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Topic: General Tomb Raider Thread

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Octane

@Kidfried Yeah, it's maybe a bit too big. I did like the variety of crafting, and skills you could learn. I forgot, making bombs and molotov cocktails wasn't in the first game, right? Hunting animals wasn't either I think.

Octane

RogerRoger

@Octane Congratulations on completing Rise! Also a little bit jealous of you seeing Croft Manor in VR, but it's still an excellent DLC when played traditionally.

You're right, in Tomb Raider 2013 crafting with salvage was limited to weapon and gear upgrades at base camps. That expansion of Lara's on-the-fly abilities and crafting system expands considerably once again in Shadow. Her skill tree is absolutely bonkers, and can be a little overwhelming at times.

I do agree with @Kidfried and @JohnnyShoulder about some parts of Rise's ending feeling like a rehash of the previous game. When I first settled down to play Shadow, I swore to myself that if Lara ended up shimmying past marching hoards of an undead army for a third time, I'd deduct points (thankfully, the change in developer led to some fresh story ideas).

Will you be playing Shadow at any point? The last DLC is out next week, so it's nearly complete.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Octane

@RogerRoger ''I swore to myself that if Lara ended up shimmying past marching hoards of an undead army for a third time''

lol, so true. When I watched that cut-scene, I definitely had a deja-vu moment.

Yeah, I'm definitely picking up Shadow at some point. But I'm getting Dreams tomorrow, and Days Gone later this month, so it won't be any time soon. Summer is usually the time I play the least games. And I do want to play Control as well, and that's coming out late summer too I believe. So I probably won't get around to it until later this year. But who knows, maybe there will be a complete edition or something like that by then.

Octane

RogerRoger

@Octane Oh, most likely. And it'll be cheaper by then, too. I'll be playing all the DLCs once I've finished Dragon Age: Inquisition and will post some spoiler-free thoughts in here.

Glad you finally got Dreams!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

@Octane Ah, then I hope it lives up to your expectations! You won't need to get Shadow, you could just make your own Tomb Raider adventures in that instead!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

AdamantiumClaws

I got Shadow of the Tomb Raider recently and just straight up quit. Such a step backwards from Rise, and just such an unfocused experience. Could learn from Uncharted.

Even the rocks do not recall.

RogerRoger

So earlier today, I started playing through the seven (seven!!) DLCs from Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Despite a greyed-out "coming soon" on a sub-menu suggesting an eighth, as-yet-unannounced expansion, the official line is that they're all finished, and I've been itching to dive back in.

Three down, four to go and thusfar, impressions are incredibly strong.

I'm playing them in order of release. First up was The Forge which was a great way of returning to the game and familiarising myself with the mechanics. I was surprised by just how much story content there was attached to the Challenge Tomb; these aren't just ten-minute excursions for Lady Croft, the whole thing took me around an hour (plus another hour for Photo Mode, but that's just me). There's some major development and expansion of a supporting character from the core game which I wasn't expecting. The whole thing felt like a "side quest plus" and was very well-presented.

The tomb itself was quite inventive, once you got to it (there was another new, smaller tomb before it) and for those who appreciated Shadow's balance between combat and exploration, never fear; there was only one, very brief fight with a pack of rabid foxes. It was all solid stuff. Whilst it won't sway anybody who's already decided to hate NuLara, it'll serve as a warm welcome for those returning to Shadow, or be a highlight to anybody playing fresh from the start.

Next up was The Pillar. This one, I'll admit, was just "fine". The story feels a little disconnected; a new character is dropped in, explaining a vague link to the events of the main game and fast-tracking some exposition so that she can call Lara her "sister in arms" right before, you guessed it, asking her to go and fetch something from somewhere. This is more what I was expecting; there's nothing wrong with it, but it didn't make me take much notice. Ended on a neat little note, mind.

The gameplay for this tomb was broken up into two sections, one right after the other. The first half was pretty excellent, with Lara leaping across a storm-ravaged set of mountain temples and using ancient sails embedded in the rock to provide shelter. To call this section "atmospheric" would do it an injustice; it was spectacular and very fun. Unfortunately, the second half headed indoors for a prolonged combat encounter which felt identical to the half-dozen already included with the main game. It wasn't the worst thing ever (in fact, I always felt like Shadow could use a handful more shootouts) but it was all entirely predictable. Good, but not great.

Finally, however, I played The Nightmare and I'm real glad I did. This was the one I was least looking forward to, since trailers made it look like a rehash of the Lara's Nightmare scenario from Rise; it most certainly was not. Admittedly, sure, there is a hallucination combat sequence that feels very Arkham Asylum and sure, we've seen enough of those in games before, but this one was nicely presented with a distinct style and deeply disturbing edge that didn't rely on cheap tricks as much as it did character impact on Lara. Think of all the emotional notes you'd wanna hit from across the reboot trilogy and yep, they're hit. I wasn't bored, nor was I unimpressed; my fears weren't manifested (unlike poor Lara's).

But then, catching me completely by surprise, the hallucination ends and the rest of the DLC plays out across what might just be my favourite Tomb Raider environment of all time. I'll cover this up in case anybody wants to remain surprised, but the Howl of the Monkey Gods turned out to be a giant musical instrument. Lara must leap between giant drums as they're struck in sequence, whilst a vast canyon funnels wind into huge stone flutes which rise and fall to create a path. It was amazingly imaginative, tons of fun to navigate and the sound design was pure ear candy. I had to stop myself from immediately replaying it, but will definitely revisit it in the Challenge Tomb sub-menu and look forward to it in future, when I replay the entire game, DLC and all.

