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    dkirschner's Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC)

    [January 28, 2023 08:16:54 PM]
    This was better than the last one, but I'm glad to be done. These games are bloated with items to pick up and needless optional tombs, crypts, side quests, and challenges. If you skip all that stuff, you'll cut your playtime in half. Unfortunately, my brain has a hard time ignoring map icons, so I squirrelled away items and explored most of the map for about 75% of the game before finally focusing on the story and finishing up. As such, the pacing was off for me. The skill tree is done a little bit differently and is a little more useful than the previous two games, but more or less the same. And the funniest thing, I complained hard during the previous game about "survival instincts " or whatever it's called when you click the right stick and it highlights interactable objects and enemies. It only lasted a couple seconds and I seriously spent the game clicking the right stick for most of the time. One of the very first skills you can unlock in this game increases the duration of survival instincts. They knew it was a horribly implemented feature! They knew everyone hated it! So they graced us with survival instincts that are not maddeningly short (for a skill point).

    The best thing about Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the setting. They nailed it in the jungles of Peru with all the ancient civilizations that were there. Since this is the final game of the trilogy, the stakes are raised too. The bad guy is THE leader of Trinity. His story, while still leaning into a savior complex, was far more interesting than the guy with the face scar whose name I don't remember from Rise of the Tomb Raider. He's got a history with the people in the Peruvian jungles, is connected to the people and the setting in a way that the previous villain wasn't. The stakes are also raised for Lara. In the first 10 minutes, she accidentally sets in motion the end of the world (oops!).

    Lara has to wrap up the drama surrounding her family and her own life too. You get more clarity on her childhood, what happened to her parents, and what she wants from life. At one point, angry and frustrated, she laments that she could have had a family and led a totally different life. I like Lara's development over the three games. There is this amazing moment in Shadow of the Tomb Raider that contrasts with one of the most memorable moments of the first game. In the first game--her first adventure--she kills her first enemy in self-defense. She's horrified at the killing. She comes to terms with it during that game (and kills hundreds of people over the trilogy). At one point in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the bad guy asks her how many people she's killed, how many lives she's ruined, and she's fairly dumbfounded and can't respond. But there's this scene--the most badass scene I've played in a game or watched in a show or movie in memory--in an oil refinery. An earthquake has hit, Trinity is flying helicopters around blowing up the refinery, the bad guy has just told Lara that he's killed her friend. She's furious. It's chaos. One of the series' trademark escape set pieces happens (these are breathtaking) and Lara jumps into the water at the end of the set piece. She emerges from the water, camera facing her, like a fucking sea banshee. Fire from the burning refinery lighting up the background, burning buildings and oil on water, Lara dark and wet in the foreground. An enemy grunt sees her and tentatively yells at her to stop as she stalks toward him. She says something like, "You don't want to mess with me," he attacks her, and she beats the shit out of him before taking his knife and stabbing him to death. It was really violent and emotional.

    How far she came from the scared, vulnerable, novice adventurer she was at the beginning of the first game.
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    dkirschner's Shadow of the Tomb Raider (PC)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 14 January, 2023

    GameLog closed on: Saturday 28 January, 2023

    dkirschner's opinion and rating for this game

    Enjoying it more than #2. Great setting. -------- Fitting end to the trilogy. Sufficiently epic. Still tedious collecting things!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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