Tomb Raider Gets Better After You’ve Beaten It Tomb Raider gave me the worst kind of quiet at first.

The game's silences were ones filled with tension and dread, interludes where my worries about getting Lara through the experience would fester. All throughout Crystal Dynamics' reboot of the archeological adventure series, players are left to wonder how the awful mythology of its fictional island was going to chew them up and spit them out. What terrible injury or revelation would Lara have to endure next? The relief I felt after finishing the game was replaced by something unexpected: a hush filled with possibilities to uncover.

I went back into Yamatai to just fool around a bit before logging in some multiplayer. I was expecting to be bored, since all of the combat sequences had been cleared. But I wasn't stifling yawns. Instead, I was awestruck by how quietly beautiful the new Tomb Raider became after all the surviving was over and done.

The realization hit me hard when I went back to the Summit Forest area, where one of the game's tensest sequences happened. On my first go-round, this was the part of the game where Lara was forced into stealth. I remember clenching the Xbox 360 controller nervously, trying to quietly pick off the Solarii thugs stalking me. But now, after the storyline's end, the same wooded expanse where enemies stalked me in the darkness felt full of stark beauty. Deer gambolled around me and I could climb trees unhurriedly, gathering salvage and enjoying the vantage points with no threat. One nook I'd never ventured into held the wolves that the Solarii sicced on me after I failed at staying hidden. They were still there, growling at me from inside their cages. I nocked an arrow and killed one. I immediately felt bad. These animals weren't threats anymore. The men that made them into monsters were all dead. And their whispered hate and noise went with them, replaced by bullfrog croaks and leaf rustling. Things could be different now.

Tomb Raider Gets Better After You’ve Beaten It The same new perspective held true for the wintry peaks of the Mountain Base or the ramshackle structures of the high-altitude Gondola Transport. I'd almost died in most of these places but now I had a weird nostalgia about them. And even more counter-intuitively, I admired the ingenuity of the messed-up cultists who were trying to kill me. And not just the modern-day Solarii, either.

Without bad guys firing machine guns at me, I could marvel at the tenacity of all the people throughout the centuries who were stuck on Yamatai before Lara's shipwreck. They made the island a little less cursed, planting the melancholy seeds that brings Lara into her new destiny. In the absence of violence, you could really feel how this place shaped Lara into something tougher.

Now, some of the island's locales would never feel pretty. Places like the Geothermal Caverns (where crazy prisoners still chattered at a returning Lara; I killed these guys, too but didn't feel quite as bad about that) or the Chasm Shrine seethed with the fatalist lore that gives the game its urgency. There wasn't any awe in combing over these locales. I felt only a distant sadness wading through the moats of blood, mixed with new appreciation as to how well the game's visuals were executed.

The most important takeaway might be how raiding a tomb doesn't feel like a mood-breaking indulgence, after the game's narrative resolves. It feels like Lara's true calling, like what she's supposed to be doing. It's not just modern game design busywork, like, say, hunting down Riddler trophies in Batman: Arkham City. Every tomb I figured out felt like another step toward moving Lara away from horror and towards the derring-do of her previous incarnation. Granted, she'll probably wind up somewhere between the extremes of her past and present. For now, it's nice to imagine that this quiet post-game cocoon is where the next step in Lara Croft's re-evolution is happening.

PC Gamer
Tomb Raider

Think of this latest Tomb Raider patch as the conditioner for AMD's fancy hair tech TressFX. Owners of Nvidia cards had been experiencing extreme optimisation issues when choosing to let Lara's hair wave free and loose. The update should smooth out those issues, bringing specific stability fixes for Nvidia and Intel cards, as well as "small" improvements to TressFX rendering.

Its success is still up for debate. A post on the Steam forums suggests that the game is now far more stable, but some issues still persist when TressFX is enabled. A Nvidia representative previously apologised for the problems, and said that they were working with Crystal Dynamics on a fix. Hopefully a driver update can finally put an end to this bad hair day. Otherwise, Crystal Dynamics may have to rinse and repeat. (I'm so sorry.)

