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Old 12-10-17, 02:53   #1
Costel
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Default ROTTR and Temple of the witch: Baba Yaga story only gameplay review.

CONTAINS SPOILERS! MAJOR SPOILERS! IS FULL OF SPOILERS!

I have decided to play ROTTR and Baba Yaga dlc concentrating only on the story, bypassing almost all the optional stuff. I said almost because I needed to open 3 strongbox to get 2 upgrading tools and the climbing arrows, finish one challenge which implies looting the corpses of 3 enemies in Siberian Willderness and picking up a document in the Wicked Vale, done in a cutscene so I could not stop that. I did some hunting on the animals that were in my path and pick up some salvage, cloth, healing herbs and logs to upgrade my gear and weapons.
Took me 13 hours and 48 minutes from start to end with the 51% game completition.
I had more fun with ROTTR only playing on main story than I had with Tomb Raider 2013. Much more fun. Everything was much better: the puzzles, the platforming, the combat and the stealth kills. The platforming was not that more challenging but it felt much better. I would lie if I say I did not had some dissapointing moment and I will talk about them in this review.
Before playing the game only main story I was against people that were for not including the optional stuff in the future games. Now after playing it I realized that I did not missed getting all documents, relics, caches and finishing all challenges and missions. But I did missed the optional tombs.
Puzzles were bigger and better in ROTTR than in the previous game. Including Baba Yaga dlc the game had a total of 8 puzzles. 2 or 3 of them are very simple and liniar but the rest will require a bit of thinking. 4 out of those 8 puzzles were nest puzzles. Nest puzzles in ROTTR were like this: in order to progress the story you are giving a goal. To complete the goal you need to solve 2 mini puzzles in the same room. For exemple in the Prophet Tomb you need to raise the water level. To do that you need to solve 2 mini puzzles that involves the breaking of some walls and jumping on platforms. That is a nest puzzle in ROTTR.

