2. Rise of the Tomb Raider - 2015
Game World -
General Facts -
- Rise of the Tomb Raider was released on the 10th of March 2015.
- It is an action-adventure video game developed by Crystal Dynamics.
- Rise of the tomb raider is a sequel to Tomb Raider (released in 2013)
This games storyline follows Lara Croft as she ventures into Siberia in search of the legendary city of Kitezh, whilst also battling a paramilitary
organisation called ‘the trinity’.
The game is presented from a third-person perspective and primarily focuses on survival and combat. The player aslo gets to explore different
landscapes and tombs in her search.
- Terrain – The terrain of the game changes throughout. There is a mixture of caves, water filled areas, forests, mountains. There is also the
added factor of the different weather climates. In some areas of the game it will be snowy and icy, extremely hot and torrential rain. All of
these different environments help to expand the skills of the player as they become more aware of what is capable within the game. The
different climates also keep the game exciting and new as the player is constantly having to deal with new challenges.
- Architecture – Due to the change in terrain there is also a change in the architecture. The architecture in the game can range from trees and
bushes to crumbling buildings and decaying shipwrecks. Changing up the architecture much like the terrain helps to keep the viewers
interested and excited for what else will come up in the game.
- Object – The objects within the game are constantly changing as the player needs new weapons and supplies to help with their journey.
These objects can be long-term or short-term, for example a torch made of fire may be needed for a small bit of exploring in the dark but it
would not then be kept for future use, whereas a bow and arrow is constantly useful and needed throughout their journey.
3. Feedback Interface –
Feedback Interface is when the game physically interacts with the player. Players can buy chairs, steering wheels and lights to bring the game to
life more realistically using the senses. However the most common feedback interface is in the actual console the players use to play the game
within. For example, when falling and then landing the console would vibrate to match the movement happening in the game. This game uses
feedback Interface throughout the game, it particularly is effective when your running away from enemy's as the visuals, sound and touch senses
are all on alert, making you feel the urgency to escape. This helps the players to not only visualize but to also feel what is happening with the
game, helping them to immerse themselves in the game even more.
Rise of the Tomb Raiders is played from the perspective of third person. Meaning you are watching your character and not seeing through their
eyes. There are other perspectives that can be used in games, these include:
2D Graphics – Flat Images, 2 Dimensional Axis – Up and Down, Left and Right.
3D Graphics – 3 Dimensional Axis
Third Person – You can see your character
First Person – You see through your characters eyes
Side Scrolling – When playing the game everything moves to the side to create movement for example, Flappy Bird
Ariel View – You see the game from above
Context Sensitive – You can make decisions which affect the outcome of the game
Context sensitive –
Context sensitive is when the player can make decisions that will actively influence the games journey. For instance a non-playable character
could be there with the option to speak to them, this could help the outcome of the game but it could also hinder it. Rise of the Tomb Raiders
use this when your character is travelling throughout the game. Certain objects will become available to pick up which will become useful later
on in the game.
Cut Scenes –
Cut Scenes are non-interactive videos that appear throughout the game using traditional moving image. They are there to add to or to tell the
central storyline. In the tomb raider they are definitely needed as a guide as without them the player would be confused as to what they're
actually supposed to be doing.
Name given to the on-screen representation of the player. Avatar is a character, vehicle, object that is controlled by the player.
There are two main types. Single Player, these allow only one player and Multiplayer, these allow more than one player to play the same game at
the same time, either competitive or co-operative.
The narrative of the game refers to the storyline behind the game, e.g. in Pokémon the narrative is to catch them all and defeat the elite 4,
however not all games need a narrative to make sense
4. Game Setting
The game setting refers to when and where the game is set. A lot of the time this is easy to figure out as you can tell through looking at the
game, however some games, such as Snake there is not a time or location established.
