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LadyBrain_64Puncherson_64

Minor spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider

Feminina:

Random thought: we need to remember to discuss the return of the percent-completed notice! I’m at 18%, and I like being able to know that.

Butch:

YES! The percent complete thing! I do like that. I did play some, so I’m at 15%! Though I don’t if that’s story or stuff to do or what.

Cuz I didn’t do much story. I toodled around that area where you meet your first “ally.” I took forever trying to get to the top of a hill to destroy a radio thingy, cuz I kept thinking it was harder that it turned out to be, but destroy I did and got lock picks. Then I spent forever trying to find the entrance to a tomb, as I didn’t think “underground” and DID think up, so I kept climbing the saw mill thingy, where it wasn’t. But find it I did, and did it, and got “natural instincts.” It was the cistern one, with lost of water and opening doors to raise the water level. I liked it. Involved, lost of different tricks, made me feel like I earned the prize without being too hard.

But that took up the time I had when I wasn’t putting together a swing set. It still isn’t done. I think it’s to code. I think if I add a bathroom I could rent it in Cambridge for two grand a month.

But as for game and time, I’m sorta glad that the meter is percentage and NOT time. I waste a lot of time in this game. Lots of looking around in the wrong place going “But I’m RIGHT ON TOP OF IT!” I’m not sure if this was intent or not. I mean, that puts you in a treasure hunter’s shoes, right? The “I’m so close!” It hasn’t gotten too frustrating…yet…. but it may. And it may be just me. Maybe everyone else finds everything fast.

Feminina:

There seem to be a couple of things it tracks percentage for–the overall game (I think) which it shows before you load, and then the percentage for whatever region you’re in. So I’m at 25% for the game (presumably story-based) and 45% for the Soviet Installation (presumably loot/tomb exploration-based).

I like it. Of course I had to go back and get the Siberian Wilderness region to 100%, because I had to. I do like the rewards for the optional tombs…picking up those extra abilities is totally worth it (not that I wouldn’t do those tombs anyway). The cistern was pretty cool, although as I’m blowing up doors and letting more and more water in I DID keep thinking “sure, sure, this is a great idea, let’s just fill an underground space with water, no way that could go wrong for me…”

I have spent quite a bit of time running around looking for things that I’m right on top of, or underneath, but I don’t mind so far. As you say, it’s the treasure-hunter thing…wouldn’t be much of a hunt if it was always just right there in front of you.

I did also want to note, apropos of nothing, that while Lara’s hair looks amazing, everyone else’s hair looks extra-terrible by comparison. Lay off on the styling products, everyone else! That immobile plastic helmet on your head is distracting me.

Butch:

Ooo I hadn’t noticed the second number! I mean, sure, I noticed the 3/8 relics stuff, but not a percentage. Neat.

Underground water…HA! Well, she does have a bit of a death wish. Though did you find the document with the scribe basically saying “Man, this is crazy, this oil is SO unstable?” I paraphrase. But I liked that. An observation from someone who was there all “Dudes…..this might not be…. a good idea….just sayin’…..”

I think some of the treasure hunts in one were like that. You’d be going up a ledge that you HAD to go up, and, there, halfway, was a cave and it would be all “Optional tomb! Right here! For the raiding!” I mean, who’s gonna pass that up?

Ah, dude, I hadn’t noticed everyone else’s bad hair! Way to ruin the game for me. Now I won’t be able to look away.

I’m sure they’ll fix this with the Pro version. Yet another reason to pick one up.

Feminina:

Finally, I have my revenge for all the times you made sure I was filled with sorrow and pain over the inferior PS3 hair while I was playing the first one! Hahahahahaha!!!!!

Sorry, though. Just imagine that everyone else showered recently and their hair is literally frozen stiff right now. It IS Siberia. (Lara, on the other hand, gets wet, wrings a little water from her perfect tresses, and is good to go…her excellent survival instincts ensured that she went out for a hell of a hot oil treatment before she came.)

I do like the percentage breakdown for the region. As you say, there’s already the “2/3 relics, 5/10 documents” list with the same information, but making a neat percent out of it is handy for a quick review. We like info-at-a-glance, we do.

Butch:

I do kinda love the fact she wrings her hair out. I mean, it’s such a little detail, but it is just cool. On the run, like she’s practiced it. I mean, it’s a necessary skill for a tomb raider to have.

Info is good. Look at you. Becoming a PC gamer a little more each day.

