I’m not sure where to put the newest Tomb Raider in terms of a game. I just finished the game on regular mode and will say the game is quite enjoyable and beautiful. I will definitely be playing again on hard mode to see if some of the mechanics differ at all. That and I keep thinking that there is some hidden content I just haven’t quite found yet. Overall the game was enjoyable.
Beyond the beauty though, there were more than a few details that were seemingly annoying.
Weapons: lots of fun weapons to shoot with but not much need for more than the bow and handgun. I didn’t roll through my weapons heavily until the very end.
AI: Enemy AI was consistent – he’s hiding behind a box, queue up an arrow and wait for him to pop out like every other enemy hiding behind something.
Plants: There are plants you can pick. I’m not sure what those plants do but I often picked them anyway. I still don’t know what those plants do.
Tomb Raided: You pull something from a box. But you don’t really know what it is. However you will spend a lot of time finding relics where you can inspect them. Sure, you get some media unlocks out of the game, but nothing within the game that makes you think – damn, that’s pretty cool. And speaking of which…
Inspecting relics: Again – not sure what the purpose is other than you might gain a little more XP. But otherwise, they didn’t really add anything to the game. At least you got to see what they were…
GPS Cache: Again – not really sure what these were for other than spending a lot of time chasing them down. There may be some mechanic that I missed out on but by the point-of-no-return, I had given up chasing them down. I think this could have been a very useful mechanic if it were tied more tightly into the game – instead of just dumping a ton of ammo here and there – how about reducing the amount of random ammo laying around and using the GPS cache mechanism to locate an equipment dump. Every time you find a GPS cache, it points you to another cache, somewhere further along. Alternatively, you could hook the GPS cache to relics rather than ammo dumps. In other words, this didn’t add any more, qualitatively, than any of the “hidden” challenges.
Hidden Challenges: These would pop up randomly. Like you suddenly notice that you can target something inanimate on a wall and burn it. You just had to find all 10. Or 5. Or whatever. I gave up on these towards the end because, when you strip the glossy package, it wasn’t much different than the GPS cache. You search, you find, you go on.
Lara doesn’t eat but she is an animal slayer… Kill animals, get “salvage”. And what is salvage used for? upgrading weapons. I’m not sure, but I don’t think boars, rabbits, or wolves are packing much in the way of “salvage” that can be used on a weapons. And I sure as hell wasted a lot of animals.
Again, the game was fun. I liked it. And if some of my annoyances were simply because I missed content that brought many of these parts together, I’d love to find out – which is exactly why I’ll be playing this again.