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Minor, vague plot-progression spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider


Ok, so got to Sofia there, have to get into a place. 39%.

So we knock this game a lot, let me praise it.

I like the way fights are designed. Last night, there was this fight in a courtyard. You started in a bush, three guys there, one there, three there….hmm. Cover that way….can over there….could just poison arrow them from here…..

Tried it a couple times and died fast. Tried it another way, died fast. Tried it a totally different way, BOOM right through.

These fights ACT like tomb puzzles. There’s a good way, and a really hard way, and an impossible way. It’s rare in these games (UC, AC, ME, etc) when a fight starts and you don’t immediately go “Ah! Those crates! I start there!” But this game, I find myself, when there are standing around dudes, really having to think about where to go next, how to approach it. And when I’m wrong I’m WRONG, and when I’m right it’s very satisfying.

Good stuff.


OK, Sofia…yeah…so is the place you have to get into a certain big sort of place with a religious connotation?

Because that’s where I was when I went back to toodle around previous regions. I passed some time, collected some stuff, and then last night went back and got into the place, if we’re talking about the same place. So I’m not that far ahead of you, but I’m at 56%, so I think toodling and finding documents and relics must be included in that total score somehow.

That is a nice thing to say about the combat, though, and I agree. I will often die repeatedly trying to approach a fight from one angle, even though it seems quite promising, and then decide “OK, I’ll try this other way even though it isn’t as obvious or I would have done it first,” and it turns out to work much better.

They give you a lot of different ways to come at fights, often. I was just in some battles where there were bushes to hide in, trees to climb, crates to lurk behind, bottles and cans to hurl: all kinds of different things in different places so you could really go about it in all kinds of ways. And some of them turn out to work better than others, and figuring that out is a kind of interesting puzzle.

So, yeah, I do tend to like the way they do combat in this game.


Well, I got this “Get into the acropolis” bit, which was a lot of climbing in a very set path, then I got to a clearing and there were sounds of fighting and all that, so I ran around the clearing looting and finding a couple documents, THEN I went and did the fight I just mentioned, stealth killed a couple of dudes, then got the Sofia cutscene. That’s it. There’s no campsite about, but there was one in the clearing there. Perhaps you just ignored the sounds of carnage. I charged blindly on. There’ll be time later.

Hmm. I found, maybe, four documents and two relics, and did that bit, and got from 37 to 39. Who knows?

And some are sort of a trick. Last night, there was a can right there in view. When there’s a can right there, in view, you ALWAYS go get the can, right? I mean, that’s what games DO. But every time I went for the can, or used the can, bad things happened. It was when I said “Ok, fuck the can, I’m going the other way” that the fight worked.

Mini puzzles. Nice.


Yeah, I find that half the time the cans or bottles lying around are largely distractions…I’ll try turning them into grenades or molotovs and throwing them and it maybe gets a couple of people but it also attracts tons of attention.

I may just not have a handle on how to correctly incorporate them into a fight, and maybe they work incredibly well for someone else with a different approach and style in combat, but I don’t even use them all that often. Unless there’s, say, a long hallway you can hurl molotovs down…that’s the best.

Anyway, it’s nice of them to allow different options for players with different strengths and approaches.


Last night I also made the mistake of thinking I was making a shrapnel grenade, only to find I made a smoke one. All that did was confuse me and piss them off. Hate that.


The smoke grenades do seem to not do much when I use them. You get that triangle-kill option while they’re confused, but that means you have to throw the bomb when you’re practically on top of it yourself, otherwise by the time you get to the confused dudes to triangle them, they’ve already started pulling it together.

I suppose, like some many things we’ve noted in this game, it’s a timing issue.


Timing that, for me anyway, is always disrupted by me going “Die in shrapnel! Wait…why are you….why do I have that icon…shit that was a smoke bomb and you’re shooting.”

Hard to get the timing right with that lag.

Molotovs, man. You know where you stand with a molotov.



Timing is an ongoing challenge for us. “Wait, who’s shooting at me? Why are you–why can’t I see anything?”

Or, one of my favorites, “Why aren’t you on fire? Why are you going over there? Oh, damn it, I forgot to make the molotov, and just threw an empty bottle.”

Take THAT! [empty bottle clinks harmlessly off a wall]



I tried chucking a pumpkin to distract some dudes. It did nothing. Made me feel so Bad ass.

Wheeeeeeee pumpkin!


I tried chucking that pumpkin too! It was one of those times when you think, hey, it must be here for a reason, maybe if I throw it the dudes will be all “OMFG A FLYING PUMPKIN RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!”

But as it turns out, that is actually not what they were all. At all.

We tried, though! And honestly, it still haunts me a bit. Because why give us a movable pumpkin if we weren’t supposed to move it? Was there something awesome that we could have done with that pumpkin if only we’d thought of it?*


Put a lantern in it. Flying jack o lantern? That’d fuck shit up.


That would have been so awesome. I bet there’s a secret gold trophy for that.


There is a trophy for “Shoot a bottle out of the air” and, my favorite, “Shoot a chicken out of the air with a flaming arrow.” That one’s called “Rotisserie.”

And one called “Bacon” for “Kill a razorback with a molotov.”

They do not respect vegetarians.

I am not making this up.


Wow. I am so not getting platinum in this game.

I had to kill a razorback for food (mission) and I just went after it with the biggest gun I had. If you found any of the hunter’s lesson documents you know that it was all about respect for the animal or whatever, but I just wanted to get the job done.

“Fill the air with bullets! Never mind that in real life this would reduce the meat to a metal-shredded pulp…”

People like picking bullets out of their food, right?

Although then I felt kind of bad about it, because there was all this ominous warning text about how dangerous razorbacks were, and then when I went over they were just sort of rambling around minding their own business and didn’t even bother me.

*Turns out there IS in fact a challenge associated with gourds, but I haven’t figured out what it is.