Archive for Tomb Raider

Of Exclusivity Whores and Their Manufacturer Pimps

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , , on December 13, 2014 by Rabidgames

Exclusives mostly suck. Not quality-wise, but from the customer’s view. No MGS4, Ni Nu Kuni, Uncharted or Infamous on the 360. No Fable, Forza, State of Decay or Alan Wake on the PS3. No Nintendo games anywhere else. Instead of one console from one manufacturer, we need three consoles to play all the games we want to play. Yes, that sucks. Completely.

But recently, it has gotten worse. Now, 3rd parties jump the exclusivity bandwagon, and no one profits but greedy publishers cashing in big time on exclusive deals. As a matter of fact, they are whoring themselves out to the pimps who want us to buy all consoles available. The only proper reaction from us should be a not-so-gentle “FUCK OFF YOU CUNTS!”

Mind you, Bayonetta 2 does not really count here. A developer usually needs money to work on a game. If Nintendo jumps in to finance an otherwise dead game, fair enough. It still doesn’t make sense to sell only a fragment of the copies on a console that doesn’t even cater to games like Bayonetta, but whatever. If it’s game made or game not made, okay.

However, when it comes to Rise of The Romb Raider or StreetFighter 5, we are all fucked, in fact double-fucked. The whores and the pimps alike shall grin at us while we pay for exclusive rights to have fun with a specific whore soon.

But the most appalling thing is that Square Enix and Capcom want to make us believe they are that poor they NEED that whore money from Microsoft and Sony. Yeah, right. Do you think we are really that dumb to believe that? If you go to the street to sell out yourselves, be at least fucking honest why you succumb to prostitution. Fucking liars!

Rabidgames spits: Shame on all parties involved. Simple as that. That’s all.

Microsoft Fucking it Up Again: EA Access and Exclusivity

Posted in News with tags , , , , on August 20, 2014 by Rabidgames

Microsoft never changes … Last year, they wanted to tell us once-a-day-online-duty, no more selling games and kinect were the future of gaming – and guess what, they were wrong. Granted, they have seen the error of their ways, but still they want nothing but to fuck us over again and again.

This year, their alleged contempt for gamers – their paying customers after all – is revealed once more during Gamescom. First, EA Access. At first glance, it sounds awesome: All your EA games for just 5 per month, or 20 per year! Amazing, right? Well, guess what: Not all EA games are included. Dragon Age: Inquisition, for instance, is not. So why paying money for old games? And what about DLC? Would you pay 6 pounds a month for Netflix if you had to pay extra for the second part of Breaking Bad’s final (and best ever) season? Would you?

Furthermore, imagine the likes of Activision, Ubisoft, 2K, Bethesda, Square Enix, Deep Silver and many more following the footsteps of EA – all of a sudden, you pay 50 pounds each month for your online gaming library (most likely NOT having the new AAA releases you’re yearning to play)! And that’s where awesome turns to awful … Not so great now, isn’t it? Besides, it’s EA. What about old games? Imagine you love FIFA 14 but not FIFA 15 for whatever reason, and then EA says bye-bye and switches off the servers. Your game is gone. That’s it. Not so great after all, right?

Second, the even bigger disaster without a doubt: MS proudly announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be a Xbox One exclusive – we all know the shitstorm that followed. Then Phil Spencer, that sorry PR tool, announced it’ll only be a timed-exclusivity deal, which makes it slightly better.

Still, that decision does not even make fucking sense! It pissed off everybody. Plus, no one wins. MS won’t hardly get any Xbox One sold – Tomb Raider might be a big franchise, but if you run Tomb Raider against Uncharted, well, you’ll lose. Plus, MS is back where they have tried to escape from for on year – many gamer’s scorn is upon them once more. They now have the reputation of giving a fuck about what we want, while Sony is “from gamers for gamers”. Of course, we know this is bullshit and both are corporations that want nothing but our money, but Sony has learned to sell this the nice way: A happy customers gives you more cash.

