Welcome to the second week of my Game Diary playthrough of Tomb Raider (2013). This week I went through the Mountain Village and the Base Approach all the way up to the Mountain Base. These sections ended up being a lot shorter than the previous week’s, so this should be a much shorter article than last time.
Mountain Village Recap
Sitting by the campfire in the Mountain Village reveals that you can now fast travel between campfire sites allowing you to go back and gain collectibles that were missed. The village is a wide open area to explore and find things, but the end goal is to make a short climb in the back of the village to reach the wolves’ den where Lara will light a torch and aim her pistol forward on edge of what may lurk in the darkness. Upon finding Roth’s pack and making her way out, a wolf will jump from the shadows and attack Lara leading into an action sequence to kill the wolf and save yourself. Upon returning to Roth with the pack, Lara will bandage his leg and wait until he wakes up. Roth will bring up that at the very top of the mountain there is a radio tower they can use to send out an SOS signal, and with his injured leg Lara will have to make the climb.
Lara now gains the ability to climb up crag walls with her axe allowing her to climb up past the wolf den to a higher cliff. After a couple short fights, Lara will receive a call on her radio from Alex who will give her advice of what to look for once she reaches the radio tower. Lara will then come across a new campfire site where she will sit and watch another portion of the camcorder footage. This time the recording shows several interactions and relationships between the crew members. The first part shows an interaction between Alex and Reyes in which they show that Reyes is their mechanical expert while Alex is their electrical expert. After some awkward banter between them Alex is left to work on an engine issue while contemplating to himself how he could have been a bit more witty in that exchange. The second scene starts with Grim telling a story about sighting a sea monster being the reason he gave up alcohol, and Sam turns the camera just in time to catch Reyes and Roth in a seemingly romantic embrace as they sneak into an adjacent room. The third scene shows Jonah attempting to show Dr. Whitman how to prepare a fish for cooking, and when Dr. Whitman fails he storms off in frustration until Sam comes to reassure him and tell him they need this filler footage until they find a real discovery and convinces him to come back and try again. The final scene is an exchange between Roth and Lara revealing that Roth was close with Lara’s father and that she had made her first discovery at the age of 5. The scene ends with Lara remarking that they were getting close to the storm and Roth replying that they would get through it together. Lara then puts down the camcorder and heads off to the Base Approach.
Mountain Village Thoughts
Right off the bat I decided to use the campfire to pick up the Steady Shot perk which allows me to hold a shot on the bow for twice as long. I also spent all of the salvage I had to upgrade my bow as far as I could at that point as I find the bow is much more satisfying to use over the pistol. I haven’t gone back to any old campsites yet to collect items yet, and I likely won’t 100% the game on this playthrough, but whenever I have extra time I may go back and find some things and I will keep an eye out for stuff along the way.
The fight with the wolf wasn’t too difficult as I have gotten much more used to the action sequences at this point in the game. The new climbing mechanic adds on a little bit more action to the game as you will have to time jumps and grabs to progress and survive.
Combat is another thing I’ve started getting better at. Whereas before I felt like I was constantly in a rush to kill the enemies as they rained fire on me, I’ve found it much easier now to get the drop on enemies and take several out before they can get a shot off. Before I knew it I had made it to the next campfire, though I feel like I missed on a lot of potential collectibles along the way. When I made it to the next campfire I had yet another skillpoint which I spent on the Advanced Salvaging perk which increases my salvage intake for more equipment upgrades.
Base Approach Recap
The base approach was incredibly short as it composed entirely of fighting your way through a small building, up the stairs to a zipline which takes you directly into the Mountain Base. You can attempt to go through stealthily which requires that you shoot out some spotlights, or you can shoot your way through as there is plenty of cover.
Base Approach Thoughts
The game did a great job of making the first spotlight clearly visible from far away and give you the idea to shoot out the lights, and because of this I was able to shoot out the first light and take out the first three enemies stealthily. After which, I was spotted once inside the building, but due to the narrow hallways and experience in using the bow in Skyrim it was fairly easy to take down the enemies one at a time as they came through in single file. In the end I also found a gps piece which if I find the other piece it may reveal a secret tomb. I stopped just after taking the zipline into the base.
This week’s play session was very short, in fact I was able to get through in less than an hour. I’m very thankful for the fast travel mechanic as the completionist side of me always has a great urge to go back and do everything there is to do in the games I play. I don’t know if I’ll end up going through the entire game with the bow, but as of this time I’m enjoying using the bow a lot more than the gun for the satisfaction of using it, the stealth aspect of it, and the pure aesthetic of it. The limited time window to fire a shot once you pull the trigger also acts as motivation to make sure my shots are carefully aimed each time I feel.
Next week I’ll be tackling the Mountain Base, Base Exterior, and the Cliffside Village, so if you want to play alongside me that’s as far as I’ll be going till next Saturday. And if you want to purchase the game for yourself, you can buy it on Humble Bundle here where a portion of your payment will go to charity and another portion will help support me (as of the time of this article, the game is 80% off for the next 5 days.) Also, if you have a suggestion for another game you’d like to see done in the Game Diary, please comment your suggestions below. I may or may not accept all requests, but the game you suggest could be my next. The general rules are as follows:
- The game cannot be too long
- The game must have a clear ending
- The game must have intrigue beyond gameplay (i.e. Match 3 games won’t work out)
- It must be a game I’ve never played before (No real way to tell without suggesting it first though!)