Tomb Raider screenshot
Tomb Raider screenshot

Update - 28.02.2013: We're pleased to say that we've worked with Square Enix on mutually agreeable terms, meaning our Tomb Raider review will be on the site early next week. We would like to point out that our previous disagreement had nothing to do with review scores.

Original story: Today the Tomb Raider review embargo lifts. We had hoped to bring you our review alongside the rest that will appear online today. Sadly, we're unable to do that.

We did not agree with terms in the NDA provided by Square Enix, and therefore were not provided a copy of Tomb Raider ahead of release. Attempts to work with Square Enix on a new NDA with agreeable terms failed.

We will bring you a review as soon as possible.

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Highest Rated Comment

munkee's Avatar

munkee

I think that if Videogamer openly discussed the details of the NDA (signed or not), then other publishers would be very cautious of working with them in the future. My personal opinion is that it would be wise for VG not to say what was written on that piece of paper.

EDIT:
Just a quick note for the TD. Videogamer relies on publishers providing content (previews, interviews, events, trailers, promos) for them to stay competitive in this industry. Without this content they will lose traffic at an alarming rate. Less traffic, less advertising, less money, less staff, less content, less readers.. It's a slippery slope. NDA's are professional, legal documents. They're to be taken very seriously. The risk involved isn't worth it just to entertain a few readers. It's peoples business and careers on the line here.
Posted 22:26 on 25 February 2013

User Comments

Clockpunk's Avatar

Clockpunk

Just played the first hour of the game and... it's good! Many parallels may be drawn with FarCry 3, the asiatic island setting, looting, skills, tool/weapon upgrades. It's a beautiful game, no doubt about that, and I am looking forward to the exploration, once the story mode hits a point that a little more freedom can be allowed...

There are, however, a few caveats... the combat does seem rather simplistic, AI a little... daft, the scrap salvage is called just that - no attempt to mask it a little with different types of material (which would have been nice), no provision made for requiring food and fresh water (animals just yielding XP - at the moment...), and - most glaringly of all - Lara's wounds require no attending. A little nap in front of a camp fire, and all manner of ills and harm were cured, just like that. The accursed auto regen is as glaringly out of place as feared. I suppose there's a remote chance Eidos might add a 'True TR' mode, eschewing that regen, and requiring medic packs, bandages and the likes to heal... but sadly I doubt such will happen - and it is a shame, for such a mechanic (a la MGS 3, which got so many more advanced things right a whole generation ago) would have truly made the game something special.

But, on the whole, it seems like it will be an enjoyable experience - one that I want to take my time with. A lot of QTEs, but I am hoping this is just because it is still opening up the world/game.
Posted 22:51 on 01 March 2013
altaranga's Avatar

altaranga@ pblive

I really hope someone that with the guts to do it makes the inner dealings of the games publishers and PR companies public. The video games industry is a terrible joke.
Posted 21:12 on 26 February 2013
Rambolike's Avatar

Rambolike@ Grammartron

That's what you think. They are putting themselves first. No integrity here, but self-promotion. The game will receive a mediocre review now as a result. Just watch.
Posted 19:04 on 26 February 2013
Rambolike's Avatar

Rambolike

I'm going to stop reading VG then -- I'm sorry, but they are becoming more and more obtuse and foolish. I'm trusting their reviews less and less. Dead Space 3 received a 5/10 -- no one in their right mind could possibly give a score like that. Crysis 3 fared little better -- this site is becoming more interested in making noise than reporting news and making sound reviews.
Posted 19:02 on 26 February 2013
Grammartron's Avatar

Grammartron

Well done VG - we don't need to know the details to know that you're putting your integrity as journalists ahead of Day 1 hits. Looking forward to the review whenever it goes up.
Posted 10:35 on 26 February 2013
Neon-Soldier32's Avatar

Neon-Soldier32@ CheekyLee

IGN's review (which was by UK writer Keza MacDonald) briefly mentioned QTEs at the beginning of her review but then not again.
Posted 09:52 on 26 February 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee

Having done a little snooping, it would seem that the NDA is merely stating that certain aspects of the game could not be mentioned in the review. This is not sourced, it comes from reading between the lines and inference. Just to entertain yourself, go and try to find the word "QTE" in any of the European reviews. Perhaps there is a belief that Americans are more open to them than us Europeans?
Posted 00:14 on 26 February 2013
EverTheOptimist's Avatar

EverTheOptimist@ munkee

Well said. They made a decision and, regardless of the reason, we know that something wasn't right and that's all that needs to be known.
Posted 00:01 on 26 February 2013
munkee's Avatar

munkee

I think that if Videogamer openly discussed the details of the NDA (signed or not), then other publishers would be very cautious of working with them in the future. My personal opinion is that it would be wise for VG not to say what was written on that piece of paper.

