Tomb Raider: A Second Opinion

There's nothing wrong with differing opinions on video games, despite the protests of the gaming community.

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Let's be clear: I'm excited for the new Tomb Raider. When Lara's darker, grittier, and more vulnerable persona was unveiled at this year's E3, it struck a chord. Perhaps it was because I'd been burned by her more recent, less than stellar outings. Or perhaps I was simply trying to eke some kind of excitement out of an E3 press conference that, by any standards, was as dull as dishwater. Regardless of the reasons, when I saw my esteemed GameSpot colleague Laura Parker had written up her thoughts on a demo of the game, I--like many Tomb Raider fans--was very keen to read it.

And a great preview it is too, one that makes some fine points about the hype surrounding the believability of Lara's new, more vulnerable persona, or lack thereof. But it's not a preview I entirely agree with; judging by the comments on the piece, many of you didn't either. And you know what? That's a great thing. Opinion, particularly on such a subjective subject matter as games, should be celebrated.

But the sad truth is it's not. We crave reassurance that our favourite franchises are good games that are worth our time and cash, or that a new, heavily hyped IP must be the greatest thing since Mario. And god forbid anyone who dares to challenge the mighty Metacritic average and post a conflicting review score. Mediocrity, it seems, is celebrated throughout the gaming community.

Take this comment from Unstable_Fury:

"This kind of wild speculation and posturing is better suited to the more blog-centric news sites. @Lauren Parker and @Gamespot staff at larger: are you trying to be a legitimate and objective news site or a sensationalist opinion blog? This article isn't worthy of our attention because it seeks our attention (and site traffic). I see it as yet another article in a sea of articles floating around out there trying to capitalize on the controversy K*taku originally started." -- Unstable_Fury

I'm not trying to single out Unstable_Fury with that quote, but it is indicative of how the community at large reacts when an opinion that doesn't agree with its own thrown out there. For the record, no we aren't trying to be a "sensationalist opinion blog", whatever that might be. But we do celebrate opinion. We are, after all, individuals here at GameSpot. Every writer, editor, and video producer, has his or her own tastes that should be shared, and not hidden behind some generic corporate brand.

"We should disagree, and we should call each other out on our opinions, but not at the expense of our own integrity."

I could pull out other comments too, like "Sigh whats up with these terrible editors pushing their own agendas?", or--even worse--comments like "Sorry guys but how can I take an article about a videogame seriously when its done by a woman?". That's not sharing an opinion, that's just being a sexist dick. It's that kind of talk that discourages open, and constructive debate about our favourite games. We should disagree, and we should call each other out on our opinions, but not at the expense of our own integrity.

For the record, having played the same demo as Laura, I really enjoyed it. I liked the bombastic introduction where Lara ordered a hulking great ship and its crew into the unknown. I liked the subsequent crash, and encountering the crazed, bloodthirsty locals for the first time with its nods to Heart Of Darkness. I liked the grim-feeling I got when I hunted a deer, and pulled it apart to retrieve the juicy meat within for survival.

I loved the shooting, with its smooth cover-based mechanics, weighty guns, and gory aftermath that really made you think before pulling the trigger. I loved the environments, which were beautifully detailed and gorgeous to look at. But, most of all, I loved the story. I loved what Crystal Dynamics have tried to do with Lara's character by exposing her delicate beginnings in the world of archeology, and the struggle she faces in killing for survival.

Sure, from what I've played so far, Tomb Raider it isn't a perfect game--nothing is--but I'm still excited. I'm excited even having read Laura 's excellent critical preview. And that's exactly how it should be. We're all different. One man's trash is another man's treasure, after all; the sooner we embrace that, the sooner we can get back to enjoying games and articles, rather than simply bitching about them.

