We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.01.732.1. This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client.
New fixes in 732.1:
- Fixed an issue in Chasm Monastery where the player cannot progress after fighting the Oni. - New community requested graphics option Screen Effects to disable camera-based full screen effects like water and blood drops. - Fixed last campsite save not always updating when expected. - Various small optimizations. - Various minor UI fixes. - Minor graphics fixes.
While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, Build730.0, that can be used to switch back to the previous version. Please note however that you can only play multiplayer with people that share your version.
Unfortunately we do not yet have a resolution for the players that are experiencing crashes and major graphical corruption on NVIDIA hardware. We are still working on this with NVIDIA and hope to have an update soon.
We are planning further patches beyond this one to address various issues. We always welcome your feedback!
Square Enix have announced the resignation of their CEO, Yoichi Wada, following an earnings forecast that predicts the company will experience "extraordinary loss" this financial year. According to their consolidated results report, the company had expected to make profits of 3.5 billion yen (approx. £24.5 million) before the end of the financial year, this March 31st. That didn't happen. Instead, Square Enix is now expected to report a loss of 13 billion yen (approx. £91 million).
According to the report, "The Company forecasts that actual business results from its Digital Entertainment Segment substantially fall below its plan primarily due to slow sales of major console game titles in North American and European markets." Detailed sales breakdowns aren't available, but while some of the low earnings will be from the Japanese console-only side of the business, no doubt their Western studios, recently responsible for Hitman: Absolution, Sleeping Dogs and Tomb Raider, have also underperformed.
In addition to Wada's resignation, to be replaced by former company president Yosuke Matsuda, Square Enix are also planning a major restructure in "development policy, organizational structure, some business models, and others." What the means in real terms - especially for upcoming projects like Eidos Montreal's Thief - remains to be seen.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - firstname.lastname@example.org (Alec Meer)
It’s a bad day for Square Enix, latter-day publisher of Tomb Raider, Hitman, Deus Ex and Thief, as well as those dreary Final Fantasy things. Citing “slow sales of major console games” as well as uninspiring business from its arcade machine arm, it’s admitted that its recent monies “substantially fall below its plan” and its president Yoichi Wada has fallen on his sword as a result. (more…)
As it typically does for a major game launch, Nvidia has updated its GeForce card drivers to 314.22 for boosts in performance and stability. It claims recent titans BioShock Infinite and Tomb Raider both get a significant bump in frames-per-second, with the former increasing by 41 percent and the latter by an astonishing 71 percent.
Nvidia's article provides benchmark results and pretty green graph bars to scrutinize. Though the company's test hardware was an Intel i7-3960X and a GTX 680—a beefy setup most definitely on the high-end of priciness—Nvidia says the improvements apply to most other cards in the GTX family.
Other frame gains include an extra 30 percent for Civilization 5, 22 percent for Sniper Elite V2, and 12 percent for Sleeping Dogs. Smaller boosts are given to Batman: Arkham City, Battlefield 3, Borderlands 2, Black Ops 2, and Skyrim. Really, if you're playing nearly any graphics-heavy game from the past few years, and you're a GeForce user, pick up the drivers on the official website or through the useful GeForce Experience tool. It's green across the board.
We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.0.730.0. This patch will be applied by Steam automatically when you next start the game. If your game does not update, please restart the Steam client.
New fixes in 730.0:
• Upgraded the save slots from three to 99 • Introduced Last Campsite Save, which automatically saves your progress up to the last campsite you have visited • Added stereoscopic 3D reticle • Fixed issues with the discovery of the Unworthy campsite. • Fixed a problem that occurred when traveling back to the Sacred Hall Basecamp after that story has been completed • Fixed a playthrough stopper in Chasm Bridge • Fixed a playthrough stopper that could occur when loading a saved game created in the Coastal Forest after upgrading the axe but before opening the gate • The active selection in the main menu no longer changes due to the rotation of the menu itself • Fixed Mouse and Aim Sensitivity slider settings getting rounded to coarser values on save • Fixed a crash in multiplayer that could occur while migrating hosts • Added functionality to activate and deactivate DLC multiplayer maps during matchmaking. Maps can also be manually activated and deactivated in the new Match Making menu in the Options menu. • (DX11) Fixed a few self-shadowing artifacts in the beach • (DX11) Various performance optimizations • (DX11) Improved sunlight shadow quality • (DX11) Lens flares now render correctly in stereoscopic 3D • (DX11) Improved exclusive fullscreen <-> windowed transitions • (DX11) Fixed occasional crash on startup related to stereoscopic detection While we expect this patch to be an improvement for everyone, if you do have trouble with this patch and prefer to stay on the old version we made a Beta available on Steam, Build722.3, that can be used to switch back to the previous version. Please note however that you can only play multiplayer with people that share your version.
