Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Tomb Raider Legend


PC version

PC
- Played about 1 hour, PC version
- Good gamepad support, it actually works better with my cordless logitech than the x360 controller.
- To be next gen you have to have sweat. Well, Lara doesn't sweat; She glistens after getting out of the water.
- Check point save system. You can save at anytime but it always starts you back at the last check point. So far they seem quite frequent.
- 1600X1200 all options on including vsync except AA. It runs at a solid 30fps. I think it's framerate locked because it never fluctuates when vsync is ON. When I turn vsync OFF then I get around 45 fps. Dropping to 1024X768 I get 75+ all the time. I don't see any noticeable tearing with vysnc OFF so I'm going to leave it that way. Overall the environments look a bit better, water looks very nice, Lara looks great, enemies are ok. The graphics didn't blow me away but they did look good and crisp.
- No more rigid grid style of movement/world manipulation. It feels very similar to Prince of Persia and that is a good thing. Full use of havok's physics makes the puzzles more interesting. You have this new binocular that allows you to scan items in the room to give you an idea what they do (mechanical, movable). Basically it helps you find the hot spots required to solve puzzles. Pushing blocks around are a bit of a pain since I can't figure out how to strafe. In fact it seems the only time I can strafe is when using my guns. There's a cool LED light clipped to your strap. Also, you get a grappling line you can toss out and pull certain objects or let you swing great distances.
- Camera works ok for the most part but takes some fiddling with to line up those rope jumps.
- If you run setup you'll notice a next generation checkbox. I've read it requires shader 3.0 support. Unfortunately I'm running it on an ati x800xl which doesn't support shader 3.0 so it's disabled. I've read it looks great but kills the framerate.

So far I'm enjoying it. It definitely feels more like a true sequel to the original Tomb Raider than the last several installments of the series.

X360
I just finished the X360 demo. For some reason wet Lara doesn't look as wet on X360 (more stained if you ask me). I was expecting more. Lighting seems to be a bit better. Environment maybe a bit better. Water looks better to me. The framerate is much worse (though still playable). The funny thing is I had mapped my logitech controllers almost exactly like the x360 controller.

UPDATE 5/7/2006 PC Next Gen Content
I'm right at 50% done with the game and I'm really enjoying it.

I enabled next gen content with my new 7900gt. patched to latest v1.3. I also had to update video drivers to latest beta to reduce some of the hitching/pauses that happen when you enable next gen content. It looks a lot better but framerate goes down from about 150 to around 30fps at 1600X1200. Resolution doesn't seem to make much difference in framerate when next gen is checked.


Next gen ONNext gen OFF


some more next gen shots:



some things I've noticed:
- you don't see the joints as much (more polys, or just better textures and shaders?)
- and the hair looks a bit better
- shadows and lighting are completely different and looks more natural
- and of course shader 3.0 stuff on everything

it looks a lot more different than I expected with next gen checked.

UPDATE 7/29/06
Finished!
8:34
- definitely sets it up for a sequel

This is probably my favorite tomb raider next to the first one.
Great game.

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