Full patch notes below. For extended thoughts on the game that aren't solely centred around Lara's follicles, check out our review.

Addressed some stability and startup issues on machines that have both Intel and NVIDIA graphics hardware.
Fix for players being unable to progress related to the boat in the beach area.
Some fixes for crashes on startup and when selecting Options.
Some small improvements to TressFX hair rendering.
Fixes for various graphics glitches, including certain effects not being visible in fullscreen mode.
Fixed a problem that caused some users to not be able to use exclusive fullscreen.
Added support for separate mouse/gamepad inversion for aiming, as well as support for x-axis inversion.
Fixes related to the benchmark scene and benchmark mode.
Various other small fixes.
Product Update - Valve
We have just made public a new version of the PC version of Tomb Raider, build 1.0.718.4. 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.

This update addresses a variety of issues that we either found out about shortly before release or immediately after.

Fixes include:

- Addressed some stability and startup issues on machines that have both Intel and NVIDIA graphics hardware.
- Fix for players being unable to progress related to the boat in the beach area.
- Some fixes for crashes on startup and when selecting Options.
- Some small improvements to TressFX hair rendering.
- Fixes for various graphics glitches, including certain effects not being visible in fullscreen mode.
- Fixed a problem that caused some users to not be able to use exclusive fullscreen.
- Added support for separate mouse/gamepad inversion for aiming, as well as support for x-axis inversion.
- Fixes related to the benchmark scene and benchmark mode.
- Various other small 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, Build716.5, 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.

PC Gamer
Tomb Raider

Lara's locks are proving a problem for Nvidia customers, whose graphics cards are struggling to handle the AMD-developed hair-rendering technology. Given that Nvidia owns two thirds of the GPU market, that's an awful lot of Tomb Raiders out there suffering from shoddy performance - if they can even get into their game at all.

I’m one of these unlucky folk, the once-proud owner of a GTX 670, and I can’t even get into the options screen, let alone play the game. Of course, loads of games have had dreadful launches, marred by server problems and driver/graphics card issues; even the likes of Half-Life 2 and Diablo III had trouble getting out of the gate. But the current disadvantage experienced by Nvidia customers could go beyond Lara's bounteous bangs. With AMD components sitting in next-gen consoles, this may not be the only time Nvidia's driver team find themselves left behind at a major game launch.

To be fair, some AMD customers have experienced issues too, and - let me ephasise - I don’t for one second think AMD are deliberately aiming to cripple the performance of its competitor’s hardware. But the fact that the game was coded to take advantage of AMD’s graphics hardware first and foremost could cast a shadow on Nvidia over the course of the next generation.

Even Blizzard can mess up a game launch...

Next-gen worries

It’s all about the next generation of consoles. One of the blessings this coming console generation bestows on developers is the hardware parity between the PS4 and Microsoft's successor to the Xbox. Sony’s specs reveal the PS4 is running on AMD hardware, and it's been heavily rumoured that Microsoft's console will do the same - both consoles essentially being PCs beneath the hood.

If all games are coded for PCs with AMD hardware inside then you are naturally going to get a more consistent experience with AMD tech in your rig than if you’re running on different, competing internal gubbins.

"Nvidia will have to spend a lot more cash to make sure games work well on their hardware."
AMD aren’t going to have to lift a finger, or spend a single dollar of their marketing budget, encouraging devs to code for their hardware anymore. Those developers are simply going to have to if they want to code for a next-gen platform. Meanwhile, Nvidia will have to spend a lot more cash, and parachute a lot more engineers into dev studios, to make sure these games are going to work well on their hardware.

They’re going to be stretched. I would bet we see more big titles where final code only reaches Nvidia’s driver team a few days before launch. That could then lead to a greater stratification in PC gaming, with Nvidia card owners having to wait for games to run on their hardware or suffering from titles coded to take advantage of the greater compute power of AMD cards.

Such things may sound familiar to older AMD/ATI card owners...

Being stranded on an island full of violent psychopaths brings out the natural shine in your hair and nourishes your roots.

