Monday, March 23, 2015

Interactive Friction: Tomb Raider (2013): Episode 4: No One Shops At Radioshack...

In this episode, we remember Radioshack for a brief moment, further reminding ourselves of its irrelevancy. It's so irrelevant, that Chrome's built-in spell check thinks it's a typo.

For the record, Tomb Raider is the very first game I've ever played that used automatic cover. Personally, this game sold me on the mechanic. I'd like to see more games used a feature like this in the future. As somebody who has played many cover-based shooters and action-adventure games in the vein of Uncharted, I think that there could be many uses. In those games, I often find the cover mechanics to be a little sticky. With automatic cover, I could imagine adding a new sense of mobility to a lot of games, as we see in a number of sections in this game.

On that topic, we mention Uncharted a lot in this episode, and the comparisons for this game is unavoidable. In the way that Naughty Dog took much inspiration from the old Tomb Raider games when making Uncharted, Crystal Dynamics took a large amount of inspiration from Uncharted when making the new Tomb Raider reboot. Still, even though they both have the same sense of style, there are enough differences, both big and small, between the two franchises to give them their own flavors.

Lastly, I cannot take credit for "What do they eat?" That's something I took from Shamus Young after watching a lot of Spoiler Warning, another Let's Play series that you might enjoy. Generally speaking, it is a good question to ask in order to see how much a writer has fleshed out their world. If the explanations for how people acquire resources stretch credulity, then the odds are that the game world in question wasn't thought out very well. There are always exceptions to rules like this, but it can be a reasonable barometer.

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