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Hero-of-Time

Shadow of the Tomb Raider ( 14th Sept 2018 )

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The reviews are coming out now and it's pretty much as expected: it doesn't add anything ground-breaking but it's a refinement of what came before in most areas apart from the story. Lots of 8s and 9s and in between with a couple either side.

Sounds good to me as I enjoyed the previous two games, so if it's more of the same but improved, then that's exactly what I'm looking for. Can't wait to pick it up on Friday and get stuck in over the weekend. Should have Spiderman finished by then so will probably trade that in towards it as I'm not really taken by that game.

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Yeah, was expecting the review scores to be as they were (ish).  Sounds good as a game, but i'm happy to wait until i see it on sale or something.

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Picked up my copy earlier today and have played the opening and yeah, it's pretty much more of what came before with some extra gameplay additions which have focused around stealth so far.

Enjoying what I've played though. The opening was good; very dramatic as seems to be the case for this lot of Tomb Raider games but maybe shows some of the issue with the writing off the bat. After the events of the last 2 games, Lara still hasn't developed a concept of others and seems to think only of herself. Perhaps that's how they're going to develop her through this but seems a bit odd for the final game of a trilogy to have that be her character.

It also feels a tad clunky, especially coming off of the back of finishing Spider-man. Even though I was majorly taken with that game, the controls were superb but here, I don't know if it's the controls, the animation or both but it feels a bit clunky to control and movement doesn't seem as smooth as the precious games, if I remember correctly. Not a major issue but a little jarring at times.

Still, I've enjoyed it so far even with it being early days. Found my first crypt and that seems to be a nice aside to the tombs. Looking forward to getting stuck in more over the next couple of days.

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Not progressed the story forward much since my post the other day but moving forward, slowly. Been mopping up the collectibles and challenges as I go and doing the tombs that I can get access to. There does seem to be more tombs so far than there were in Rise of the Tomb Raider and I've still not been to all the locations, and plenty of them need gear upgrades to encourage you to come back.

That's a plus for me so far, that and the inclusion of the crypts. You're supposed to be a tomb raider so you should be going into tombs and collecting treasures, though you pretty much seem to only come out of them with new skills as there are treasures everywhere. That kind of dilutes the tombs a bit but some of the challenges have been good so far, requiring a bit more thought than in the other games of this trilogy.

The story really isn't grabbing me, which goes hand in hand with what most of the reviews were saying. The impending doom doesn't seem to be all that impending, especially with the huge number of collectibles to grab and the side missions which seem to be rather mundane so far.

The big issue I have with the game is the atrocious camera controls. By God, whoever coded them needs smacked round the head. It's a constant fight when platforming to get it looking where you want to jump as it jerks in all directions especially when it's not a cinematic moment. There have been several deaths as a result of trying to line up the camera for a jump and it changing to a different direction, thus meaning that you fall to your death :angry:

That and the jankiness of the animation and controls is making it feel like a bit of a slog, especially on top of the story. I'd say I'm disappointed with it currently as I was really looking forward to getting stuck in but think I'll main line it from now on as it's seeming a but meh. Maybe it'll improve, who knows.

Edit: also remembered that when doing a challenge tomb earlier in the game, I saw a character model floating in the air in a wide open area. It wouldn't have been too much of an issue, more a novelty, but the character model could technically be classed as a spoiler for an enemy that I've still not encountered beyond hearing the noise they make and seeing the resultant carnage they've unleashed on the Trinity agents. It's just seeming a but unpolished, especially with the "waiting on stream" message that's come up a few times where the game is struggling to load up areas in time.

Edited by Ganepark32
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As expected, it's not a great start for the game over here in the UK.

Quote

The finale in the Tomb Raider reboot trilogy arrived this week to an underwhelming reception in the UK.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider's Week One sales are 25% higher than its predecessor's, 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider. However, Rise was an exclusive to Xbox platforms (at the time), whereas Shadow is a full multi-platform release.

