Our Daily Beard – 22/02/13


Well today I felt like following on from the vague techno theme of yesterday, by relaying the technical requirements of the new Tomb Raider on PC.

But because that’s rubbish and boring, first you get the unofficial history of the franchise! Exciting!


Tomb Raider was invented by a British cartilage engineer called Tom Braider, who wanted to play a game ‘rife with mystery and breasts’. Fuelled by grief and a system of pulleys he coded the first Tomb Raider back in 1985, the first game to feature a polygon. The polygon was initially banned after courting considerable controversy- John Major famously accused it of ‘intermittent provocative action’. Fortunately, thanks to lobbying by Tom Braider and a scary tramp he met in a supermarket, the polygon was released from the matrix and the game went back on sale, for £4.

A little fun trivia: The polygon in question was not Lara’s signature bosom, but in fact the animation of her smug grin, which was illegal on a single woman under 40 at the time.

Speaking of Lara Croft, the main character and brand marketing wet dream, she was modelled after a corpse he found in his larder one Christmas.

After the game was a surprise hit, Core came along and made about fifty more, each one with more realistic boobs and more angry scorpions and Indian gods and shit like that. Lara went around the world, glamorising the plundering of a) ancient historical sites and b) graves* for the personal profit of an eccentric, wealthy white landowner.

*Tomb. Raider. That’s what she does. Imagine a game with the same title, but about a bloke with a shovel and a cemetery. Not nice!

Sometimes the tombs were so elaborate and required so much running and jumping and lever pulling that one could only surmise that the ancient priests were in fact all incredibly athletic and lithe, equating gymnastic prowess with piety.

Then they did some really bad ones that all felt too different, so now instead of that there’s going to be a reboot.

With added DARKNESS, because.

Actually, it looks good so far- a more realistic and intimate story of a woman trapped in a dangerous jungle fending for herself, with some nice set pieces and a less game-ey point of view. I hope.


Polygon troubles

Thanks to Kotaku- clicky for their article!


So, the stats:

Enhanced features include: full integration with Steamworks, increased detail tessellation, improved SSAO and post-filter effects, and very high resolution textures, shadows and cloths. I like a good cloth.

Additionally, for PCs that are capable, the game will support AMD HD3D and AMD Eyefinity technologies, the latter of which allows up to six simultaneous displays off a single graphics card. Why, I don’t know.

The game’s enhanced features on the PC version include:

–          Full integration with Steamworks to offer cloud storage for saves, multiplayer matchmaking, achievements, as well as automatic updates and new content. Like all the other Steam games.

–          Support for Steam Big Picture Mode. Why didn’t you just buy it on console?

–          Configurable mouse and keyboard support. I should bloody hope so!

–          Gamepad support. See second point.

–          High-end graphics. Ah, that’s why you didn’t buy it on console.

–          Very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data. That’s a lot of times.

–          Detail Tessellation to enhance the detail on many surfaces in the game. Cloth.

–          Higher quality shadows. For the DARKNESS.

–          High quality bokeh depth of field with near-blur. What?

–          Tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry. Okay, fair play- no more square trees.

–          Improved cloth, SSAO, quality wetness effects, and post-filter effects. Lol, still laughing at cloth.

–          LOD quality is adjustable for better quality on higher-end machines. Cheers.

–          Options for lower range machines. Actually, yes, cheers! That’s ace.


The full list of PC minimum and recommended system requirements is listed below:

–          Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista,7,8 (32bit/64bit)

–          DirectX 9 graphics card with 512Mb Video RAM: AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT, nVidia 8600.

–          Dual core CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 2.1 Ghz (4050+), Intel Core2 Duo 1.86 Ghz (E6300).

–          1GB Memory (2GB on Vista)

Recommended system requirements for PC:

–          Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8

–          DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM: AMD Radeon HD 4870, nVidia GTX 480.

–          Quad core CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 565, Intel Core i5-750.

–          4GB Memory


Not all that demanding- with scaleable graphics I foresee this game being accessible to those who have barely upgraded since the last one, whatever that was.

Don’t take my word for it- here are the words of some people:

While extricating himself from a barrel, Darrell Gallagher, Studio Head of Crystal Dynamics commented: “With over a decade of experience working alongside AMD and Nixxes at Crystal Dynamics alone, we had rock solid partners on board to create a superb Tomb Raider experience for PC gamers around the world. At Crystal we approach each of our projects with the sole intention of creating the best possible consumer experience for that format, and we are proud to have worked alongside two great partners who hold the very same values.”

Rock solid, eh? Too much Tomb Raider will do that.

“AMD Graphics and Crystal Dynamics have partnered to capture the realism of one of video gaming’s most iconic characters, Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider franchise,” said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD Graphics, in the bath. “By leveraging the power of AMD Radeon™ and Graphics Core Next, Lara and her environment have come to life like never before.”

Well, just look at the cloth if you don’t believe Matt.


Go on, then! I’m not asking!

Official Homepage: www.TOMBRAIDER.com

Official Twitter: @TOMBRAIDER

Official Facebook page: http://facebook.com/TOMBRAIDER

Official Tumblr: http://officialTOMBRAIDERblog.tumblr.com/

Official YouTube Channel: http://youtube.com/TOMBRAIDER

by Bret

You can reach me via the About page and the social links at the top, or subscribe at the bottom.