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Old 02-01-20, 01:26   #1
frodrigues's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,124
Default Replaying Shadow

Finally managed to finish AC Odyssey and its DLCs (boy did that one refused to end or what) and got around to do something I've been wanting to do for over an year now, which is to replay Shadow.

I only did the standard edition back when the game was released. Barely remember a thing other than the fact that the story somehow managed to be almost as horrible as Underworld's, so it should be kinda of a semi-new experience. It will be my first time going through the DLC since just now I upgraded the game to the (controversial) Definitive Edition.

That being said, these are my overall impressions so far.

- I'm still at Kuwaq Yaku so the plot isn't terrible yet. However, some of the collectible documents are so much more interesting. I wish I was playing Fawcet's expedition tbh. Those documents show they do know how to write a simple explorer's tale so why the hell do they insist in turning Lara into a hero who worths nothing unless she is saving something - Sam, her insufferable friends, a hidden community, the freaking world. Why can't she just want to find Paititi to steal all of its artifacts and be done with it.

- Also, Lara looks a bit maniac while on stealth mode. Are we supposed to believe it's normal behavior to murder people with a knife in such brutal ways? Plus, the ideia of that little girl murdering dozens of highly trained military men by herself is a bit over the top. It feels sort of off with the character they present on dialogues. That's not something only Shadow does, however.

- Although some of the documents plotlines make for a really good read, others add nothing. They went way overboard adding them just for the sake of adding. I'm not even going to mention the bore that those dozens of murals are. Those pillar riddles are cool though.

- Still on the collectibles, how did they even manage to ruin its menu? It was already done, how do you mess it up? There's nothing to signal what document is new, the plotlines are separated from their pairs for no apparent reason and randomly allocated into titles that don't make any sense, and the murals Lara reads use the same placeholder so it never matches what she is reading. But worse than that are the relics. The ones with hidden clues are somehow more messed up than they were in Rise. You keep rotating those items at random hearing that chime from hell while Lara refuses to find whatever clue is supposed to be there. And the details she mentions are not even there. I just found an item that's supposed to have Porvenir's logo at the base, except that it doesn't? Who knew. That used to work properly in the reboot.

- Those random challenges are all doable so far. They don't seem so arbitrary like "throw some chickens around" in the sense that you would never discover them during regular gameplay.

- I've been seeing a lot of people hating the linear/forced walking sections at the beggining, but I love them. Same with Rise and the Reboot, but I like Shadow's even more. It sets the ambience just right to me. Puts you in the mood and prepare you for this great journey that in the end isn't really that great, but at the point, it seems like it will be. I love the enterity of Cozumel.

- Also, I've been wanting a Peruvian Jungle-like setting like since forever. I love TR in forests and this look like a modern TR3 of sorts. The only thing that bugs me a bit is its colors. I found Reboots forest at night better for some reason? Here it looks so... brown and blurry. However, this is my favority type of hubs. Not too large, not too confusing, full of ambience.

- The music is killer. One of the best in the series, if not the best.

- I don't know how some of you talented people manage to take such beautiful shots using Photomode. After using AC's for the last few months, this one behaves so bad in comparison. And for some reason my game looses quality using it? I don't know. Controling the camera, the angles, the filters, all look so complicated and counter-intuitive.

- Playing with Classic Lara outfit is fun but the black version is awesome. Also, Syria's top and Explorer are some of my faves in the reboot and fit the setting well. I would like the Adventurer one too if it wasn't for that sweat stain? Why would they do that?

- Speaking of Lara: I will never understand her in game model. The face expressions are so... memeable. And I know beating on her hair is like beating a dead horse, but honestly, why would they even approve that? It looks terrible plus must be an ultra annoyance for her to go exploring with that fringe floating on her face all the time.

- I don't understand her character, she is even more monotone than before. Jonah seems much more interesting. And why doesn't she have any people skill? Like, what's their masterplan with that trait now that the reboot series is over? Lara always had a way with words, will the next trilogy explore how she became the sarcastic tomb raider she is meant to be?