Not deliberate

It's tempting to think that AMD would make the most of their console dominance by pushing the uptake of proprietary technologies - like Lara's TressFX-powered hair - in order to intentionally disadvantage Nvidia hardware. But AMD have categorically and passionately stated this is not the case.

I spoke to Neil Robison, AMD’s Senior Director of Consumer and Graphics Alliances (the guys who sort out the Gaming Evolved shizzle) in San Francisco last Autumn and he was adamant that deliberately sabotaging the performance of games on rival hardware would quickly destroy the PC gaming market.

"AMD are adamant that sabotaging the performance of games on rival hardware would destroy the PC gaming market."
“The thing that angers me the most is when I see a request to debilitate a game. I understand winning, I get that, and I understand aggressive companies, I get that. Why would you ever want to introduce a feature on purpose that would make a game not good for half the gaming audience?

"This is something that we just won't do, and it's difficult because that would be the easiest way to go, absolutely the easiest way to go. That's the easiest way to kill the market, the easiest way to destroy the PC gaming audience. The one that we need, the one that we want, and to be honest - we're all gamers - the one that we love. We could quickly destroy the whole market by just getting into that."

But it may not be up to AMD. If devs are coding to their hardware as standard then Nvidia is going to have to work very hard to make sure they don’t get left behind. Nvidia is a canny company though, and they will have considered this. They’re already taking steps to ensure their own proprietary technologies aren’t being left in the next-gen locker.

Nvidia are now allowing PhysX and APEX to run on AMD hardware

This week Nvidia announced that its PhysX and APEX APIs are going to be fully functional in the PlayStation 4 - and by logical extension the Nextbox too. This is the first time we’ll see Nvidia allowing PhysX on hardware other than Nvidia since it disabled the discrete Ageia PhysX cards from working.

"Nvidia won't enjoy playing follow-the-leader."
Nvidia is also going to be continuing to develop new graphics hardware, long after the next-gen console’s specs have been completely finalised - and they’ll be able to react to developer trends post next-gen launch.

Even with such commitment, I doubt they'll much enjoy having to play follow-the-leader to AMD architecture. It could be a rocky road, and with AMD’s Roy Taylor calling for a return to the days of the good ol’ graphics wars - actually calling for a fight - in a press briefing just before the GTX Titan launch, things could really heat up in the age old red vs. green battle.

Tomb Raider's PC Version Is Good, Despite A Few Stray HairsAfter about seven hours with Tomb Raider, I'm on board with Evan's endorsement. It's a very good game, and a strong example of the whole "game that's like a movie" thing that Uncharted laid out a few years back. But what of the PC version?

I've been putting it through its paces, and can happily report that it's a strong port, albeit with some stray rough edges that will hopefully be ironed out in the near future. The PC port was handled by Nixxes, the same people responsible for the great PC versions of Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Sleeping Dogs, among others. Like those games, the PC version of Tomb Raider comes with all manner of expected PC customization options, and it runs well.

I'm using a rig with an Intel i5 2.8GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM and a GeForce 660Ti graphics card, and have been able to get the game running pretty smoothly on "Ultra" settings. That means the framerate hits 60FPS a lot of the time, but slows to 45-50 when I'm in some of the bigger outdoor areas.

The game carries the AMD brand, and it seems like it's got some issues with Nvidia cards. That's mostly manifested itself in the constant crashing I experienced, which I fixed by toggling off tessellation, but which can apparently also be fixed by rolling back your drivers. I've also had a strange visual freak-out happen during a rainstorm shootout where suddenly, I was subjected to kaleidoscopic visual glitching. Restarting the game fixed it, but even the main menu was totally glitched and unviewable, meaning I had to use the arrow keys and some guesswork to get myself to the "Quit game" option.

There are other bugs as well, and at least one Kotaku reader has reported the game being entirely unplayable on his 660Ti. There's also this video that Patricia found, which shows one of the game's most harrowing sequences playing out with a weird invisible-woman Lara. Eep.

