Tuesday, 31 May 2016

500th Anniversary

It feels somehow appropriate that Tomb Raider Anniversary is my 500th completed game since I started making a note of them. It's a remake of something old that really cares about its source material, and heck, it's fun and you can't ask for more than that. A lot of the levels in the game are really iconic and recognisable from the original, whereas others were a bit more meh. They had some comparison screenshots between the old and new game as unlockable extras. Interestingly, although the new shots are undeniably more detailed and realistic, detailed and realistic don't always mean better. There's a lot more colour and style in some of the early levels that undoubtedly looks unreal for some 2000-year old ruins, but I think it's important for level designers to realise that realism isn't always the ultimate target. Everyone playing it knows it's a game, so sometimes it's best to embrace that game-ness and go for a stylistic experience rather than boring old realism. Heck, it's not as if finding medpacks and ammo stashed in sealed ancient tombs is that real anyway! Now I've got that off my chest, I did really enjoy the game. Lots of the levels were great fun to play through, and were excellent reimaginings of the source material. I liked the lack of enemies and focus on traps and environmental exploration. Strange as it may sound, I did actually miss the constant bickering of Lara's helpers over the headset that were in the previous game, so I'm looking forward to them coming back in the next one. There was one mechanic that I really didn't get on with, though - there's a new move called an adrenaline dodge, or something, where time slows down as an enemy charges at you, then you have to get your timing right to dodge out of the way and perform a headshot as you do so. It wouldn't have been so bad if it was just a bonus move that you could do to perform take down kills, but for some reason the designers decided that this one move was going to be the only thing that would work against every single one of the game's bosses. Crazy! It's a really difficult move to pull off, but you have to do it multiple times every boss fight. Why? Anyway, I managed to get through all of the boss fights with minimum swearing (that may be a lie), so it's behind me now. Next up is Tomb Raider Underworld, the last game in my TR playlist (I played the following one ages ago on the PS3, and I don't own the most recent one). Something's coming up that's going to alter the amount of play time I have after this week, though, so I won't be able to get through things as quickly as I have been. Doesn't help that Inquisitor is a really long game (I'm still in the first town) and Tomb Raiders are pretty big, too, so updates might be a bit sporadic from here on out. I'll definitely still keep it up, though. 500 down, 3642 more to go :)

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