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Old 02-08-20, 22:16   #1
Zreen001
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Default 2020 Replay Review of Rise

Well folks we're back at it again, another 2020 review from good ol' Zreeny... don't call me that.

I got the 2016 20th Anniversary Edition of the game for PS4 when it came out.
I remember the hubbub here when it was announced Xbox timed exclusivity. I was annoyed but as someone who doesn't buy games right when they come out it didn't affect me as much. I did sympathize with those who do and were angry about it though.

Primary outfit: Siberian Ranger (the green semi-tactical one)
Difficulty: Extreme Survivor (hardest difficulty)


I'll split this into two parts: gameplay and story.

GAMEPLAY


The gameplay was very much a continuation of Reboot, adding a second pickaxe and expanded skilltrees. For some reason (maybe it was simply the difficulty I chose), I preferred the combat of Reboot over this. The enemies of this game were better than Reboot, but weapon handling seemed more polished in Reboot. Knowing how to fight certain enemies compared to my first run definitely helped me here on hardest difficulty.
I remember there being way too many resources the first time I played this when I got it. Imagine my delight at the challenge that Extreme Survivor gave me when nearly all resources were scarce. Aside from natural and manmade resources, I never had to upgrade the size of ammo packs or special ammos simply because there wasn't enough used and I used stealth to my advantage most of the time to save ammo. Never bothered with translations aside from those I'd naturally run across, and I never used them to find caches. I also never used Survival Instincts like I did for Reboot 2020.

The grapple axe. I somehow forgot about that one. Interest mechanic, but slightly unbelievable at times.
Climbing arrows. ...wait wut? ...well it works. I guess. Breaks the immersion though. Reminds me of the golden spear in Guardian of Light. Laughed every time I had to use those.

Side missions. They're alright. Feels forced in though. I'd like to see how exactly it would've affected the Remnant's fight against Trinity in the endgame, but beggars be choosers I guess.

Boss battles (aside from Baba Yaga) were lackluster. And Konstantin. omg reduced to a runaround and qte. What is this, Tomb Raider Anniversary? Like I said, Baba Yaga was really the only boss battle I enjoyed, it felt like I was getting somewhere as opposed to it just being ... well Konstantin.

Tombs. I enjoyed these. Better than in Reboot, and I liked the ones in Reboot.

The soundtrack popped a lot more here than in Reboot. Lara's theme came back. Other than that I quite liked the Lost City motifs around the place.

Enjoyed the arcade style of stuff like Lara's Nightmare, Cold Darkness, and Endurance but them being limited as they are I quickly got bored after 3-4 sessions each. Endurance had so much promise - why didn't it include other levels like Syria or the ability to tease then-upcoming Shadow with jungle levels? Croft Manor - just the interior? No walking around outside? I understand we get that in Shadow but still, it reminded me of Legend's and Underworld's manor where you just play indoors. Wasn't a fan of the repeated dialog every single time you replay one of those three. "Testosterone testosterone testosterone testosterone testos..."

4/5. pretty good


STORY


Same as in Reboot, I skipped most of the cutscenes. The only ones I didn't were those that were in the middle or hinted at a coming fight so that I wasn't suddenly thrust into combat. This being Extreme Survivor I have to reload upon death to the last campsite - which can sometimes be far and between for certain segments of the game. Like in my Reboot 2020 review, this let me figure out the plot on my own using just the relics I come across and talking to people - though I know the majority of the story is in the cutscenes (but as I've already played this...)

I'll try not to go into how I'd have wrote the story, that approaches fanfiction territory and I want to avoid that. "But Zreen, in your Reboot review you did exactly that!" - and to this inevitable reply I say - no, I didn't; I referenced the original ending for Reboot as described by that game's lead writer Rhianna Pratchett before it was changed to be not as dark as "everyone except Lara dies" and that was what I was commenting on. Cause if I do go on a fanfiction tangent then this'll be even longer than it is now.

I'll not be including things from comics or novels, just the games as they present the story.

I'll split story by focusing on characters.

