3rd Mar 2016, 17:04
Critiques on the game's ending story and plot-wise. Massive spoilers obviously
I finished the game last month. The ending left me bittersweet, and I in general found it unsatisfying. I'll not comment on the boss fights or the mechanics, but here's my little critique on the story/character/plot of the ending. It is a critique, but it does not deny the fact that the game is really fun, well-crafted, and massively entertaining (if only we had more tombs). I appreciate the devs for that, and this is only intended to make future games better.
So, the Divine Source - what a letdown. Now I don't expect the game to answer every question there is about this Divine Source; after all, there are still more games coming about that. But after spending an entire game, driven by a strong curiosity and conviction to unearth the true nature of this thing, I felt I deserved more explanation than what the game gave me, which was none. After hunting it down for 20+ hrs, I still didn't know much more about it than when I began. @Nitephall raised some really good questions in this thread , which I quote:
"There are some very basic questions about this artifact that are never answered. For example, why did it keep Jacob alive as a normal, healthy, flesh and blood human, but it preserved the Athanatoi as mindless, soulless monsters that are basically just animated suits of armor? Where did Jacob find the Divine Source, and why did he feel he had a right to take it? What exactly is the connection between the Divine Source and those it makes immortal? Does the person's soul go into it, or does some part of the Source go into the person? Why did Jacob not realize centuries ago that the right thing to do would be to destroy it, considering all the death and destruction that it invites? Did the Source give Jacob the wisdom to preach such truths that people began to revere him, or was he already wise? I was left unsatisfied by RotTR's ending, because it leaves so many questions unanswered."
From a devs' and story writer's POV, it's okay if you don't tell us everything, and it's okay if we leave with more questions than answers, but you should give us one important chunk of information about the divine source to make us feel our effort was worth it. Heck, even if it's as simple as Lara bringing back a shard of the Divine Source to do lab analysis on, I'd feel so much better. I didn't feel that when I finished the game.
Lara - one of the best protagonists in video games today seemed to have suddenly burst into sage mode in the ending. Throughout the majority of the game she was driven by an obsession of her dad's research and an inborn curiosity for every mystery, yet in the finale of the game, she turned into a wise sage lecturing Anna about the danger of power and the meaning of death as the flip side of life. If she spent quite a while meditating in a Buddhist temple, or at least spent counseling sessions more with Jacob, that'd be potentially convincing, but as things were, this transition was rather out of character, and felt cheap to me.
The game did show effort in establishing a narrative about how simple men could not handle divine status. Through document collectibles and such, we learned of the humility of the Prophet and the evil caused by claiming divine source for private gains, so in this sense the ending matches the game thematically. The problem is that, this narrative took effect on the player and not on Lara. No matter what I think, it was her who stood at the chamber of souls, and not 20 min ago she was a hardcore mystery hunter, not a sage.
How would I make it better without altering too much stuff? If it's up to me, I'd make the final chapter of the game so that before the Konstatin boss fight, Trinity was shown to have almost won. In desperation to fight them off, Sophia, Jacob's daughter, drew power from the divine source and became a mighty deathless knight. She tore Trinity to shreds, but then turned on Lara, being a mindless deathless, and Lara had to gun her down. With a sad Jacob mourning over the loss of his daughter and a sad Lara mourning over the loss of her only friend throughout much of the game, Lara began to personally feel the burden that divine source could bring. This would make her transition in the ending somewhat more believable.
In general, I felt Lara's relationship with Anna was well handled from beginning to end. As for Jacob, he left so many questions unaddressed, but they are along the same line as those of the Divine Source, so I won't add more. If this game really is the middling of a trilogy, I am now quite nervous about the next game, because it would need to explain so much, as ROTTR practically didn't move Lara forward much in understanding immortality. I hope the devs read the forum posts and will take into consideration our feedback.
Thank you for reading. What do you think?
1st Nov 2016, 07:40
After playing through again, I feel that the plot point of Ana giving Konstatin Stigmata and twisting his life could have been made mpre of. Instead we read it in a found document. That seems like quite a big revelation into the characters and I think it deserved a dramatic cut-scene.
30th Jan 2017, 19:44
I'm pretty sure Jacob didn't take the divine source. I sort picture Jacob like Jesus. They were both human, but both had the ability to heal and do miraculous things that humans couldn't do. I think the Divine Source was created after Jacob was born. It held his essence and gave him his power. Maybe he never thought to destroy it, because it was his lifeline basically and maybe he was put on earth to achieve certain things in his life and until he was finished he couldn't die. Jacob seemed satisfied when Lara was about to destroy the Divine Source and he told her it was OK for her to do so. I think if he had more to do in his life he would have told Lara not to do it. Jacob's daughter and his people will carry on his will and I think Jacob knew that and there was nothing left for him to do on earth.
5th Feb 2017, 15:13
You have a point and the transition did feel well sudden but Lara has been fighting the deathless and that can give her an idea on what the source can do to other people and Lara can't carry the burden of possibly destroying people's lives. I believe the divine source should have been explained more though