- The two tombs set in the Peruvian Jungle are ok but they are not tombs, they are more like parts of temples. Parts of the exterior of temples, at that. Beautiful ones, especially the path to the Xibalba gate. I was hoping to actually enter the temple/tomb, so that was a bit of a letdown. The tomb located in Waka Waka is much more interesting. I love the heartbeating music there. And I love that the documents found near and inside the tombs/temples all relate to its exploration. Those are the 3 ones I did thus far.

Such a beauty. I do miss some tighter spaces in tombs though

- Speaking of Xibalba, this game really screams Underworld all over the place, doesn't it? I could even see Lara's old animations when she gets close to flames, as if she was in burning Croft Manor all over again.

- As for Croft Manor: the segment with young Lara is so adorable and well done. And the music is very fitting too.

- I like Kuat Kuack as a hub as well. It doesn't overstay its welcome and it's so beatifully built. The background involving Pouvenir and Trinity enriches its story, such a shame that many people won't care for collecting the documents that tell this story. Instead, most will be stuck with Lara moaning that some rain that she caused ruined those people live's and now she is feeling bad. Ugh.

- Is there any DLC tomb in this region, by the way? If so, do I access it by exploring or do I have to trigger it in the menu? How do I know when to do them?

- The side mission here made no sense. So the Trinity leader here put a child to work and his father asked for help. You would think the mission goal was to rescue the kid and escort him to safety, but instead the kid runs aways before you even start playing and the mission goal is actually just to murder everyone. Ok but then what? You don't actually kill the leader so he will eventually find a bunch of dead bodies on the site, won't he? Wouldn't that make him want to murder the villagers who were working when the genocide happened? And to make matters worse, the mission giver thanks you by telling a story of how brave you can be, and Lara replies by saying something that basically calls the entire village a bunch of cowards??? Because they knew they couldn't fight a militar organization with war tanks and all????

- I hate not having the tools to fully explore the area. What is the point of having to return to Cozumel in the middle of the game just to open a chest and collect a relic? Ugh, let me deal with what I have, please?

- I don't get the need for all of those herbs mechanics and feel they could have used their time improving something more useful. I keep on collecting them out of habit because I do remember that not once did I use them in my first playtrough.

- Immersion mode is a cool ideia with so many cut corners that it looks distracting. Here are all people speaking spanish and Lara Croft, who is supposed to know dozen of ancient languages, can't even make an effort to speak spanish in return.

- I'm really liking the pace thus far. Because Peruvian jungle and Kwakaka Kaka aren't too big, you feel like you are progressing while studying your enviroment at the same time. The little breaks Lara and Jonah take within the plot helps moving the story foward at a reasonable way, while still giving time for you to explore and do the side missions without feeling the game is stalled. It's a good balance between the story and gameplay, since apparently they must fill the game with side activities and collectibles anyway.

- I also like how transversal is dealt. Many parts made me question where I should go next. Such a shame the camera messes up sometimes and a bigger shame how inconsistent her jumping distances can be.

- It so weird how they censor the blood compared to how brutal the 2013 game was with its scenes. I don't think it needs to be that explicit but the game is still rated M, why censor it? They don't even look part of the same set of games even though the rest is identical.

- Did they tone down the IMPASSIBLE ALL FULL UP CAN'T CARRY ANYMORE messages? I'm not getting as much as I remember getting the first time, thankfully. Also, the game isn't prompting me with ANY tips/tutorials in the screen. That is SO MUCH BETTER. I'm not on Game Plus and still I get no message whatsoever, which is awesome compared to how it released.

- However, all the messing around they did with files made the performance worse for me. On my first playthrough, I didn't get a single "wait for streaming" message apart maybe from one in San Juan or Paititi I think. I still don't have any messages now but the game freezes up everytime I change areas. It also freezes when I'm changing outfits on the menu. Very annoying. I'm on pc BTW.

I think that's pretty much it so far. Sorry for the gigantic thread, that's the result of a few gaming sections. If you survived till the end, thank you for reading my complains
~ all that we do, all that we are, begins and ends with ourselves.

Last edited by frodrigues; 02-01-20 at 10:41.
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