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Discussion

2 comments
asjflask
asjflask

One thing I still don't understand:  why was there so much hate for Angel of Darkness and Underworld?  I LOVED both of those games and would've definitely bought the rest of the titles (both were scheduled to be trilogies).  Is there a book(s) that take off where both titles left off?

asjflask
asjflask

While I like the new Tomb Raider, there are aspects that I really wish they'd get rid of:  1) QTE's, and 2) linear pathing (bring back open-world).

I hope that in the next one they allow for me to roam the entire level freely.  A challenge that I always liked in Tomb Raider was that I had to figure out where to go!  Now the answer is pretty much staring at you in the face.  The game ever faces the direction you have to go for you, or either you pull up your map and instantly can see where you need to go.  There wasn't much of a challenge when it came to solving the question, "How do I get there?  Oh wait, there's a wall I can climb...".


Also, I'd like to see more boss fights in the future.  The (not a spoiler) end boss wasn't much of a boss-fight, but more of a "regular mob with increased armor and health".


Aside from the two issues above, I'd say that Tomb Raider 2013 has turned out to be quite a success.  I love the game and would give it a 9 out of 10 rating.  If not for the QTE, I'd given it a perfect 10.  I play the PC version with a NVIDIA card and the graphics rock, despite some of the problems that some users were having (give it time and NVIDIA will fix the problem).  I didn't have any problems.  I'm running Windows 7 Pro 64-bit.

adagio_spider
adagio_spider

Ah, for some reason my comment disappeared. Wanted to add this to it, at a later edit, hopefully the old one turns out as well:

 "Oh, wanted to write about this as well, just got lost a bit in the process. If you value opinion so much, why did you even make an article complaining about ours? Not only that, but you also missed the fact that this is a professional gaming blog, and her article is better suited for a personal blog. You want to share personal opinions? Do so in your personal area. This is advertised as professional gaming news, which is why her article is taken as fact. It should be something objective, to the point. Not a rant about how she doesn't feel it lives up to her own standards. "

 On another note, it should be pointed out that you have taken Unstable_Fury's comment out of context. It has been a long discussion and your article doesn't talk about it's real subject at all. Only that people disagreed with Laura. But not why. 


Dig deeper, GameSpot.

Bayonetta2013
Bayonetta2013

Unstable_Fury is on to something. GameSpot seems to be jumping on the "hate the new TR reboot", and a second opinion article isn't going to help by trying to cover up for Laura Parker's preemptive article that, based on 2.5 hours of gameplay, was rather rash.

harmonpa
harmonpa

keep doing what you do. it's why we keep reading, after all.

Kero100
Kero100

I call this Dark knight formula very predictable nowadays :P

JohnMark320
JohnMark320

I'm glad that Crystal Dynamics has been pushing the identity of the Tomb Raider brand to be both personable and emotional. To make a gameplay icon "human" is exactly what the franchise needs.

 

My only concern is all their promos focus too much on quick-time button mashing sequences or glimpses of the storyline: have they forgotten to show how TR is going to be great "gameplay" wise? When they show the actual gameplay, it looks decent but nothing that makes me as excited as other aspects of the title.

 

Please (PLEASE) don't let this be like Resident Evil 6: overtly ambitious with mediocre execution :,( 

 

 

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

Yes there is. There are wrong opinions. Especially considering the fact that the opinions are absolutely baseless and formed with NO empirical evidence or reason whatsoever. The game isn;t out yet. No one has played it. Game media "journalists" are not real people when it comes to opinions - you say baseless shit just like the rest of us and you slander games and ruin their reputation, with the lemmings following you, in the 45 minutes you spent playing the game. Either because you were predisposed to disliking it through not actually being a gamer, not liking that genre of game, not liking that franchise/system/controller, because you just don't know what you're talking about, or the publishers told you to.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

people tend to forgot everything has consequences.people who complain and  beep  a lot will find this out someday.the net as far as i`m concerned is becoming to much of a complaining and beeping fest. to the point of where i`m not even on here as much as i use to.

