Note on spoilers: This article references the ending of 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot and 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. Specific references to Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s ending appear towards the end of this piece, at which point we include a clear spoiler warning. Shadow of the Tomb Raider has many qualities and many faults, but its biggest problem is an absence of Lara Croft. The game stars a protagonist called Lara Croft, but she’s not really there. She’s been replaced by a shell, with a messy amalgam of impulses and short-term desires. The game’s reviews arrived on Monday, loaded with significant criticism aimed at the story as a whole. Critics rightly point out that the tale loses itself in a maze of its own making, seeking to address the series’ reliance on offensive notions of Western cultural superiority, while nakedly exploiting the very same ideas. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is much the same experience as we’ve played in the … [Read more...] about The mysterious disappearance of Lara Croft
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Chaos thrives at the heart of The Dark Knight. From the movie’s opening heist that introduced its iconic take on a classic villain, to the endless debate of Joker’s “unstoppable force” meeting Batman’s “immovable object,” The Dark Knight presented one of the darkest and most engaging film adaptations of Batman that we’ve ever seen, and ten years on from its release, still reverberates as a peak film in the landscape of comic book movies. Originally released on July 18th, 2008, this week has officially marked ten years since the release of The Dark Knight, director Christopher Nolan’s seminal superhero film that has certainly grown in reverence since the time of its release. In the current era of superhero movies being dominated largely by the efforts of Marvel and their ever-expanding Cinematic Universe, it’s interesting to look back and reflect on a time before all comic book movies were beholden to being part … [Read more...] about The Dark Knight Was a Landmark Superhero Movie, But Its Video Game Never Saw Release
Last week Monolith released an official statement announcing that as of 17th July, Shadow of War will no longer contain microtransactions. Buying Gold with real money will be gone for good on 8th May, and a couple of months later the market which erstwhile sold item chests, XP boosts and orcs for the Nemesis system will be dismantled completely. Apparently buying those orcs, rather than earning them in-game, "risked undermining the heart of our game," said Monolith, six months down the road from implementing that marketplace. Six months ago the press was saturated with headlines about a new wave of intrusive microtransactions. Communities expressed their outrage, share prices dropped, oceans turned blood red. Now it's increasingly populated by news of their subsequent removal. If it wasn't for fear of having one's naivety etched indelibly onto internet record, the great microtransaction withdrawal movement of 2017/18 might be enough for one to proclaim that the practice was dead. The … [Read more...] about Has the games industry turned tail on microtransactions?
This week, we’re running a big list of what we — and a group of trusted friends — recently voted as the 500 best video games of all time. For the backstory, criteria, explanation of why Breath of the Wild isn’t on the list, etc., head to the beginning here: The 500 best games of all time. For numbers 400-301, scroll down. 400. Mirror's Edge (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) Keep moving. That's the main objective of Mirror's Edge. Releasing alongside dozens of first-person shooters, Mirror's Edge stood for daring to be different. Putting an emphasis on using first-person parkour to outsmart enemies, rather than just shooting through them, Mirror's Edge was a flawed beauty stuck in the memory of those who just kept running through its clean, white city. 399. Braid (2008, PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, others) In many ways, the modern indie explosion started with Braid. Unlike anything people had seen at the time, Braid and its time-bending puzzles … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 400-301
As Polygon's recent fifth birthday approached, we started thinking about what we could do to celebrate it. And what's more fun than ranking the 100 best games of all time? 500? So we did. We started by setting rules upfront. We asked everyone to vote based on innovation, polish and durability, rather than simply personal taste. We cut games released in 2017 to eliminate recency bias. And we left out sequels that we deemed too similar to the games that came before them. Then we voted, but we knew we had gaps in our knowledge on staff. So in addition to gathering votes from the Polygon team, we worked with a group of external and freelance writers to pull in their input: Kahlief Adams, Susan Arendt, Katherine Cross, Jon-Paul Dyson, Benj Edwards, Cara Ellison, JC Fletcher, Jenn Frank, Harold Goldberg, Janine Hawkins, Blake Hester, Laura Hudson, Henry Lowood, Jeremy Parish, Carolyn Petit, Andrea Rene, Jaz Rignall and Gary Whitta. Collecting all those votes together, we then combed through … [Read more...] about The 500 best games of all time: 500-401