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    dkirschner's Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC)

    [January 13, 2023 11:10:52 AM]
    This didn't have the same impact as the 2013 reboot, but it was still solid. My favorite parts were the platforming set pieces. Lara can't climb up an ice wall without an avalanche, can't cross a bridge without a cable snapping, can't climb a tower without it crumbling. You know everything will be fine if you just keep going forward, but the illusion of danger is thrilling. My least favorite parts, but those which tapped into my compulsive gamer brain, involved scouring the landscape for pickups. Documents elaborate on characters and events, relics shed light on ancient civilizations, caches provide resources and coins. You need resources to upgrade guns, bows, ammo pouches, and to craft supplies. Useful, but less so than it seems. As in the first game, it really doesn't matter what you upgrade. You'll have enough skill points to unlock almost all the skills (and many of them are utterly pointless again) and enough resources to craft all the weapon upgrades you could ever need. I probably died from combat 5 times the entire game, and by the end that was mostly because I started trying to melee kill everyone. It's not a hard game.

    This game has a bit of a metroidvania feel because you'll be crossing back through areas you already went, and you're drip-fed new gadgets that allow you to explore caves, tombs, etc. that you once lacked access to. With the fast travel system between camp fires, you can revisit old areas for pickups and stuff as you gain more traversal abilities. I found this frustrating for most of the game. Finding a cave, killing a tough bear or some wolves inside, exploring it, then being told you can't go further without one gadget or another, was like, "Why did I spend all this time exploring here?!" You can't mark your map to remember to return either. You can only mark one thing at a time, which does conveniently show up as a blue light pillar when you use your "instinct" senses or whatever it's called that highlights animals, pickups, and interactable things in the environment. It would be useful if you could place pins, or type "rebreather" or whatever equipment you need to remind you to come back when you get the rebreather.

    Those instinct senses though are so annoying! You click down on the right stick to highlight stuff nearby, but I beat the game and never figured out by what rules it worked. Sometimes if you move, the highlights go away. Sometimes if you stay still, stuff stays highlighted forever. Coming from Assassin's Creed Odyssey where stuff stays highlighted for 20 seconds (time based on skill points), this finnicky system was driving me crazy, especially because there is so much stuff to pick up.

    Anyway, like I said, it was still fun throughout. It takes place in some icy mountains, so Lara is getting her alpine climber on. The scenery is beautiful, the combat is crunchy (though you really can melee your way to victory, except with the wildlife). Aside from my axes, I used the bow a good amount, and later in the game, the shotgun became my favorite because you can kill tough enemies with one or two shots. The story is okay. This time, we've got a religious lunatic trying to make his sister immortal. I thought they were pretty weak bad guys. I don't remember the villain of the previous game, but maybe the third one will be better (hopefully, all around!).
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    dkirschner's Rise of the Tomb Raider (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Sunday 18 December, 2022

    GameLog closed on: Friday 13 January, 2023

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    What an intro! Very intriguing, though wary of crafting bloat. -------- Definitely crafting bloat. I'll have to ignore this stuff in the next game. Solid fun though. Good action.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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