But really, those kinds of bugs have been the exception, not the rule. The PC version also has a helpful benchmarking feature that lets you test out your various settings and get a feel for the FPS range you'll see. It seems a bit conservative with its verdict, but that's ok.

Another (very small) thing that nonetheless bugged me: It's too difficult to quit the game, largely because the in-game "quit to menu" option isn't at the bottom of the list as usual, but the middle:

Tomb Raider's PC Version Is Good, Despite A Few Stray Hairs

Kinda weird. A small thing, but one I noticed. Mostly because, of course, it breaks one of the ten commandments of video game menus. In fact, there are three steps between the game and your desktop—the quit to menu click, an "are you sure" pop-up, and an additional quit game command in the menu. Yes, these are the tiny things that bug me. (Note: It turns out you can hit Alt+F4 and get a quit-to-desktop prompt. That's a nice option to have, though it doesn't make the menu placement any less strange and doesn't help you out if you're playing on a TV with a controller.)

Enough about menus. Let's talk about hair! One of the features exclusive to the PC is the humorously named "TressFX" which AMD describes as "a new frontier of realism in PC gaming" and which I describe as "kind of weird-looking."

Here's a video of TressFX in action on my computer:

AMD is responsible for TressFX, and I'm running an Nvidia card, so I can't say whether it looks better on an AMD card. Though the official demo video looks about the same as it looks on my PC. Really, it just kind of looks like the Apachii Sky Hair mod for Skyrim. The hair is weird, and I vastly prefer Lara's ordinary ponytail. Plus, it causes my performance to take about a 10FPS hit, so it's not really worth it.

(And actually, when I think about it... does the way Lara's TressFX hair looks make any sense? It kinda doesn't. After all, she clearly has a hair thingy (official term), so why on earth doesn't she fix that mess at every campsite to keep it out of her face? This seems like an example of putting tech over realism, in a game that makes its bones on verisimilitude. Again, tiny thing. I digress.)

Last point to mention: Controls. I've been playing the game on my TV with a controller for the most part. I tested out the mouse/keyboard controls and find that while they're fine, the game feels like it was designed with a controller in mind.

Tomb Raider's PC Version Is Good, Despite A Few Stray Hairs

The cinematic Quicktime events in particular just don't work all that well on the keyboard—for example, an early one has Lara scrambling up an incline to escape a cave. On a controller, players use the triggers, which feels like an approximation of the act of scrambling. On PC, it's the left and right keys, which don't feel as good and also make it confusing when players have to dodge left and right to avoid oncoming rocks.

There's also the problem Patricia pointed out where the game shows you the quicktime prompt in one place but tells you which button to press in another. That's confusing, and I've seen a ton of people getting stuck on the various QTEs. Which is also a drag because often, if you fail a QTE, you're rewarded with a grisly, graphic death sequence. Not the kind of thing you want to watch 15 times while you try to figure out which button to press.

But those (mostly small) shortcomings aside, the PC version of Tomb Raider is a strong port. And Nvidia is working on a fix for the issues with their cards, so it's likely that it'll get more stable for Nvidia users sometime soon. Even as it stands, despite a few stray hairs, Tomb Raider's PC version matches the quality of the game itself.

Mar 8, 2013
PC Gamer
Tomb Raider Windy Ledge

Stranded on the mythical island of Yamatai following a freak storm, 21-year-old Lara Croft's career as a videogame protagonist begins with suffering. In the opening hours of Tomb Raider she is stabbed, burned, drenched, assaulted and almost freezes to death: that's if you're doing well, meeting the demands of every linear climbing section, gunfight, finickety stealth sequence and quick-time event that presents itself. Fail any of these and you'll also watch her be crushed, impaled, strangled, mauled and so on.

"Lara sobs and trembles, and evident effort has been made to slow down and focus on the details of her experience."
This early cruelty is the game's most strikingly idiosyncratic feature. Lara sobs and trembles, and evident effort has been made to slow down and focus on the details of her experience. Hunger necessitates finding a bow and hunting deer. Her elbows shake believably when she mantles up onto a ledge. Her first human kill leaves her blood-soaked and distraught. Give it a few months and I suspect these opening hours will be what people will be talking about when they talk about Crystal Dynamics' reboot. It's certainly what they've been talking about until now.

