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Tomb Raider: Underworld - Stonking Great Tits!

UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the WindWAHOO!Registered User regular
edited June 2009 in Games and Technology
TombRaiderUnderworld.jpg

What is Tomb Raider: Underworld?

Tomb Raider: Underworld is the true sequel, story-wise, to Tomb Raider: Legend, after a one-off stint in remaking the original Tomb Raider with Tomb Raider: Anniversary. It hits on November 18, 2008 for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PC, mobile phone, N-Gage, NES and Saturn.

Lara Croft? Tomb Raider? Who cares anymore? I thought this series died on PS2.
Well...it kinda did there for a while. After five near-identical games spread across the PlayStation, PC and Saturn, Core Design tried to breathe some life into their flailing franchise on the PlayStation 2 with Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. The problem was, of course, that it didn't feel like a Tomb Raider game. Containing hardly any tombs and being damn-near impossible to control, The Angel of Darkness did not sell well, and was universally panned by critics.

So what the hell happened after that?
Eidos, not wanting to see their key franchise die, put the franchise into the more-able hands of Crystal Dynamics, developers of the Legacy of Kain series, Gex, and 102 Dalmatians: Puppies to the Rescue. Taking cues from several sources (the first two Tomb Raiders for setting, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time for controls, Metal Gear Solid for the constant radio chatter), the team spit out Tomb Raider: Legend back in early 2006, to pretty-good (8.0 to 8.5 or so) critical acclaim and even better sales. Touting the best controls in the series, a likable cast, interesting puzzles and levels, and the best (though far from perfect) gunplay in the series, it seemed like Tomb Raider was back.

And then the wait.
And herein lies the rub. While it's good that Crystal Dynamics is taking their time and not running the series into the ground with a new iteration every year, the wait has been long and tortuous. I got Tomb Raider: Anniversary to help sate my thirsts, and it is indeed a solid remake, but there are a few things from Legend that I missed. No industrial settings to be found anywhere (no need to confine the entire series to tombs, it's okay to mix it up a little...). No radio banter between you and your teammates. A camera that somehow seemed a lot wonkier than the one Legend had. All I had to go on was this pre-release screenshot that they let out loooong ago:

TRUnderworld.jpg

So what's to get excited about this time around?
Glad you asked. For fans of Legend and Anniversary, plenty. The promise of a new Tomb Raider with similar gameplay is enough, but for the next-gen iterations (Xbox 360, PS3, PC), the game was built on an entirely new engine made specifically for Underworld. It looks so damn good it's crazy, and animations are more convincing than ever.

Story-wise, it's a direct continuation of the story in Legend, which is neat as it's a series first. The old TR games all had a place in their timeline, but outside of seeing the Dagger of Xian in Lara Croft's manor, none of them really made any mention of each other. This time, you're out to fight FUCKING THOR.


Actually, that might not be true, but trailers indicate that the item you're looking for in this game is indeed Mjolnir, Thor's hammer, and given this series' past fantasy-enabling tendencies coupled with the fact that you fight a fucking Kraken in this one, maybe you'll fight Thor or something. Who knows. But a cool bonus? Rumors seem to indicate that not only will Legend's story influence this one, but events in Anniversary do as well. Hmm...

Gameplay-wise, this new chapter includes something called Player-Tailoring. Since I'm not great with words, I'll let this Softpedia article take it from here:
Softpedia wrote:
Tomb Raider: Underworld will most likely manage to create another Lara Croft starring game that captures the player’s mind just as the original release.

One of the most interesting features of the game will be the fact that it will have “Player Tailoring”, which basically means that the gamer will have the ability to choose which features of the game he wants to emphasize.

Eric Lindstrom, who is a creative director at Crystal Dynamics, the developer of the game, says that the new feature is “not about difficulty. It's about people having different ideas about what they want exploration and discovery to be”. In an interview with Gamasutra, he also points out how the new system will work in the game.

If you like the action and platforming part of Tomb Raider, then you can tell the game to make Lara auto solve some of the in-game puzzles, those that seem to be too hard. If you love the puzzles, you can instruct the game to offer less powerful enemies so that you can focus on the part of the game that you enjoy most.

You can't turn off combat completely because, as Lindstrom says, “those punctuation points are important for the overall pacing”. The ability to customize your playing experience is pretty much a logical extension of the customization options that games have been offering for a long time now. After all, a game like Tomb Raider: Underworld, that is part platformer, part shooter and part puzzler, cannot completely satisfy all the fans out there; thus, the developers decided to make it so that the player can create the experience he wants. It could prove a huge selling point for the game if the system really works.