Square Enix on the other hand, oh poor, misguided naive Square Enix: you may have gained a couple of millions from MS, yes, but the PS4 is leading the next-gen sales, and it has better exclusives and more power to stay ahead in the long run! Square Enix, why do you bet on the weak horse? And why on earth you would even want to pit Tomb Raider against Uncharted, no one knows. The really puzzling thing though is the fact you were disappointed with last Tomb Raider’s sales – so your reaction is to halve the sales at launch and to compete against a direct rival? Give us a break, that’s insane! And yes, many PS4 gamers might be put off enough by your prostitution to kindly not give a shit about Tomb Raider in the future.

After all, it seems Microsoft has learned absolutely nothing. Getting in bed with the EA devil might work out now in the short term, but while they profit, us gamers might lose, our udders milked to the last drop once more. True, Rabidgames might be wrong and it’ll be fine, but come on, it’s fucking EA! Just take a look at their lists of casualties last generation, couple it with the fact they threw away every interesting franchise but poor and now crippled Bioware, and there is much more room for fear than hope!

Same goes for exclusives – be it timed or permanent ones, be it full titles or DLC. It’s all bullshit! There are no advantages whatsoever for us gamers, unless we succumb to the immensely stupid fanboy console war folly. We all lose out.

Rabidgames wonders: Sometimes, it seems Microsoft wants to lose. They play EA’s willing whore while pimping Square Enix, creating shitstorm after shitstorm – while Sony calmly smiles from the side-line and enjoys gamers flocking to their console. Quite ironic it was exactly the other way round last gen …

Tomb Raider or Less Cleavage, More Gameplay

Posted in Played & Explained with tags , , , , on March 26, 2013 by Rabidgames

Reboots are en vogue these days. If you’re stuck with a story or a protagonist, rewind and restart. In Tomb Raider’s case, it’s been a damn good idea. Lara Croft isn’t just a mere sexualised dual-wielding triple jumping doll with gravity-defying massive knockers anymore, she is a young and naive student on her quest to archaeological glory. At least for 45 minutes. After a rough start, she has survived getting impaled, getting shot, falling and more falling, wolf attacks … and there’s more pain to come.

Sadly, the transition from naive student to cold-blooded huntress happens a bit too fast in the new Tomb Raider. One minute she is close to puking her guts out after shooting some bad guy’s brain into tiny pieces, the next she’s on her way mowing down squads of baddies. Later on, it gets outright ridiculous when she takes down a whole army (literally) within mere minutes! Alright, even though this sounds crazy let’s not forget the new Tomb Raider isn’t as outlandish as the franchise used to be (no, there’s no T Rex), but still, don’t expect more than solid B movie entertainment. It is solid; the story is engaging although not surprising – think of Indiana Jones and you’re pretty close to it. But it works. The story about her team stranded, an insane cult worshipping a long dead queen and hte mysteries of this isolated place is enough to get the plot going. Characters … well, let’s say it’s obvious who dies and who lives, and if you want to know more about them, you have to look for documents scattered all over the island.

Tomb Raider’s island is amazing. Thanks to the pretty and smooth graphics, it is more welcoming and more diverse than Far Cry 3’s jungles, and there’s much hidden in each and every corner – be it in the jungle, in caves, in old ruins or in a rather miserable shanty town, you’ll never get tired of looking at it. Yes; an island full of mysteries, some “others”, relics, it is more than a subtle hint to Lost. Inexplicably, there is no hatch (that award goes to Just Cause 2).

And now for the surprise: Lara is the little sister of Batman, and no, she has virtually nothing to do with Nathan Drake. Forget about comparing Tomb Raider to Uncharted – apart from both games being action adventures and containing gun fights, they don’t have much in common. Arkham Asylum is the godfather of the new Tomb Raider!

