15 September, 2013

Tomb Raider, The Walking Dead

written by Blain Newport on Sunday, 15 September 2013

Tomb Raider (3 of 5)

I feel a bit bad giving Tomb Raider a low score.  It's got art.  It's got spectacle.  I saw a gazillion gals cosplaying the Lara Croft depicted in this game at PAX, so I know it's resonating with a lot of women. But it never really grabbed me.  A fair amount of the time it feels like the game is beating the hell out Lara for no good reason.

I heard that the makers wanted to make the player feel protective of Lara.  But I think that's missing the point of what games are.  Plus it leads to suspension of disbelief breaking tableaus like this.

Don't click on it if you're squeamish.

Otherwise it's a game.  You shoot some guys.  You move on.  Repeat until credits.  The moving on is supposed to be made more interesting because it involves more daring types of traversal.

But because these are mostly automatic actions, they felt like killing time until the next fight or cut scene, neither of which were interesting enough for me to feel they needed to be "earned".

The Walking Dead

Replaying the whole thing to rebuild my save file, there were interesting bits.  I heard some dialog that changed my perception of some of the characters and might have changed the choices I'd made the first time.  But I also found that keeping my mouth shut was the best way to move the game along.  When I finished replaying the main game and tried playing the 400 Days "bridge" episode to the upcoming sequel, it felt like the best way to play the game was generally not to play it.

Combine that with the fact that I know that my choices will only make cosmetic changes to the outcome of the story, and I'm finding myself indifferent.  I feel like I've seen enough dumb people make enough dumb choices in that universe.  It's the same reason I never watched Caprica. :P

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