Tomb Raider EP6: The Crash

By Shamus
on Jun 26, 2013
Filed under:
Spoiler Warning

112 comments


Link (YouTube)

Mumbles crashed the show but then the game crashed just before the crash and so I had to go because I needed to crash. I will say that this game hates Josh’s machine. The strange framerate stuttering. The vanishing scenery. The terrible performance of TressFX. The CRASHES. I had a bit of trouble with the game, but nothing like this.

I was in need of sleep, so I’ll be missing from the rest of the episodes this week. Not to worry. Mumbles does an uncanny impression of me at the 15:30 mark. You’ll be fine.

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Footnotes:



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From the Archives:

  1. Cyranor says:

    Yay Mumbles!
    Its great having Mumbles back even if its only for an episode or two.

  2. Sozac says:

    Yeah! Mumbles! I hope this is a sign of her return to creating content after being on hiatus! Even if not, still great!

  3. MrGuy says:

    I KNEW the return of the bee plasmid in the Bioshock replay would bring her back.

    We miss you, Mumbles!

  4. newdarkcloud says:

    The console version of that mini-game makes tons more sense than the PC. You have to rotate the analog sticks until they are in the right positions and physically hold them in place.

    Obviously they can’t do that on PC, so you get the compromised version.

    • Raygereio says:

      I don’t really see how that makes more sense then the PC version: Turning the nob-thingey left or right is just mapped to the left and right movement keys.

    • Tom says:

      I’m more irked that the designers of this setpiece, having obviously gone to the trouble of actually looking at real old-timey radios and getting the appearance pretty damn authentic, screwed up and put the controls the wrong way round. On a real radio the frequency dial would be the big round one and the squelch control would be the little quadrant one.

      • Dave B. says:

        Yeah, I thought so too. Also, I don’t think an actual squelch control acts anything like the one on this radio. Usually, a squelch “mutes” the audio unless a sufficiently strong signal is present. So if it was set too high, Lara would hear nothing until she adjusted it down, and if it was set too low, she would hear a lot of background noise. The control knob in the game appears to act more like a fine tuning control. WHERE’S MY VERISIMILITUDE??!!

        • Tom says:

          Worse, radios with separate coarse and fine frequency controls are totally plausible and I think a good few exist, so if they were going to make the dials act that way, they could have just called them that. Still should’ve turned the big one before the small one, though!

          I dunno why, but in games like this, Did Not Do The Research somehow isn’t nearly as annoying as Did Almost But Not Quite Enough Research.

  5. Velkrin says:

    Yeesh. The worst bug I ran into (that I can remember) was getting killed by one of those ‘no entry’ bushes that animals like to run into. It kept bouncing me into a wall, which kept me in the bush to get pushed back (and damaged) again.

    Also: Mumbles (all the cool kids are saying it).

    What struck me as odd with the radio tower portion is that Laura doesn’t even attempt to warn the rescuers about the hordes of hostile men with guns with a ‘shoot on sight’ policy.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      Yeah, that seems like a major oversight. Still though, mentioning the armed killers seems like it would lead to, “I just killed, like, a hundred dudes. Can’t wait for you to show up!” from Laura, which she is understandably going to want to delay bringing up.
      That and stress. Just finished climbing a huge tower? You might forget a few things too.

      But, I’d say the “real” reason she doesn’t bring it up is the devs don’t want their main character lamp-shading the obscene gratuitous violence before the game-length set-piece plays out “properly”.

      • Jeff says:

        I don’t think there’s any excuse to not mention it.

        It’s like an invitation for a reenactment of D-Day, only the soldiers landing are unarmed and didn’t know they’d be shot at.

        Besides, if you were lost on an island fighting off a small army, I would think one of the first thing you’d say to the coast guard (or whatever) is “HOLY SHIZZLE THERE’S AN ARMY HERE TRYING TO KILL ME!!!” It’s not exactly something you’d not have at the forefront of your mind once armed men are shooting at you.