We are planning further patches beyond this one to address various issues that have come out of consumer feedback since the release of the game.
Well, this is unfortunate: a glitch discovered by a Canadian player makes it look like Lara Croft's tank top has gone all see-through.
The glitch was sent in by a person who goes by Recostar from S3DGamerZone. Here's his account of how the bug came to light while he was playing the game in 3D on his PC:
It was right after we died from an explosion; we kept getting strange glitches. We had been to close to a gas exhaust and shot a flame arrow beside it causing Lara to die. When we came back into the game, water, shadows and lighting looked very odd. So we kept selecting re-load last check point hoping to solve this issue. For the most part everything looked ok after several re-loads, until we went to break a valve and I noticed her tank top looked funny in the light.
When I looked closer, I could see what appeared to be 2 nipples. We zoomed in to make sure that's what they are (purely scientific lol). My only possible conclusion is that when they made Lara's damaged explosion mesh, behind her tank top they jokingly put these 2 t marks were her nipples would be on purpose. They probably never thought that a glitch would remove the tank top overlay exposing this. Also, I noticed in the video right where Lara's nipples are you can clearly see 2 huge and out of placed square pixels.
It should be noted that Kotaku hasn't been able to reproduce this glitch.
Older players amongst you will remember the nigh-indestructible rumor of a "nude code" for the original Tomb Raider. This isn't quite that. It's a long-odds software hiccup that makes the newly-redesigned look a lot less modest than her predecessor. After years of more attention being paid to Lara's breasts than to gameplay or character development, the new Tomb Raider succeeds because the game isn't all about Ms. Croft's endowment. This instance of unplanned exposures isn't quite as bad as the fully naked Heavy Rain glitch from three years ago. But still: Shame on you, explosion glitch, for trying to mess up Lara's evolution away from being a sex symbol.
If you've shot all the men, hunted all the animals, and plundered all the tombs in Tomb Raider, you may well have been hoping for a little more. A few extra sepulchres perhaps, or maybe even the odd mausoleum. Your hopes die now, I'm afraid, with the news that all future downloadable content will be focused on the game's multiplayer mode - you know, that multiplayer mode you probably haven't even tried yet. The game's global brand director Karl Stewart revealed as much in a recent Reddit AMA, stating that "All of our DLC is based around the Multiplayer experience for now."
We're still waiting for Tomb Raider's Caves & Cliffs map pack to arrive on PC - OK, so we're not waiting particularly hard - but it's a little disappointing that it won't be joined by additional single-player tombs. It's always a good thing when a game arrives complete, of course, but the tombs we did get were a bit on the small size.
It will also be disappointing - to some of us, I expect - that we won't get to see new Lara in her old outfit. Creative director Noah Hughes explained why in that AMA. "We did try to have a lot of nods to the classics in this reboot, and even her outfit itself is intended to evoke her classic outfit in a way, but is more practical for her situation." They could at least give her a downloadable coat.
Here's a trailer for Caves & Cliffs, featuring caves and cliffs.
Games go through countless changes before the developers settle on a particular style, setting and feature-set - for instance, BioShock was initially a game about a cult deprogrammer, while Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 was originally a knockabout karting game starring Jack Nicklaus and Rory McIlroy and Donkey Kong. The recent Tomb Raider reboot is no exception. In an alternate universe, we're playing a game featuring horse-riding, a child companion, oh and giant colossi that burst out of the Earth. Yep - Tomb Raider was originally Shadow of the Colossus 2, as revealed in the game's Making Of thing.
