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Topic: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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KALofKRYPTON

@Th3solution I quite liked the Broforce red, white & blue - it was very fitting.

PSN: KALofKRYPTON (so you can see how often I don't play anything!)

Twitter: @KALofKRYPTON (at your own risk, I don't care if you're offended)

"Fate: Protects fools, little children, and ships named Enterprise." - Cmdr William T. Riker

RogerRoger

So, just spent about 90 minutes clearing the prologue. I thought I'd been pretty thorough, but upon getting to the game proper I looked back on the menu and it said it was 17% complete, and showed me a bunch of icons with 0/1 and 0/3 next to them. Good ol' Tomb Raider!

It makes a good first impression. Obviously, if you didn't like the previous two reboots, the smaller tweaks won't do much to change your mind, but I appreciate them. Subtle additions in terms of sound and animation are great, and environment traversal is made even more spectacular by the new rappel ability. There was a nice bit of narrative, both in cutscenes and in a walking-simulator-style gameplay section, and everything was given a solid introduction, with a light puzzle following that traversal section and then a simple-but-effective slice of combat.

Graphics are gorgeous (I'm playing on a PS4 Pro using Resolution Mode, which is 30fps and full detail, rather than Performance Mode, which is 60fps and less detail) although I found the colour palette to be quite muted throughout the prologue; that said, it does take place in the dead of night, and so maybe it was just the HDR being "realistic". I might switch it off later and see what happens, but the jungle I'm now in looks stunning so perhaps it was an artistic choice. I tried to stay away from Photo Mode, but ended up capturing three shots before I forced myself to ignore it.

I love how the game knows it's the third in an established trilogy. I found it odd in Rise, when Lara had rope arrows but couldn't use them to pull down doors until she'd learnt the skill (or found some kind of stronger rope or something) despite it being a progression skill in the previous game. Here, there's no need to re-discover what she already knows; I was pulling down obstructions within minutes. I also could craft fire arrows right off the bat.

The story from the opening couple hours had been heavily publicised and / or featured in trailers, so little of it was surprising, but I still enjoyed seeing it unfold. The music (which is composed and performed by an expert in native South American instruments, giving everything an authentic ethnographic feel) is great as a backdrop to your exploits, but I feel won't be all that stunning to listen to separately, because it's quite subdued and restrained at times; maybe that's a good thing, as it certainly adds to the somewhat-darker atmosphere. Solid voice-acting across the board, and I definitely dislike Lara's obsessive, petulant attitude thusfar (which is fine, because I'm supposed to at this stage; it'll live or die by the narrative's conclusions and her personal character arc).

A good start. A very good start. The jungle awaits!

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

NecuVise

@RogerRoger thanks for that short summary! My pre-order was canceled due to some problems with paypal, so now I have to wait a little longer to play it even though I'd like to play it right now, and you have only fueled my desire. I'll be going for platinum as according to powerpyx it doesn't take so long to obtain it and it's not that difficult. I usually don't do it (have only 3 plats besides telltale games) but I like rebooted TR games so why not.

NecuVise

Th3solution

@RogerRoger It sounds good so far. Hopefully I’ll be able to have my own first impressions in the next couple days.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

NecuVise

And my order was declined for the second time due to payment processing problems. Has anyone had similar problems on The Game Collection? I've bought numerous games before without problems so I really don't understand where's the problem. When I buy the game, everything goes fine, payment is successful but when they try to process my order the following day I get this payment processing error :S

NecuVise

RogerRoger

@Th3solution Looking forward to reading them! It'll be interesting to see where we agree and disagree. I'll be into the jungle proper this afternoon / evening and it's where the more common elements have started to pop up (base camps, skill trees, etc.) so we'll see how I'm feeling when actually underway. Right now it feels like I've played a really decent demo!

@NecuVise I've never used The Game Collection, I'm afraid. Perhaps you could try contacting them directly and paying directly over the phone (if there's a way of doing that)? It might be a software glitch. Or perhaps you could try ordering from somewhere else?

Sorry to hear you're having trouble.

The trophy list is VERY long and there seem to be quite a few hidden ones. The previous two games didn't tend to have story milestone trophies, but I got three during the prologue alone, so I'm guessing that they'll be a regular thing. I've platinumed Tomb Raider Legend and Tomb Raider Underworld on PS3 but never managed any of the reboots because they always had multiplayer or co-op elements; as long as they don't add co-op trophies when they introduce the mode in a couple months, I might be on course to platinum Shadow as well.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

Kidfried

@RogerRoger I can't remember an instance in which through updates extra trophies were added as a requirement for the platinum. So, I think you're going to platinum this one easily!

Wind's howling.