  6. I know it was mentioned previously, but where the heck did the materials for the place with the Mail Slut guy come from? Come to that, which shipwreck did the riot shield arrive on?

  7. anaphysik says:

    Lara climbing the tower (and then sitting like *THAT* on it) was physically sickening to watch for me :S. It’s made even worse by how cavalier she is about walking on the mini-platforms, looking over the edge, /merely standing up at all/, etc. – I was nearly shouting at the screen “CLING TO SOMETHING FOR DEAR LIFE GRAVDAMMIT! WHY AREN’T YOU CRAWLING ON THE GROUND YOU MAD FOOL?!”

    I do not like heights.

    • McNutcase says:

      I was having to look away from the screen, because I cannot handle heights like that. About the most I can handle is the balcony at my bedroom door, which is only one floor up and has a good railing which is securely attached (now I’ve fixed the problem the idiot former owner left us with that had the railing able to wobble because the ends weren’t actually attached to the walls)

      Uh, yeah. Fully blown acrophobe here, and won’t be playing Tomb Raider any time soon because they’re too good at provoking that fear. Much the same reason I can’t play Mirror’s Edge…

      • Aldowyn says:

        I’d think Mirror’s Edge would be quite a bit worse, what with the first person and all…

        • Alexander The 1st says:

          Not as much, actually.

          The main reason being that Tomb Raider is in third person, so you don’t have to be looking in the direction Lara is to be looking down.

          Generally, the only time you may be looking down and seeing just how far you have to go, you’re about to die anyways, so it’s much shorter than the section here.

        • Daemian Lucifer says:

          Mirrors edge never did that for me.Half life 2 did it however(the bridge).And this game as well.Its unsettling to watch down that huge ass tower.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      That segment really got to me. I really hate heights to, and I felt my stomach lurching when I saw it the first time. Hell, watching Josh do it induced a similar feeling.

      I love it. It shows how great that scene is.

    • AEG says:

      Lara has plenty of rope, so there’s no reason she couldn’t tie herself a belay harness with extensions to secure to each rung of the tower. Of course, it would have made the climb slooooowwww and been a pain to animate, and probably would involve several quicktime events if made interactive. But at least there would be the acknowledgement that her room-for-error while climbing that high is near zero, and she is capable enough to take steps to increase her survivability chances.

      Unless she can fly, somehow, like when she makes that last jump over the broken rungs.

      • Trix2000 says:

        I could be wrong, but I don’t think she had any rope at that stage of the game. I know she gets the rope arrows not too long after the tower climb.

  8. Okay, it’s not just me. When the guy on the radio says “Please identify your situation,” I thought it sounded off. Googling that exact phrase in quotes brings up only four hits (unless you choose to include the ones omitted) and I think only one is for that game.

    It almost sounds like something someone doing tech support would say. I wonder if the writer was helping out with coding the game?

  9. Hi Mumbles!

    Wow, this is kind of amazing. I had a few freezes and the game crashed once or twice, but I had NOTHING like what Josh is experiencing with this game. I guess because he has it on higher settings (I ran the thing pretty much as low as it would go) with all that additional software running in the background.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Josh’s rig always finds a way to Glitch.

    • Astor says:

      Well, I’m an nVIDIA fanboy and played the game with the highest settings I could, yet only experienced like 1 crash and then one instance where textures started going pitch black.

      It still makes me feel cozy and warm to see Josh still has it in him to bring out the glitches of doom and is not afraid to glitch where no man has glitched before.

    • Trix2000 says:

      Only ever had that weird graphical glitch once myself, and most things were at max (though not all).

      Personally, I chalk it up to the fact that Josh can and will find every bug and glitch possible.

  10. j says:

    Mumbles! Mumbles! I have missed mumbles! I am happy!

  11. Gruhunchously says:

    I have a necklace of red beryls! None of them have exploded though, not yet anyway.