Other titbits: the game was originally subtitled Tomb Raider: Ascension, before Kratos from God of War sent Crystal Dynamics a very angry cease-and-desist letter attached to a wriggling Gorgon head. Maybe. There were also flamethrowers, more open environments, and a giant untextured carrot lurking menacingly behind a little girl. Here is proof of that awful thing:
You'll find all this and more in the video below, and in this thread over on NeoGAF. As for the Tomb Raider we eventually got, be sure to check out our review.
If you've been playing big-budget action video games over the last couple of years, you've probably noticed a few trends. The graphics have gotten better. The animations have become more lifelike. The explosions have gotten more explosive.
And more recently, amid all those improvements, has come a trend that's even more earth-shattering and important: Video games have discovered the bow and arrow.
Call it the "bowification" of video games. Far Cry 3. Crysis 3. Assassin's Creed III. Tomb Raider. In just the past six months, we've had four high profile games include a bow and arrow as a primary weapon. In an impressive bit of reverse evolution, it seems video games have finally discovered the bow and arrow, decades after they discovered the assault rifle.
All this goes along with pop culture's more general bow-obsession, with Katniss Everdeen using her archery chops to survive The Hunger Games and Brave's Merida besting each of her suitors in an archery contest, Robin Hood-style. Way to be current, video games!
A few notes: First of all, cossbows don't count. Sorry, Dishonored! I'm going to focus on four games that are pretty recent, as they represent the current height of video game bow-and-arrow design. So, I've left off games like Turok, Wii Sports Resort, and any of the Zelda games. I've also left off a few games where the bows don't really have a mechanical component to them—my bow and arrow in Guild Wars 2 operates pretty much like a gun; same thing with Diablo III or Torchlight II. I am including Skyrim, because that game is interesting and its iteration on the Elder Scrolls' bow and arrow design is cool. If there are other video game bows you think are worthy of recognition, I hope you'll mention them in the comments.
Here we go, ranked from last to first:
#5: Assassin's Creed III
How it works: Aim and fire with the Y/Triangle button.
How you cancel a shot: Press B/O.
How you aim: You select a target using the aiming feature, then Connor does the rest for you.
One hit? One kill with most humans, but not with animals.
Better than a gun? No, not in this case. The Assassin's Creed III bow is silent, which is good for taking out guards quietly, but in general it's inferior to the game's pistols, particularly the moment you've been spotted. Aiming and firing simply takes too long to be effective.
Upgrades: None to speak of.
Fakest thing you can do: The more I think about it, the more I think that Assassin's Creed III's bow might be the most realistic of all the video game bows on this list. Which unfortunately seems to have contributed to it being in last place.
Greatest moment: There's something to be said for hunting from the treetops in Assassin's Creed III, and the bow always felt at home in the woods.
John Rambo says: "Your worst nightmare."
Overall Opinion: The bow in Assassin's Creed III just doesn't feel very good to fire. The auto-aiming is strange and doesn't allow you to track a moving target, and as I've noted before, pressing "Y" (or triangle) to aim a weapon feels a bit like standing on your tiptoes to reach something in a high cupboard. There's a lack of satisfying impact, as well.
#4: Crysis 3
How it works: Zoom with the left trigger, pull the string back with the right. Release to fire.
How you cancel a shot: Click the right thumbstick.
How you aim: You don't actually aim along the arrow, but rather using crosshairs on your HUD combined with a green line indicating the arrow's trajectory.
One hit? One kill, provided you've got your draw-strength up for the bigger baddies.
Better than a gun? Without question. It's so much better than a gun, in fact, that it makes the guns totally pointless and throws off the balance of the game.
Upgrades: Your bow comes outfitted with all manner of special arrows, so they don't really qualify as "upgrades." But Prophet's bow can fire regular arrows, explosive arrows, thermite-tipped arrows that explode on a delay, and arrows that deliver a deadly electric shock.
Greatest moment: The sound design on the Crysis 3 bow makes up for its odd feel—the tension of the arrow combined with the thunk of impact makes it clear that this thing is really a deadly future-weapon in the guise of a bow and arrow.
Fakest thing you can do: At first I was going to say that having your arrows designed so that they'd show up on your heads-up display for gathering was unrealistic, but actually, that's exactly the sort of thing that some military weapons-designer would probably do.