Lara
We had hints of this in Reboot, but man this game is all over it: daddy issues. It's played more maturely than in LAU, though, so I'll give it that. I would've liked the family drama disconnected from the conflict, but that's neither here nor there. Her immediate buddy-buddy with the Remnant (aside from brief brushes with Sofia and Jacob in the very beginning) felt a little rushed even with Jacob vouching for her. It's moments like that I'd have liked some effect from doing the Remnant side missions to that point to help her image in Remnant's eyes. The changed ending from Reboot made her personality here awkward since she was still not quite sure of herself as a budding Tomb Raider even though in the reveal trailer she seemed f-ing addicted to the whole thing like an adrenaline junkie.

Jacob
I remember first playing this and immediately figuring out Jacob was immortal at his comment of being "familiar" with the Soviet prison. Made the reveal quite anticlimactic, though his death was handled quite nicely. The Deathless seemed to just be Oni with a new splash of paint and a more involved history. Everything about Jacob seemed to be a combination of pre-death Jesus and Rasputin (probably intentional) which makes the whole Trinity connection a little funny - imagine Knights Templar going after an immortal Jesus to kill him. Speaking of Knights Templar...

Ana (and Konstantin)
Trinity. Oh man. Started off with such promise, with the tiniest hints here and there in Reboot. Why did it turn out like this? I actually think the Uncharted 1 method would work here: have a smaller agency doing shenanigans in rival or under orders from Trinity, then we don't see Trinity until later in the game and even then not to the point it is now. Or even have the big reveal at the end of what Trinity really is and their relevance to the Remnant and Richard Croft. In Rise we have Ana and Konstantin, which reminds me sooooo much of Cersei and Jaime Lannister - right down to the super awkward romantic tones between the two (or did I just interpret them as "romantic" in their own way?). Really though, in all honesty they could've both been combined into a single character - probably as just Ana, going rogue against Trinity and taking a small number of those fiercly loyal to her (or at least most paid). Her motives were actually quite believable: I'm dying, I don't want to die, hey let's look for that thing we've been killing for a thousand years. How she's offed is just trash. And no I never did and not even after did I think the voice at the end was Atlas - we've had enough family connections already. I don't want another "Lara's mother's the basis for the half-dead woman's face in Helheim" theory.

Jonah (and Sam) ... (and Reyes)
Why even is Jonah in this game? He shows up, then he's gone for the majority of the game JUST so he can return and get captured again. Then once he's rescued he has to sit out the rest of the game. He's useless. So's Reyes and Sam apparently. I know the comics tell all but this isn't the comics, ignore the comics, I did, and I imagine a significant number of Rise players also didn't read the comics. They survive Yamatai and... just... don't show up (except Jonah... eh..not so much). I can perfectly see the beginning of the game not having Jonah in it at all, just her on her own - as a little adrenaline junkie trying to get the high from her time in Yamatai.

2/5. it tried.

----TINY ASIDE----
There's cut content of Reboot taking place on Endurance as a playable level during its cruise (before the crash). That would've been great! Have the tutorial there! Make us care for characters there! I get starting us in the action of the crash but - moving all those potential player-character sympathy moments into cinematics where Lara watches... a camcorder... just minimizes all those opportunities.
----FINISH----


On a final note, Rise DLC more than makes up for the main game in my opinion. Baba Yaga's great, Endurance was interesting, Cold Darkness was fun for a tiny bit, Blood Ties was amazing (but could've been more) and Lara's Nightmare was meh. The main game had hits and misses, but ultimately was neither a failure nor a greater game than its predecessor.

FINAL RATING 3/5 - story was a major blow to the score, gameplay was good, Atlas is an ass but at least he's a believable one.
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Old 03-08-20, 11:55   #2
Costel
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One person does not do a review and skip the cutscenes even if it is the second playthrough. Not saying that I agree or dissagre with your review but maybe you missed something on your first playthrough.
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Old 05-08-20, 07:29   #3
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i donít agree with your review
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Old 06-08-20, 02:02   #4
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i mostly agree with your review, especially for what concerns the storytelling but i do think skipping the cutscenes is a bit wack.
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