Compared to the first Tomb Raider reboot in 2013, first weeks sales are more than 70% down. Of course, these charts don't factor in digital sales, and digital is understood to be taking a larger percentage of the boxed market compared with five years ago. Nevertheless, it's not a huge week one for Lara Croft. 63% of launch sales came on PS4, whereas Xbox One accounted for the remaining 37%.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider debuts at No.2, which means Spider-Man retains its No.1 spot for a second week. Impressively, the Sony game's week two sales are down just 42% compared to its launch week, and it's already on the brink of eclipsing the sales of the last big PS4 exclusive: God of War (boxed sales only).

I imagine it will be heavily discounted in the run up to Christmas.

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44 minutes ago, Hero-of-Time said:

As expected, it's not a great start for the game over here in the UK.

I imagine it will be heavily discounted in the run up to Christmas.

Ouch. 

Square Enix made two really odd decisions with putting this game and Dragon Quest XI in September. Move those games a month or two up into the middle of the summer and you suddenly have plenty more of your demographic, having taken time off from work/being on school holidays, in a position to comfortably sink tens of hours into a JRPG or spend time with the video game equivalent of a summer action blockbuster. 

I imagine that the summer months will slowly fill up over the next few years, but SE really missed a trick there. ::shrug:

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Finished this last night and have to say I'm glad that it's at an end. The story really didn't pick up and the ending seemed to come about rather quickly once I decided to mainline it. To be honest, it was a pretty poor way to end the trilogy. Very little resolution at the end of the game with regards to Trinity, Lara or anything on that front when, after 2 games building things up, there really should have been a better ending. The final "boss" bit also felt really cheap in that 2 hits would kill you while having to deal with adds.

I definitely feel as though I should've waited for a sale on the game as i regret picking it up at launch. After Rise, I was really looking forward to getting stuck in but beside all the challenge tombs and the crypts, the game really didn't come together well. As I've seen other's say elsewhere, the game did feel like a bit of a mess with some of the issues, foremost of which was that bloody camera which stretched out the ending for me as it just wouldn't line up to make a jump near the end, instead pulling round to whatever angle it wanted.

I'm not surprised that it hasn't sold too well, especially with Spiderman out last week and sales for that not dropping much. Despite all the marketing, there wasn't a huge amount of positive buzz surrounding this and I suspect that Tomb Raider will now take a hiatus like Deus Ex has with Square Enix'spast handling of things.

Rise was definitely the best for me anyway. Shame but that's how it goes 

Edited by Ganepark32

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I actually really enjoyed Rise and ended up platinuming it. This looks a bit meh. I've now got more games I want to play than I have time for so its likely I will only pick it up once heavily discounted.

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Saw this in CEX the other day, so traded in one or two games and picked it up for around £35.  Made a start yesterday after finishing Spider-Man on Tuesday.

Spoiler

Can't say i'm too far.  Just explored Mexico, survived the Tsunami and the plane crash in Peru.

It's early, but i'm agreeing with the views of this feels the same as before, which can't be a bad thing at times.  Graphically it looks great, and the stealth mechanics are better.

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22 hours ago, Jimbob said:

Saw this in CEX the other day, so traded in one or two games and picked it up for around £35.  Made a start yesterday after finishing Spider-Man on Tuesday.

 

It's only two quid more brand new and without trading anything in! People please, you've been on the internet long enough now, a quick google before you spend silly on the high street...

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1 hour ago, Shorty said:

It's only two quid more brand new and without trading anything in! People please, you've been on the internet long enough now, a quick google before you spend silly on the high street...

I know, i usually buy online these days but as i was in town i thought why not.

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Finished last night.  Was enjoyable, but nothing special about it.  I got worried when the game went Gold in July, considering it wasn't meant to be out until September.  I enjoyed the stealth aspects, and the combat when it came about.  However the story wasn't anywhere near as good as the 1st, not the 2nd.  The world felt more alive, but that's about it.  For what the story was about, the number of collectables and side missions felt tacked on, like they needed to pad out the campaign.  Some of the side-stuff was good, and some of the main missions were decent. 1 or 2 of the missions felt Uncharted 1 in places.