And now the review!
1 Mountain Peak
When the game start you may think that Lara has quit raiding tombs for alpinism. All you need to do is climb a mountain and escape an avalanche. At the end the avalanche still gets you cause that is how is written. A good start for the game.
2 London
Ok, I know that cutscenes are not part of the gameplay but I want to talk about 2 or 3 of them. In this one we were introduced to Ana. Many of those that played and been vocal about it they said they figure it out that Ana is one of the villan. Personally when I first played the game I thought that is the first and last time I was going to see her. Nothing in that cutscene told me that Ana will play a major role. So it was a surprize when she appeared in the gulag.
3 Syria
A description of the gameplay of this level would be: run, climb, enter a cave, read a monolith, break a wall, climb again, enter a tomb, avoid traps, swim, enter the main room of the tomb, solve a puzzle, open a coffin, meet the leader of the bad guys, make things explode, run from the bad guys, find a a symbol. It is liniar but it is one of my favorite places in the game. I have nothing to complain about it.
4 Siberian Wilderness
Investigate, fight a bear, get hurt by the bear, learn to heal, make poison arrows, kill bad guys, kill the bear. In this level is my first complain. When you discover the first campsite, the fire is not lit so Lara has to gather wood and deer hide to make a fire and shelter. It is the first and last time you are doing this. Unless you play on Survivor or Extreme Survivor you donīt need wood for fire again. And you are not going to make a shelter again in the game. This was as unnecessary as it was the hunting the deer for meat in TR 2013. Ok I get it, it is snow, blizzard outside so a fire could not survive outside so that is why Lara has to light up the fire. It makes sense. But what does not make sense is that in the first hub of the game, situated in a snowy area, it is snowing, the wind is blowing but at campsites unprotected by anything or anyone the fire still burns.
5 Glacial Cavern
A liniar platforming in an icy cave. Nothing good, nor bad to say about it . Maybe it should have been a little longer with a puzzle to solve so you can move further. But still was ok the way it was.
6 Soviet Installation ( Train Yard, Logging Camp, Gulag)
The first hub of the game. It is very large and sadly one area in this hub is very empty as gameplay. But the first area of the hub Train Yard did not felt empty. Even if all you do is platforming and killing bad guys I did not want more. But after that is Logging Camp the empty part of the hub. It is a large zone filled with bunnies, deers and wolves. It takes just one minute of platforming to navigate through it to get into the Gulag. I wanted more. I donīt know what but I wanted something more. The Gulag is an area dedicated to combat and running and nothing else. And you donīt need anything else to do here.
7 Temple of the witch: Baba Yaga.
Soviet Installation and Wicked Vale.
This is an optional mission that you can start after you return from the Gulag back to Logging Camp. It takes place in Soviet Installation and Wicked Vale. And this time the Logging Camp part of Soviet Installation did not felt empty. You need to a little bit of exploration and hunting to find the ingredients for an antidot and I like that.
I liked the Wicked Vale part of the dlc. It had one of my favorite puzzles in the whole game and the boss fight was much better and more challenging than the last boss fight.
But there is something that I did not like. And that is after you finish the story of the dlc. You get the rewards and after that you can talk with Nadia and she tells Lara that she shut the boilers inside so Lara can explore. But that is just with the boilers. Nadia has no control over the flowers that are grown on the walls. So it makes no sense that Lara is not affected by them. When she first enters the Vale Lara gets in contact with a large amount of flowers that are grown on the walls. Those gave her hallucination in the forest. But when she camed back after defending the witch the polen doesnīt affect her anymore. But it should affect her. This is bad writting. I am probably the only one that cares. And I care because it could have been done so easy so Lara is not affected. When leaving the Temple, Nadia could have stopped Lara for a minute and said: „ I found this bottles of antidote in my grandma stuffs. Take one. You will need one to get back safe to Soviet Installation.„ This thing bottered me since the first time I have played the dlc. And to prove more that Lara should have been affected by the flowers I will remind that some documents found in the Wicked Vale are talking about people that lived in the vale long before the soviets camed and Serafima made the vale her home. And those people were affected by the flowers. Hope that in the future the writters will pay more attention to these details.
8 Soviet Installation ( Copper Mill)
In the last part of the hub there is nothing much to do than platforming and killing bad guys. And like the first part of the hub and the Gulag I did not felt that it should have been anything else.
9 Abandoned Mines
Another one of my favorite places in the game. I have nothing to complain here about. Puzzles, platforming,combat and nothing else I could want. And the ruins were stunning.
10 Geothermal Valley I
Again I have to talk about emptiness of the hub. And this time the emptiness is bigger than in Logging Camp and if the emptiness there was somewhat filled by the exploration in the dlc this time nothing fills the emptiness in Valley Farmsted and Ruins Encampment. This very big portion of Geothermal Vale is 99% dedicated to optional things. The rest of 1% is just running from one place to another. Not even platforming. Ok, they included climbing a tower to light a signal fire and I liked doing that but still wasnīt enough to take away the feeling of emptiness in this part of hub. Next part of the hub is dedicated to swimming and combat and fighting a guy with a flamethrower that wanted to be a boss but he was ridiculously easy to defeat.
11 The Acropolis
There isnīt much to say about The Acropolis. Platforming+stealth kills+learn to make grenade arrows+platforming+combat. I know that some fans, especially older fans hate this sections of the newer games that are dedicated to combat and many of them want combat to be reduced or be completely wiped out from future game. Personally I found that the games would be boring without combat.
12 Geothermal Valley II
This part of the valley was much better and I loved every part of it. I loved the stealth kills I was able to do in these section and I loved climbing the cathedral to get to the next place in the game. I donīt find anything bad to say about it.
13 Flooded Archives
Another favorite place of mine from this game. But this time I have something to complain about. The Atlas is presented to be this important artefact, a map that shows the location of The Lost City. But itīs so damn easy for Lara to get it. No puzzle to solve to get to the Atlas, not even some Deathless Ones to guard it. Everything else in Flooded Archives was perfect.
14 Geothermal Valley III
This thrid part of the valley is dedicated to a big cutscene. And I have alot to say about this part. About how it was and how I wanted to be. I felt that a puzzle was missing from the Flooded Archives. And again I had the same feeling here. You get this cutscene with Lara reuniting with Jonah and then Sofia comes and invites them into a room where Jacob waits them. They use some sorts of mechanism to read the Atlas and find where The Lost City is located. Trinity comes in and steal the Atlas, also taking Jonah with them. What I think we should had is this: when entering the Observatory to have Jacob telling Lara that they need to activate a mechanism. In that moment Trinity attacks forcing Jacob and his people to respond with Jonah going to help them. That leaves Lara alone to figure out how the mechanism works. Ofcourse the player would have been the one to do that as part of gameplay.
Next I want to talk about Jonah. In this cutscene Jonah is taken by one Trinity soldier while holding The Atlas. And all Jonah does is screaming to Lara: „Donīt come after me„. Why he didnīt droped the Atlas for Lara to catch? Trinity would have not left without the Atlas and Jonah would have been saved right then and there. Ofcourse the game would have played differently after that whiping out the entire Research Base from the game.
15 Soviet Installation
It is a very short visit to Soviet Installation just used to get to the Research Base. But I hate how Lara gets from Geothermal Valley back to Soviet Installation. I hate that is not done by me the player. She is simply teleported back to Soviet Installation. I would have prefered to have just a simple platforming section of 2-3 minutes. Lara used Abandoned Mines to get to Geothermal Valley. Jacob had to use another rute. Why not revealing to us that rute and have Lara using it?
16 Research Base
Is a filler. It serves no porpuse to the story. Jonah being kidnap was pointless. Why was he kidnaped in the first place? Was it because he was holding the Atlas? Then why not killing him after that? Why beating and interogating him? Was that to atract Lara into a trap? That didnīt seem to be the case. Jonah was just him with Konstantin. And there were no other soldiers around hidden, waiting for Lara. And like in the Gulag the other prisoners were not guarded. Why Trinity is not guarding their prisoners? Another reason that I donīt think that Jonah was kidnap to atract Lara into a trap is that after stabbing Jonah he would have stayed and killed Lara himself or call his mens to surround and kill her. But as gameplay I liked the stealth kills I was able to do and the platforming. But again I hate that Lara is teleported.
17 The Orrery
Another favorite place of mine. I loved the puzzle-platforming challenge in here.
18 Path of the Deathless
With the risk of repeating myself I will say that this was another favorite place of mine from this game. I liked the platforming and I liked fighting The Deathless Ones even if they didnīt lived up to expectation and they were just reskined Stormguard Warriors from the last game. Maybe they should have been immune to all except greek fire.
19 The Lost City
And we got to the last place in the game. I liked the platforming, fighting the Deathless Ones, the trebuchet puzzle and firing the trebuchet.
But I have to talk about the last scene between Lara and Konstantin. After he defeats him Lara tells him about his sister using him. But how she knows that? The revealing of Ana manipulating Konstantin is done in an optional document. But in the main story Lara never picks up that document and is nothing in her encounters with Ana to show her that Ana was using her brother.

