Tomb Raider: Underworld (PC, 360, PS3, PS2, Wii, DS)

Discussion in 'Misc. and Multiplatform Games' started by uchiha_itachi, Jan 19, 2008.

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    This has a good game engine.
     
  2. BlackLantern Registered

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    I picked this up yesterday and am enjoying it so far....I do not like how Croft Manor got all explodified...one of the fun things about TR: Legend was running around the house trying to find all the crests....
     
  3. gtkilla Registered

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    I got it on Friday! I've only played up to Jan Mayen Island, but my total playtime so far is about 12 hours! :D The game has its quirks like the camera and a few animation glitches, but thankfully a patch is on the way. :up:
    This has got to be the best TR game since TR4, maybe even TR2! The levels are HUGE, there's a lot of exploring to be done, the puzzles are nice brain teasers, I found myself stumped a few times to the point where I was tempted to use the Field Assistance, but I didn't. :p The graphics are stunning. Played on a 50" 1080p plasma and it wowed me. srsly. :wow: The story is very gripping (I LOVE that Natla's back) and the cutscenes are extremely well-done. I really can't wait to reach the end of the game!!

    That's completely false. CD have already confirmed that they're extra levels, and weren't cut from the game. Besides, "Beneath the Ashes" will take place after Underworld where you'll have to explore the burnt ruins of Croft Manor, and "Lara's Shadow"...

    will have you playing as Lara's superpowered doppelganger during the events of Underworld.

    ^ I have to admit that part of the game in the manor was very intense. The cutscene was sooo cool! :cool:
     
  4. Timstuff Registered

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    I was watching the 1up show, and something they mentioned was how they think Lara's character design needs an update again. I don't know about you guys, but I tend to agree with them. Even though Lara is still fairly cool looking, her facial features still look a bit too plasticy to be believable (she still often gets compared to a Barbie doll). I think one of the big changes that CD has to embrace sooner or later is making Lara more realistic looking.

    I'm not saying I want in-game Lara to look like Angelina Jolie, because that would be corny. But think about this-- every time they roll out a new Tomb Raider game, they've always got some model going around to promote the game dressed up like Lara. Well how hard would it really be to actually model Lara's in-game face after one of them? Or some kind of collage of different models' facial features to create a unique look? Whatever the case, I think that for the next game, one of their goals should be to make Lara look like an actual person.

    In an age of this:

    [​IMG]

    and this;

    [​IMG]

    our gal Lara is starting to look kind of "last gen" by comparison.

    [​IMG]

    The Tomb Raider franchise is over 10 years old now. Isn't the world about ready for a realistic looking Lara by now?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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    Making her look more anatomicaly grounded is a design decision rather than a tech one. Almost all games are stylized to some degree. Graphically it's pretty competent. Style doesn't equal "last-gen". I personally like the new model, but yea the previous ones were kinda like a blow up sex doll but a straight up realistic approach next-gen would probably cause uncanny-valley effects although they do seem to be pushing for a more realstic approach with each illteration.


    This not an accurate representation of Drakes Fortune.the models for that particle game are stylized also just like Underworld.


    [​IMG]






    Although Metal Gear Solid uses real life models it is also stylized somewhat like most of the big-name games.


    [​IMG]

    Stylized

    [​IMG]


    Stylized

    [​IMG]

    It's subtle but this is stylized also.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Timstuff Registered

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    Yeah, it's pretty much a given that unless you're scanning someone's face there's going to be a bit of stylization to it. However, in the case of Lara Croft I think that the style has kind of become a handicap. It's easy to accept the idea that you'd see Naomi or Snake from MGS4 walking down a street, because they look believable and the stylization is very subtle. In the case of Lara though, she's still fighting against the "Barbie doll" comparison because her face is obviously out of proportion with her head. If Tomb Raider was meant to look like a cartoon, her style might work. It did work last gen, since the graphics in most games had a much more flat and cartoony quality to them. Now though, the series is at a cross road where it needs to choose between realism and style. If they don't want to change Lara's appearance, they're going to have to start rendering the graphics in a way that doesn't make her look so out of place, like in Prince of Persia or Street Fighter IV. Personally though, I'd much rather they go for realism.

    BTW, the pic of Alyx that you posted isn't exactly a very good representation of how she actually looks in the HL games.

    [​IMG]

    I'm not saying Crystal Dynamics should abandon style altogether, because that would just look odd, even considering today's technological limits. However, I do think they need to get with the times and try to make Lara seem more believable. A good character design in a realistic game can fool you into thinking they could exist outside of the game, even if parts of their face are stylized. Subtlety is the word, and Lara's design, even though it's made good progress since Crystal Dynamics took over, still has a bit further to go. The fact that Lara still doesn't look like a real woman is helping hold the series back, and it also doesn't much to abolish any stereotypes about video game women (which ironically, Lara helped create in the first place).
     
    #131 Timstuff, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
  7. Timstuff Registered

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    Normally, I hate resorting to manips to make a point, but this is an example of what I'm talking about. I took an official render of Lara Croft and changed her face's proportions to be more like a real woman's. I made her entire head smaller, made the eyes smaller and slightly closer together, made her mouth smaller and higher up from her chin, and made her nose wider. IMO the one on the left, while still stylized looks like a much more believable character than the one on the right. Feel free to disagree, but that's my opinion as a designer and artist.