Play on for another few hours, however, and you'll find yourself in a hybrid of third-person shooter and linear platformer, Lara trading the bleak little lethalities of life as a shipwreck survivor for a parade of regulation set-pieces: an escape from a burning building, a helicopter crash, a section where your guns are taken away, a climactic assault on an enemy stronghold.

Moment by moment, the game evolves into something more familiar. During a battle with Yamatai's savage Solarii brotherhood high up in the mountains, the camera crash-zooms onto a set of blast doors which burst open to reveal an armoured islander holding a riot shield. Stop me if you've heard this one before: you beat him by dodging his machete blows and shooting him in the back when he stumbles. Everything about this character - from his introduction to his execution - is lifted from the Big Book of Miniboss Design, Third-Person Shooter Edition (Bleszinski/Mikami, 2005).

Years trapped on Yamatai have warped the populace into an army of videogame henchmen.

Shortly afterwards, Lara hops onto the bottom rung of a ladder leading up a rickety radar tower whose topmost transmitter is her crew's best hope for rescue. Once you're on that bottom rung, the game will only accept one input: forwards. Press forward and Lara climbs: press anything else and Lara stops. There's no way to fail, though a few pre-canned moments will have a rusty rung give way and leave her hanging. There's a point where the game slips into a cutscene but pretends that it hasn't: nothing changes, with the exception that it's no longer accepting your input. Let go and Lara will keep climbing without you. Adventure game sleight-of-hand, as taught at Uncharted's School of Seven Bells - what is being pickpocketed, in this case, is your right as a player to have your agency reflected in the events taking place on-screen.

"It relaxes back into the series' matinee adventure comfort zone."
Then, after another calamitous mountainside descent, Lara emerges out onto a familiar landscape - a hub area - from a new vantage point. Your options for traversal have been expanded by the acquisition of rope arrows that allow you to pull down certain doors and affix zip-lines to particular posts. There are letters and relics to find, and secret tombs to plunder for bonus skill points. Tomb Raider becomes about gentle exploration for a while, and there's nothing particularly traumatic about it. It's very, very pretty. You forget about the multiple times you watched Lara's throat be ripped out by a wolf because you kept fumbling a quicktime event. You stop wondering if pressing the buttons to make Lara go through this carnival of horrors is not an act of cruelty in and of itself.

The memory of that first traumatic kill fades as you kneel behind another piece of waist-high cover to ping arrows into the cranii of obliging brotherhood warrior after obliging brotherhood warrior. When the game gives up on being a story about a young woman having an absolutely terrible time, it improves. It relaxes back into the series' matinee adventure comfort zone, and some of its later set-pieces are genuinely spectacular as a result.

Dangle me from the ceiling once, shame on you. Dangle me twice, shame on me.

"Lara herself is the game's standout success, particularly when she stops running."
The quality of the writing varies. Conversations between Lara's fellow survivors are believable despite their rote characterisation: nerdy twenty-something male, tough black woman, untrustworthy TV personality, spiritual Maori, and so on. Lara herself is the game's standout success, particularly when she stops running and decides to take direct action: the perceptible change she undergoes is a good example of writing, performance, and animation working together to create a sympathetic and admirable person in place of a fantasy.

The game spits out some real eye-rollers, though - it's honestly a miracle that Lara can find anything to fall off given the amount of scenery the villain manages to chew through in his relatively brief screen-time. Enemy chatter doesn't fare much better. I can think of a number of things I might say if I suddenly found myself with an arrow in my sternum, and "damn, she's a good shot!" isn't high on the list.

The real weakness of Tomb Raider's storytelling, though, is its failure to express its big ideas in the way it plays. Lara receives two pieces of advice repeatedly during the game: 'trust your instincts' and 'keep moving forward'. Both jar with the reality of what Tomb Raider actually wants you to do. 'Trust your instincts' should really be understood as 'trust Lara's instincts': or at least, trust Survival Instinct mode, which highlights objects in the environment you can interact with. Trust that this type of craggy rock will always be climbable, that these barricades will always yield to your rope arrows, that this particular type of scenery will always be flammable - and that you should always do all of these things because that's why they're there.

