Trials to be Bourne

Be Warned: Spoilers ahoy!

Writing about Playing Rise of the Tomb Raider pt. 7

This morning, after a near two month break, I finally started playing Rise of the Tomb Raider again.

The break was occasioned first by real life and then my XBox’s HDMI cable breaking. Due to the former issue, it took me an age to get a new one.

I wonder if Lara Croft ever delays going on an adventure because her office work (killing and looting must give her an awful lot of admin to do, after all) makes her too tired to set off. And maybe she sometimes buys cheap off ebay and so has occasional equipment failure.

Okay, maybe not. Unlike me, she’s a pro. So –

I started the game in a tunnel. Lara Croft was now Lara Bourne as I had no idea where she was or what she was meant to be doing.

As Lara investigated the tunnel, however, my memory of where I had left the game returned, and after she had re-emerged into the Siberian winter I remembered the location.

There was no time to pause, though, for being above ground once more, Lara got to do something I think for the first time in this game – shoot a rope into an overhanging rope barrel and use it to swing from one platform to another. It was all a bit Luke and Leia from Star Wars and rather enjoyable.

Less enjoyable were the spikes I encountered later. I kept forgetting to walk more carefully so through the collapsing floorsLara went, to be killed instantly by those b—-y spikes.

Before the spikes, however, I did score a good moral boosting victory when Lara managed to kill three Trinity shieldmen without dying. Who would ever have thought that the ability to fire wildly and run around like a headless chicken would ever come in useful? Yet, against these guys, it paid off handsomely.

Unfortunately, as Lara approached what appears to be the lost city of Kitezh, she fared less well against some other Trinity soldiers. Annoyingly, there was nothing special about them except for the the fact they could lob a grenade but that was enough to RIP Lara Croft several times in a row.

Eventually, however, she won through and that’s where she came up against those horrid spikes. I left the game in the middle of trying to break open the giant front door into Kitezh. Knock, knock, Trinity…

One thing, or rather, someone, I haven’t mentioned yet is Jacob. Early on in the session, he reappeared and led Lara out of the Soviet Installation and towards Kitezh underneath a mountain.

They had not gone further than a passage or two when, as predictably as death and taxes, the drilling caused the passage they were in to collapse and the two heroes to become separated.

I would love to see a spreadsheet of the ways in which Lara and Jacob keep getting divided as I am sure it is the same ‘Oh no, here’s something to physically divide us again. Who would have thought.’ every time. I may be being unfair.

One last thing – I am sure I have said it before but I feel it so strongly I have to say it again: I really do miss Lara not having a person to fight her way towards. A thing, even if it is no less than the secret to immortality, is just not the same.

In the 2013 Tomb Raider the aim was to rescue Sam. Rescuing her again would be passé but what about Jacob? Or her Yamatai friend Jonah who appeared at the start of Rise? The involvement of another human always gives a depth to a story that objects, however great, just can’t match.

Playing & Writing about
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six

Apologies if I have misremembered any of the game’s narrative (feel free to correct me if I have); I write short notes as I play the game but rely on memory for the rest

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