DNA tests? Here we go:

  • Lara’s instinct = Batman’s detective mode
  • backtracking (new gadgets open new paths)
  • melee system, especially counter moves
  • Lara’s rope arrows = Batman’s rope gadget
  • destroying barriers feels the same
  • documents = tapes
  • the level up system
  • stealth works similar – if it is an option

Let’s be honest here – Arkham Asylum is an amazing game, and it’s a decent blueprint to use. Mind you, Tomb Raider is more than a mere copy – it is darker, grittier and definitely bloodier. Both games have one thing in common though: The focus on gameplay and fun in diversity. And the mix between action/fighting and adventure/exploring is close to perfection in both games. There are many different items to collect (from interesting or useful to chore) so even after completing the story, you might want to go back and continue collecting some more stuff.

Surprisingly, the gun fights in Tomb Raider are more challenging than in many other shooters: Forget about leisurely eliminating enemies from cover! Molotovs, dynamite, melee fighters and more make it impossible to just sit there waiting for heads to pop out. In Tomb Raider, you have to be proactive and quick if you don’t want to get overwhelmed. The only annoying enemies are those carrying shields (at least before the grenade launcher upgrade): Lara’s stupid dodging before rolling makes fighting them a chore. By the way, why can Lara use grenades with a rifle, but she can’t use them without it?

Of course, Rabidgames has to nitpick once more: QTE. Come on! While the first couple of QTE in Tomb Raider might serve as a way for inexperienced Lara to learn how to fight and survive from an artistic point of view, getting rid of the final boss via QTE is nothing short of fucking lazy! It’s a disgrace. What happened to the art of smart boss fights? Extinct? Superfluous? Not streamlined enough for this generation?

Another disappointment in Tomb Raider is the lack of actual tomb raiding: There are only 7 tombs (plus one preorder DLC one) to be raided – and each one is just one puzzle per room. Erm, why exactly is the game called Tomb Raider now? Shouldn’t it be called “Lara Croft: The Beginning” or “Lara Croft Rises” … Anyway, Tomb Raider is one of those action adventures spelled ACTION adventures – although the fighting/puzzle ratio is still higher than in Uncharted 2.

Oh, the multiplayer. Fuck it. Rabidgames doesn’t give a fuck. Tomb Raider does not need a fucking multiplayer, and supposedly, it ain’t great anyway. Those wasted resources would have helped in enhancing the adventure part. Oh, and Square Enix, one word about your DLC policy: Fuck off! Lots of rather tiny stuff for day one. Weapons, characters etc. And for the singleplayer, we get some extra skins. Remember when skins got unlocked by playing the fucking game? Good old days long gone it seems …

Rabidgames nods: Well, the usual nitpicking aside, Tomb Raider is a pleasant surprise. Even though there is not much originality in there, it still feels refreshing, and that’s something which ain’t easy to achieve. The easy-going gameplay and a sombre atmosphere go well together, and after finishing Lara’s first adventure, we are craving for more. No, not a boob job, you perv!

Tomb Raider or A Pleasant Surprise

Posted in Hands On with tags on March 9, 2013 by Rabidgames

This year has been a tough year for gamers so far: Omerta is simply a disappointment, Dead Space 3 is a micro-transaction fueled Gears of War clone, Aliens: Colonial Marines is a rip-off, Metal Gear Rising Retribuvengeance a bland hack’n’slay. But fret not, Tomb Raider is exactly what we have needed right now!

After having played approximately 5 hours, Tomb Raider has already hit home many important points: First, the gameplay is fun. Platforming, fighting, exploring, it’s all in there, and it’s all well-implemented. Second, the step back to Lara’s beginnings has paid off: We have a credible character instead of a jumping and occasionally fighting pin-up doll; trembling with fear and pain (and there’s lots of pain), afraid of killing, and yet, she manages to cope with it (maybe a tad too well, but killing seems to run in the family’s blood). Third, Tomb Raider scarves its own niche; there are cinematic set pieces which remind you of Uncharted, the seamless and easy to learn platforming of Assassin’s Creed, the sense of adventurous exploration and backtracking of the Batman Arkham games (including new areas available thanks to new gadgets), and the mysterious island emanates a strong Lost feeling.

