Monday, October 15, 2018

Out of the shadow

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is making good use of a relatively small area. I supposed it could be called open world but it is downright tiny when compares to an Elder Scroll or Assassin's Creed game. The difference is in density and how things are locked off. It is possible to wander around an area, very slowly, and find ever little thing. It is much more efficient to find maps that detail the item's locations and then use that. These maps never reveal everything but they do reveal just enough to keep the play moving.

It also features very standard Metroid-vania locktease - a door that cannot be open without a shotgun or a reinforced knife. It manages to keep smaller areas fresh with content organically, though I am not sure why a door that required a reinforced knife could not just as easily be opened with a shotgun.

Lara is also less odious than she was in the opening hours. She has been searching for the hidden city for the entire game assuming that it was ancient ruins. When it turns out that it is living city that has been hidden from the rest of the world for centuries she decided to help protect them (from the pending Armageddon that she caused). It is not clear why some of them speak English, but that is not a complaint hill that I am going to die on.

In other words, the game is getting better. It isn't the best looking or the best written but it is still a Tomb Raider game that fits in nicely with the reboot and its sequel. If I weren't convinced that the game was going to kill Jonah to teach Lara a lesson I would be quite pleased.

There is the fact that a white person is showing up in a very not white country just to save the day... Would you look at that, I have something else that I need to do.

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