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Shadow of the Tomb Raider


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Played 2 hours of this so far and have got through the Prologue/tutorial section pretty much - the section which Journo's played through during the tutorial.


So far I'm incredibly impressed with it I have to say, way more than I was with RotTR and probably around the same as TR 2013 - although admittedly my memory of that is a little hazy by now.


The first thing I noticed was how goddamn gorgeous this game looks, this is the first game in the series that I've not played in 720p/900p at 30 on consoles and goddamn what a different experience playing on PC - granted it will still look pretty great in almost 4K 30 on Xbox X but at 1440p/60 with everything set to Ultra boy does it shine ?.  I thought RotTR had a distinctly last-gen look to it and here whilst there's still a few rough looking textures here and there the whole engine and graphics as a whole looks much improved. I think the lighting is the most impressive though, going through caves, water and a small Mexican town, the way everything was lit was just astonishingly beautiful.


It's a shame that so much of the early story has already been revealed by previews and trailers, but the beginning is pretty spectacular. You start out after the shit has hit the fan then go back before it hit the fan to find out what the hell went on (although I knew this already thanks to previews). And it's pretty damn fantastic, lots of slow exposition through a beautiful Mexican town where you can just take in the scenery, music and vibe of the place as you slowly make your way through and investigate followed by some light tutorial stuff and a tomb (yes an actual tomb this early!) which was great fun followed by a nice light puzzle room. After this things go bananas in a typically TR kind of way and lots of mad shit happens which involves you gunning down lots of dudes and running away from collapsing buildings/mountains.


I just like the somewhat slow build up this time around, it feels a bit more organic in some ways than having you thrown in at the deep end for the 3rd time in 3 games and let's you appreciate the bombast when it does come all the more. The things they do with the characters already has me way more intrigued than I was for the entirety of RotTR which helps an awful lot too I just hope it continues to bring home the drama. 


I guess in terms of mechanics, controls and gunplay you know what to expect if you played the previous two games, although I will say I think the new rappel manoeuvre and the way you can now stalk enemies from shrubbery-covered walls is really cool and feels such a good fit for the Jungle environs. 


I have had some technical issues though. The photo mode is borked for me, everytime I access it the camera does a weird juddery motion and then as soon as I quit the mode everything is ok again, I have also had some huge framerate dips when hanging from ledges which is odd as its been a solid 60 everywhere else so I've had to turn off a few of the superfluous graphical effects and that seems to of remedied it.


But yeah, so far I'm way more impressed than I expected to be with it and I can't wait to dig into it again tomorrow night.


Some pics:
























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Yeah, so far so good... I've put maybe 5 or 6 hours in today (Missus is out?). It's more of the same but I'm more than alright with that.



It is a lovely looking game, I'd say it's pretty apparent that it's not been held back by last gen this time. I've just reached Kuwaq Yaku (like that means anything to anyone) and there's been a surprising lack of combat so far compared to the other two games.


I'm enjoying the chemistry between Lara and Jonah, there's a surprisingly realistic friendship there and some of the little looks Lara shoots him are really on point, although...


He is so checking out her ass here...


I will say that the opening hasn't grabbed me quite as much as Rise did so far but there's a long way to go yet.





I fucking love photo mode nowadays...

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Still can’t use the photo mode, it bugs out and goes bananas for me still ? I’ve just been relying on the good ol’ Steam screenshot button for my pics.


I played some more again last night (still only 4 or so hours in total) and it has continued to impress. I’m not exactly sure what it is but it just feels so different and more refreshing compared to RotTR in so many ways. The opening, Lara’s motivations and character just seen so much more personable, less grandiose and obnoxious than RotTR and she feels like a real vulnerable human being again.


It almost feels like Crystal Dynamics made Lara more of an action hero caricature in RotTR compared to the vulnerable young explorer in TR 2013, like after making her a more accomplished hunter/killer/survivor in that game they didn’t really know where to take her character arc so just settled on some generic action hero shit.


Whereas in this Eidos Montreal dialled that all back and focused on making her this vulnerable character with flaws again and a strong focus on stopping Trinity no matter the collateral damage of where she is and those around her.


The relationship between her and Jonah which I barely remember in RotTR or TR 2013 has already showed some great emotional potential, there was a scene around a campfire I experienced last night and it was so unexpectedly emotional I just wasn’t ready for it at all, a very good sign for the rest of the game.


Now things have opened up a bit the gameplay loop has become a bit more familiar and I do feel at times like I’m playing my second GoW game of the year ? but it’s just so compelling and all the metroidvania type elements within this small opening area get you wanting to explore every nook and cranny and collecting every last object you can find dotted about.


The graphics have continued to astound way more than I expected too, some of the river, forest and jungle areas I explored yesterday were jaw droppingly beautiful. 


I honestly didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I have been after RotTR but I’ve been so pleasantly surprised by it, more pics to come later tonight.


This is a proper spoiler:








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When I booted the game it gave me some of my old costumes from previous games (from having old saves I guess) one of which is the survivor costume from the 2013 game... 


2013 Lara...


I can't believe how much they changed her face, admittedly it's been a while since I played the first game but still...


2018 Lara...


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Played another 4 hours earlier, 8 hours total.


Really couldn't get enough! Had to force myself off of it, it really is incredible and such a genuine surprise after RotTR, I'm so incredibly pleased the franchise got a chance at a fresh perspective after CD's two games as it feels so refreshing and nuanced after CD's two games with the franchise. It just feels like almost all my criticisms of RotTR (particularly the first half of the game) have been directly addressed in this and they've pretty much made the exact same changes I would've done.


