I rushed this for busy reasons. Going over it when I have more time.
I have been awaiting the debut of the new Syria trailer for the forthcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider game due out in November 2015. In the opening, Lara is riding in a jeep through the arid land of Syria on a mission to find the Tomb of the Prophet. Everything is proceeding as planned until she learns that her driver spilled the beans to someone that paid better than she. Trinity’s helicopter is seen hovering and passing by them on the road. If you have read the latest Tomb Raider Novel: The Ten Thousand Imortals, you will know what Trinity is. Just know for now I will call them the run of the mill bad guys in the story. That becomes clear soon. Her driver is killed by a shot from the helicopter and their vehicle crashes. Lara then finds herself at odds with survival yet again when she slides down a rocky slope and finally appends her plunge for only a moment by her ice axe. Which I will point out is mostly used for ice and snow. I have never seen an ice axe used the way Lara uses them when she leaves the icey enviroments. They are climbing axes, however, for ice climbing, and though you may be able to manage using them on rocks with cracks in them to hook into, or perhaps pound them into dirt slopes, they are meant for use on ice and snow enviroments. The adze part of the axe is used to cut steps into the ice or some snow, the pick is for gripping the ice and hitting grip holes into ice walls to allow for scaling ice walls etc … In the unusual sequence from the trailer her axe grabbed onto the lip of the rock surface she slides down dragging her axe across it only to fail and drop her below to a most unrealistic drop.
Lara appears a bit mechanical in many areas of this trailer. I feel the scenery is beautiful, and it is some of the best graphics I have seen in gaming. However, where I find the line of reality slim is in her movement, and the situations she tackles. Perhaps it is because of my own experiences with gear, and environments through adventurous situations I have found myself in. Who knows, but she seems a bit unrealistic in my opinion. The dialogue could be far better as well. She does not get excited enough. For example when she stands in front of the beautiful ruin after running a gauntlet of traps, and nearly drowning, she expresses her interest and wish her father could have seen it.”We made it dad.” However, it feels like more expression could have been utilised. Not only that, the Lara I used to know from all of the preceding games (reboot not included), would have used the word “father” not “dad”. That was something that took me out of the entire scene at that point. It pulled me away from the initial excitement distracting me from her discovery and on to questioning her word usage. Back to the expression of excitement: I am judging it from my personal perspective, for if me, I would have been crying with excitement, especially if my father would have been over the moon about the discovery as well, but he was not alive to enjoy the moment with me.
All in all the gameplay looked good. The environments looked good. There were some elements from older games such as the water flooding the room and Lara needing to raise the level of the water in order to proceed. Lara looks different. Her hair is darker, at least that is the way she appears on my screen. Maybe it is a computer thing, There are some little issues here and there, about her look, but Lara changes a bit from time to time anyway. That is not anything major. It looks like the environment Lara finds herself in are going to be more interactive, and that is a good thing. That means more exploring. That equals more fun. Although, I am a big fan of the tomb sequences and puzzle play, so I am hoping for more of that type of action. After all, it is a Tomb Raider game, and that should entail tombs and exploration. the crime element is still there, however, that was always a factor for Lara. She was always running into enemies. It comes with what she does.
Of course this is a video game, and the situations she finds will not be reality, nor like it in many ways, but with all the work put forward to make it feel as real as possible, I suppose I am looking for far more than they can produce. I really did enjoy the trailer, and I feel I would not be as critical about it if it were a lousy attempt. It was lovely and I anticipate this game with much excitement.
Oh, and one last thought about this game:
After seeing the cross symbol at the end, my mind has gone wild with the endless possibilities this could represent. The directions they could take this plot, the characters they could introduce, the antiquities they can bring into play making it all so much more fascinating. Of course, that would call for far more tomb exploration segments. That is what I long for, to be honest, not the gory shoot out axe splitting scenes. I thought I would inject this into this piece. I am busy so I have little time to devote to everything I wish to write. Read on …
So for your further enjoyment, I have taken the time to make screenshots from the Syria trailer with captions that will explain each scene. Blow by blow coverage, so make sure you read each screenshot! Happy reading / viewing!