Monday, January 4, 2016

I am sure something changed hands

Between the holidays and recording with Chance I have played through another Tomb Raider game without recording any reactions beyond 'oh my, this is quite good.' It is indeed quite good, and it avoids one of the big character problems of the first game by sending Lara immediately into homicidal maniac mode. She is no archaeologist, she is a killer with daddy issues, but that's okay because framing her that way makes more sense. Raiding tombs is an excuse to kill more 'bad' people.

Just like the first game Rise ups the ante so many times that it has no choice but to whip out the supernatural in the final act. It is not as silly as the time witch, or whatever the hell that was, but an immortal army and an impossibly large shadow organization with an unending supply of mooks is pretty close.

Side note: immortal only applies to being killed by men. Lara can off the immortal soldiers just fine. Maybe there is a message there that I am too thick to comprehend.

Between its relatively small beginning and its grandiose, if a bit silly, ending there are large areas to explore that are packed with more secrets than I cared to find. There are scripted sequences in between that rival some of the best that Uncharted has offered. A smoke filled battle that has Lara swimming under ice, gliding from to hole to hole and drowning fools is a highlight. It was hard, but it will not be forgotten.

It was also precisely the correct length. While I did take my time exploring areas and found all of the big things a decent number of collectibles remained. Consequently, Lara's weapons and skills were not maxed out when I was done. This give post endgame play legitimacy and prevents the kind of final capter boredom that Ubi-games are guilty of. I am looking right at you, Far Cry 3 and 4.

While it was certainly nice to get to play Rise of the Tomb Raider long before it appeared on the PS4 I am a little jealous of how good the game will be when it makes the leap. I am sure that it will include all of the DLC and maybe a little bit extra as a way of apologizing for its tryst with Microsoft.

But no one can say no to Microsoft money hats. No one.


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