Lara hasn't lost her knack for blowing up UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Trust your own instincts and you risk throwing the game off its rhythm. In Tomb Raider, acting with initiative carries a payload of risk akin to heckling at a comedy show. You’ll either be punished, or - worse - you’ll puncture some meticulously preconceived bit and cause the whole thing to deflate. There's a combat section midway through where you can either fight through a narrow canyon or sneak past on an elevated route. While shimmying across a beam above a pair of Solarii cultists I made the choice to jump off and attack them, figuring that I had the advantage and that the salvage I would gain from killing them was worth it. I pressed the button to drop and Lara fell stiffly to the ground. The camera moved into the canyon at an angle it wasn't designed for, and, trapped in Lara's picking-herself-up animation, I couldn't respond fast enough to attack before I was gunned down.

"Rather than encourage self-motivation Tomb Raider rewards passive acquiescence."
If I'd stuck to the stealth route the game would have continued to animate beautifully: if I'd opted for a gunfight the camera would have known where to be. I made a choice that the designers didn't anticipate and the game could not adapt to support it. 'Keep moving forward', then, is a better piece of advice - but rather than encourage self-motivation Tomb Raider rewards passive acquiescence. As long as you don't forget which button press goes with which bit of the environment, the island will ensure nothing truly terrible happens to you. This obliging design is why Tomb Raider succeeds as a lean-back-and-watch-the-fireworks platformer, but the dissonance is undeniable. You're told that you're seeing a person discovering their strength: what you're shown is someone discovering that the god of zip-line placement loves them very, very much.

A scholar first, Lara opts to take only experience points from the chests at the culmination of each tomb.

You're encouraged to hunt and explore in order to maximise the amount of new skills and equipment upgrades you receive, but neither progression path is rewarding. The power you can gain in this way is carefully prevented from altering the pre-planned flow of the game: there's no way to earn a new traversal skill before its time, for example. In its place are shallow upgrades to the amount of loot Lara receives, or the amount of experience she gets for certain types of kill - and effectively all these do is allow you to level up faster. A few skills do alter the flow of combat, but only in minor ways: headshot indicators are helpful but inessential, ammo capacity upgrades are superfluous in a world where every new body you create can be looted for a fresh clip.

"When the circumstances are right, Tomb Raider becomes a decent if narrow stealth action game."
The areas where Tomb Raider comes together are those where you're given more freedom. When the circumstances are right, Tomb Raider becomes a decent if narrow stealth action game, and figuring out how to silently eliminate the maximum number of enemies before being detected is satisfying and says something about the person Lara is becoming. A scattering of optional tombs offer exploration and puzzle challenges that encourage improvisation with the game's robust physics system. Most can be cleared in a couple of minutes, but their solutions feel like they originate from your actions in a way that the rest of the game withholds.

Multiplayer takes the singleplayer's rock climbing and zip-lining and applies them to a competitive team shooter, adding trap-setting and limited environmental destruction for spice. It's host-based, rather than running on dedicated servers, and I had problems with rubberbanding even on a fast connection. When it does work, the majority of the players I encountered found it more effective to strafe around with an assault rifle than make use of any of the more distinctive features. The designers have provided space for set-piece moments - escapes over collapsing bridges, freeing friends from snare traps - but these will only happen if players find them a more effective way of farming for experience and upgrades than simply gunning each other down, and that doesn't seem to be the case. Abandoned matches are also an issue - roughly half of the games I played ended in victory by default.

Ice-pick takedowns yield bonus experience. Sadly, a loud voice does not yell "TROTSKY STRIKE!" when you do this.