    • Hitchmeister says:

      My attempt at a No-Prize: The Red Barrel was next to one of the many fires in the area and the arrow punctured the side of the barrel releasing a fire spray of fuel into the open flame resulting in an explosion.

      There. It makes even more sense than usual.

    • modus0 says:

      That’s because you have to pull them off and throw them at someone (preferably someone you don’t like).

      Unless it’s one of the cursed boomerang ones, in which case have someone else do it.

  12. Mr Compassionate says:

    YAAAY MUMBLES! This has to be the best SW team composition yet!

    I hope nobody takes offense if I say the Dishonored Spoiler Warning series felt lacking in energy to me and I didn’t know why. I think half way through I realized it was because the Ying/Yang of analysis and sillyness had been disturbed. Too much serious analysis without as much fun. I kept turning to my friend and saying ‘I miss Mumbles’ and it just cheered me up immensely to hear Mumbles’s voice here. Im not too proud to say my heart leapt a little at ‘im Mumbles!’, just a little. Now Mumbles and Ruts can take care of having fun conversations while Shamus and Chris point out how ridiculous the storyline is and Josh can bend the fabric of reality while drinking himself into a stupor.

    Things are looking bright. To reiterate: YAAY MUMBLEZ IS BACK!

  13. BeamSplashX says:

    Dear Mumbles,

    yo dawg wuddup

    Regards,
    Sid

    P.S. How do we know Mumbles hasn’t been Shamus all this time?
    P.P.S. The enemy taunts in Splinter Cell: Conviction change over the course of the game. They remain stupidly unafraid of you, but they at least care about originality.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Far Cry 2 has a system where your infamy rises (it has a rating you can actually check) and it gets to the point sometimes people just try to run away completely.
      The only game I can remember with changing taunts is the abomination that is the Arrival DLC for ME2, where the faceless goons you are fighting get terrified over the fact they are being beaten back by one person.

    • Syal says:

      P.S. How do we know Mumbles hasn’t been Shamus all this time?

      I believe it has been empirically proven that they are the same person.

  14. Jokerman says:

    Everytime i watch that cutscene and Sam starts laughing i always think its Lara with a really weird voice… before i realize its coming from the radio.

  15. The Rocketeer says:

    I work on a military base. Specifically, I work in the main building with basically everyone who isn’t manning a spotlight on a watchtower.

    Red barrels are just something you learn to deal with. Our HQ is basically one long, winding corridor, so you get pretty familiar with where they all are after a few weeks. But red barrels are pretty expensive, so squads of three to five of us get stationed around them to keep them safe from lone infiltrators.

    Yes, we all know how dangerous and stupid it is. Every now and then someone says they’re going to talk to the commander about it, but he’s always swinging that rocket launcher around and its sort of hard to follow through on…

  16. Those bugs reminded me of that indie game that manipulated itself – there were 99 lives, and every time a player lost a life, the game became more and more corrupted.
    When the number of lives reached zero, the game corrupted the .exe file so it could no longer be played. There was only one copy of the game.
    Can’t remember what it was called, though.

  17. Paul Spooner says:

    Just to balance out the Mumbles adoration, I don’t see what the fuss is about. Don’t feel bad about the choice to move on Mumbles. You don’t need these guys, and vice versa. It feels like there a gulf of some kind… sub-cultural? social? Whatever it is that prevents interesting conversations from forming and makes people on both sides say “huh, what?” Anyway, the fit doesn’t work for me. Wouldn’t have said anything but… it’s like some sort of hero’s parade in this comment thread! Don’t mind me, I’ll just be smoldering over here, nursing my TUN flavored clognac.

    • Mumbles says:

      this is the weirdest justification for putting someone down. like i understand “oh her voice sounds like dinosaurs” or “i hate women” but this is weird. for the record, i really enjoyed hanging with these guys after months of doing my own thing and i think this and the podcast shows that pretty clearly. but ok. ok.

