Rise of the Tomb Raider: The End

I finished up the story mode of Rise of the Tomb Raider last night. What a great game that was. If you’re not a Playstation owner and ever wondered what all the fuss about the Uncharted games is about, the modern Tomb Raider games are quite similar in a lot of ways. A fun mix of climbing around and exploring, solving puzzles, and combat. I love the Uncharted games so I guess its no surprise I love the Tomb Raider games as well.

I thought the mix of these three pillars was pretty good, but keep in mind my bias of enjoying the climbing and the combat a lot. I’ve heard some complaints there weren’t enough tombs to explore (I believe there are nine in all). Of course there are also what I call exploration puzzles. Lara is here, she has to get there, how’s she going to do it?

One of the nice mechanics is this kind of “Lara vision” that you can activate at any time. It shows you were you need to go next and highlights objects you can interact with and nearby collectibles. Lara will also give you hints if you’ve been in the same place too long, and this hint system is really good because they really are hints rather than explicit instructions. “I need to free this gear before that lever will work.” she’ll say, and then if you still don’t make progress. “Maybe if I got up higher I could find a solution.” In other words progressively more helpful hints.

RoTR is semi-open world. You have to move through the story to unlock new areas (or obtain new gear that lets you access previously inaccessible areas) but then you can fast travel back in order to do side quests or search for collectibles. I did a lot of this; I took my time playing. Maybe because of this I was over-leveled a bit. Lara earns experience points that she spends in various combat and survival skills, and she can craft better weapons as she collects more stuff. Whatever the reason I actually found the combat pretty easy on the “Tomb Raider” difficulty level, which was the default setting (there’s an even easier level called Adventurer). That was fine for enjoying the story (and it was a decent story) but I think it’ll be fun to play again with the difficulty bumped up.

I’d love to be sharing all my great screenshots from the end of the game but I was SO engrossed I forgot to take any!!! LOL

My post-credits save file says I’m 84% complete and I’ve barely scratched the surface on Trophies so there’s still a lot more to do. There’re also other modes, like a Survival Mode and Expeditions, which are replays of chunks of the game for high scores and stuff (at least that’s what I think it is, I haven’t tried those modes yet).

After the story is over you can jump back in and keep exploring and collecting and doing side-challenges and stuff. It’s a big game. Great value.

Overall, very very happy with this one.

Weekend recap

In terms of “stuff to blog about” this was a pretty boring gaming weekend. I’ve let Final Fantasy XV go for now in order to focus on Rise of the Tomb Raider. I like FFXV well enough, but I’m hooked on Tomb Raider and just couldn’t bring myself to put it aside in favor of FFXV. I also got sucked back into Elder Scrolls Online, as happens fairly often. I even fired up Destiny briefly to see if I remembered how to play. I have this idea I might log in for the holiday event that starts Tuesday but we’ll see.

Saturday night is movie night for Angela and I. We usually buy or rent some ‘new to digital’ movie. This weekend Angela had a hankering for Chinese take-out, and since we’re trying to cut down on spending I went looking for a movie to watch for free so we could get the take-out. I landed on Spectral, a new movie on Netflix. It was kind of fun in a ‘bad movie’ way. The plot was basically a bunch of soldiers vs an enemy that appears to be ghosts. It has some decent special effects and…that’s probably the end of things to recommend about it. Assuming you have a Netflix sub already, if you’re looking for something kind of mindless with lots of explosions and stuff…then maybe.

When the movie ended we weren’t quite done lounging on the couch with bellies full of Chinese take-out, so we watched the first episode of White Rabbit Project, also on Netflix. This is the new show from the Mythbusters team of Grant Imahara, Tory Belleci and Kari Byron. We really enjoyed this. They’re doing the same wacky experiments they did on Mythbusters. In the first episode they were deciding which super hero power was most practical (mind control, ice, lightning, flight and maybe I’m forgetting some). It was funny as heck, the experiments were crazy, and it was just a ton of fun. We’ll be watching the rest of this.

Speaking of TV (I know it’s out of fashion but I love TV) season 2 of Colony is coming in January. You probably didn’t watch season one, but if you can find it streaming somewhere, check it out. It takes place in a world where aliens have invaded and conquered the earth. What remains of humanity has been herded into separate city-sized zones. The twist is we don’t really know why the aliens invaded and we never see them. Instead the show focuses on the struggle between the resistance and collaborators. The obvious thought is that the resistance are the good guys but it’s not always so clear, which adds to the show. We really enjoyed the first season and can’t wait for season 2.