    [​IMG]

    The changes I made a subtle, however I think that they might want to go with a slightly more dramatic change if they want to get people's attention. Again, I'm not saying I want Angelina Jolie's face in the game, but I think they do need a face that's realistic enough to make people notice right away that she's had a makeover. I think that the publicity models I posted pics of above, if subtly stylized like in MGS4, would be a good example of how Lara ought to look if they want to shake things up. Heck, if they actually based her face off of the game's actual spokes model, they could have an even more effective publicity tour on their hands than usual.
     
    #132 Timstuff, Dec 1, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2008
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    That's a user skin on the un-modifyed halflife 2 engine from 2004.
    Another one.

    [YT]9GoHnD8MBmw[/YT]

    Halflife 2 (2004)

    [​IMG]

    Another user skin

    [​IMG]

    Episode 2

    [​IMG]

    The one I posted in the post before is the Episode 1 version of the engine, the source engine has been upgraded with each release, halflife 2, Episode 1, The Orange Box and Left4Dead.


    I agree but I wouldn't put that down to her anatomical look or style personally... more the fact she's running around in hot-pants with a tank top and lips that could suck the paint of a golf ball. The character is suppose to represent an empowered woman or some crap like that but from first level and demo this is pretty much all I seen.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    To be fair though, in MGS4 Naomi's cleavage seems to be attemping to escape her shirt.
     
  9. Timstuff Registered

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    There's nothng wrong with Lara being a babe. The problem is that her face isn't going to fool anyone into thinking she could exist in real life. It's kind of crazy that lately the case against Lara has become the proportions of her face, even though this was a series where under Core one of the annual upgrades people came to expect was increased breast size. Having said that, Crystal Dynamics did a great job of making Lara be more believable considering what had come before them, but the job isn't finished yet.

    Basically, I don't really have a problem with the fact that Lara is supposed to be sexy, or that she wears short shorts and a tank top when she's trekking through the jungle (which when you think about it, isn't such a bad idea if your goal is to stay cool and unencumbered). I think that CD has made good progress, but the thing that still holds Lara back from being legitimately believable is that she still has such a cartoony face and big melon head.
     
  10. xwolverine2 Arkham Assassin

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    i agree cartoony face lara is getting old...

    however realistic shouldnt mean ugly.. she has to look angelic and perfect
     
  11. Balthus Dire Punishment Continues

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    I actually love the way Lara still looks. If you changed it, it wouldn't look like Lara anymore.
     
  12. Havok83 Registered

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    I kinda agree. I think she looks great in her latest game
     
  13. BlackLantern Registered

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    I like her as is....she is supposed to be a fantasy girl...they could give her a bit more of a butt though
     
  14. gtkilla Registered

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    Lara's gained iconic status with her look, she wouldn't be Lara anymore if they changed her trademark features (the big full lips, large expressive eyes, small nose, and dark arched eyebrows).

    Design-wise, she hasn't changed much from her original look.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Maybe it's because I'm a huge Lara fan, but I don't wanna see her become "averagized" like the rest of the gaming girls just for the sake of being more realistic. :O
     
  15. BlackLantern Registered

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    on the previous picture....the red arrow with the addition of "****" is classy....
     
  16. BlackLantern Registered

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    on the previous picture....the red arrow with the addition of "****" is classy....
     
  17. Timstuff Registered

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    The thing is, I don't really get why Lara can't be made to look a bit more realistic without losing the qualities we've come to associate with her. She can still have full lips and big eyes, but with more believable proportions. It would be a bit of a shock to some people at first to see Lara with a smaller head and more realistically proportioned face, but that doesn't mean she could no longer look like Lara Croft. I mean, take a look at the spokes model for Tomb Raider Legend-- she looks pretty friggin' close to the video game Lara, but she doesn't have bizarre facial proportions the way the game version of Lara does. It really all comes down to art style. Some people think it's fine the way it is. But others, like myself and a lot of the critics, think that it's due for an update. A "believable" Lara is something that has still not been attempted in a TR game, and given how many games are in the series, I don't see why they shouldn't try it at least once.
     
  18. Balthus Dire Punishment Continues

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    I wouldn't want them to even try a "believable" Lara. Tomb Raider has a stylized look, why change that? Would you make Master Chief more cartoony, or Marcus Phoenix cell shaded? No, because those games have their own specific styles, just like Tomb Raider.

    Lara Croft looks like Lara Croft. You don't need to change it and make it realistic, just make the models better while keeping the original style, which is exactly what they've been doing.
     
  19. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    I don't think Lara needs to look more realistic. The Tomb Raider games have always had a somewhat exaggerated style, starting way back when that dev blew Lara's pyramid-shaped boobs up to back-breaking size in the original game. It's just part of the game's aesthetic. Photorealism doesn't automatically equal better, which is something game designers have thankfully not forgotten yet.
     
  20. zeptron Registered

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    Aww dang it. I'm trying to collect all the treasures and relics and just when I'm near the end of Thailand I accidently walk into the room that makes Thor's hand stop working and now it prevents me from getting the relic in this level. And because the last time my dumbass saved was right at the beginning Bhogavati I have to do all that stuff over again. :csad:
     
  21. TheCorpulent1 SHAZAM!

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    First rule of gaming: save early, save often. ;)
     
  22. Havok83 Registered

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    I just finished playing through it and I have to say, I think I preferred Legend to this game
     
  23. Havok83 Registered

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  24. Jennifer Walters Attorney at Law

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    Same thing here. Lara's at a good place in her gaming life right now.
     

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