      • ChoppazAndDakka says:

        Your voice sounds like dinosaurs and I hate women. Also, Batman sucks and the Arkham games are terrible. AM I DOING IT RIGHT, MUMBLES?

        Welcome back, btw.

      • ehlijen says:

        Why would sounding like a dinosaur be a criticism? Dinosaurs are awesome.

        That said, I don’t think you sound like a dinosaur (please don’t feel bad about that).

        • Mersadeon says:

          Have you ever HEARD a dinosaur? Maybe they sound like chicken. We don’t know.

          • ehlijen says:

            Actually, yes, sort of. There was a documentary once where Palaeontologists built musical instruments that matched the shape of a Parasaurolophus’ horn (it’s windpipe was routed through that), adjusted for probable body mass and lung size. Wish I remembered what it was called.

            But mostly I’m basing this on my memories of Jurassic Park, aren’t you?

      • newdarkcloud says:

        Man? Woman? Doesn’t matter.

        Our resident cannibal is back!

      • Daemian Lucifer says:

        Your voice sounds like dinosaurs,and everyone knows dinosaurs are awesome.

      • Ardis Meade says:

        He just doesn’t like that you didn’t swoon over his question on the podcast.

        • Paul Spooner says:

          I know right? I’m bitter and frustrated, but too timid to complain about it directly, so I’m lashing out in a different venue.

          But no, I’m just not a Mumbles fan. I’m glad she’s having fun hanging out, but it’s less fun for me to listen to the discussion when she’s involved. Thus, the complaining.

          I’m not saying “go die in a fire” or anything, just that I liked it better without Mumbles. Am I allowed to say that? I’m… I’m pretty sure I am?

          • X2-Eliah says:

            Then how about you just say that: “I liked it better without Mumbles”. There was NO need for all that fake kiss-up and “don’t feel bad about the choice to move on” etc. etc.

            • Paul Spooner says:

              So, you would prefer I make terse negative comments instead of explaining my reasoning and trying to temper the distaste with encouragement? What leads you to believe that I’m being fake here? I genuinely wish Mumbles no ill will, and think that her decision to leave the show was a good choice. So, yes “I liked it better without Mumbles” is a fair summary, though it sounds a bit like a pout. Thanks for the echoing though!

      • Paul Spooner says:

        It’s a sad sign that we’re more used to absurdity and bigotry than normal reasonable differences of opinion. I’m not saying I hate you or anything, just that I feel like the discussion works better in your absence. For the sake of full disclosure I feel the same way about Josh. So, you’re in good company I guess?

        Anyway, thanks for responding so well. I’m glad you had fun.

        Oh, and while we’re talking, thanks for blowing up over my “ask the diecast” question. It was funny to listen to, even if it wasn’t quite what I had in mind.

        • Mumbles says:

          This is weird.

        • Zukhramm says:

          Yeah, that’s what’s going on here. It’s people overreacting because we’re used to absurdity or bigotry. Totally. It couldn’t be that your comment actually is that.

          • Paul Spooner says:

            Wait, who is overreacting? Mumbles isn’t, she’s being cool about this! She simply pointed out that she is more comfortable dismissing insane ravings and outright hatred than calm dissent. Then I said that it’s sad that we’ve become simultaneously inured to madness and sensitive to disagreement.

            Are you… calling me an absurd bigot for not enjoying Mumbles’ contributions? That seems like what you are saying albeit with circumlocution and sarcasm. No need for that though. Welcome to the polite and straightforward corner of the internet! Please simply say what you mean. I can take it.

            • Zukhramm says:

              I did take care to change your and for an or. I’m not calling you a bigot. And nothing of it based on your opinion on Mumbles, but rather how you choose to comment about it.

              Finally, it seems we have very different views on what is polite.

            • X2-Eliah says:

              Can I overreact, then? I do that a lot.