Goals within a game that the player should complete for example, defeat the enemy
Something a player is awarded with on completion of tasks within the game. Such as, Trophies, Achievements, Unlockables, Cheats
Rules of a game
Rules/parameters of story/character/game, these can often not be broken. Modding however allows you to break these rules through accessing
the games code
Most games allow different difficulties to be applied. This works very effectively as having just one level would not suit the broad range of
skills different players possess.
A collection of in game items
- How a players achieved goals are visualised
- Data regarding player actions (kills, wins, headshots etc.)
Games have win conditions such as, defeat an enemy, collect an item etc.
In order to ensure that games don’t get exploited, most games are balanced. This involves a programmer adjusting aspects of a game to ensure
nothing is exploited.
There are four main artistic styles used within games; Photorealism, Cel-Shading, Abstraction, Exaggeration.
Photorealism - Graphics that reflect (or attempt to reflect) the real world.
Cel-Shading - A graphic that tries to make 3D images appear 2D/Cartoon-like
Abstraction - Abstract games are often this way due to technological restrictions of the time. This style is now mostly employed by Indie
Exaggeration - Exaggerated graphics that imitate the real world but heighten certain aspects
There are 2 main types of pixel art; 2D sprites, 3D isometric sprites
2D sprites - A pixel art 2D asset (image, animation, character, object)
3D isometric sprites - 3D isometric sprites are 2D graphics that give the impression of depth and being “3D”
Concept art is the drawings/sketches/paintings that are used as reference to create a video games’ art style and assets
These are graphics that are used to populate the game world with scenery and backgrounds
In Game Interface
An in game interface is how the game informs you about aspects of gameplay visually on screen.
This often takes the form of a Heads Up Display (HUD).
In the Tomb Raider 2015 edition one of the main objectives the creators had was to bring the audio up to
the same level as the visuals. This meant making the sound experience immersive and realistic as possible.
Below is a screenshot from an interview I found with the lead Audio specialist, I thin in it he perfectly
describes what was attempted with the games audio.
6. Playable Characters – There are a rage of characters in Tomb Raider, all of them have a purpose whether big or small. Some are
there to guide Lara Croft through her journey, some are there to hinder her and some are there to keep to game looking realistic.
Lara Croft – The most recognised character from the Tomb Raider series. Lara Croft is the character that the player will play as she is the main
character. Her image has changed dramatically from when the first Tomb Raider was released in 1996. As the images below display the first
images of her are very disproportionate and overall very unrealistic. You can clearly see how the creators have been perfecting her image
throughout the years. She has gradually become more proportionate and more realistic looking. This helps the player to fully immerse
themselves in the game as it looks more realistic so it is harder to distinguish from real life and make-believe.
7. Non-Playable Characters – There are new characters introduced into Rise of the Tomb Raiders, none of them are playable
but all help to add to the storyline.
8. Box Art
Box art is the images/graphics used to represent the game in a physical format. This is called box
art as these are the graphics used on the boxes/cases in which games are sold.
Examples of Rise of the Tomb Raider
box art. One interesting thing I saw
when looking into these, was that
the Xbox box art was a lot more
detailed and of obvious higher
quality compared to the PS4 box art
which was a lot more simplifies and
lacking in detail.
9. Video Game Addiction
Video game addiction put simply is the excessive or compulsive use of video games that
interferes with a persons everyday life. It has recently been decided that video game
addiction will be classed and treated as a mental health condition by the World Health
Symptoms to look out for include
• impaired control over gaming (frequency, intensity, duration)
• increased priority given to gaming
• continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences
Despite it now being officially classed as a mental health condition there is still confusion
over whether the treatment should be medicalised. Some parents get confused with simply
enthusiastic players and children with the condition. Dr Richard Graham says ask yourself
this, "Is the addiction taking up neurological real-estate, dominating thinking and
preoccupation?”. If the answers are yes it would be a good idea to check it out on a deeper
Jane Wakefield. (2018). Gaming addiction classified as disorder by WHO. Available:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42541404. Last accessed 8th March 2018.