The final boss felt weak in comparision to Rise's, but the camera made the battle frustrating at times.  Once i saw the credits, i don't feel the need to mop up the collectables or finish the remaining few Tombs.  I might do if i get bored, but i'm not in a rush.

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I started playing this last week and i'm nearing the end of the game now. I have to say, I don't think this is half as good as the other 2 more recent Tomb Raider games. There is a hell of a lot of wandering around and climbing to do in the game and I don't think they got the ratio of fights and exploring right when compared to the previous games. I'm also not a big fan of the settings that are on offer with this game. I think the ones seen in RotTR were much better.

On the plus side, I think the narrative in this is better than the previous game and the graphics and voice acting in it are top notch. Some of the facial animations used in the cutscenes are fantastic.

Spoiler

There's a scene here where Lara thinks Jonah has been killed and then she goes on a rampage only to find that he is alive. Her reaction here is amazing to see and the voice work and animations really shine during this segment.

I know there was a lot of hate for Lara when this game got released. People were saying she's a mass murder and shows little to no remorse. It's kinda the same thing the Uncharted games went through as well, with many crying out that Nate should be showing feelings for the people he is killing. Get over it. It's a video game. I honestly quite like her character in this. She knows that she's cocked up at the start of the game and she's doing everything she can to set it right. She even admits that whatever she does just seems to make things worse and at this point you see her break down.

The start of this post may sound negative but I am still enjoying the game, just not as much as the other two.

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The convenience of Lara stumbling upon the leader of Trinity, who just happens to have grown up in a hidden village that just happens to be protecting an artifact that can remake the world was too much for me.

I never understood people's complaints about the combat in the previous two games - more combat would have added some much-needed variety to Shadow. And the game isn't even designed around the lack of combat - you spend sooo much time scavenging for resources, but the resources serve no purpose when there's no combat! If I don't need to craft more arrows or medipacks or whatever, why am I picking up all these sticks? I was literally just doing it for the sake of trophies. So much fun! Oh, and you can level up, which is great, except that most of the upgrades you can choose center around combat or resource gathering! Why is any of this stuff even in the game at this point?

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4 minutes ago, Magnus said:

 

I never understood people's complaints about the combat in the previous two games - more combat would have added some much-needed variety to Shadow. And the game isn't even designed around the lack of combat - you spend sooo much time scavenging for resources, but the resources serve no purpose when there's no combat! If I don't need to craft more arrows or medipacks or whatever, why am I picking up all these sticks? I was literally just doing it for the sake of trophies. So much fun! Oh, and you can level up, which is great, except that most of the upgrades you can choose center around combat or resource gathering! Why is any of this stuff even in the game at this point?

This is such a good point. As I mentioned earlier I do think the balance is off in this game in terms of exploring vs fighting and your point highlights this. I'm pretty much at the end of the game now and the fact that I have only upgraded my bow and not really spent many skill points, other than what was needed for trophies, just furthers your point.

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The last section of the game is stunning. The visuals and music gave off a real Temple of Doom vibe. Loved it!

With that area complete and the boss defeated the game is now complete. The boss was a push over. I just used the perk that slows down time while you aim and he was a sitting duck. :D

The game isn't a bad one by any means, there are a few great set pieces scattered throughout and the visuals are a setup from Rise, it's just that the game needed more to it than just exploring. It's the third game in the new trilogy but, despite having the better narrative, it feels worse than the games that came before it.

I'm not sure if I'm going to bother going for the platinum. It means I would need to mop up all of the collectibles and then do another play through but on the hardest difficulty. It could be something I pick away at but I may take a break from it for a while. After playing 2 Tomb Raider games back to back I think I'm now all raided out.

 

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I actually thought this game had the weakest story in the trilogy overall, although it's not like any of them hold a candle to, say Uncharted.

Spoiler

Although I did like the ending - predictable though it may have been. In general, I really liked Lara in these games.

However, my favorite part comes while you're making your way to the final boss: the remaining heads of Trinity all show up in a helicopter, only to immediately get killed off in a fiery explosion. It was so ridiculous I would have thought it was intentionally stupid, if the games didn't take themselves so seriously.

 

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