              Ahem

              You are being an arse, Paul. Please stop, ffs. You don’t like Mumbles on the diecast? DEAL WITH IT, BRO. Or don’t listen. Or just say “uhh I don’t really like this episode, sorry”. But stop this bs nonsense fake apology festival and blamethrowing.
              I’m properly angry about this, btw. Are you from SomethingAwful/4chan/reddit? Because this whole thread, from your side, sure looks like something from those parts.

        • MrGuy says:

          You’re entitled to your opinion, and I’ll defend to the death your right to express it. This is an open forum, and you’re not being profane or deliberately offensive. So, by all means, go on if you feel you must.

          That said, I think you’re wrong. Not for feeling the way you do. But for expressing it in this context.

          With respect, this is like going to someone’s retirement party, when everyone’s thanking them for years of service, and instead saying, “y’know, I’m glad you finally decided to leave. I think you lost your fastball five years ago, and I think the company will be better with someone else.”

          Those might be your honest thoughts. They might even be right. But if you think it’s a great idea to express them at that moment, because they “balance out” the set of opinions, well, I think you have to brush up on your social skills.

    • Point number one: Mumbles is a hero, especially for her fine field work in Fallout New Vegas‘s Boomer quest.

      Point number two: So you’ll only crap on someone’s parade if they use too much bunting? There’s a word for people who post about things that are “too popular,” but I don’t know if you wear Buddy Holly glasses.

      • Paul Spooner says:

        1. Well, it’s fine if you think so, but she’s not my hero. So, I disagree.
        2. I stopped wearing glasses when I graduated from college. Apparently reduced stress improves eyesight! But yeah, I am something of a counter-populist. I think people call that “hipster” these days? Is that what you’re trying to imply? By extension, are you saying that the only possible reason I can have for disagreeing with the majority is that I like to disagree with the majority?

        But no. What I’m saying is that there is a lot of chatter in this thread about “the return of Mumbles” and what people think of it. I happen to not like it. If there was another comment to that effect I would have responded to it in agreement instead of starting a new thread. But all the other mentions of the topic were positive, and I didn’t feel right responding negatively to any one of them while ignoring the others, so I wrote my own comment voicing my (apparently unique?) opinion.

        • anaphysik says:

          I think people call that “hipster” these days?”

          “‘Hipsters?’ No, my term for those sorts of people is much more obscure; you probably haven’t heard of it.”

          ;P

  18. ChoppazAndDakka says:

    I had a lot of problems with this cutscene too. Same ones you did. Had to do this part 3 or 4 times. Was pretty annoying. This game hates Nvidia cards with a passion.

  19. Nano Proksee says:

    The guy who jumps at you a the beginning of the video is a pretty fair case of “getting caught in a cut-scene” I didn’t mind it that much. It didn’t felt unjust for some reason.
    I played with my ol’ Geforce 9800 GT and didn’t have any problems. I didn’t played with the fancy hair though.

  20. Pete says:

    Climbing up that tower seemed plausible enough (barring the fact the whole thing is apparently in the middle of a localised frozen wasteland and thus would probably be covered in ice and cold enough to chill your hands to the point of numb uselessity (totally a word)) until the part where Lara casually leaps across three broken-off rungs.

    And how DOES she get back down that ladder, anyway?

    Oh well. Im a fan of the Assasins Creed series, I dont get to complain.

    • newdarkcloud says:

      Lara jumped down into a conveniently place bail of metal.

    • Paul Spooner says:

      To be fair, the final “climbing the post” sequence is implausible in the execution we’re shown, but not in theory. Someone as demonstrably strong as Laura would have no trouble climbing that thing just by wrapping her arms around it and inching upwards. That’s how I would tackle it anyhow, instead of jumping across the gap. Of course, that would be slow, and look stupid. Getting down is even easier. Hug and slide! I’ts not like she’s allergic to sliding on rough surfaces or anything.

    • Syal says:

      Didn’t you see? You don’t have to use the ladders again. Someone attached a zipline to the tall open structure unprotected from the wind.