Underworld is currently in development and no clear release date is available. As more details surface, we'll bring them to you.

Obligatory Video Section!

European Commercial
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWG3-eeamR8

The trailer that makes me all giddy for the gameplay and story
http://www.gametrailers.com/player/38462.html

My intent on creating this thread is to get the hype train rolling. There are so many high-profile releases coming out right now that Tomb Raider Underworld will undoubtedly get lost in the shuffle. This is to help make people aware so that, even if they don't sink the cash for it now, they hopefully will after the holiday rush!

Big thanks to Lunker for linking that European commercial to me.

UnbreakableVow on
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Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
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Posts

  • edited November 2008
    i have a super-boner for this game, i'll tell you what

  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    picture1ja4.png

    I feel so bad that I'm not getting this at release; I rarely do the Vote With Your Wallet thing anymore but I put so much time and love into Legend and, to a lesser extent, Anniversary that I really want to see Underworld do well. And I hated Tomb Raider prior to Legend.

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  • DarkPrimusDarkPrimus IT'S DARE! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I simply can't get this immediately when it comes out, but the demo was mostly fantastic... combat felt a bit wonky because I couldn't melee the tigers worth shit despite commercials showing Lara going all Kung-Fu on them.

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    Gamertag: PrimusD | Rock Band DLC | GW:OttW - arrcd | WLD - Thortar
  • Doc HollidayDoc Holliday Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    So... what is this "Tomb Raider"? Is it like Uncharted?


    I kid I kid... sorta. I've never played a Tomb Raider game, but I loved Uncharted. Is this for me?

    PSN & Live: buckwilson
  • Shady3011Shady3011 they cant troll you if there dead Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
  • NerfThatManNerfThatMan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    So... what is this "Tomb Raider"? Is it like Uncharted?


    I kid I kid... sorta. I've never played a Tomb Raider game, but I loved Uncharted. Is this for me?

    I would say most likely yes.

    It depends on which part of Uncharted you liked best, in my opinion. If you liked the ruins as a backdrop to the action, and found the whole Indiana Jones feel fun, then yeah, definitely.

    PSN: corporateshill
  • RandomEngyRandomEngy Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I played the demo and the thing that turned me off the most was having to fight the camera a lot. In just the short time of playing the demo I got several very unhelpful camera views, and found that it was always forced the camera to a certain angle, like the game didn't expect you to want to look around with the mouse while you're running about.

    This is in contrast with Anniversary, which I thought was excellent.

    Profile -> Signature Settings -> Hide signatures always. Then you don't have to read this worthless text anymore.
  • projectmayhemprojectmayhem Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I played the demo and well, I jumped in the water and couldn't figure out where to go. Mostly my fault, but still annoying. I also feel that after playing Uncharted it just won't be as good as I thought the last one was.

  • NuzakNuzak Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    bongi wrote: »
    i have a super-boner for this game, i'll tell you what

    stop trying to copy me

  • edited November 2008
    i don't even know who you are

  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Zhu-Li, do the thing! Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    There's no plagiarism. He's just another random person who chooses to forgo capitalization and grammar, not to mention appearing intelligent.

    3DS: 0344-9335-6762
  • NuzakNuzak Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    bongi wrote: »
    i don't even know who you are

    because you are too busy trying to steal my life

  • edited November 2008
    it's good to see you still have your searing wit, cloudeagle

  • AuburnTigerAuburnTiger Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Thanks for the series info at the beginning, it is much appreciated. I may actually hunt down Legend now, should be rather inexpensive now.

  • GyralGyral Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I have a Love/Hate relationship with the series. Loved the first game, then second was pretty good. The third? Yeah, fuck this is getting bullshit hard. After that, I stopped buying them until THAT game. You know... Angel of Darkness, aka Holy Shit This Game Sucks.

    Then Legend came out and I was pleased. Not nearly enough tomb raiding, but it was fun. Played Anniversary like a nostalgic doof.

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  • XtarathXtarath Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Man, all the Gex games were awesome.

    Oh yeah, tombs, raiders good stuff.

  • templewulftemplewulf Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Xtarath wrote: »
    Man, all the [strike]Gex[/strike] Legacy of Kain games were awesome.

    Oh yeah, tombs, raiders good stuff.

    Fuck yeah! Nothing beats time-traveling vampires except time-traveling vampries with swishy Anne Rice dialog voiced by Simon Templeton.

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  • Seta 3000Seta 3000 Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    This looks pretty good

    sounds as if the crazy chick with wings that I hardly remember is in this, also

  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'd be all over this if I had a system I could play Legend on... seeing as this is a direct sequel and continuation.

    Stupid PS3 with its non-BC. Stupid Wii with its no port of Legend.

