Tag Archives: tomb raider

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Haven Editorial: Desucon 2017

Desucon is the biggest and longest running cosplay convention in Norway. It’s been around for at least a decade by this point. Which is fantastic achievement on its own and does the cosplay community a great service. However size has it’s own price. However it is not my place to speculate about the chaotic nightmare of logistics and people management. 

I came to Desucon to take pictures of interesting people and compete in the cosplay competition. Which I have a minor beef with. Which for once has nothing to with with the judges decisions on who would go on to the finals. Yet I’m quite sure some people do, however I did not inquire about that. It just well known fact that people will complain a lot about such things. That being said, there is a lot of fun to be had by signing on as a volunteer. The back bone of any convention.

As usual Desucon takes place in Lillestrøm during the summer. It’s a very flat region of east Norway with a big building perfectly suited to hold any convention, with easy commuting from all over. Be it by plane, bus or train. There is also a plethora of stores and high quality restaurants and an expensive hotel next door. Several noticeable and very geeky stores bring a lot of fantastic merchandise as well. A great number of artists shows up as well and most of them takes a lot of custom commissions. Replica swords, bead creatures, leather products, body pillows, figurines, cups, candy and much much more.

I’ve yet to mention the various organizations having stands there as well. Such as the highly questionable Galtvort skolen LARP. It’s a translation on the hog and wart pun, which is the recipe for having serious legal issues. Due to film companies being a dick about reinforcing copyrights.


The ever noisy and quite healthy Kendo participants. EF education, which enthralls you with the ability to study languages abroad. And many, many more. 

My costume idea for this year was a scantly clad Blackwatch Ryes from Overwatch. I figured out that parading around in his skimpy armor would be a lot more comfy than wearing a shirt. Plus I could not arsed to get an olive green hoodie. Not yet at least. The process can be found on my twitch page under the name Zaceron on pretty much anything.

Part one was held in a closed room with some cameras, several people from the crew. Apparently it was an auditorium with many rows of chairs, filled with an overwhelming amount of participants in colorful costume. Essentially the idea was for each participant to wait their turn and talk to the three lovely female judges in front. Personally I was just lucky to get there in time, since they decided to held it one hour earlier. Without notifying me, since I just arrived by bus when the announcement was made through the speaker system. Due to the ease of dressing up I did get in on time. Winning is a hard sell and there is always more to tell. However there is one big beef I have and that is the number of people going on to the finale, it went from twenty something down to five. The real problem I had about this is quite simple. Most of the participants had a sketch in mid, with music, sound and acting planned out. Now they will never be seen, which is sad and a waste of entertainment potential. Which also undercut a lot of fun. Seeing people do their hardest to perform on stage in a custom costume is a fantastic experience and fun to boot. Also a lot of the participants could greatly benefit from the self esteem boost.

However there was a drop in competition on Saturday, which had a lot of high quality participants as well and a much more chill, show your work atmosphere. I never expected to see a Daedric warrior cosplay. Then again a Oni Genji was there as well, with a mimic hiding in a corner, promising free loot. Aside from the big competition, there are a lot of other wholesome activities going on as well. Such as the LAN section, for people who have the balls to drag their expensive PC across the land. Various fandom meet ups, board games and much, much more. There is just too much to mention. After all I came there to compete, meet fantastic people, take a bucket load of images and fishing for ideas. Which is exactly what I did.

 

 

Kendo practice
The Kind of Norway during WW2
Wonder Woman
Arcade Ahri
Imperial Guardsman
Reaper vs Sith and the Remnant
Free Loot
Soldier 76
Friday the 13th
The witch king and his hand maiden?
Gone With the Blastwave
A short storm trooper
Roadhog
A Ghost Buster
Lara Croft
Joker
Bobba Fett
Sombra
Sparta
NCR Veteran

 Tai Fighter

Garen and Katarina

Njål Sand

Haven Review: Rise of the Tomb Raider [PC]

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

Now I should note before I go into this that I’ve played and beaten the entire game with a 100% completion on the Xbox One. Most of this review, however focuses on PC-exclusive features that new players should know about.tomb-raider-ice

Now if you waited for this title, you’re rewarded with some very nice tessellation action, as well as an exclusive full-screen mode where you can use a monitor with 120 Hz refresh rate! Assuming you have the graphics card to play this thing on high, you can play it in a nice 60 fps for mind-numbing graphics that are sure to make you happy you’re part of the ubiquitous “PC Master Race” (PCMR).