  21. Daemian Lucifer says:

    That tuning minigame might have been pointless from gameplay perspective,but it does give you a nice close up of laras face.And man,its beautiful.I dont mean that in “Lara is a goddess” way,but the details that went into her face and hair are great.

    Also,the hacking minigame in batman games was actually one of the good hacking minigames.It was quick,sufficiently easy to master,and tied well into the rest of the game.

  22. Daemian Lucifer says:

    With such an introductory post,I started reading with high hopes of a huge pun thread.You guys have crashed my dreams.

  23. Chris says:

    Rejoice with the return of Mumbles for a few.

  24. hborrgg says:

    I really like this new guy, is he going to keep being one of the show’s hosts from now on?

  25. Lalaland says:

    Excellent I can’t wait to watch this episode when I get home. I’ve been kind of lukewarm on the last 2 seasons since Mumbles left and I think that has to do with the current SW crew agreeing too much. I know the Bioshock season gets a lot of stick for being too down on that game but I loved the back and forth between Mumbles as a fan and Shamus as someone who, like me, was pushed over the edge by what the game got so, so wrong.

  26. Galad says:

    Does the Great ‘Bees’ Pun happen in Bioshock EP6?

  27. RTBones says:

    First of all, Mmmmuuuummmbbbllleeeesss!!!!!!! Nice to have you back, if only for a limited time.

    Second, towers. Yeah, the folks that do that sort of work are a hardy lot and not afraid of heights. Do not forget your 30 lbs bag of tools.

    Now I need whiskey, as I do not wish to be covered in bees. I cannot call Batman for assistance covered in bees. It wouldn’t be very believable, and he would probably just tell me to beat it, which would sting worse than waking up with a whiskey hangover sliding down a zip line covered in bees.

  28. Cybron says:

    The first crash had me laughing so hard my coworkers had to come (from the other side of the hall!) to see what the fuss was about. Top notch bug-whispering, Josh.

  29. Spammy says:

    Hooray, Mumbles! I did miss your commentary, I thought you brought a unique viewpoint and levity to the show.

    Also, is it just me or is this game performing worse than New Vegas for Spoiler Warning? How and or why is this happening?

    The framerate is a little off-putting considering how smooth other seasons have been, but I beat Metro 2033 with marginally more frames per second. The things you do for games you love.

    • Gruhunchously says:

      We’ve already established that Josh bought his computer from a strange parallel dimension where New Vegas might crash once every twenty hours or so and Half Life 2 consistently glitches all over the place.

      • krellen says:

        It’s also possible that the alleged bugginess of New Vegas is overstated.

        • el_b says:

          thats impossible and you know it.

        • Wedge says:

          I’m led to believe that upon launch, NV was buggy to the point of unplayability. I can’t speak to that myself, but I’m sure that by the time SW got to NV it had been patched quite thoroughly.

          • Shamus says:

            For the record: I was one of the people who had a lot of problems with the game. And I think the reason for the ire was that the bugs were really, really destructive. Losing items, ruining saves, and halting forward progress kinda things. That’s a lot more frustrating than just crashing now and again.

          • Alan says:

            I just started this spring, and it’s in good shape these day. I get occasional crashes, but nothing worse. And the game auto saves reasonably frequently (in addition to your manual saves), so I’ve never lost too much. I wouldn’t let the game’s early reputation dissuade anyone from getting it today.

    • Josh says:

      The framerate problem is restricted entirely to this episode. The rest of the week is smooth. I can only guess that this particular area has some weirdness in it when exposed to nVidia cards.

  30. X2-Eliah says:

    So, egads, that game sure is lagging a lot. Is that gameplay-lagging, or post-play lagging? (meaning – does Josh see that lag we’re seeing while he’s playing this?) Because for me that’d be near unplayable.

  31. tengokujin says:

    Actually, that radio tower cutscene did bug out and crash on me. There’s something about the memory management for that scene, I suppose.
    System specs just to back me up on thoughts of code instability:
    AMD Phenom II X4
    12 GB RAM
    ATI Radeon HD 6850

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