    3DS Friend Code: 0817-5033-8184 // Nintendo Network ID: AbsoluteZero
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I'd be all over this if I had a system I could play Legend on... seeing as this is a direct sequel and continuation.

    Stupid PS3 with its non-BC. Stupid Wii with its no port of Legend.

    Psst ... there's a GameCube version of Legend.

    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Lunker wrote: »
    I'd be all over this if I had a system I could play Legend on... seeing as this is a direct sequel and continuation.

    Stupid PS3 with its non-BC. Stupid Wii with its no port of Legend.

    Psst ... there's a GameCube version of Legend.

    Zuh? Guess I missed it. Still, a Wii port would have been awesome with IR control for aiming (I think they did that for Anniversary, though I haven't played it on Wii on account of I played it on PS2 and the game was too puzzley for me).

    3DS Friend Code: 0817-5033-8184 // Nintendo Network ID: AbsoluteZero
  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Lunker wrote: »
    I'd be all over this if I had a system I could play Legend on... seeing as this is a direct sequel and continuation.

    Stupid PS3 with its non-BC. Stupid Wii with its no port of Legend.

    Psst ... there's a GameCube version of Legend.

    Zuh? Guess I missed it. Still, a Wii port would have been awesome with IR control for aiming (I think they did that for Anniversary, though I haven't played it on Wii on account of I played it on PS2 and the game was too puzzley for me).
    The wii controls in TR:A are mind numbingly god-awful, avoid it at all costs. They gun play is ridiculously loose and difficult to control, and they try to make up for not having a right stick by having you hold the C button and move the pointer to the edge of the screen to rotate the camera. It's even worse than it sounds, trust me. Or Eurogamer.


    Plus, the graphics are lifted directly from the PS2 version, seemingly with additional bugs and glitches thrown in for good measure.

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  • brynstarbrynstar Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Nice OP! I really enjoyed Legend and thought Anniversary was solid, if a little lacking in character.

    I would love to buy this at launch, but sadly I'm still buried in a pile of awesome. I'll probably pick it up around the first of next year.

    Xbox Live: Xander51
    PSN ID : Xander51 Steam ID : Xander51
  • NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action Still AwesomeRegistered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Anyone else do what I did and buy the DLC of Anniversary for Legend?

    Of course, I still to actually, you know, play them. I just finished Tokyo in Legend and... haven't even started Anniversary.

    newSig.jpg
  • BakerIsBoredBakerIsBored Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I think this game is looking pretty good. Probably wait to read several reviews and after thoughts from the community to see how this plays out. Looks like at least a rental.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Shady3011 wrote: »
    Damn. I wish we got this Fan Pack.

    http://www.ebgames.com.au/PS3/product.cfm?ID=13378

    That's...a lot of cool stuff, but not an extra $120 cool.

    As for the series as a whole, I'm a total slut for it. I love Tomb Raiders 1-5 with a passion, recognize that 6 (Angel of Darkness) is terrible but still have a soft spot for it, and 7 stole the series for me. Anniversary was a nice little diversion, though I wish they had spent that time on Underworld and getting it out sooner so that it wouldn't hit this holiday rush.

    I'm guessing they did this because I have the sneaking feeling that Jacqueline Natla will be in Underworld (this may be confirmed but I don't want to be spoiled).

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • DourinDourin Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Darlan wrote: »
    Lunker wrote: »
    I'd be all over this if I had a system I could play Legend on... seeing as this is a direct sequel and continuation.

    Stupid PS3 with its non-BC. Stupid Wii with its no port of Legend.

    Psst ... there's a GameCube version of Legend.

    Zuh? Guess I missed it. Still, a Wii port would have been awesome with IR control for aiming (I think they did that for Anniversary, though I haven't played it on Wii on account of I played it on PS2 and the game was too puzzley for me).
    The wii controls in TR:A are mind numbingly god-awful, avoid it at all costs. They gun play is ridiculously loose and difficult to control, and they try to make up for not having a right stick by having you hold the C button and move the pointer to the edge of the screen to rotate the camera. It's even worse than it sounds, trust me. Or Eurogamer.


    Plus, the graphics are lifted directly from the PS2 version, seemingly with additional bugs and glitches thrown in for good measure.

    Actually, I'll have to disagree wholeheartedly with you. The Wii version of TR:A is excellent as far as I'm concerned. Sure, the graphics aren't 360 quality, but the controls are much better than you claim. I would say to give the game a try if you are interested in the Wii version. I would at least rent it and decide from yourself rather than go off his, or my, opinions of the game.

