Finished! Now my opinion on Underworld

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Finished! Now my opinion on Underworld

Postby Blín D'ñero » 01 Dec 2008, 11:30

Great things:
  • Greatly improved engine
  • Improved main menu
  • 'Helper buttons' can be disabled
  • "Player Tailoring"
  • Much more, and excellent physical moves
  • Moves are incredibly well done and seamlessly adjusting to the objects/structures involved
  • A great variety in climbing / jumping / swinging / somersaulting sideways upways down and reverse your way over poles, stones, structures
  • truely naturally behaving animals (except for the 'au' squeeking spiders i guess) like the sharks, the birds and the convincingly attacking tigers
  • Breathtaking beautifull lively environment
  • the ancient Thailand artwork has an absolutely genuine quality
  • More ways to reach the same spot
  • Corpses stay! (the tigers, bats and the dragons, not the spiders and birds)
  • Many attacking bats and creeping insects to kill
  • Great music and environmental sound
  • Swimming down/up simply by mouse direction
  • shooting underwater, and while standing on a pole
  • Lara isn't the characterless hollywood bimbo or synthetic parisian catwalk model she looked like in some prerelease screenshots
  • Lara shows great variety of facial expressions
  • Many new idle moves
  • No more messed up shoulderjoints on Lara, body looks good from every angle in every position
  • No headphone contact with HQ! Only a few briefings via laptop
  • Great HUD style
  • Very good puzzles
  • No interactive cutscenes!
  • No rediculous bossfights!

There's also to whine about some less great things:
  • Invisible blockades to many spots, which looks stupid, and narrows the path to go. For instance: the fallen tree before the second group of tigers; why can't Lara walk over the tree? There are way too many inaccessible spots and invisible blocks.
    Besides this there are also quite a few really stupid invisible blocks that don't seem intended; obviously bugs.
  • "G - Q - H" for a "headshot? There's no time for that when tigers attack. Quit that nonsense, give me Alt = zoom at all times.
  • They haven't gotten rid of the lame Amanda character
  • The camera having its own will (or not always able to follow) is disturbing. Also Lara tends to focus her head in useless directions: entering the big temple over the poles, when balancing Lara keeps turning her head looking back to the previous pole as if i forgot something but i haven't. Since the camera tends to follow her eyes, it is a little annoying.
    Camera doesn't always stay still where you leave it (when making a screenprint) unless you manually force (and keep) it by the mouse. Unpractical. A camera with an own will?
  • The 'Norse culture' style the Thor statues and everything down in Helheim look like some sort of 'Nazi' fantasy architecture and sculpture, extremely ugly, very bad and poor design.
  • Using Mozart's Requiem is a cheap theatrical trick. Tomb Raider alwaysn had its own typical Tomb Raider music to be proud of.
  • combat with humans is the weakest aspect, the ai has no intelligence whatsoever
  • The gunfights in both the big ship levels, boring and annoying, exchanging 100's of bullets.. more so the second, luckily you can avoid it by just running passed the guys and you won't ever meet them again.
    Btw, the ship isn't moving on the waves at all, which is rediculous considering Lara's own little ship dances on the waves like it should.
  • Unreliable checkpoint system... like Helheim at beginning of level with the toxic water pool just before Natla, the incredibly annoying thralls and yeti that are a boring waste of time to kill. And when you've finally done them there's no immediate checkpoint created. So if you then fall in the water you have to kill them again.
  • Forelast level with circular toxic pool and the towers around, how the yeti clones keep respawning however much of them i kill... leave them out or come with something better, it's plain stupid; this sort of cheap crap almost ruins tomb raider for me.
  • No humour.
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Re: Finished! Now my opinion on Underworld

Postby Blín D'ñero » 01 Jan 2009, 17:01

Replay value: almost none. :eh:
Mainly because of the "chapters" setup of the game. Revisiting to find the missing goodies is weird because the places are (almost) abandoned. Starting a new game at least halves the playtime because you know all the cinematics (you know the story, no surprises) that are relatively very long. What leaves is a quite short game.
Starting a New Game is a too sluggish way if all i'm interested in is replaying the few exciting parts.
In those classic TR titles there's only now and then a tiny FMV to support the story (game must have one) but it's always mainly instant action.

Of course i'll replay completely (New Game), but not very soon. This is certainly not one of those games i immediately replay and then again and then again etc...
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Re: Finished! Now my opinion on Underworld

Postby Blín D'ñero » 19 Jan 2009, 02:36

Well, i just played a bit of it again, in treasure hunt mode (i didn't feel like starting New Game all over), it is so amazingly beautiful! and i remember there were quite some good and thrilling climbing manoeuvres. What is it with this game... it's partly very good and partly annoying. Legend had that too but i was so happy with the new looks and engine Crystal came up with that it didn't bother me, i enjoyed it very much period, and it was a promising excersise.
Anniversary was again an excercise, i hated particularly the dodge move, the rediculous obligatory 'boss-fights' with creatures you had to kill following a bizarre procedure otherwise they wouldn't die.

But i forgave them because i expected Underworld to be their crown creation.

To a certain extent it is. But there are holes in it, and many of them are filled with lengthy FMVs, why!? :confused: If they wanted it to succeed commercially and tried to appeal to the broadest audience, the last thing a gamers-audience wants is a lot of FMV's. That way it was not the majestic game it could have been.
Still, it has quite some exciting sections. I mostly forgot them (been playing other games), so it might be time to replay as if it were new all over.

Btw, i found in registry a Depth of Field option to be enabled. Why wasn't it enabled by default? The game applies recommended settings so that weaker pc's would get lower configs, no? So...
Anyway.

New Game, soon. :)
Gaming PC: * Intel i7 4790K * Noctua NH-D15S * Asus Maximus VII Hero * 32 GB Corsair Dominator Platinum CMD32GX3M4A2133C9 * 2× Sapphire Radeon R9 290 Tri-X in crossfire * Dell U3010 @ 2560 x 1600 / 60Hz * Corsair AX 1200W * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Asus DRW F1ST * Corsair K95 RGB * Corsair M65 PRO RGB * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S530 * Sennheiser HD598 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC: * Intel i7 2700K @ 4.8 Ghz * Noctua NH-D15 * Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z * 32 GB Corsair Vengeance Pro CMY32GX3M4A1866C9 * Sapphire HD7970 crossfire * 3 x Dell U2410 @ Eyefinity 5760 x 1200 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 1000i * 7 x WD Black HDDs * Creative Soundblaster ZxR * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Imperator 2012 * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Edifier S730D * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *

Workhorse PC 2: * Intel i7 920 @ 3.8 Ghz * Zalman CNPS9900A LED * Asus Sabertooth x58 * 24 GB Corsair Vengeance LP 1600MHz CL9 DDR3 * Sapphire R9 280X Vapor-X * 2 x Dell U2412M @ Eyefinity 2400 x 1920 / 60Hz * Corsair HX 850W * 7 x WDC WD1002FAEX * Creative Soundblaster Z * Optiarc AD 5240S * Steelseries 7G * Razer Mamba TE * Steelseries 9HD * Coolermaster STC T01 * Logitech Z-2300 * Windows 7 Ultimate x64 *
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Blín D'ñero
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Posts: 7490
Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Location: Netherlands


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