Tomb Raider excels in pacing: Usually, you need 10 to 20 minutes to finish a story mission. They are rather linear, full of fighting and set pieces, and might leave you breathless on occasion. Afterwards, you can rest and explore your surroundings for EXP, new gear and books which shed light on the history of the island. Sadly, the puzzle ratio is incredibly low. There are only a handful of  tombs to solve via environment puzzles, and sometimes there’s an ridiculously easy puzzle to advance the story. Shame.

Of course, Tomb Raider also offers the usual RPG light upgrade system which does not let you choose your playstyle but rather unlocks stuff for you gradually. In short, it’s about unlocking gruesome ways of killing enemies. Speaking of gruesome and dark, Tomb Raider is both. Poor Lara has to suffer … much. Impaled, beaten, shot, washed down a river etc. And she is clearly not happy with what happens to her. Astonishingly, some reviews mentioned the game was “too dark”. Rabidgames is glad we don’t get another glorified wannabe Nathan Drake who is a decent pacifist who just happens to slaughter hundreds and thousands of people on his way to steal some ancient artefact …

Is everything perfect then? No. There are QTE. Just a few, but they’re there and they serve no purpose but to annoy us. Also, the fighting system is decent in general, but fighting guys with shields (well, that’s an original idea now) is a pain because dodging does not mean simply rolling forward in Tomb Raider: First, Lara dives to one side which is a feint. Then, she starts rolling. If a shielded guy hacks at you with a sword this is not what you want.

Rabidgames plays: So far, Tomb Raider is fun. Actually, the first Tomb Raider game which is fun. We’ll see if the balance between linear shooter and platform exploration keeps intact, and if we get a good story, and a decent ending. At least,there is hope at the end of the winter.

The New Tomb Raider or Poaching in Uncharted Territory?

Posted in News with tags , , on February 26, 2013 by Rabidgames

Sometimes, life’s ironic. Remember when folks used to say that the Uncharted series drew inspiration from Tomb Raider? It seems the tables have turned, or rather, they’re about to turn pretty soon …

Yes, Rabidgames has pre-ordered the new Tomb Raider game, which features a younger and improved yet somehow distinctly reduced student/heroine. The isometric platformer Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light aside, it’ll be his first purchase of a Tomb Raider game. Now, if you remember, Rabidgames did not exactly fancy Uncharted 2 – too linear, too constrained, nothing more but an enjoyable yet shallow popcorn-action game. So why pre-ordering a game that steals back some inspiration from Uncharted?

If you take a look at the reviews, it becomes clearer: Yes, the new Tomb Raider tends to offer linear paths and action-ladden climbing stunts, too. However, it also features exploration in its calmer moments. Judging from the reviews, lots of exploration, most of them likely having something to do with, pardon the pun, raiding a tomb or two …

There’s also a decent RPG system, upgradeable weapons, gory kill animations (fairly shared between Lara and the enemies) and unfortunately and a possible dealbreaker, quite an abundance of those loathsome QTEs, especially in the beginning phases of Tomb Raider. Let’s hope it is just to illustrate that Lara has to learn to survive step by step (translated as button per button), and then, it’s game on. By the way, dear dev teams around the globe: Have a look at The Witcher 2, look closer and LEARN: It is possible to make QTEs purely optional, so please, fucking DO IT! Thanks.

Speaking of reviews, this hilarious video review from no other than Conan O’Brian is definitely … original:

Rabidgames hopes: It’s about time we get a solid game in 2013! Lara’s reboot might lack in gravity-defying size of boobs, but hopefully the size of the game will make up for it. If Tomb Raider turns out to be another digital medium of disappointed aspirations, it can still be sold to make way for Bioshock Infinite. And if that one bombs as well, all hope in gaming is lost anyway …