RogerRoger

@Kidfried Thanks, but my stupid OCD demands that I cannot platinum something unless I can get the percentage to read 100% alongside it.

I've been stung once before; Arkham Knight finished all the Season Pass content, which I was getting all the trophies for in sequence, and then I went back and got the very last core game trophy and got the platinum. Then, unexpectedly as a final bonus, Rocksteady released the Community Challenge Pack free of charge, and it came with a near-impossible trophy sub-list. It made my percentage 91% (even worse, an odd number) so I forced myself to get one of the new trophies, to make it 92% and leave it on an even number. The rest are so difficult, far above and beyond anything else they'd included.

Every time I look at my trophy list, it makes me feel awful, and a small part of me hates Rocksteady to this very day, so now I refuse to platinum anything until all the DLC is out and I know I can get 100% trophies. With a seven-month Season Pass schedule, it's gonna be a long wait for Lara!

Wow, I'm pathetic.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

Kidfried

@RogerRoger That must be tough, and you're not pathetic.

You would hate the run in South Park TFBW I had. I completed the game, including every side mission, on the highest difficulty. Turns out you only get the difficulty trophy for playing on the second-highest difficulty. So now I'm stuck with 91% unless I play the game another time.

Anyway, we'll see what Eidos has in store DLC wise. I don't expect any multiplayer, though.

Wind's howling.

RogerRoger

@Kidfried Thanks. I sometimes let my frustration do the talking and I shouldn't.

Urgh, that's awful when that happens! You have my sympathies; unlock requirements should always be crystal clear (unless it's part of the game, like the mysterious clues for the Virginia trophies). There are a couple games where I'm stuck on an odd numbered percentage and there's only one trophy left, but it's one I can never get.

I think one of the monthly Optional Tombs will be adding a co-op mode, for two people to tackle all of the Optional Tombs together (they're available separately on the main menu, once you've found them in-game). If there are any trophies added to the new tombs, they should hopefully be doable solo.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

mookysam

@RogerRoger That's definitely not pathetic. I'm close to people with OCD, so I can understand to a degree (though I can never fully appreciate what it's like).

Multiplayer trophies are extremely irritating to me as I don't like playing with complete strangers and my friends list is rather small. Not to mention servers being turned off. Some randoms were quite spiteful when I played Left 4 Dead and it actually put me off playing.

Anyways, how are you finding Tomb Raider? I read that it is more puzzle focused this time round, which sounds rather appealing to me. I'd like to catch up with the series.

Switch FC: SW-7078-8737-1884

PSN: mookysam

RogerRoger

@mookysam Shadow of the Tomb Raider is improving with each minute of play.

I've put in another couple hours this afternoon and, you're right, combat isn't as prevalent this time out. In fact, in those two hours, I've only had two very short "combat" encounters, neither of which I'd actually use that word to describe. They were just incredibly tense flurries of survival with the natural environment; no humans in the jungle yet (unlike Rise, which almost immediately gave you a large group of Trinity mercs to deal with after a fifteen-minute prologue). Most of it has been traversal, exploration, a little bit of crafting, dialogue and some surprisingly emotional cutscenes.

It has, briefly, fallen into the "wait for your NPC ally to finish talking" syndrome which some may like, but I personally dislike. It's okay, though, because from what I understand it's only temporary. Lara is still set to spend most of the game alone.

Also did my first Optional Tomb. It wasn't the Challenge Tomb with the "spinning tie-rack of doom" they've been showing in the trailers, but rather something on the same scale as those found in the previous two games. It built up quite a tense atmosphere, though, in a way I wasn't expecting and had a neat little bit of story to it, if you stopped to look for it. To know that the tombs are gonna have such variety is exciting, and I loved how it wasn't a reward for getting through forced combat.

Given the focus on traversal and tinkering with the environment, thank goodness I've switched all the button-mashing accessibility options to "press and hold", is all I'll say.

I'll pop a further post in spoiler tags separately. Don't click if you wanna stay surprised.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

RogerRoger

Okay, heavy spoilers but I just wanted to put some thoughts down.

There's a moment in Rise where Lara has a childhood flashback of running in and finding her father slumped over his desk, having committed suicide. Well, what really surprised me was that, after an emotional campfire chat with Jonah, Shadow revists that flashback with an entire playable sequence in and around Croft Manor where you control Lara as a child, making up an adventure in a very similar way to the Life is Strange: Before the Storm bonus episode.

You start in the garden, finding hand-drawn maps and toys scattered about, before working your way inside to solve a large puzzle in a wing of the manor you're not supposed to be in. It ultimately leads to that sombre, chilling moment and I was not prepared for it at all. We also see Lara's mother for the first time since the reboot, in flashbacks within the flashback (how very Inception) and start to understand some of the weight and meaning behind Lara's screwed-up childhood. I was genuinely quite moved, especially since playing as Kid Lara and climbing all over the manor whilst she spins an epic, imaginative yarn was a properly joyful experience.

