, the driving sequences, the constant mood-breaking banter, the overall cheap, cheesy feel of the game etc - and feel very pessimistic about the potential for a return to form, hehe.

As Kay said, hopefully they won't screw up Anniversary, but who knows.
#11 at 18:35:31 - 06/02/2007
ThreeOutsideDown
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tomb raider is one of my pet hates.

i loathed the original and everything it stood for. ie. marketing above content.

i've no doubt that some people genuinely like the franchise but i could never see what all the fuss was about with it's broken camera, sluggish controls and plodding gameplay.

even with a return to the form shown in the original title, it would still be shit.

not for me thanks, i'll pass.
#12 at 18:37:04 - 06/02/2007
quedex
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Furbs said:Sorry quedex, that was more at dg and the Doc. I pretty much agree with you to be honest :)

S'OK - I was replying to Dr Haggard any way, I just hadn't spotted your post in between.
Sorry if you thought I was having a go at you :-)
#13 at 18:39:14 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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Marketing above content? Thats harsh, the first Tomb Raider had some of the most jaw dropping moments I've ever had in gaming.

The T-Rex, the climb to the top of the Sphinx, the huge waterfall, the water puzzle where you get vertigo. Theres probably more, but its been 10 years since I've played and yet can recall those clearly. Not many games have that effect on me.
#14 at 18:53:52 - 06/02/2007
Menace
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I thought the first one was dire also.. The Prince of Persia control-scheme was fine in 2D, but for 3D it was hellish..

I actually played a demo-disc version of TRL today, and after 3 mins I'd had enough. Its a constant struggle to get the camera in a proper position to see where you're going, and when she's supposed to jump off of a vine and onto a ledge she jumps outwards and dies when her big-ass titties fall on her head.. cue starting over and seeing the same pathetic cut-scenes all over..

In short, it was shit from start to finish..
#15 at 19:00:32 - 06/02/2007
JimJam
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I thought the first one was great - especially after I got the 3D patch for my Voodoo card (those were the days).

Gave up during the second one and haven't really bothered again...
#16 at 19:04:45 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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Menace - you lack the skillz that pay the billz homie!

"she jumps outwards and dies when her big-ass titties fall on her head" would be great in any review though.
#17 at 19:05:34 - 06/02/2007
Menace
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Furbs said:Menace - you lack the skillz that pay the billz homie!


I'm blaming the game.. I'm alright with Mario64 and others.. ;)
#18 at 19:12:09 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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You're right though, it does take a while to get the hang of them..something isnt instinctive about it, but then after about 30 mins it does just click. The demo level I can whizz through now, not making any mistakes on the jumps and so on, but put in front of it without playing it for a few weeks and I'm back to jumping out when I want to go across.

The worst bit is, I found the PC version much more intuitive when it came to accurate jumping.
#19 at 19:15:00 - 06/02/2007
Menace
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Furbs said:You're right though, it does take a while to get the hang of them..something isnt instinctive about it, but then after about 30 mins it does just click.


That's what I felt also, not instinctive, and given my short temper (and equally short time to play) things have to click or at least feel right immediately almost if I'm to give a game a chance.. - and to be honest the only reason I wanted to try it was that Lara is very easy on the eyes (yes I'm a sad old git)..
#20 at 19:20:48 - 06/02/2007
mal
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I quite liked TR:L - but I'd not say it was much more than okay. Like others have said, the motorbike sections were awful, the acting laughable, the plot pretty meaningless and the puzzles not even slightly puzzling. It was entertaining, and I liked the setting, and I liked seeing what they'd do with Lara.

But you can't possibly compare it to TR1. The control system of TR1 is inherent in the level design, so if you updated the control system you'd make the levels unplayable, and if you didn't you'd just have shitty controls. In fact, I reckon it's because of the controls that there are so few enemies - I didn't find the enemies much of a distraction in TR:L because the combat mechanics actually made them quite fun to get rid of.
#21 at 19:21:06 - 06/02/2007
peej
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First I liked it, then I completed it. Now I hate it . I get rather annoyed when people say "the control system is so much better than the original tomb raider" because I think precisely the opposite, and the QT shit, the on-screen prompting for button pressing shit - was shit. Frankly.

Peej
#22 at 19:58:07 - 06/02/2007
mal
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Agreed that the QTE crap was as bad as it was when Shenmue did it, except back then it was at least innovative. TR:L just showed that the concept hasn't moved on one inch in the years since. But luckily, it wasn't used in much of the game.

The controls though... okay I can kind of concede that they're not so much better in TR:L, just very different. So different, they make the game different.

Pixel-perfect jumps are acceptable in the TR1 control mechanism. They wouldn't be in TR:L. Just as, gun combat works in TR:L while it's just bodged on to the original game, and as soon as you try to make it more central to the gameplay, it breaks (see TR2 et al).

I guess they just don't make game levels like TR1 any more, just like they no longer make text adventure games with exits N, S, E and W. In the case of TR1, I say good riddance - I find analogue controls much more fluid and fun.
#23 at 20:44:17 - 06/02/2007
peej
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I think the biggest problem I had with it was the same problem I've had with probably the last 3-4 Tomb Raider games - too much feckin' emphasis on shooting the shit out of bad guys, not enough emphasis on solving clever tomb puzzles and hunting around for artifacts, y'know like a Tomb Raider would.

As to Gard saying it was " a return to Lara's Roots " that's just about the biggest crock of crap I've heard since the last time he said it (which was for the abortionately bad Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness)

Peej
#24 at 20:53:53 - 06/02/2007
mal
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I guess I've come round to agreeing. It's not a return to the original game in any shape or form except for one: it's a return to the sort of game where the control scheme matches the level design, so it isn't intesely irritating to play. The two games are incomparable on most other levels though.
#25 at 20:55:28 - 06/02/2007
Whizzo
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Well I enjoyed TRL, certainly better than anything past about the halfway stage of TR2 which was getting rather crap and I gave up on.

Cut out the vehicles next time and a bit less gunplay, not too fussed by the QTE stuff, it was very brief and at least you did one then saw the action rather than the abomination of what was in Fahrenheit.
#26 at 21:05:01 - 06/02/2007
peej
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Whizzo said:Well I enjoyed TRL, certainly better than anything past about the halfway stage of TR2 which was getting rather crap and I gave up on.

Cut out the vehicles next time and a bit less gunplay, not too fussed by the QTE stuff, it was very brief and at least you did one then saw the action rather than the abomination of what was in Fahrenheit.


Aye and at least if you failed them it restarted you back at the start of the QTE bit, not half an hour previously, with a shitsucking bunch of cutscene to wade through before the QTE again.

Peej
#27 at 21:08:06 - 06/02/2007
Whizzo
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Some of the QTE failures are pretty funny too, as long as you don't mind seeing Lara getting squished in a variety of ways. The deaths video unlock is worth a watch.*


*not that I did, I completed the game and later downloaded a 100% save. PC gaming makes life easy at times... :-D
#28 at 21:23:25 - 06/02/2007
Furbs
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The one in the plane in Nepal stands out as being particularly brutal.

Face smashed in by a packing crate iirc.
#29 at 21:27:17 - 06/02/2007
Dragul
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Just finished the game! :D

Great game (not near the quality of the first one, but much better than all of them put together from third until angel of darkness)...

If you remove the m0t0rb1k3s sections it would have been almost ace...

Good controls, didn't have to much trouble with the camera (on the PC using a xbox360 gamapad).

Even so 8/10 in the end...

#30 at 00:10:11 - 07/02/2007

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