SweetPandaLove
SweetPandaLove

This goes both ways...it also isn't incorrect for the gaming community to think a journalist is a complete idiot for their stance on a game.

 

Just enjoy what you enjoy.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

This article has hit it on the nail. The “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” is a phenomenal approach that has been greatly embraced by the gaming world in general and lately very much used in the professional world of game businesses all around.  It has become something like do it my way or not at all attitude and I hate it. I am foremost a buying costumer and secondly a follower and if I don’t like something I first of all don’t want to waste my money on it and secondly I will voice my doubts and criticism in the nicest possible way.  Something that seems to be a big NO NO in almost all forums I have come across so far. Talk about fanatical obsessive behaviour that brings out Neanderthal Cave Justice.  Like it or lump it doesn’t sell games.  And people telling someone that dares to express an opinion other than theirs to “deal with it” is proof as how far we maybe have fallen in the gaming world.  I like different opinions, they are fun and make us think and give the game developers something to work with. Games used to be more fun and so used to be certain forums out there. So, here’s to hoping!

 

US2WEIRDOS
US2WEIRDOS

People just like bitching.  That's really what it is more than anything.  You can post a picture of a cute little kitten and at least half the people will bitch about the way it looks, or what it's doing.  It doesn't matter what the topic is, people are just crude, rude and cynical.  They love to berate and belittle each other at every opportunity.  And being able to do it without consequence is what the internet is all about. 

Toplinkar
Toplinkar

Great article, so was  the preview was too btw.

 

Sadly I can't give my opinion on the demo because I'm not a member of the press ( yes I deply envy you bunch of lucky bastards :P ). So I'll refrain from voicing my thoughts here.

 

Personal note: For as long as people are allowed to voice their opinion, there will be debate over said opinions. We can't both freedom of speech and a peaceful enviroment. For what I've seen in human history so far, I don't believe humans are capable of getting along quite as well as we hope for. 

ogunloye
ogunloye

I love Tomb Raider, and nothing is gonna change that!

I'm convinced whatever crystal dynamics has done is for the BEST!!!

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

But i got to admit i find the new Lara's lack of huge boobs disturbing.

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

There is nothing to apologize or try to fix here. I, and i'm pretty sure a lot of other gamespot users, would prefer the truth than be hyped for a product that doesn't live up to it Peter Molyneux style. If you guys want to read what conforts you instead of the truth because you are a fan, this is the wrong place for you go back to IGN.

vivalatour
vivalatour

one lara's trash is another lara's treasure , if that makes any sense ? I think the particulars especially in the newer released games are fabulous ! I am not a designer by no means , but , most of what I've "seen" is beyond what I thought was possible from the early days and I am happy with that ! not one thing is perfect in my opinion and I don't believe ever will be !  I think this game as many other upcoming games are going to be amazing and a real pleasure to play ! Thanks you game makers you !

Cardigan1
Cardigan1

im sick and tired of people comparing TR to uncharted Nathan drake as cool as he is cant hold a candle to the icon that is Lara Croft. She was raiding tombs before nate even existed if anything uncharted (though i really like the series) was a rip off of Tomb Raider so stop comparing the two Lara could teach that wise cracking pain in the ass a few things about Archaeology.  

Unstable_Fury
Unstable_Fury

 @Grenadeh ^ Yes. I'm glad I'm not the only one that thinks Laura Parker's self-proclaimed brief time with the game isn't adequate "research". I'd also like to tack on the fact she discusses DOES NOT discuss one iota of gameplay, but devotes the entirety of her so-called "preview" to how the game fails to live up to her Academy Award(tm) expectations of story.

 

Ok I guess you can ignore my reply to your earlier post. I guess we are on the same page. 

