TMS Plays Rise of the Tomb Raider Episode 4.7—”Soviet Installation”

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Lara Croft returns to her cave-exploring, arrow-shooting, pottery-smashing adventures in the latest installment of our Rise of the Tomb Raider Let’s Play! Circle back and watch the rest on our YouTube channel if you’d like to know what else happens in this game, but—as I say every week—there just isn’t a whole lot of story to worry about in this game. (Unlike, say, the Telltale Games Let’s Plays we’ve also done around here, for The Walking Dead: Michonne and for Batman: The Telltale Series.)

Anyway, last time we had an episode of this game’s Let’s Play, Lara (and our host Sam Riedel) was facing off against some enemies outside of a cabin. Our combat skills still aren’t that leveled-up in this game, although our collecting-items skills certainly have been, so that means we have to be sneaky when we’re taking down enemies.

The phrase “Supply Shack” refers to the fact that apparently now we can buy stuff, and this is the place to do it. The man inside the shack used to work for Trinity (the evil cult that make up the enemies of this game), but as soon as he sees you, he defects and says he’d rather sell items to you. Might that be because Lara just killed his comrades before his very eyes? Nahhh, I’m sure he’s trustworthy.

This guy won’t let Lara have anything for free, and she doesn’t have any “untraceable currency” to pay him for any of his weapons, so she leaves. She climbs around, and meanwhile, our Let’s Player Sam debates what to do next. Keep looking for Trinity radio towers to dismantle, or try to figure out how to get rope arrows?

Lara zip-lines her way straight into another cut-scene, so I guess our decision has been made: it’s time to watch some other people talk! Lara stands outside another wooden shack and hears a man talking inside; I think it’s Constantine, the leader of the Trinity cult, but who knows? After overhearing most of his ominous phone conversation, two bad guys pop up and knock Lara out. Fade to black. Guess we’ve been kidnapped?

Lara wakes up tied to a chair, across from another captive also tied to a chair. That captive is Ana! (Also, someone removed Lara’s coat before tying her to the chair. Why?) Ana tells Lara that she should just give Trinity “whatever they want” so they can get out of there. Lara tells her it’s complicated and she’ll find some other way to get them out of there.

Constantine dramatically opens the door and leers at the two women. The camera angle changes to show us his hands, which appear to be holding a Garrote wire. He started strangling Ana and yells at Lara: “Talk!”

He asks Lara, “Where’s the Divine Source?” She tells him, in desperation, that she doesn’t know. Even as Ana gasps for air, Lara still says nothing. Eventually, Constantine stops trying to choke Ana, at which point Ana glares and says, to Constantine, “That’s enough. She doesn’t know.”

Holy moly, Ana is working with Constantine? He unties her from the chair and she gives herself a little neck message. As Lara wrestles with the shock, Constantine walks over and slaps Lara in the face, seemingly for no reason other than being a jerk.

Ana gives her the “join us” pep talk. Lara responds: “No fucking way!” Ana switches tactics, getting up in Lara’s face: “You’re still so naive.” Lara spits in her face. Ana kicks her (and her chair) over onto the floor. Constantine points his gun at Lara, but Ana pushes it away. I guess she still thinks Lara is valuable alive, but why?

Constantine gets Lara up out of the chair (although she’s still in handcuffs) and takes her over to a barred prison cell. Why do antagonists in barren wastelands always have access to empty dungeons? Anyway, there’s a guy in the next cell over with a Solid Snake-esque beard; he also has a British accent, and instantly starts getting familiar with Lara. Meanwhile, Lara uses a rock on the floor to wrestle open her handcuffs. “Nice trick,” says the guy. “Can you get us out of here?”

“There’s no us,” Lara says. Then she apologizes and admits she’s “not feeling particularly trusting lately,” which makes sense, given what she just went through with Ana. He says: “You won’t get far without me.” Oh, come on, dude. Lara’s got her own comeback: “You don’t know how far I’ve come.”

Lara finds a rusty pipe on the wall and rips it out. She uses it to bust through a nearby loose wall. Guess what’s in there? ROPE ARROWS. Finally! Plus, a bow with which to use them.

Lara uses the rope arrows to get herself out of the dungeon. Once again, our new beardy friend begs her to let him out, too. “We may not be enemies,” he insists. But he still doesn’t get around to saying who he actually is, or why he’s in that cell. Eventually, when he realizes Lara really isn’t going to save him, he admits that he knows where that mysterious “Source” thing is.

Lara opens his cell door, at which point he finally tells her he’s named Jacob. Thanks, bro. Luckily, he knows the way out, and he walks there at a very leisurely pace, while Lara follows. They run across a room with a bunch of loot in it, and Jacob says he’s going to tell Lara a “history lesson,” but it’s pretty short. Mostly stuff about how they’re in a a Soviet-era mining installation, but we knew that already. Not sure what that history has to do with Jacob, if anything.

As we make our way out, we overhear some bad guys drilling outside and talking a lot of smack about Lara, who tells Jacob, “I’ll take care of this,” and makes her way down towards the bad guys. He doesn’t volunteer to accompany her, probably because he already knows she’s the bad-ass in this pairing. At least this guy knows his place.

That was a surprisingly plot-heavy installment for this week! Next week: probably killing a bunch of bad guys and not talking so much. We’ll find out, eh?

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Author
Image of Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers
Maddy Myers, journalist and arts critic, has written for the Boston Phoenix, Paste Magazine, MIT Technology Review, and tons more. She is a host on a videogame podcast called Isometric (relay.fm/isometric), and she plays the keytar in a band called the Robot Knights (robotknights.com).