John Rambo Says: "I could have killed 'em all, I could've killed you. In town you're the law, out here it's me. "
Overall Opinion: Prophet's bow in Crysis 3 is sort of a "bow in name only." Sure, it looks like a tricked-out compound bow. Yes, it fires arrows. But it's so powerful and futuristic that it's almost entirely removed from the more primal appeal of the weapon itself. Furthermore, because the bow can be fired while cloaked, it throws off the precarious balance struck by the first two Crysis games and makes Prophet overpowered.
How it works: Aim with the right trigger, release to fire. Hit the left trigger to toggle slow-mo, if you have the ability. As a demonstration, check out this TOTALLY SICK VIDEO I just shot today. I was going to grab a screenshot to show how the bow works, but I happened to fire this arrow and... yesssss.
My first thought was "I can't believe no one saw that." Then I checked the corner and saw that I'd accidentally hit the record button and captured the whole thing using Fraps. Victory! So, I thought I'd share it here. (And okay, maybe it's not actually that hard to do—it does kind of look like the bird relocated so that my arrow would hit it. But I felt pretty proud, so. Anyway.)
How you cancel a shot: Press X, a welcome addition to the Elder Scrolls series, as in the past you'd have to fire into the ground and then pick up your arrow.
How you aim: Right along the arrow, with a zoom-in if you've purchased the required perk.
One hit? Rarely one kill, unless you're up against a weak enemy or you're firing from stealth.
Better than a gun? There are no guns in Skyrim, though video game marketers seem fond of suggesting that there are several other games that satisfy that particular fan desire…
Upgrades: The most important upgrade is the ability to slow down time while aiming, which is a boon for those who play this game with a controller, in particular. However, thanks to the game's crafting system, you can upgrade your bow in all manner of other deadly ways. My Daedric bow shoots lightning arrows, for example.
Greatest moment: Picking off an entire roomful of bandits without alerting a single one. The "bang!" sound of a successful sneak attack is never less that satisfying, and it's only heightened by the goofy way the ragdoll physics can take over once they go flying. It's also fun to peg a dragon in midair with an arrow, partly because it's such a difficult trick to pull off. Unless you're me, as evidenced by that amazing video I've already talked about too much.
Fakest thing you can do: You can upgrade your bow so that it fires lightning and traps souls! God, how unrealistic.
John Rambo says: "It's in the blood! It's natural! Peace? That's an accident!"
Overall Opinion: While Skyrim's combat is generally not on par with the other games on this list, I actually like the bow and arrow a lot. It never quite has the stopping power I'd like it to when I've got a troll charging at me head-on, but when sneaking, there are few weapons in the Skyrim universe as deadly and satisfying.
#2: Far Cry 3
How it works: You aim with the left trigger and pull the string back with the right trigger.
How you cancel a shot: There isn't a consistent way, unfortunately. You can switch arrow-types if you've got an additional arrow assigned to the D-pad, but that's an unsteady workaround at best. I have memories of being able to inconsistently cancel pulled arrows, but haven't been able to recreate that in my game. If there's a way, I'm not sure what it is. Meaning that I wind up shooting my arrows into the ground and grabbing them. You got so much right, Far Cry 3!
Update: Since enough of you guys pointed out that in theory it's totally easy to cancel a shot, I thought I'd give it an even more thorough test. Looks like this issue is only on PC, or even just my PC, and it's inconsistent. I'm able to get "R" on the keyboard to cancel the shot every time, but "X" on the controller is inconsistent at best. Often it won't work at all. So, good on you for the most part, Far Cry 3—the issue isn't with your design but appears to be with your PC controller setup. Your bow is still pretty cool, though.
How you aim: You can get either a red-dot sight or a more advanced hunter's sight, which accounts for drop-off. I never quite mastered the way aiming works, but I did always use the hunter's sight, even though it was more difficult to see what was going on.
One hit? One kill.
Better than a gun? Not really. The bow is arguably better for silent takedowns, but it's hard to top a powerful silenced assault rifle or sniper rifle, particularly if you've unlocked the later weapons in the game. That said, it's certainly cooler than a gun, and holds its own.
Upgrades: You could eventually either make fire-arrows or explosive arrows. The explosive arrows were oddly underpowered, and often it took more than one to blow up a vehicle or kill a guy.