I do sort of hope the whole game isn’t in Siberia. You’re still in Siberia? I don’t want the whole game in Siberia.

Feminina:

I am still in Siberia, with no mention of anything that’s not in Siberia, but I can’t tell yet if it looks as if the whole game will be here…we could still get to some point that leads us off somewhere else.

There is that “you’ve unlocked a mission at Croft Manor” message we got for pre-ordering or whatever we got it for, but I don’t know if that’s integrated into the main game, or an extra (I haven’t loaded Croft Manor yet, but the fact that it has its own line on the load screen suggests it may be completely separate from the main storyline).

And the entire first game was all on that one island, so there’s precedent for this game to be much more geographically compact than the later Uncharteds, where you could be hopping all over the world.

The snow does get a bit monochrome, doesn’t it? Good thing we’re not playing this in the winter, when the last thing we want to be reminded of is cold and snow and ice.

We have to finish before the first snowfall! It’s important!

Butch:

Ok, from what I know, the Crift Manor bit is a flashbacky kind of thing without a lot of action, like a little “gone home” within the game, that can be played at any point during the adventure. I’m probably going to do it when I a) get a little tired of shooting dudes and b) I’m at a point where it makes sense to flash back within the narrative. That’s my plan. Just so you know.

We need to finish before snowfall, OR maybe it’ll go to some nice tropical place! I mean, dudes, the tank top is part of Lara’s THING man. Her THING. Then we can get to someplace all sunny right when it gets cold. Score.

Feminina:

Speaking of tank tops, how do you like the option to select from various outfits? It seems unrealistic to me because I don’t know how she’s got all these clothes with her in Siberia, but it is kind of fun to swap them up sometimes. Although I tend to keep sticking with the ones that offer some kind of bonus…I have her in Remnant armor right now, because it helps with healing. Looks pretty snazzy, too, although a bit RenFaire for her considering the circumstances.

For whatever reason I seem to be playing this as a “charge in and whack some people with an ice axe” type character rather than the ranged attacks I tend to prefer (even though an assault rifle is much more effective than an ice axe against a pack of wolves, so I keep getting mauled). Healing is important.

Also, have you been attacked by wolves yet? Remember the wolf-attack QTE in the first game? It’s back, baby.

Butch:

I’m not into the clothing options. I fiddled around with it for a while. I had on some weird tribal shit when I fought the bear cuz of bonuses against bears, but I’m with you: makes no sense. I went back to a nice, sensible white parka, even if I seem to have misplaced my hat. All the better to see the hair.

I think what that’s all about is the whole “We’re throwing PS4 players a bone for making them wait.” I think those outfits were things you had to unlock, either by playing a bunch of Multiplayer or paying actual money, so this was a “hey, we’ll give you all this shit for free up front” kind of deal. It’s one of the drawbacks of playing a “Deluxe Edition.” They feel the need to include shit you do not want that makes no sense. Free story single player DLC? Bring it. Remnant armor? Not so much.

And I ALWAYS forget about healing. I’m used to the ‘hide until you’re better’ thing, which doesn’t work on this seasoned raider difficulty. It’s a good mechanic, healing. Now I have to remember to do it.

Wolves…Huh. I have met, and been killed by, wolves. They were in a cave I poked into trying to find that tomb. But no QTEs, just a lot of growling and biting and dying. I did find that running, hopping up on a truck and shooting down at them worked like a charm, even if it wasn’t all that sporting. The only QTE I’ve hit (besides the requisite grabbing of ledges) is that damn bear. And I sucked at that, too.

Feminina:

Yeah, I think the extra clothes are a little silly. And good point, this probably is something they tossed into the PS4 edition to make us feel better about having to wait a year. (Little do they know we were actually happy to wait a year because we had other things to play in the meantime.)

Also, yes, I keep waiting to heal up while hiding, but it doesn’t work in combat! I’m getting more accustomed to healing with L1, though. Just need to develop the habit.

The thing about the wolf-attack QTE is that you have to survive long enough for it to kick in. Sometimes they just kill me too fast for it to matter, but if you can keep them off for a bit, one might jump on you and be tearing at your throat, basically, and then you have to shake and QTE it off you. I must say, the wild animal attacks are kind of the tensest bits so far. Partly because I don’t actually WANT to kill wild animals…I’d just as soon avoid them.

Oh, and I forgot to respond to your bit about the Croft Manor flashback, but that sounds reasonable…I’ll try to do it at some point where stopping and working through an extended flashback makes sense for the story.

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