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Topic: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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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.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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!

Kidfried

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.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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.

Kidfried

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.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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.

mookysam

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.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

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?

mookysam

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".

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Kidfried

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

Kidfried

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.

RogerRoger

@Kidfried Hey, I've said it before and I'll say it again; just because I'm eloquent doesn't mean I'm right, these are just my opinions! Your actual mileage may vary.

@Th3solution A fair assessment (and a great new avatar, by the way). I agree that it very much knows that its the third in a trilogy, for all the good (ability introduction skipping) and less good ("here's our formula and we're sticking to it") that may bring. It's the ultimate refinement of everything that's been before, which is awesome, but it's still just a refinement for the most part, although there have also been a few nice surprises along the way.

I've yet to brave one of the Classic skins. I'm saving them for a replay, they'll make the cutscenes too silly otherwise! I think it does read your saves, yeah. Or it connects to your SquareEnix account, but I never bother with those so mine must be on the strength of my save files alone.

Last night, as predicted, the long-overdue combat sequence arrived right on schedule (which was awesome, because it felt right and wasn't frustrating in the slightest... in fact, with the new stealth mechanics, I only raised the alarm with one guy left, at which point it was cool just to let rip and fight him). There was also a second one, which was much more chaotic, but only after a little more exploration and exposition, and then it's been solid puzzles and traversal ever since. The pacing has been vastly improved.

Then I finally arrived at the heavily-advertised city hub. It's definitely the largest in terms of area, but it feels much bigger than it actually is due to being packed with people, animals, districts, stuff going on, chats, traders, side quests... everything, it just feels so alive. There's barely a wasted street or alley. When you first arrive you're given a tour and you can stick with your guide, or just go wandering off and meet up with them later. Then I went back on this morning and played for just over an hour and in that time, I completed one lap of the city, stopping to explore little bits of it and follow up on things I'd been given to do.

Won't be playing any more until tomorrow night, or maybe even Monday afternoon, but I can't wait to get back to it and explore further. Hope those playing it over the weekend continue to enjoy!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

@beemo Awesome. Thanks for your thoughts!

I'll be getting back to it in a little while, and can't wait to see what happens next (I'd just arrived in Paititi and done a lap of the city, trading and chatting and doing a side quest so I'm ready to move on as soon as I load it back up). Some of the issues you mention I'd noticed as well; others I hadn't. They'll probably be all I can see now!

Glad you had such a great time with it, and here's hoping you can continue soon!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

andreoni79

@RogerRoger I've just beaten Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. The only cons were Lara's perpetual moaning and the difficulty: too many ammos and auto-health made the hardest setting an easy walk. What about Rise and Shadow?

Praise the Sun, and Mario too.

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