There are a variety of “fine tuned” additions to the PC version to enhance its visual appeal. Although the frame rate is a lot smoother (and somewhat varied in quality from computer to computer), you can make it look like you’re playing on an Xbox One by disabling graphically heavy features, such as ambient occlusion. But why you would do that is beyond me.

A feature I’m still not really caring about is multiplayer, where players can buy cards or earn them in-game by completing challenges. For added bonuses, you can also spend real world cash to unlock some other features or outfits that Lara Croft can wear.

The current story kicks off as you are traveling to Syria and the Himalayas in search of the Divine Source, an ancient relic which bestows immortality upon its users. A secret organization called Trinity wants to use it to recreate the world in their image…claiming it as God’s work. The story is fairly simple to follow for the most part, although I don’t want to dabble to much into it for fear of spoiling it for everyone.2914750-rottr2

You also get to meet Lara Croft’s father and learn of the fate that befell him on his last journey. Now on to the main thing about this game and how it differs from its predecessor. In the previous title your goals were very relaxed and straightforward. There were always indicators showing you where to go. The skills were also clear, albeit redundant (as was much of the equipment you found).

The 2013 installment felt like it was holding your hand through the entire game, even on harder settings. I found it disappointing to say the least now with the new Rise of the Tomb Raider. I was expecting the same treatment, but as I stated earlier not much in the first game prepared me for this. Rise-of-the-Tomb-Raider-3The computer AI is still generally pretty stupid; no real improvements. However now there is a new in-depth crafting system with which you can make pretty much anything. Hungry? Tear down a tiny tree and make a bow from it to go hunting…and from there grab some feathers and sticks to make arrows. Trinity soldiers coming your way use equipment better, so you must literally head-shot them with your newly acquired arrows.

Are you badly injured? Grab a leaf and some clothes and make a bandage using your hardcore Indian-styled survival skills…one with nature! Speaking of being one with nature, why not hide in the bushes and jump-attack anyone who comes by? Don’t forget to loot their corpse! The amount of crafting skills is phenomenal; improvising everything on the go…even making shrapnel grenades from materials you pick up.sasa

But where the game truly begins to shine is when you start adding skills into the mix and finding new skills from tombs. Where in the first game you would just get experience and some salvage from looting an ancient tomb, in this one you gain new abilities from codecs which work in tandem with your current skill sets that you unlock as you gain skill points. For example in the initial tomb, you unlock a rapid fire arrow ability and a skill that allows you to fire two arrows in rapid succession. Using these skills in tandem means you can now fire four arrows. If you get head shots, that is an easy four skills right from the get go.

Expanding into story-related things, you can take side missions from various NPC’s you meet along the way. In doing so you can unlock more equipment to help you progress through the game, such as lock picks, weapon sights, and various other equipment, not to mention the treasures you find that can be used for purchasing more equipment for weapons or general upgrades.sa

Now with all these new features in a Tomb Raider title, you may ask yourself where Square Enix screwed up. That my friends, as many have guessed is in micro-transactions! You can spend real-world money to purchase extra outfits for Lara, or cards to be used in expedition mode! Although if you complete challenges in the campaign you can actually get card packs for free and on my very first one I got the bobble head Lara unlock so now my head is gigantic. However they are not usable in the main game which is kind of a bummer, although it would be pretty funny if it was usable in the main story.

The main issue I faced in the game was the learning curve with the new mechanics, not to mention the missing hand-holding features. Entire areas blend together with no identifying marks as to where to jump or how to move about. Only the way-point indicator for survival mode has remained the same…that and finding things in survival mode.