The PC version is a good port, for the most part. Fairly comprehensive graphics and control options are available out of the gate, and manual hacks can enable more. It ran perfectly at the highest settings on an Intel i5 system with 8GB of RAM and a Radeon 6970, including the optional 'TressFX' tech that renders Lara's hair as free-flowing, individually modelled strands. I had persistent problems on a comparable system running a GeForce 560 Ti, however, including crashes and unexplained dips to a slideshow framerate that even affected the menus. Players have already found a few workarounds, and a patch is reportedly in the works - but caution is advisable if you're running an Nvidia card.

Tomb Raider is frequently very enjoyable, and there's no denying its production values or the care taken in scripting every inch of its critical path. I had a fine time. My problem with it is that I came in willing to have other, less fine kinds of time - I was willing to feel hounded, frozen and wounded in sympathy with its protagonist. Tomb Raider is never challenging, either emotionally or in what it asks you to do. It gestures at being something deeper, but I don't think you can simply tell the player what to feel. I wanted to participate in Lara's journey, but in the end I just held the button down and tried not to ruin it. A single game can't be held to account for the weaknesses of an entire genre, but they can't be ignored: narrative ambition is fantastic, but execution matters.

Yes, yes. Another day, another rap-tribute to a video game. But this one's particularly good. Alabama rapper Kadesh Flow goes beyond "fun and/or goofy" and enters the realm of "real chops." Give it a watch.

(Thanks, Tai!)


How To Survive Tomb Raider's Annoying PC Quicktime Events If you're playing the PC version of Tomb Raider, you may be having trouble with the quicktime events—enough that you're just watching Lara die over and over again every time a QTE pops up. Not fun.

At some point early in the game, Tomb Raider tells you what to press during QTEs: the "F" key. Then, it might never tell you again. Maybe you missed it. So then when you see this type of screen:

How To Survive Tomb Raider's Annoying PC Quicktime Events

You might feel confused—what the hell are you supposed to press? Now you know. F.

Not everyone sees that, though. It may be a bug, though it is not one I am alone in experiencing. Kirk Hamilton, on the other hand, sees this:

How To Survive Tomb Raider's Annoying PC Quicktime Events

Which does tell you what to press—but even so, in the heat of the moment, we're trained to look at the QTE itself. In this case, the white circle. Why does the prompt on the circle not tell you the button to press?

Hopefully this helps you see fewer of the gruesome death scenes in Tomb Raider. If nothing else, it's really just further proof that quicktime events kind of suck. Or, excuse me. I meant quick timer events.

Product Release - Valve
Tomb Raider - The Final Hours is now available on Steam!

How did Crystal Dynamics reinvent Tomb Raider? The Final Hours of Tomb Raider is a digital book that takes you inside the studio during the four year development of this franchise reboot. Journalist Geoff Keighley chronicles the team’s journey, illustrating this 11,000 word story with never-before-seen art and videos from parts of the game left on the cutting room floor.

PC Gamer
Wait, does the wolf get fancy TressFX hair too?
Wait, does the wolf get fancy TressFX hair too?

Nvidia released a new beta version of their GeForce driver this week, once again squeezing more incremental improvements from a bunch of games, both new and old. But one prominent release was missing from the list of tweaks: Tomb Raider. Lara's latest outing may continue Square Enix's quality porting form, but, as Chris notes in his settings overview, GeForce cards attempting to use AMD's new fancy hair tech TressFX suffer a drastic performance hit.

In the comments for the beta update post, Nvidia's Andrew Burnes explains the problem and apologises to GeForce owners. "We are aware of performance and stability issues with GeForce GPUs running Tomb Raider with maximum settings," he writes. "Unfortunately, NVIDIA didn’t receive final game code until this past weekend which substantially decreased stability, image quality and performance over a build we were previously provided. We are working closely with Crystal Dynamics to address and resolve all game issues as quickly as possible."

Burnes also notes that Nvidia can't magic up a fix without some help from Crystal Dynamics. "The developer will need to make code changes on their end to fix the issues on GeForce GPUs as well. As a result, we recommend you do not test Tomb Raider until all of the above issues have been resolved."

"In the meantime, we would like to apologize to GeForce users that are not able to have a great experience playing Tomb Raider, as they have come to expect with all of their favorite PC games."

Thanks, Joystiq.