The writing and character development, at least in the beginning, is going above and beyond. I just hope it can maintain the quality throughout because, if it can, well... blimey.

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

Th3solution

@RogerRoger Dang, this is getting me excited! I like the idea of more exploration, puzzles, and tomb raiding without unnecessary combat. I like firing a bow into an enemy’s skull as much as the next guy, but if I want to take on hoards of mindless mercenaries then I’ll play Uncharted.
I have to get through work tomorrow before I can pick up my copy. I’m definitely playing this before Spider-Man.

Edited on by Th3solution

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

Gamer83

@RogerRoger
That part was surprisingly well done. Probably the high point from what I've played so far.

Gamer83

RogerRoger

@Th3solution I've played a further couple hours now (so that'd be about seven hours in, total, with a 22% completion rating) and I've yet to find any combat beyond immediate scuffles with the environment and that prologue sequence. There was one encounter with humans I had this morning, but it was essentially a scripted stealth tutorial. I've spent most of my time in Challenge Tombs, of which I've now completed three. With each subsequent discovery, they're getting bigger and more elaborate, and they start at the same level as the ones from Rise, so I'm having an absolute blast.

I've also forgotten to mention one of the best bits; the sound design is amazing. I'm playing with headphones on and when you're in the jungle, the sheer amount and variety of noise is incredible. Several times, I've wheeled around because something dropped from a tree, only to find it was a twig knocked loose by a monkey or something, but you really feel like you're wrapped in the sounds of the jungle and it does nothing but help the immersion. None of it is looped, either; it all feels unique, real and alive. It's the best jungle environment I've encountered in a game thusfar (and, let's face it, there are enough of them to choose from).

One downside to the sound design, though, is that every time you activate Survival Instincts in a tomb or near a puzzle, Lara gives you a hint about what to do. You can turn them off as part of the "tweak everything" difficulty sliders, but I'm playing on Normal across the board and so I get vague hints, rather than the actual directions Easy give you. Lara will just repeat the same "I need to raise the bridge!" or whatever phrase, three or four times, before she switches to a different recording (for example, "Got to get that bridge raised!" or something). It's not the worst thing ever, but I caught myself repeating her hints as she said them, and one time I might've just gone "No, really?!" out loud.

@Gamer83 I love the jungle and all, but I really hope there's a chapter select or something once you've completed the game, as I can't wait to replay that section! Glad you liked it, too!

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

mookysam

@RogerRoger The game sounds right up my alley, especially as I'm not a massive fan of combat in these types of games. The constant hints sound simultaneously annoying and hilarious. Why do modern game characters talk to themselves so much?

Switch FC: SW-7078-8737-1884

PSN: mookysam

RogerRoger

@mookysam I'm expecting a massive, really difficult fight to break out at any minute, and I'm sure one will, but I'm hoping it won't feel bothersome as a result. In fact, I think one's a teeny bit overdue now, and that's coming from somebody who'd happily have a combat-free Tomb Raider game. Combat is an integral part of these reboots and it'll be nice to try out all the new stealth moves without having my hand held.

It reminds me of the RAD Mode from Lara's binoculars in Tomb Raider Legend. Point it at some massive ancient mechanism and hear Lara say to herself "this looks like a massive ancient mechanism".

"It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness; that is life."
Cpt. Jean-Luc Picard, Stardate: 42923.4

Kidfried

@RogerRoger You would be a great salesperson. I kind of want this now. And fast.

Wind's howling.

Th3solution

So I started SotTR tonight and I am liking it very much. I’m only about 3 hours in but so far I am liking it. I think it could be fairly criticized for being derivative, if I’m honest. So far it feels very much similar to Rise of the TR but with some nicer graphics and extra polish. Of course I am very early, I realize, so I haven’t obtained the new weapons and combat options yet. Although the stealth introduction has me thinking I am really going to like the new stealth options. It is just really satisfying to sneak through the foliage unseen and pounce on someone. Again, very similar to what other games are doing, but with a little twist.
The thing I appreciate the most is the focus on exploration so far. I won’t reiterate what’s been said, but I prefer this emphasis on tomb raiding.
It was also pretty cool how the game reads your save files (I assume that’s how it’s done) and knows if you played the previous games and so you get to start with almost all the outfits you collected in the last game, including the retro Laras. It’s a nice touch.
Overall, the litmus test is that I am enjoying my time and it is one of those games I want to just keep doing “one more” check point, but I need to sleep at least a little bit.

Edit: And I think I’m liking it enough to change my profile pic.

Edited on by Th3solution

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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