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Some spoilers for Rise of the Tomb Raider


With all the talk about the awesome TV, nearly forgot to note…

Who got a pro? I got a pro.

Thank you Santa.

Dear God it’s pretty.  And it’s silent!  No more PS4 jet engine!  That ALONE is worth it.  I worry that it isn’t on.  Or the fan is broken.



So jealous of your new tech.

I got a programmable pressure cooker!–that I’m not sure we’ll ever use, but it seems kind of cool if we want to get into pressure cooking.

I mean, the nice part about a programmable one is that you can be out of the house if it explodes, as one always faintly worries will happen with a pressure cooker. (I know they’re actually very safe, we used one all the time when I was a kid and the worst thing that ever happened was split pea soup shooting out of the valve onto the ceiling one time, but…one always FAINTLY worries about contents under pressure.)


I have watched enough episodes of Mythbusters to know you do not fuck with pressure vessels. Pressure vessels are bombs. That shit’s all you.

But ooo! If it blows up your PS4 and TV, good excuse to upgrade!

Go make some beans!

Anyway. Played some. I remain convinced that this game is a much different, much better thing when it’s moving in a nice, linear way.

Did the astronomy thing puzzle, which was pretty great, I gotta say. Puzzle then action. Nice combo.

And then went in, saw the marching things, found a campsite, stopped.

This was great stuff. I haven’t gotten why they’ve had long stretches of walking in between levels before (maybe so it can load? Who knows?) but this was great. Increased the tension really well. And I LOVE that the first time you see these things it isn’t either combat or just seeing them in the shadows for an instant. There they are. Marching. As you scootch by. Right on the other side there.

That was pretty awesome.

This game, man. The fact it’s so good when it’s good just pisses me off when it isn’t. Which is unfair, but hey.


I did like that bit! The ominous marching army, heading out to somewhere…reminiscent of that scene with the orcs marching from Minas Morgul in The Two Towers (I link because I can). And there you are, huddled against the wall, just trying to stay out of sight. Nice tension, and nicely done with the brooding dark colors and the cinematic look of the scene.

The forward momentum is good. And I like the toodling and exploring, I do, but there’s no denying it detracts from the momentum. I dunno, though. It’s a tough balance. I wouldn’t want to lose the tombs, and the tombs pretty much depend on you doing some exploring to find them.


Hmm. This is so about the tombs. One should toodle to find tombs.

Although in One, one did not have to toodle all that much to find tombs.


Hm. I don’t remember how much we had to look for the tombs in One. I mean, it doesn’t seem like that much fun if they’re just marked on the map for you: “here’s a tomb, check it out if you want!”

One likes at least a little sense of discovery, of stumbling on the thing while wandering around. At least, it feels to me at this moment that one does. Possibly if I’d been playing the whole game with all the tombs conveniently marked on the map so I could just go straight there, I would think it was great.

I kind of liked the mechanic whereby you can often find one thing, and it’s a map to a bunch of other things, so you don’t have to just wander around until you stumble across everything, but there is some reward to wandering around.

But then, as we’re just discussing, that inclines one to wandering around semi-aimlessly, focusing on coin caches and what-not as opposed to the story. I dunno. It’s a difficult mix to get exactly right, I imagine.


I remember there were a couple ones where you had to, say, walk up a narrow rock ledge for the main story and right there, in the mountain you had to walk up….tomb. Stuff like that.

Didn’t mind all that much.

But to change gears…..

Had a thought in some relation to our “Where the hell did Croatoan” go discussion: do you think they picked Siberia as a metaphor? I mean, we saw in the later UC games that you can hop around. Snow, tropics, cities, etc. Here, we noted they didn’t do that, and kept us in Siberia. Now, Siberia has some baggage attached. It’s a place you’re banished to as punishment. Do you think they decided to keep the setting here to reinforce Lara’s guilt? Her self punishment? Or am I reading too much into it?


Interesting thought re: Siberia. You’re right, it has a lot of specific punitive connotations in our minds.

Not just punishment, though: specifically, unjust punishment–punishment for crimes of thought as much as for actual crimes. Work camps and exiled political prisoners.

Crimes of belief? Her struggles in Siberia represent her self-exile for her previous lack of belief in her father’s work? She punishes herself for her lack of faith in his project, as people were punished for insufficient dedication to the Soviet project, by banishing herself to Siberia until she has worked off her guilt?

Could work, could work.


And then come back to Roanoke, where people tried to make new beginnings. And failed. Could be. Probably won’t be, but could be.

I mean, complicating things is that…I’ve been to Roanoke. What’s she gonna do? Toodle around the visitor center and shoot the re-enactors?


That would be awesome.

Lara Croft vs. colonial re-enactors! Let the battle begin!

Those antique muskets are no match for her climbing ax, though. NO match.