Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tomb Raider Preview SDCC 2012

I remember first seeing the trailer for Tomb Raider at E3 last year. Lara's dirty clothes, wounded body, and all the impending danger made this look like a true remastering of the classic Tomb Raider we know and love. It looked like Uncharted, but more intense. I got to play the game at Comic Con this year, and the game seems to be coming along well. Here's the full demo video:

Tomb Raider really delivered on the gameplay. It was smooth, had good conveyance, and felt like I was in geniuine danger at times. Though there was not much combat in this, I got a sense for how it would work when I shot the deer and it felt good. Very simple, exactly what it needed to be with none of the frills that other games sometimes like to place on archery. Climbing objects felt good. It was definitely slower than Assassin's Creed, but felt a little more real as Lara's wounded and exhausted in the jungle and doing the things she's doing in the demo are pretty incredible for a real person.

I said earlier that this game looked like a more intense Uncharted. Unfortunately the demo also showed me it borrowed from Metal Gear Solid 4 with its gameplay to video ratio. Just by watching the video, you can tell when I'm playing and when the cinematics take over and just how much movie there is in this demo. I had multiple instances in which I wasn't sure if I should put down the controller since the demo was over and showing me a final cutscene or not, and I was sucked out of the game's world often by cinematics. Even in the beginning, I walked forward, stopped for a cut scene showing the boat, walked to the plane and jumped off, another cut scene, walk a bit more, more cutscenes. I'm playing this game because of the possibilities it has as an action adventure title, not the ease of transition it would have into being a movie.

I was planning on purchasing this game on day 1 before I played this demo, and quite frankly now I'd rather rent it. Perhaps the demo has a misleading amount of cinematics, but if that's how the whole game is going to be, I'd rather not support more cinema-games, especially when they're not billed as such. Perhaps someone should send the Tomb Raider people some reviews on MGS4 and warn them.
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