I tried to replay this game as if I am going into it for the first time. I couldnīt. I had fun with it but it was nothing like the first time. And I want to talk about replay value here and what the hell that means because I never understood what exactly means. If it means to get the same emotions or something close to those emotions than ROTTR fails at this. And not because it is not a great game but because games that have puzzle in them have this problem that doing a puzzle for the second time you get this imposibility of getting that feeling of acomplishment that you have first time you solve the puzzle.
I realized that I do not need to 100% the game to have fun with it. But when I am going to replay it I will introduce in my replay the optional tombs. Those were the only things I missed in this only story playtrough of mine.
In the end I want to say that I loved Lara and Camilla voicing her.
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Last edited by Costel; 12-10-17 at 13:15.
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Old 12-10-17, 08:06   #2
Patrick star
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Originally Posted by Costel View Post
And all Jonah does is screaming to Lara: „Donīt come after me„. Why he didnīt droped the Atlas for Lara to catch? Trinity would have left without the Atlas and Jonah would have been saved right then and there.
I watched the scene again and it looks like the Trinity man who held Jonah captive had Jonah's hands tied by one fist and pointed a gun at his head with the other hand , so I don't think Jonah was free to drop the Atlas after all , and even if he was , there's still the risk of breaking it .

Quote:
16 Research Base
Is a filler. It serves no porpuse to the story. Jonah being kidnap was pointless. Why was he kidnaped in the first place? Was it because he was holding the Atlas? Then why not killing him after that? Why beating and interogating him
I believe the interrogation was because Konstantin wanted to know more about Lara's movements and what route was she going to pursue to get to the lost city , I bet Konstantin (knowing Lara) knew that she's discovered something and he wanted the shortest route in order to be on-par with Lara or even beat her to the artifact , but in the end , they had to force their way through the glacier while Lara was already way ahead of them in the city thanks to the route Jacob guided her through .

But I agree about the filler nature of this part , okay , have Jonah being kidnapped so that he could get stabbed and have Jacob heal him magically and reveal himself as the prophet , but was it necessary to go back to the SAME place ? why not having him in a different and new part of the installation altogether ?

Otherwise , lovely review and I agree with many things you said .
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Last edited by Patrick star; 12-10-17 at 08:07.
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Old 12-10-17, 13:18   #3
Costel
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Otherwise , lovely review and I agree with many things you said .
Thank you.

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Originally Posted by Patrick star View Post
But I agree about the filler nature of this part , okay , have Jonah being kidnapped so that he could get stabbed and have Jacob heal him magically and reveal himself as the prophet , but was it necessary to go back to the SAME place ? why not having him in a different and new part of the installation altogether ?
Same place? I know that Lara said something about going back to the Gulag but you actually you go to a new location where you couldnīt go before cause you did not had climbing arrows.
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