It just very much feels like the Uncharted 4 of the franchise compared to the bombast of TR 2013 and RotTR, less combat, less action, nuanced and with a restrained more organic setting and story, with a focus on setting and character building over crazy action sequences. I swear even the character performances and writing are markedly improved from what I remember of the last game, some of the emotional depth and range to Lara and from her voice actress I just don't remember at all in RotTR and it is just so nice to see. It is just really nice to care about Lara again instead of rolling your eyes on occasions about some of the throwaway statements she made throughout the last game.


The setting and level design so far has taken things back to TR 2013 as well, there's no humongous hub area devoid of life like RotTR (yet) and instead you have a nicely interconnected series of nooks, crannies, crevices, caves and crevices to explore that just makes the whole world feel so believable and makes you want to explore and find all the collectibles and artefacts dotted about even more. 


The first hub area you come to feels so teaming with life as well, it's this beautiful village in the middle of the Jungle where people are milling about going about their everyday lives and getting on with their chores and jobs in this isolated place. There's tons of backstory to pick up on, conversations to eavesdrop on and tall tales to investigate. Everything just feels so organic and natural, nothing is placed strangely or feels 'gamey' it feels like a real natural isolated village in Peru. I was having an absolute whale of a time just walking round and taking in the scenery, watching birds fly about and fish swimming in the rivers.


I'm rather besotted with it at the moment and I can't wait to play more. Also I finally got photo mode working :D so lots more pics below.



This is a proper spoiler:

















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I'm really surprised you're enjoying this as much as you seem to be @Blakey, I honestly don't think it's much of a departure from Rise at all (apart from the lack of combat, so far)...


I played another couple of hours today, didn't get a hell of a lot done though to be honest as I've just reached Paititi, and it's a fucking massive hub area so everything pretty much ground to a halt while I ran around trying to find hidden stuff and side missions in the area, called it a day at the entrance to hidden tomb in the area.







The game really is gorgeous to look at, unfortunately thought trying to play two story driven games side by side is probably going to harm my enjoyment of both so I think I'm gonna put this on hold until I've clocked Spider-Man.


Careful of spoilers please @Blakey.?

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I'm really surprised myself to be honest @Nag I thought I'd enjoy it as I enjoyed the previous two but I think I've just bought into the world that much more compared to RotTR. Siberia felt like game playground with those huge open areas that just felt very gamey whereas the Jungle environs is this feel really believable and authentic.


The emphasis on stealth compared to the bombast of RotTR helps too but I think the tone and feel are markedly improved as well. As for spoilers, I'm always very careful (spoilered two pics already) and you're way further in than me so there's no chance of me spoiling anything for you anyway :) 


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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The worlds luckiest/unluckiest mass murdering bitch is back.


Ive put in maybe three hours I think. It helps that I really like these games as I’m happy for more of the same. Which is lucky cos it’s exactly that.


I shall reiterate the general consensus on its beauty - it looks fucking amazing. Also, I’ve always liked Lara’s voice acting throughout the reboot, old what’s her face really suits the character. 


However, it’s messy, obviously rushed for release despite a 7 gig download when you put the disc in. You clip in to walls and your feet sink in to floors. Her hair looks like a wig sometimes. I’ve floated on the spot after a jump a few times, button prompts haven’t worked and I’ve witnessed some truly random NPC action.


I ignore all that shit though, I just like playing the game innit.



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2 hours ago, illdog said:

Example of jank: floating shadow man with cool shoes.



  Reveal hidden contents



I put it in spoilers because the photo might be huge, not because it spoils owt.


Can I order a picture of her hair looking like a wig please?

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16 hours ago, illdog said:

However, it’s messy, obviously rushed for release despite a 7 gig download when you put the disc in. 


Pretty certain that's the X patch not a bog standard day one patch... Although it could have that thrown in for good measure too I suppose.

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I haven't had any graphical issues either I have to say but I have had quite a few frame rate drops from 60 as it looks so incredibly beautiful on all Ultra settings with HBAO+ and the volumetric lighting on it struggles even with my rig. I did worry a bit when I kept getting massive slowdown at times when downloading something in the background on Steam though but I just restarted the game and everything was ok again.


I got to the second hub area last night and wowee it blew my tits off, cannot wait to dig in and explore in a minute.


Took some more pics too:








Actual (very mild) location spoilers:




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I've got my Lara Croft loving Tomb Raider mojo back...?


I've got to admit (even though the game is stunning) my first two sessions with this hasn't grabbed me as much as I would've liked, that changed yesterday, something clicked and I remembered why I hold Rise and 2013 in such high regard, I think this will end up joining them.


I decided to move out of Paititi today and move the story forward and although I didn't actually get that much further the thrill of just exploring such a beautiful game world kind've took over... I'll admit I'd still like a bit more combat but the swinging, jumping and climbing in this, for me at least, is in a league of its own. 



Think I left off in this cave complex area where it seems like I'm being stalked by something, it was actually a little freaky...


Lara likes to keep this handy...


For close encounters...

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On 18/09/2018 at 17:25, retroed said:

Only 16% in on the X but I've had zero glitches so far.


15 hours in and I’ve had tons. Lara fell for a good minute today. Problem is I was standing on the ground. The only way I could get out of it was by dying.


Also, I was doing a side mission earlier and someone hit me with a sword. It was a downward stroke yet I was catapulted upward at a ridiculous speed.


This game is brilliant though, the side missions whilst just fetch type quests are a nice aside from the main story which I’m also enjoying and actually following for once.


Is it me or is the way forward less telegraphed than it used to be? On more than one occasion I’ve had no idea which way to go whilst climbing.

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