 

 

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

 @JulyAeon A) This is America. America in 2012 is making the majority of the money off of the games, and the majority of the good games. We'll say whatever we god damn well please, even if it's defamatory. That's our right. It's not our right to be defamatory, necessarily, and people are even getting sued for internet defamation (absolutely retarded), but if your pansy tree-hugging attitude is "If you don't have anythign nice to say, don't say anything" - you're the one who shouldn't be saying anything. We founded this country through strife and argument and free discussion, so piss off if you don't like it.

 

B) Some of us are intelligent enough to WAIT until something comes out, and play it or buy it and play it, and then decide for sure if it's a terrible piece of trash *cough*RE6*cough*. It's our right as a consumer to provide our feedback and tell you your crap sucks, when it sucks. If you want to make money, you'll listen. Unfortunately, yes, the game industry is about making money. If it wasn't, Sega and ColecoVision and a lot of long-dead relics of the 80s and 90s would still be in the business. 

 

All these online game "journalists", even in print publication like GameInformer, do is intentionally skew public opinion one way or another and it's inconceivable in some circumstances that it isn't while their pockets are lined with EA/Activision/Capcom/Ubisoft money. Sites like Destructoid, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, GameSpot, IGN, and others run absolute shit articles that are often times rife with inaccuracy, controversial opinion, and flat-out misinformation. The lemmings read it and go ZOMG THIS GAME WILL BE AWEXOME! This game will SUX! I not buy it! git bak 2 teh poynt ubsoft!

 

No one is interested in anyone's opinion anymore because chances are you're either the one guy who's right, or you're completely wrong but everyone goes along with it. We come to game sites for humor and news on games. Not opinion.

asapco
asapco

 @US2WEIRDOS That is such a load of crap.  You have a lot of nerve accusing everyone of wanting to just bitch, and what the hell?!?  A friggin cat???  Seriously???  Aaaaahhhhh.... Just messin' with ya :-).  Totally agree.

Unstable_Fury
Unstable_Fury

 @US2WEIRDOS People do like bitching. It's what YOU and everybody else does on the internet. Obvious much bro?

 

The problem is that we're common folk. We're allowed to bitch. We're allowed to flame. We're allowed to troll. It's what we, the lowest common denominator, do on the internet. As you stated, so eloquently, US2WEIRDOS:"they love to berate and belittle each other at every opportunity". We're allowed to accuse each other of being fanboys or whatever vile crap we get up to because we're just anons on the internet.

 

The problem is that Mark Walton (Writer, Riff-Maker, and Purveryor of Fine Foods) is a professional journalist (of some kind I guess) and he dedicated an article on a major game news website to indulging in the "fanboy" accusation slinging that should be above a published writer's station.

 

I got a headline for ya, Mark Walton comes down to our level. Cool story, amirite bro?

super_voltron
super_voltron

 @US2WEIRDOS

 yup no one is allowed to complain, just keep your head down and accept it, take it. what your not buying the product?  thats a form of complaining.   I know thats not what your saying , but it sure sounds like it.  Not everyone complains just for the sake of "bitchin"

Unstable_Fury
Unstable_Fury

 @Toplinkar Well that's the problem there slick. It's labeled as a preview.

 

If it's a preview, you'd expect it to be written objectively and talk about relevant subjects such as story, gameplay, presentation, glitches, or something or other.

 

Problem is that it isn't a preview. It isn't a preview because it discusses only the story's shortcomings to live up to her high expectations (though the devs share the blame hyping it up so damn much) and doesn't talk about gampelay. Laura's article doesn't talk about GAMEPLAY at all.

 

If it isn't a preview I'm not sure what it is. I suspected it's just a sensationalist opinion piece. In fact that's what I accused it of being in my original comment that was quoted ^ up thar.

 

So for leaving a comment on her article saying it isn't a preview I get blown up in different article for being a "fanboy" and a "sexist".

