The Shotgun Was Better This Time

One of my few complaints about the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was that the shotgun seemed pretty terrible. It’s a silly thing to get worked up about, but I like it when video game shotguns pack some OOOOMPH, and that one just didn’t have enough oooomph.

The shotgun in Rise of the Tomb Raider brings ALL the oooomph, and you can eventually take a perk that lets you shoot incendiary rounds. I’m not sure if real-world shotguns have the option to load ammo that lets you set things on fire, but Mossberg should get right on that if they haven’t already.

There’s obviously a ton more to the game – lots of clambering around on vertical surfaces, a very Tomb Raider plot of the sort that starts off in the realm of the plausible and takes a hard turn into the supernatural near the end, nine “challenge tombs” that serve the narrative that you are actually an archaeologist and not just a mass murderer, a wonderful array of gadgets designed to encourage revisiting earlier story areas as your traversal abilities expand, a regrettable tendency towards writing run-on sentences… but trust me on the shotgun part.

According to Steam, I’ve played ROTTR for 42 hours, starting last Thursday evening, so that’s 42 hours over five days. I finished the main story, went back for all of the collectibles, bought the “Baba Yaga” DLC, finished the DLC story, hunted down all of the DLC collectibles, and even mucked around some in the game’s “Expeditions” mode, where you replay levels for score. I don’t usually buy games day one – I typically wait for the inevitable $20 price point on Steam – but getting that much out of a game makes me not regret it too badly. I lucked into a 25% off deal on the preorder, anyway, so even with the DLC I’m still under MSRP.

Considering that, in December, I was standing in a Best Buy holding an Xbone bundle and desperately trying to justify it to myself, I think I did pretty well to hold off for the PC release.

Sadly for PS4 owners, this one is still stuck in exclusivity deal hell until the end of 2016, at which point it probably will get lost in the holiday release barrage. I do hope that Squeeenix made enough money off Microsoft to justify further sequels, because I doubt the overall sales are going to do the trick.

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