Latest Tomb Raider Impressions Make It Sound Like You Just Press “Forward” A Lot

Tomb Raider hands ons appear to be filtering through the usual upper echelons of the gaming industry, with PC Gamer the latest elite establishment allowed to put pen to paper after a brief playtest. However, it doesn’t sound like it was a particularly enjoyable session, with the main impression being that the player just needs to press ‘forward’ a lot to make things happen.

This isn’t exactly unique in the genre these days, as gamers seem happy enough to be funneled through each level with invisible corridors and barely a semblance of choice thrown in to make it little more than an interactive movie. And the developers of Tomb Raider, with its ambitious visuals and striking ‘reboot’ ethos, probably didn’t have a huge amount of time to actually make a ‘game’ of it.


“In a chair,” says the report, “I’m pushing the thumbstick on my gamepad forward. I’ve been pushing it forward for almost all of Lara’s ascent. When she slips, I take my thumb off the controller for a second. I do this because the game makes it clear that I have no way to stop the event or assist in her righting process, and because my thumb is getting mildly numb from the effort.”

[drop2]”Three quarters of the way up, I release it again, interested to see what’ll happen to a visibly knackered Lara left to dangle. Nothing. She stays there, wedged in the rock, her superhuman core strength keeping her legs stable for – presumably – eternity.”

“I go back to pushing the thumbstick forward.”

“I’ve been pushing it forward for most of the three hours of Tomb Raider I’ve played so far,” it continues, “from Lara’s shipwreck at the opening, through her escape from local madmen down a perilously narrow and conveniently sized cave, during lengthy climbs up the side of a variety of precarious structures and rock formations.”

It doesn’t sound good, does it?

“Crystal Dynamics want players to guide Lara through adversity, to help her find her strength and will to survive. Her predicament looks harrowing, but such is the lack of meaningful interaction, she might do just fine without your help.”

Sure, I’m cherry picking the quotes from the piece, but it’s at least indicative of the tone of the article and it’s somewhat on par with other impressions I’ve read recently. Tomb Raider might end up being brilliant, but it’s evident that Square Enix are looking keenly at Uncharted, and that it’s (perhaps just in the beginning) hardly open world.



  1. Spent too much time making a pointless MP mode by the sounds of things… ;)
    Really hopes this ends up being good. It has so much potential

  2. Wow that writer sounds bored. Tomb raider would’ve been so good if it were like FarCry 3, but I think it was even obvious from the E3 demo that this game will probably be crap, just another Uncharted-like linear game, and even the uncharted series has grown a little stale…

    • Do you remember when UC came out it was being compared as a clone of TR how times have changed. But anyway how has UC become stale 1, 2 & 3 are all different 3 being less interesting but more intaractive

      • I remember it being compared to TR, in that it was what a ‘next-gen’ TR should be. Sure, Uncharted games all have something different, but after playing Among thieves and Golden Abyss I just didn’t find Drakes deception to be as fun, since it didn’t really introduce any new mechanics beyond the climbing/shooting variation. Anyway, only my opinion :)

  3. This game will FLOP LoL:D They can never beat TR1 & 2 & 3 on the PS1 :P

  4. yeah and all a CoD player does is use the damn right trigger, and then he uses the right trigger again….and again and again. Last I experienced, there was more to a game than the damn fool controller. The open world mechanic can be introduced at any time in the game. Half a dozen open world games I know of start with narrow paths (or invisible walls) in order to introduce the player.

    I think I will wait for for more substantial previews rather than a man’s observation of what his fingers are doing below him.

    • I agree. To be honest, he could have been talking about Uncharted for all I know. Unless he found a niche genre that focuses on crabs (walking sideways most of the time) I don’t think he will enjoy gaming all that much. Usually you do press forward/upward to progress through games. I wouldn’t really put that much faith in his words.

      • isn’t walking sideways all the time just Mario?

      • It’s all a matter of perspective! ;)

  5. All of the other previews I’ve read haven’t really mentioned this as an issue. Linearity and scripted sequences are frequent in games these days, the game still looks awesome from all the videos I’ve watched.

    • Bear in mind this is what made the superb Uncharted’s good.

      But then again Uncharted has excellent stories/voice acting/cinematics to back it up.

      Oh and Uncharted 4 for PS4 please :D

  6. I have no problem with linearity in games.

    I see games as another story telling medium, potentially the most immersive one there is. There just isn’t room for the best stories in loosely focused open-world games.

    For me, the story makes or breaks a game, even more than the gameplay.

    Of course, I still play racers and fighters, so story isn’t the only thing. But I’ve never played a shooter for the joy of shooting people. Always story.

    • Completely with you on that. Same reason I’m not a massive fan of action films. The foundations to most good films, tv shows and games is a solid script.

  7. I expect that must be just the beginning as they’ve been promoting it as open-world, approach any direction. It does sound a little tedious though, hopefully the visuals and storytelling will help.

  8. Sounds like it needs some QTE, ey? Who would have thought.

  9. I don’t have a problem with linear games but I do have a problem with a lack of interaction. If its simply pressing the same buttons over and over again and just watching stuff I’m not involved as much.
    Hopefully this guy just wasn’t impressed with the controls because I love what I’ve seen of this game so far.

  10. Don’t have a problem with linear games, but the original Tomb Raider games hid their linearity well, the puzzle sections were usually large open areas and could be tackled in different ways with linear corridor sections connecting them.

    Nowt so boring as going from map marker to map marker in fully open world games doing identikit tasks again & again & again.

    Be interesting to see how this TR game is handled.

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