I was beefing a bit with Rise of the Tomb Raider for its heavily scripted sequences in which you hold forward on the analog stick as the game just sort of nonthreateningly happens around you (except for when a brutal cutscene wants to make you wince at Lara’s pain).
I was shown an extended, behind closed doors look at RotTR — still figuring out the best brief way to call this game, Rise? — and that trend continued. Along with a new one of Lara talking to herself (for the sake of exposition or telling the player explicitly what to do) about every five seconds. It’s a bit silly.
The demo also showed off some new gameplay stuff, including tree climbing for stealth and stealth takedowns, a cartoonish puff of green poison gas arrow, bear fighting, and a bit more stealth (throwing distractions, etc). It’s nice to see while there is stuff I still really don’t like too much, there are ways in which the game is evolving. You can see them in the extended footage below, or hear me talk about it in between a literal massive hole and a Hooters above.
Also Lara can swim now for N64-era puzzles where you have to introduce water to reach higher places.
This goes along with bigger tombs, either secret ones or ones on the narrative path. At one point Lara came up on an abandoned Cold War installation, which was apparently one of the game’s “hubs” that contain quest givers, crypts, secrets, and story missions.
There are also “systems that celebrate Lara’s intelligence and archaeological background.” Reading documents and murals throughout the ancient world gives Lara more experience and improves her proficiency, allowing her to uncover greater secrets. Like the secret of immortality hidden in a lost city beneath a lake, which Lara is fighting evil organization Trinity to get to.
One other major gripe I keep having with the snow-ridden portions shown off is that Lara refuses to zip up her jacket and instead keeps showing off that cute infinity scarf. On top of that, no hat or gloves despite that fact that you lose heat fastest through those extremities. Bad guys, too, are not appropriately bundled for Siberian winter.