The game delivers so well on the visuals to the point I want to cry at its beauty. With its musical composition and riveting story, it truly is an amazing game. Although let’s be honest, Square Enix couldn’t really mess that up with their excellent writing staff.2809247-1424111574-6

In conclusion, is Rise of the Tomb Raider better on PC than it was on the Xbox One? Absolutely. There is a reason PC players refer to themselves as the “Master Race”. The extra features allow for a more immersive experience and jaw-dropping graphics. It’s simply amazing and absolutely enjoyable.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
TombRaider

Haven Review: Rise of The Tomb Raider

First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

I want to start off by saying that when I heard we were going to review the new Rise of the Tomb Raider game, I had no clue what to expect from the franchise. Luckily our script kiddie, “Vlue” was kind enough to send a Humble Bundle key my way. It took me twelve hours to get 100% in the game, which honestly was quite disappointing for me considering the effort I had to put in. So now that I knew what I was getting into, I felt prepared and was ready to play r and honestly there wasn’t much in the first Tomb Raider game that could prepare me for this new experience.tomb-raider-ice

First and foremost is the previous iteration: Tomb Raider (2013). Here you get to meet a variety of characters on Lara Croft’s first adventure looking for the Yamatai; one of whom survives and makes an appearance in Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The current story kicks off as you are traveling to Syria and the Himalayas in search of the Divine Source, an ancient relic which bestows immortality upon its users. A secret organization called Trinity wants to use it to recreate the world in their image…claiming it as God’s work. The story is fairly simple to follow for the most part, although I don’t want to dabble to much into it for fear of spoiling it for everyone.

You also get to meet Lara Croft’s father and learn of the fate that befell him on his last journey. Now on to the main thing about this game and how it differs from its predecessor. In the previous title your goals were very relaxed and straightforward. There were always indicators showing you where to go. The skills were also clear, albeit redundant (as was much of the equipment you found). 2914750-rottr2

The 2013 installment felt like it was holding your hand through the entire game, even on harder settings. I found it disappointing to say the least now with the new Rise of the Tomb Raider. I was expecting the same treatment, but as I stated earlier not much in the first game prepared me for this. The computer AI is still generally pretty stupid; no real improvements. However now there is a new in-depth crafting system with which you can make pretty much anything. Hungry? Tear down a tiny tree and make a bow from it to go hunting…and from there grab some feathers and sticks to make arrows. Trinity soldiers coming your way use equipment better, so you must literally head-shot them with your newly acquired arrows.siberian-wilderness-85

Are you badly injured? Grab a leaf and some clothes and make a bandage using your hardcore Indian-styled survival skills…one with nature! Speaking of being one with nature, why not hide in the bushes and jump-attack anyone who comes by? Don’t forget to loot their corpse! The amount of crafting skills is phenomenal; improvising everything on the go…even making shrapnel grenades from materials you pick up.

But where the game truly begins to shine is when you start adding skills into the mix and finding new skills from tombs. Where in the first game you would just get experience and some salvage from looting an ancient tomb, in this one you gain new abilities from codecs which work in tandem with your current skill sets that you unlock as you gain skill points. For example in the initial tomb, you unlock a rapid fire arrow ability and a skill that allows you to fire two arrows in rapid succession. Using these skills in tandem means you can now fire four arrows. If you get head shots, that is an easy four skills right from the get go.

Expanding into story-related things, you can take side missions from various NPC’s you meet along the way. In doing so you can unlock more equipment to help you progress through the game, such as lock picks, weapon sights, and various other equipment, not to mention the treasures you find that can be used for purchasing more equipment for weapons or general upgrades.sasa

Now with all these new features in a Tomb Raider title, you may ask yourself where Square Enix screwed up. That my friends, as many have guessed is in micro-transactions! You can spend real-world money to purchase extra outfits for Lara, or cards to be used in expedition mode! Although if you complete challenges in the campaign you can actually get card packs for free and on my very first one I got the bobble head Lara unlock so now my head is gigantic. However they are not usable in the main game which is kind of a bummer, although it would be pretty funny if it was usable in the main story.

The main issue I faced in the game was the learning curve with the new mechanics, not to mention the missing hand-holding features. Entire areas blend together with no identifying marks as to where to jump or how to move about. Only the way-point indicator for survival mode has remained the same…that and finding things in survival mode. sa

The game delivers so well on the visuals to the point I want to cry at its beauty. With its musical composition and riveting story, it truly is an amazing game. Although let’s be honest, Square Enix couldn’t really mess that up with their excellent writing staff.

Is Rise of the Tomb Raider worth the money? I highly think so; although unfortunately it’s only available on the Xbox One right now. But I am not complaining. Square Enix will eventually port it to the PC and everyone can enjoy it. But until then you can be satisfied with the footage people have been uploading to YouTube.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
TombRaider