 

Sorry broseph, have to disagree with your sentiment. It's not a great article and the "preview" sucks eggs btw.

asjflask
asjflask

@kazumashadow One great thing about the PC version:  modding!  Someone's going to mod bigger boobs and I'll be the first to download it.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

 @kazumashadow i love the way she look now her old look was not that appealing. i played it for the game play back then. and now too. but now she better to look at.

super_voltron
super_voltron

 @kazumashadow

 oh i love huge tits but these still look great, great tits are great tits regardless of the size.

Lol now that we have that out of the way. Ive been hearing a lot of complaints about lara's crys of pain sounding far to sexual.

 

Considering the old lara never actually did anything sexual.

Still it looks like a fun game.

snaketus
snaketus

 @kazumashadow They have been smaller and smaller in every game after Tomb Raider 3. Go look the cover image of the first game, they are HUUUUUUUUGE!

 

I love Tomb Raider games, always have. I want to play this new one, but I miss the old Lara too. And with old I mean the original with HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE boobs.

snaketus
snaketus

 @Cardigan1 Me too. I just wish current Tomb Raider games was anywhere near as good games as Uncharted games.

JulyAeon
JulyAeon

@Grenadeh thank you for your ....reply, you SO proofed my point.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

 @Unstable_Fury  @US2WEIRDOS You do realize that all of these "internet peons", well maybe not all but a fair portion including myself, are PROFESSIONALS right? Gaming isn't the realm of 14 year adolescent boys and girls who don't know shit about shit. Most of us have spent over 20 years playing video and PC games. We have software engineering degrees or work elsewhere in IT, we actively beta test games, we have worked on games ourselves at some point or still are doing so, we write or have written reviews for actual print publications. Your asinine categorization of everyone on the internet into one plebian class just because you imagine the internet to be some fantasy realm where reality plays no role proves that you don't even have the ground to stand on in order to make your argument. Anyone with a career and common sense would word their bullshit with slightly more stability.

 

Professionals, professional "game journalists", a ridiculous term in itself as very few of these people went to a journalism school like Edward Scripps, are no more immune to shit-flinging than anyone else. Talking about shit flinging isn't descending to the level of their audience, either - everything is fair game to write about. If you want to blame someone for not censoring something that shouldn't be censored, blame the publisher, you elitist wannabe.

ogunloye
ogunloye

 @resident_jisen some just don't realize the franchise was dying, and it needed a revival, which is what crystal has done. I believe it's one of those reasons it's called "REBORN."

asjflask
asjflask

@resident_jisen @kazumashadow Well, consider that graphics get better as technology improves.  That having been said, the Lara Crofts back then were the best looking graphics FOR THAT PERIOD.  I agree that she looks better (and will continue to do so as time goes by).  However, I still like the busty Lara Croft more so.  Something about huge-boobed heroines make the game definitely worth replaying.

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

 @resident_jisen well she does look better now, and i'm pretty sure someone is going to create a mod for bigger boobs for all the perverts out there too hahaha

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

 @super_voltron Oh they reduce the boobs but add sexual moaning? If they are going to make me look like a wanker to people who aren't seeing the game screen then at least give me some boobs to look at haha

kazumashadow
kazumashadow

 @snaketus if they keep reducing it someday it will become a deal breaker for me haha

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

 @ogunloyesad but your right i think this happens to a lot of games and franchises which why most get revamped. but no ones willing  to see it.

 or they just complain about the changes to it.not reallizing they had to do it to save it.

 

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

@asjflask first off smaller breast make it more appealing to me. and besides if you really look at lara her breast are the same size as they were in the old games it just now she has a womenly body. in the old game she was stick thin which gave you made her look like she had bigger boobs.

resident_jisen
resident_jisen

 @kazumashadow your right about that but i`m never going to use it.for one i like smaller boobs anyway.and 2 she`ll at least look like a really women natural looking.

 

ogunloye
ogunloye

 @kazumashadow 

Haha... lol. I'm just saying. And about the HUGH bOObs thing, i think i prefer the way it is now, that way i get to focus on my target.