  • SilkyNumNutsSilkyNumNuts Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I really can't justify this. Legend was kinda a cool first entry in a revamped series, but really, anniversary took a step back, and underworld, the demo at least, feels like more of the same.

    It's not smooth, and she doesn't do what you want smoothly. therefore this is an instant no go. It's sad.

  • RotamRotam Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I enjoyed Legend but never played Anniversary.

    I should really get around to doing that.

  • SilkyNumNutsSilkyNumNuts Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Rotam wrote: »
    I enjoyed Legend but never played Anniversary.

    I should really get around to doing that.

    I wouldn't. Really wouldn't.

  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I would. Really would.

    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • SilkyNumNutsSilkyNumNuts Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Nuking the disc from orbit is the only way to be sure.

  • CherrnCherrn Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Have you ever been mistaken for a man?

    All creature will die and all the things will be broken. That's the law of samurai.
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I really can't justify this. Legend was kinda a cool first entry in a revamped series, but really, anniversary took a step back, and underworld, the demo at least, feels like more of the same.

    This is the part where I look at Gears 2 in your sig and chuckle.

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • MMANMMAN Registered User
    edited November 2008
    Cherrn wrote: »
    I would. Really would.

    This.

    Current review scores for Underworld:

    Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 8/10
    NeoPlus Poland: 9/10
    PSM Italy: 8.5/10
    Play3 Germany: 9/10
    GamePro Germany: 8.5/10
    360 UK: 8.5/10
    GameReactor: 8/10

  • NorfairNorfair Registered User
    edited November 2008
    I used to enjoy the Tomb Raider games; the first two were pretty good for their time (although the graphics and tank controls haven't aged well). Legend got me interested in the series again, and I'm really excited about this one.

    Also, this thread is making me want to play Soul Reaver again.

  • AbsoluteZeroAbsoluteZero Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MMAN wrote: »
    Cherrn wrote: »
    I would. Really would.

    This.

    Current review scores for Underworld:

    Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 8/10
    NeoPlus Poland: 9/10
    PSM Italy: 8.5/10
    Play3 Germany: 9/10
    GamePro Germany: 8.5/10
    360 UK: 8.5/10
    GameReactor: 8/10

    Pretty well in line with Legend, then.

    3DS Friend Code: 0817-5033-8184 // Nintendo Network ID: AbsoluteZero
  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    MMAN wrote: »
    Cherrn wrote: »
    I would. Really would.

    This.

    Current review scores for Underworld:

    Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 8/10
    NeoPlus Poland: 9/10
    PSM Italy: 8.5/10
    Play3 Germany: 9/10
    GamePro Germany: 8.5/10
    360 UK: 8.5/10
    GameReactor: 8/10

    Pretty well in line with Legend, then.

    And Anniversary.

    That's good though, I'm more than fine with a solid 8.0 series.

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
  • FawstFawst The road to awe.Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    I've had the demo for this pretty much since it came out, but I only just got around to playing it last night.

    WOW.

    That is one of the few times I've played a demo where I said to myself "I need to own this." I think... I think I might actually wait, though. I haven't played Legend, only the demo. My wife liked the demo, but got frustrated at one of the big puzzles. I think it's time to pick that up and play it with her, since I've been hogging the TV with Dead Space, lately.

    But yah... Underworld is good times. There are a couple of minor issues with it, such as the camera when you're hanging from something. I don't understand why you can't rotate the camera a full 360 degrees. It makes those leap of faith moments kinda annoying. I like that they made her "graceful" lifts onto a ledge quicker. Still kinda hot in an immature way, but at least it isn't like "spend 10 seconds watching me extend my body!" And finally, combat. Oh, god, why did they have to make it so that it's damn near impossible to not get hit?? Those tigers... man. I love the headshot mechanic, very cool, but also very touchy. It kind of works when it wants to, and only when it wants to (and that's when I have a full adrenaline meter). But when it DOES work, very cool mechanic.

    And yes, this game is gorgeous. When I first started playing, I thought to myself "THIS is the 'wow' factor that Uncharted was going for with its visuals."

    All in all, this demo did what it needed to do: it made me want to go out and buy it immediately because it left me wanting more as soon as it ended.

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  • UnbreakableVowUnbreakableVow Klonoa of the Wind WAHOO!Registered User regular
    edited November 2008
    Fawst wrote: »
    And yes, this game is gorgeous. When I first started playing, I thought to myself "THIS is the 'wow' factor that Uncharted was going for with its visuals."

    Whoa, what? How did Uncharted not "wow" you?

    Over a year later and I do believe Uncharted is still the best-looking game on the market.

    BwQ9Ecd.jpg?1
    Magya! | Sometimes I stream PS4 games here | PSN: UnbreakableVow
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