Each of these DLC chunks has taken me, on average, an hour to complete. One good, one perfectly fine and one brilliant gives me hope that the remaining four will be of comparable quality; if so, this could be one of the better season pass offerings in recent memory. I'm really excited to continue, and so I'll return with further thoughts in the coming days.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

Been cracking on with these DLC tombs; three more down, one to go.

The Price of Survival was three smaller environments broken up into a better-paced quest, rather than some busywork and then one giant tomb. The first was a new combat area, the second involved a flooded deathtrap and the third saw Lara dodging poison spores to use ancient pirate ship cannons to blast her way into the final treasure. The individual components were very fun, despite being very brief, but the story didn't quite hang together for me, even though it had a neat moral note to the ending.

The Serpent's Heart was excellent, with a compelling story and a tomb that made me exclaim "you've got to be kidding me" when it was activated. The unique twist saw Lara on a raft, slowly moving through piranha-infested waters and having to dash ahead and trigger traps and gates to float to her eventual destination. It was very tense throughout, with timing being the key in a refreshing change of pace, and still featured other narrative elements and combat sequences before and afterwards. Very memorable indeed.

And then I've just played The Grand Caiman which revisited some of the story beats and characters from the core game. Lara is tasked with returning an artefact to its temple, rather than stealing it, and what a temple it turns out to be; it's a giant stone crocodile, which you've got to get into the mouth of but which keeps rising and falling out of the magma because, naturally, it's inside an active volcano. This combined a lot of traversal with some more timing-based challenges and a light smattering of combat, and was absolutely fantastic.

The Grand Caiman and the aforementioned Nightmare packs haven't just been great DLC, they've been some of the greatest tombs ever, elements of which stand head and shoulders above the core game's tombs (which were already awesome) and anything else ever presented in Tomb Raider.

Here's hoping Eidos Montreal can end on a high note, but it'll be difficult for them to best themselves at this stage. I just wish they'd keep making them!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

RogerRoger

Last tomb done. Unfortunately, whilst the story to The Path Home had some really wonderful moments, and it ended everything rather nicely, parts of the gameplay weren't amazing. Everything was going really well until the final puzzle, a vast statue where you have to rearrange its limbs to progress, because even once you'd figured out what you had to do, the switches and mechanics of using it were needlessly clunky and slow. It felt like it was dragging things out unnecessarily; Lara was in that room far longer than she should've been. The quest didn't need padding anyway. It took the edge off what was otherwise a triumphant conclusion to the Season Pass content.

Ranking them in order, therefore, I'd settle on the following:

1. The Nightmare (10/10)
2. The Grand Caiman (9/10)
3. The Serpent's Heart (8/10)
4. The Forge (8/10)
5. The Price of Survival (7/10)
6. The Path Home (6/10)
7. The Pillar (6/10)

This has been the most fun I've had with Season Pass content for a long while. The level of quality has remained largely consistent throughout; even the worst chunks were still great, and for seven separate releases to maintain that is impressive. When played as part of a beginning-to-end playthrough of Shadow, they'll only improve upon an already-brilliant experience.

On the basis of the now-complete Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I really hope Eidos Montreal keep the franchise and develop the next game, no matter what it ends up being.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Th3solution

@RogerRoger Thanks for the impressions on the DLC content. It makes me want to pick up the Season Pass. So all 7 episodes would take approximately what ... 8-10 hours?

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

RogerRoger

@Th3solution About that, yeah. Your actual mileage may vary, and it depends when and where you choose to do them in the campaign; some parts of them you could do on the way to somewhere else, for example, but going back to a complete file and doing them in order has taken me probably ten hours (if I subtract all my Photo Mode shenanigans, of course).

Since you really enjoyed the core game, I'd say that the Season Pass is definitely worth a look-see when you next get the itch, absolutely. Might even be on sale by then!

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

LaJettatura

The DLC in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is really nothing more than content to generate the existence of a season pass.
Correct with 1 hour for each DLC tomb, so about 7-10 hours depending on your gaming abilities.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider easy game compared to the previous titles.
Rise of the Tomb Raider(Best DLC) probably the best of the rebooted titles.

Edited on by LaJettatura

Steam: Lee Marvin's Ghost

PSN: LaJettatura

RogerRoger

@Slavka Hey, answering your question about Rise of the Tomb Raider in here, the general Tomb Raider discussion thread. Expect your standalone topic to be locked soon.

If you're talking about the church which Lara ziplines down to and triggers a cutscene in, during which she watches Konstantin before getting knocked out and captured, then you can't return there. It's an area specifically made for the cutscene. You can return to part of the old Soviet village nearby / around the church later in the game, after Lara has escaped prison, but the church itself has nothing in it.

On the map, it kinda looks like there are some hidden documents / relics in that area, but you get them by backtracking through the prison escape area. As long as you triggered a Base Camp during that gameplay, you can fast-travel back there and explore.

Does that make sense? If not, please share your pictures and we'll try and confirm for you.

PSN ID: GDS_2421
Making It So Since 1987

Octane

RogerRoger wrote:

@Slavka Hey, answering your question about Rise of the Tomb Raider in here, the general Tomb Raider discussion thread.
[...]
Does that make sense? If not, please share your pictures and we'll try and confirm for you.

I recently completed RotTR; so I'm certain I can be of help as well. What church do you mean? Where on the map is it?

Octane

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