Greatest moment: Hunting actual animals, actually. Some of the most enjoyable side-missions in Far Cry 3 were the advanced bow hunts, where you'd be tasked with taking down a deadly jungle beast using only the bow and regular arrows. Usually it involved finding a good vantage point and hitting shots from far enough away that the tiger/leopard in question wouldn't be able to find you. But these sequences effectively captured the thrill of creeping through the underbrush, bow in hand.
Fakest thing you can do: Make an explosive-tipped arrow out of a hand grenade while under duress in the wild. Look, I get that Jason Brody has become something of a badass while on this adventure, but.
John Rambo says: "You know what you are... what you're made of. War is in your blood. Don't fight it. You didn't kill for your country. You killed for yourself."
Overall opinion: The bow in Far Cry 3 is a cool, empowering weapon, and easily the game's defining mode of dealing destruction. While silenced sniper rifles can generally get the same job done from a longer range, the bow itself was my weapon of choice for the majority of the game, particularly when hunting.
#1: Tomb Raider
How it works: Aim with the left trigger, pull back the string with the right trigger.
How you cancel a shot: Let go of the left trigger. Okay, hold on. This is the only game on this list to adopt this method of canceling a shot, and it deserves mention, because it's great. Initially, I was uncomfortable canceling shots this way, but only because it felt so unfamiliar. As it turns out, this is a very natural, subtly brilliant way of doing things. It's a much more accurate amalgamation of what you'd actually do if you decided you didn't want to shoot an arrow. You'd release the string.
How you aim: Down the arrow using a crosshair.
One hit? One kill, as long as you're sneaking or can score a headshot. In combat, it depends.
Better than a gun? Absolutely. The bow is a silent killer, has a ton of non-combat uses, and is wicked powerful and accurate over long distances.
Upgrades: By the end of Tomb Raider, Lara's bow has become something of a swiss army knife. It can fire regular, flaming, and explosive arrows, sure. It can also fire a rope that can manipulate objects in the environment and even attach to cliff-sides and set up ziplines. Coupled with her automated rope-retractor, she can demolish large chunks of wood and access new areas. She also uses her arrows as a makeshift melee weapon, and to skin animals after hunting. After a couple of days on the island, Lara's bow is no longer the sad little wooden thing she pulled off the corpse at the start; it's a wicked-looking high-tech compound bow with a counterweight and nasty arrows.
Greatest moment: There's a sequence near the middle of the game where Lara enters a large wooded area at night. It's full of guards. The first time I played this bit, I was able to creep through the woods, silently picking off guard after guard until none were left standing. It was probably my favorite sequence in the entire game—Lara Croft as deadly predator, dealing death with a bow and arrow.
Fakest thing you can do: While I value the utility, I'm not at all convinced that a bow could fire a rope-arrow into a cliff face firmly enough to let me peg that rope and climb across a chasm.
John Rambo says: "When you're pushed, killing's as easy as breathing."
Overall Opinion: Turns out there's a reason that Lara's bow has been featured so prominently in Tomb Raider's promotional materials—the weapon feels inextricably tied to Lara in the new game, and between the two of them, they can overcome almost any obstacle. The bow has a marvelous feeling of physicality to it, including how Lara can only pull the string back for so long before her aim starts to shake. The decision to give players the ability to hit "up" and flick Lara's lighter, igniting the arrow, was inspired. I found it telling that in the game, I used Lara's bow whenever possible, even when it wasn't the most powerful option, unless I was getting rushed by enemies on either side. Even then, whipping out a machine gun or shotgun just felt wrong somehow.
So, Tomb Raider wins it by a neck. Far Cry 3 put up a good fight, but while that game does have some very fun bow-hunting, the bow itself doesn't match Lara Croft's weapon in all its upgraded glory. My Skyrim bow is all well and good, but falls short in heated combat. Crysis 3's bow is barely a bow at all, really—more of an overpowered killing device—that may be to some players' taste, but it isn't to mine. And Assassin's Creed III's bow, like so many other things about that game, is better in concept than in execution.
Congrats, Lara. Take a bow. You are currently the video game archer to beat. At least until it turns out there's an awesome bow and arrow in BioShock Infinite or The Last of Us. Which, given the industry's current bow-happy state, wouldn't surprise me in the least.