Tomb Raider Trailer

I got my Xbox One earlier this year, and one of the free games I was able to download for it was Rise of the Tomb Raider. I remember the old video games, which I played with friends a lot as a child but this was the first Tomb Raider game I played in the post PS2 era. The story was somewhat generic but actually offered some interesting developments and the gameplay was great, making the game a lot of fun. Unfortunately, the gameplay experience was somewhat ruined by a known glitch trapping me in one stage of the game, leaving the options of quitting or starting over. I refused to start over. Although my memories of the game are somewhat tainted it still managed to make me more excited for this film.

If the general buzz proves anything, it is that Tomb Raider fans are just as attached to Angelina Jolie as Croft as horror fans are attached to Tim Curry as Pennywise. Yes, Vikander’s boobs are smaller and she has a slimmer figure. Why? Because this version of Croft is based on the recent video game, not the old games with plentiful polygon boobs.

Boobs do not define the character. I can’t believe I have to say that.

We know Croft’s father disappeared and that she has now found his clues that lead to an ancient city. Actually an ancient city is not specifically referenced in the trailer, but if the movie is following the game roughly then an ancient city might be the goal. An organization called Trinity seeks to beat Croft to her goal. Now, I definitely can’t say that any criticism of this trailer is unjustified.

A lot of the plot elements seem cliched so far, and I don’t remember them being AS generic in the video game. As I remember there was no location called the “Devil’s Sea”. Dialogue like “The fate of humanity is now in your hands” definitely doesn’t help. We have slo-mo shots and weak CGI in a lot of places. I always hope the CGI will look better by the time a film is released, but I have hoped in vain many times. Let’s not forget the slo-mo jump across a long gap, which no longer dazzles like it used to. Since this is just a trailer, I am hoping some of the more interesting plot elements from the game still make their way in, such as Croft’s allegiance with a Native community that Trinity invades.

I almost forgot about the stigma of video game films, which is why I avoided listening to other people’s thoughts before writing my own. I didn’t want to let the “Academy Award Winner Alicia Vikander” title impress me, since plenty of great actors end up taking roles in horrible films or even television shows. Remember Forest Whitaker’s short lived stint with Criminal Minds: Suspect Behaviour? However, I have to say that the rest of the cast does interest me. Walton Goggins is a stand out in just about any movie or tv show he touches, with roles ranging from Sheriff Chris Mannix in Hateful Eight to Venus Van Dam in Sons of Anarchy. We have Daniel Wu, who is a BAMF in Into the Badlands, along with his fellow co-star Nick Frost.

Pictured above: Daniel Wu being a BAMF.

The cast itself actually excited me more than any of the intended eye candy. As fans, we always hope that the cast is a sign of something: material that was too great to be rejected. However, we’re not that naive anymore. Actors will take big roles in bad movies for the paycheque or the exposure. I’m not sure if I will see this film in theatres but I will definitely see it for the cast it offers. We have yet to get a great video game movie, but I hope that this can be a decent one.

What are your thoughts on the new Tomb Raider adaptation?

Arkham Knight

Hello everyone,

Aside from comics, tv, and movies I am also a gamer, which helps to bring more diversity to my geeky repertoire. I wouldn’t say that I spend most of my free time playing and I purposely try not to. However, I do enjoy playing a few hours a week. Some of my favourite series include Halo and the Arkham games. I completed the story mode of Halo 5 and before I delved into the online play, I decided to finally start Arkham Knight.

I played Arkham City when that first came out in 2011 and I have been hooked on the series since. Arkham Origins was somewhat forgettable but still an enjoyable game. I did also like the fact that it added online challenge modes, where you could actually compete in real-time with other players. The only online options for Arkham City allowed your score on challenges to be ranked with that of other players.

I am only about 10% of the way through the story so far, not to mention all of the riddle challenges and trophies. However, there was one aspect of the game that I love and hate at the same time. After looking up my issue online it seems like a lot of people feel the same way. Getting to drive the batmobile is a great new feature, at least in theory. It offers something new to the gameplay while also giving players access to Batman’s full arsenal. The design is amazing and while the controls take a big of getting used to, riding in the batmobile can be a great experience. The only problem is that the batmobile isn’t only a cool side feature, it is an essential part of gameplay for many levels so far. Whether it is riddler challenges or puzzles in the main story, the batmobile is crucial. At times, the action/adventure game becomes a racing game for long stretches at a time. If you don’t like racing games, that’s just too bad.

Gameplay with the batmobile can get repetitive at times since its combat offers more limited options than Batman’s. There are three main weapons/ tools and that’s about it, compared to the myriad combination of gadgets and fighting techniques that Batman offers. There are entire levels or checkpoints that involve the batmobile taking on unmanned tanks. These entire levels will be the same combo of dodging and shooting. Those who don’t like shooting games, probably won’t like these parts. Of course there is nothing wrong with the game incorporating elements from numerous genres, but it does represent a pretty fundamental shift from the previous three games, which all focused on stealth or combat modes. Those who have become accustomed to this by now could very well be thrown off completely by the change. There is one level where the batmobile has to take on tanks and a helicopter at the same time. You must then eliminated about seven hostiles while trying to dodge a barrage of missiles.

After failing for the fifth time, I looked up a walkthrough for this part online and the comments reveal the same level of frustration I had. One person even said that they returned the game since they couldn’t get past this part to enjoy the rest. Of course, I didn’t do that. I was able to beat the level after a few more tries, using some tips I found online. However, I think a big part of why people might be so frustrated or willing to quit is because of the change in playing style that they might not have anticipated. Although we might want variation in stories, certain genres of games have conventions that many people might want a game to follow. If Halo 5 introduced more puzzles, people might be thrown off by that.

I’m still enjoying the game and I look forward to playing more, but I can’t help but think the combat sequences with the batmobile will only get more repetitive as the game goes on.