Rise of the Tomb Raider


I really enjoyed the Tomb Raider reboot, the continuation is mostly more of the same so I do not have a lot to say about it. Rise of the Tomb Raider is prettier, has some more interesting combat options and light encouragement for backtracking. I vastly prefer the serious (if a bit over-the-top) tone to the campy Indiana Jones-style Uncharted approach, but the story about Lara’s competition with a multinational shadowy religious organization feels a lot less interesting than the origin story told in the first game. Still, a very good game.

The interesting thing about Tomb Raider – this one in particular – is how it has the level layout and traversal mechanics of a metroidvania but the visual design of a much more railroaded game – there is a lot of debris, invisible walls and instant-kill zones that cordon off chunks of a game world that seems much more playable than it actually is. Being a completionist, I ran into a good amount of walls that did not seem like they should be walls, and out-of-bounds areas that did not seem discernible from the walkable terrain around them but not as many as I would have expected by far. While some of this is probably due to years of training to avoid noninteractive objects in videogames on my end, the level designers at Crystal Dynamics have done a remarkable job in making the playable areas subtly more inviting and Tomb Raider manages to present both a sandbox experience and a dramatically cinematic one, no mean feat.

On an unrelated note, having had time to play some games due to Thanksgiving conveniently coincided with my raid group taking a break from Destiny – previously I found new groups when this happened but this time I opted to dial it back with them. I don’t know how much of this is due to the raidgroup being more consistent and professional than my prior ones and how much of it is me finally getting close to my fill of the game (we are approaching the longest time the game has been around without a large content update and there have been no announcements), but it is comforting to know that one of the biggest things contributing to unhealthy amounts of gaming – peer pressure – can also be used to dissuade us from it.

Posted on Dec 01/15 by Saint and filed under Reflections | No Comments »