New Entries

New Entries: Rise of The Tomb Raider

Our next December game going live on is Rise of The Tomb Raider. The game follows the popular adventuring heroine on a journey into snowy Siberian mountains, searching for a religious relic her father, Lord Croft, once hunted for his own research. With equal focus on exploring, fighting and crafting, the game is likely to appeal to many different player archetypes, and is notably less visceral in its depictions of gore compared to the previous title in the series, Tomb Raider. The themes of religious and political fundamentalism shown through the narrative would make interesting topics for discussion and further learning. Click the icon below to read more about this game:

New Entries

New Entries: Lara Croft Relic Run

More Lara! Gaming’s most recognisable lady seems to be everywhere these days, having been split into at least four separate franchise lines [see below] and counting. This one doesn’t seem to have been as popular in the games press as Lara Croft Go and her big-budget PC & Console outings, but has a dedicated fanbase and offers a nicely polished take on the over-crowded Endless Runner genre.

  1. Lara Croft Go
  2. Tomb Raider [Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider:Rise of The Tomb Raider]
  3. Lara Croft Relic Run
  4. Lara Croft and the… […Guardian of Light, …Temple of Osiris]*

* We haven’t done entries on these ones because they’re a bit of an oddity. The second game in this line was marred by bugs, and rather than resolving them, the developers seem to have abandoned it. The players are pretty furious and we have a strict policy of only publishing a game report when the game has been played fully and thoroughly. Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris is, according to the grapevine, uncompleted and uncompletable, so I’m reticent to put the hours in only to find we can’t finish it properly to write it up. Our Rise of The Tomb Raider report is coming soon.

Click the icon below for the GameHub report on Lara Croft Relic Run:


Words Worth Knowing

Words Worth Knowing *BONUS POST* – Floppy Corpses and Parental Concerns

You may have noticed that all of our games have a topic in the Violence & Gore subsection that asks the question “Does this game contain ‘ragdolling’ corpses?” Now, some of you may be wanting to know, what on earth is ragdolling?

Ragdolling on GameHub
Ragdolling on GameHub

The short answer is this is ragdolling:

Ragdolling is a way of dealing with death and injury in video-game animation. Ragdolling is a process whereby, on impact with an object, such as a bullet or sword swipe, the target object,(in this case a human form) responds in accordance with physics. Rather than falling flat to the floor and vanishing, or displaying one of a specially crafted set of “death animations” the body of the character reacts to the force applied to it –  a small shove may cause a topple, but a big hit could cause them to go flying. If no new forces come into play, the body just crumples into a heap. If the character or object is large and heavy, the player may not be able to move it, but if the object is smaller, or is not capable of creating a powerful enough resisting force, impacts may cause it to fall or move a long way. This is particularly relevant when a character dies, and all the physical forces attached to them as a living object, standing upright and exerting control over their body, are suddenly lost. If that loss coincides with a big new pressure on their form, such as a grenade hit or baseball bat swing, the resulting jangling of simulated physics can cause some fairly visually interesting and unexpected results.

As it can produce comedic results, ragdolling is a favoured tool of developers making light-hearted games, such as Goat Simulator. Gifs and images of silly ragdoll physics mishaps often “go viral” on social media

whilst the modding creation tool Gary’s Mod allows players to play with ragdoll physics to create games, animations and films.

Ragdolling can sometimes cause parents some concerns. The affects of physical forces on the characters’ bodies can sometimes look quite visceral

or extreme

or, when things go wrong, downright disturbing!

If a game contains ragdoll physics, we record that fact in the GameHub report, so that you know what kind of things you are likely to see. Ragdolling is a popular gameplay feature amongst gamers, and a prominent feature of games such as The Elder Scrolls Skyrim and Goat Simulator.

Parents should be aware that some players will take advantage of ragdoll physics to pose corpses in compromising positions, such as simulated sex acts. This is a player-created action and thus is not covered under age-rating systems such as the ESRB or PEGI. These boards also do not cover modding, where ragdoll physics systems are often exacerbated or enhanced for player entertainment.

Some players will dispassionately kill a character many times in a row, displaying a kind of morbid fascination with how the ragdoll physics system works, or trying to set up an amusing shot to share with their friends. As ragdoll physics is at its most extreme when there are strong dynamic forces acting upon a body, this often entails hurling a character from a high height or into fast-moving machinery. This activity, when viewed as an observer, can be extremely alarming to watch a player do over and over again. In video-gaming’s often disappointingly seedy early history, Lara Croft, built like a Barbie doll with long gangly limbs and more weight assigned to the chest and upper thigh areas, would often be a point of fascination.

The designers of the more modern Lara Croft games worked around this uncomfortable issue by giving Lara personalised death animations, whilst retaining some ragdoll physics for enemy characters. These new, gory, personal and at times distressing animations encouraged the player to aim to preserve Lara from bodily harm by their actions, rather than treating her a ragdoll toy to throw into painful situations.