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Puncherson_64LadyBrain_64

Minor gameplay spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider

Butch:

It’s laptop free day. Great.

And I played too! Raided the ship, killed some dudes, met Red Robin Hood, who speaks English very well, killed a few more dudes, went down a zip line, called it quits.

So the tomb…. mostly awesome. Though…here’s the thing. I don’t like knocking a game because I can’t do a bit. Seems off. But it’s SO frustrating in a puzzle sequence when you KNOW how to solve the puzzle and you can’t do the jumpy bit. I knew that I had to turn the thing, then run on the beam and jump on it before it went all the way back up. I figured it out. But I died trying to make that jump SIX TIMES. Then got a long load screen. This was frustrating.

Is that something I can criticize the game for?

What was good was that the tomb itself, and, more importantly the reward, felt more real. In the game world. I mean, sure, contrived. But in one, you had a random cave with random pulleys for no reason that hid a chest with…..a shotgun part. What? This, there was at least a reason for the boat to be there, and a reward that made slightly more sense than a gun sight.

Was there this much stealth in one? Or did we just ignore the stealth in favor of shotguns? Cuz this feels very stealthy, right down to chucking bottles.

Feminina:

I also played. I’ve been running across places I can’t get into yet, because I need a lock pick or rope arrows or…broad head arrows? So I got the lock pick, had to remember where the locks were that needed picking, and last night got the rope arrows, so I have to remember where the things are that need to be tugged with ropes. Right after I stealth-murder a bunch of dudes.

You’re right, I feel like there’s a bit more emphasis on the stealth this time, although I do recall doing some sneaking in the first one as well. Lurking in the underbrush picking people off with arrows and stuff. Good times, man…good times.

Anyway, I’m kind of unsure how I feel about this “going back for things” aspect at the moment. I think I sort of like the way they try to keep regions you’ve already been through a bit interesting by having there be things you can go back and get (but that you don’t HAVE to go back for: it’s all for the completist “must collect all the relics” people like me). On the other hand, it’s kind of a hassle trying to keep track of where things were so I can go back and get them when I find the right tool.

Thank heavens for fast-travel to campsites, that’s for sure.

I suppose one smart approach would be to not go back at all until I find all the tools I’ve seen referenced, and then just start at the beginning and check out all the things on the map that I haven’t cleared yet. But that means waiting around, and I want that additional relic NOW!

That timing bit with the swinging beam WAS a bit tricky in the ice ship. I died a couple of times as well. Though not as many times as when I was trying to swing from vine to [muttered cursing] vine in that [muttered cursing] castle in Uncharted whatever. There’s another tomb later that I just did last night where there’s also some timing. I appreciate that timing is one of the aspects of the puzzle, along with figuring out where all the pieces have to go, but it often is not my strongest point.

Butch:

Ah man. The backtracking. Forgot about the backtracking.

You must be a ways ahead cuz I don’t even have a gun yet.

But timing is ACTION. Puzzles should be thinking bits. I’ll do timing when I’m killing dudes.

Working on swing set today. And buying food. Because kids. I did warn you.

Feminina:

I never said I had a gun. Who said I had a gun? Maybe I got rope arrows before the gun!

Ha, no, actually I did get a gun. But only one.

Interestingly, I find I kind of like the simplicity of not having a ton of weapon options. To start with, it’s just “OK, I have a bow. Let’s go with that.”

Now I have a bow and one gun, so there’s a choice to make about what you want to use in a given situation, but not much choice. I kind of like “not much choice,” actually. It seems counterintutive, because we automatically figure having lots of options is good, but too much choice is really kind of distracting. You can get all wrapped up in “what is the single best weapon I could use in this situation?” and it takes energy away from just going ahead with the game.

(Not that I just now thought of this all by myself…the ‘tyranny of choice’ is totally a Scientific American article. But I definitely noticed it while playing lately!)

I guess it’s really a question of whether you like to focus on the strategic aspects (carefully thinking out all the details of the optimal combination of weapons and equipment) or just want to move forward with the action/story…I always tend to be more on the side of moving forward.

Keep my extra weapons! Just give me a nice wounding combat shotgun and let me get on with things!

Butch:

That’s good to know. I’ve felt rather wimpy, because, as games go, the first weapon you get is usually wimpy. It’s always that second one that makes things easier.

Except this time. I keep saying “ohmygodohmygod I only have this bow I’m doomed oh wait I killed them all with like two shots.”

No need to rush to guns.

Feminina:

Yeah, the bow is actually pretty badass. Good thing she took the “field bowyering” course back in Survival College.

And you know it’s going to stay relevant, because of all the rope stuff there’s bound to be later. Remember shooting ropes at things and then ziplining along them to get into places? I bet that mechanic will be back.

So many memories.

Butch:

So very many.

I do like the ability to stop on a zip line. She’s been practicing has our Lara.

Feminina:

Wait, what? When did they say that? I missed a screen tip!

But yes, that is a good ability. Way to improve in meaningful ways the skills we learned last time!

Butch:

Pull back on L whilst sliding. You can climb back up.

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