EDIT:
Just a quick note for the TD. Videogamer relies on publishers providing content (previews, interviews, events, trailers, promos) for them to stay competitive in this industry. Without this content they will lose traffic at an alarming rate. Less traffic, less advertising, less money, less staff, less content, less readers.. It's a slippery slope. NDA's are professional, legal documents. They're to be taken very seriously. The risk involved isn't worth it just to entertain a few readers. It's peoples business and careers on the line here.
Posted 22:26 on 25 February 2013
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ DancingRhino

I think sonic 4 is a bad example. Sonic 4 isn't a bad game. A little short for the price it's, 7/10 (6.7/10 if you want to be specific in my opinion), sonic colours is a much better game in all regards, but it's not broken. The biggest problem many people fore see with is that "if the devs were making a true sequel to the sonic franchise, why doesn't it feel like a true sequel, and why does it feel more like the sonic rush series" (which are great games by the way).

The truth is that originally the game was not meant to be a true sequel, but a spin off series for the downloadable market. It was supposed to be called something like Sonic Short Adventures (or something like that). However, the higher ups at SEGA, paying the dev Dimps to make the game, saw the likes of MegaMan 9 rebooting a successful franchise, so in the end decided to market to game as sonic 4 in order to sell more.... Which inevitably was what lead to the fan backlash in the end.

... A bit off topic from the conversation, but I thought it was worth mentioning.
Posted 21:44 on 25 February 2013
CheekyLee's Avatar

CheekyLee@ DancingRhino

Ellie Gibson is a fantastic writer, and I adore her work. Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellie
Many of the puzzles are as tough as those in the old games, but the option to walk away means there's no risk of getting stuck and frustrated for six hours, like that time in Tomb Raider 3 with the key and the dead monkey. Also every other time in Tomb Raider 3.
But she is an absolutely awful judge of game quality. And, her review is oddly negative for one that plonks a big 8 at the end of it.

Just adding my voice to those that appreciate the refusal to review under what you judge to be unfair duress. I would also like to add my weight to those asking what the NDA conditions were, as if you haven't signed it then what else is there for you to lose by releasing these details now? Is it akin to the EA Sim City thing, where they want to watch you play? Or did they only allow you to publish pre-release if you went above a certain mark or allowed them to actually read the review first? (Gametrailers, who are another one where the review doesn't really match the score, and who state they have actually altered the final paragraph of their review.)
Posted 21:23 on 25 February 2013
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino@ MJTH

"I don't really know much of Gibson's work"

I think she gave sonic 4, 9 out of 10 when it was clearly broken. Not totally trust worthy imo.
Posted 19:56 on 25 February 2013
s_h_a_d_o's Avatar

s_h_a_d_o

Kudos VG! I wish more sites would abjure the temptations and bullying tactics flaunted by publishing PR.
These days, given my growing disappointment with the quality of the end-product, I rarely feel the compulsion to dive head-first into a purchase - I'd rather wait for a consensus of opinion, before taking the plunge. The only downside to that is maintaining one's distance from an exposure to spoiler material.
Hell, I only just picked up Mass Effect 3! (for a song I might add).
Posted 19:45 on 25 February 2013
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Surely if you don't sign off on an NDA you can talk about it? It's not Fight Club!
Posted 19:40 on 25 February 2013
FantasyMeister's Avatar

FantasyMeister@ Clockpunk

Looks like a worldwide launch on 5th March (same delivery dates on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com). The early reviews for the console versions are mostly glowing but due to Square Enix's silly NDA issues they all now have suspicion cast upon them score-wise and content-wise. No reviews for the PC version yet, again, kinda odd.

I think I'll be picking the game up regardless (albeit not day one, it's been on my 'to get' list for a bit but never in the 'must have it nao' category), haven't seen anything negative about it since the marketing machine started rolling.
Posted 19:38 on 25 February 2013

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 05/03/2013
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Publisher: Square Enix
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 18+
Site Rank: 354 8
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