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Hands On: Tomb Raider Multiplayer

Death from above.

Let’s get the important stuff out of the way first: you can relax, Lara’s first venture into multiplayer is rather good fun. I had a couple of hours with the game but I was limited to just one map, two game modes and characters with the lowest experience levels – so consider this a ‘first impression’ rather than a thorough prodding.

The eight player map was small enough not to get lost in but had plenty of opportunities for ambushes and sneak attacks. Large parts of the play area consist of wooden towers and shacks which can be used to gain a height advantage on the enemy, the downside being that cover atop a tower is rather scarce. Further pathways can be opened up by destroying certain walls or panels and there are tunnels, zip lines and ropes to use (or in my case plummet to my death from).


Year of the Bow: Redux.
There are the obligatory red barrels to shoot which provide exceptionally pleasing explosions that can fling the enemy high into the sky and traps can be set to capture opponents.

These include a noose that hoists enemies into the air and leaves them dangling, trying to free themselves whilst you can nip out from your nearby hiding place and leisurely murderise them.  You can also booby trap ammo dumps, a personal favourite, and shoot out supporting beams and drop piles of rocks on heads.

The weapons selection is pretty standard with plenty of options to upgrade and personalise your weapon load-outs. I can’t say for certain but I didn’t see any sign of my two pet hates in multiplayer – rocket launchers and sniper rifles. Instead you get bows and with a small amount of practice it’s easy to become an unstoppable killing machine with just a couple of bits of wood.

Each level also had two ‘super weapons’, an enhanced bow and a minigun. The minigun is particularly fun to use and the highlight of the hands on was when I found it, stood on the highest tower and took out most of the opposing force in a hail of death. There are also elements you cannot control: whilst playing a sandstorm may occur reducing your visibility to almost nothing, for example.

We played Team Death Match first, each game lasts around fifteen minutes and it is exactly the same as every other Team Death Match you have played, however the second mode offered something slightly different. Unfortunately I cannot remember the name of the mode (it’s rather difficult to take notes when being attacked) so let’s call it Doris.

In Doris the Survivors must locate five med kits and deliver them to a safe zone whilst the Scavengers must stop them from doing so and register twenty kills. The Survivors have to work as a team, if the team member holding the med kit is attacked then they drop it and have to run back to pick it up, so providing cover is essential.


Lobbies aren't the most exciting thing but you'll get familiar with them.
You may be thinking that twenty kills is a rather low number to win a game but Doris has a twist. One you have ‘killed’ a Survivor then they will fall to the ground and break out their pistol.

To complete the kill you must make you way to the downed player and perform a brutal melee attack with a climbing axe to finish the job.

As the enemy is still armed then they still have an opportunity to take you out and their team mates can also stop by and revive them back into the game.

The mode seems to be exceptionally well balanced and most matches were neck and neck to the bitter end.

I should point out the melee moves in this mode are particularly brutal and I found this rather shocking the first time I managed to, excuse the pun, execute one. I suppose it’s rather hard to kill someone with a climbing axe in a nice way but the splashes of blood were a stark reminder that this is not the family friendly Tomb Raider we used to know.

Since the announcement of the multiplayer component many have expected it be rather like Uncharted. To be honest I have barely played the Uncharted multiplayer as I found it twitchy, fiddly and rather underpowered but in comparison Tomb Raider feels bigger, louder and smoother.  

The couple of hours I had with the game were excellent fun and, unlike many franchises that tack on multiplayer just to get DLC sales, this seems to be a solid, well thought out addition.

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10 Comments
  1. LTG Davey
    andUandU
    Since: Aug 2008

    Hmmm, interesting. Seems like the total opposite to Xbox360achievements overview of it. Really looking forward to the MP in this game (I’ve missed that Uncharted style gameplay) so there is hope yet it seems :)

    Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 16:44.
    • LTG Davey
      andUandU
      Since: Aug 2008

      Oh, something I have been wondering: does the game feature a cover system at all, ala Uncharted?

      Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 16:53.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Just had a read of Xbox360achievements preview and disagree with pretty much all of it. As I mentioned our games were very, very evenly matched and it was down to the last death on pretty much each game we played.

        Also bitching about the frame rate of pre-release code is silly, at one point when I was playing it dopped down to near 10fps but that was just once and it’s pre-release code. It’s never going to be released running at that speed so why mention it?

        There no cover system that I saw, even if there was it would be pointless, you can’t stay still as you will become an easy target.

        Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 17:00.
      • LTG Davey
        andUandU
        Since: Aug 2008

        Super, thanks :) Looking forward to giving it a try. Shame they didn’t do a short beta to give people a taster.

        Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 17:04.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        the XboxAchievementalists has got me very annoyed. It’s quite obvious they didnt go in to the game with an open mind.

        Have to go punch some kittens now. GRR.

        I can only tell you what I thought, and I enjoyed it, and judging by the cheers and laughs from everyone else I played against, they did as well.

        Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 17:09.
  2. Sweetums
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    I love Uncharted so have been looking forward to this and it’s good to hear that the multi-player is shaping up well :)

    Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 19:10.
  3. bowie
    Member
    Since: Jan 2012

    Tuffcub, could you please describe the progression/unlock mechanic a bit more? I assume the mutli-player isn’t class based (otherwise you would have mentioned it).

    Comment posted on 22/01/2013 at 22:41.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      No it’s not classed based, there about twelve character per side to unlock thoug. It works on XP, as you level up you unlock new characters and new weapons and you can spend poitns on additional bobbins for weapons, silencers, that kind of thing., as well perks to increase health It’s pretty much identical to the system in Killzone 3.

      Comment posted on 23/01/2013 at 08:00.
      • bowie
        Member
        Since: Jan 2012

        Thanks.

        Comment posted on 25/01/2013 at 02:31.
  4. freezebug2
    Member
    Since: Dec 2008

    Sounds great and probably a worthy addition to the usual single player campaign, but for me personally only a co-op mode campaign added would be of any interest in a game like this.

    Comment posted on 23/01/2013 at 10:36.

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