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Journal Entry Six: Base Camp Logging Camp
Completion: 17% Total Time Played: 11 hrs. 35 mins. Time I Killed Lara: This Level (0) Total (9)
Playthrough (Part 6): With the Challenge Tomb (Playthrough 5) complete, it’s time to leave the underground cavern and head back up to the original side mission of taking out the communication’s transmitters. But first, we have to get out of this place. Next to the campfire, we jump back into the shallow water and head for the well hole, climbing up a rocky wall before scurrying around the caves to a swath of rock we can use with the ice axe. From there it’s an easy hike back to the main cavern where we started. But there’s time for some exploration, and I find some magnesite ore and another ancient mural to tick off the Region Summary list.
Taking the ladder back up on the surface, the wolves have re-spawned, er, repopulated and as soon as I’m in sight, they make a B-line for my throat. One gets a chomp at me but I’m able to break free and shimmy up the side of the tower as they run away, howling angrily in the wind. It’s rather chilling, and not because it’s Siberia. I’ll contend with them later and get on task, heading for the next transmitter. This area is packed with places to go, including buildings, zip lines, construction equipment and wooden towers, all with secrets. I’ve already taken out one of the five communication transmitters (Playthough 5) and the four others are nearby. Using the Survivor Instinct (activated by clicking the right stick) the targets glow yellow with rings of green. The nearest is up on the left side near a collapsed building, which also houses a crate with auto-pistol part number 3. One to go.
Running along a frozen riverbed away from the house, the next transmitter is up on a little jutted area to the far right and I make quick work of it as I spy the next, high atop a very tall rock formation in the center of the map. Time for a climb. But before that, it’s figuring out how to get to there in the first place. There are a number of zip lines and platforms all over the area, but which one is the way? I spend a sold three minutes running around trying to trace back the ropes to the towers and looking for a connection that will take me to the top of the rock before giving up and trying the other side of the massive stone where I discover a small strip of climbable wall. I bust out my ice axes and scurry up to the ledge and traverse along the outer edges until I make it all the way up, breathless with stress. One more transmitter off the list.
The last transmitter is all the way on the other end of the map, and there a few ways of getting there, though none include a hang glider. There is a zip line that will take me there, but I choose to get to the ground and see if I can find the remaining Region Summary items stashed about first. This proves to be a good idea because I come across a second Challenge Tomb on this map. I rush into the cave entrance, anticipating some complex puzzles but am instead greeted with a sealed door and a message that I’m missing the right gear in order to open it. Apparently, I need something called rope arrows. Denied. That’s cold. Despite the weather.
Outside, I return to the transmitter quests and find the last one up on a short cliff. It’s accessible be scaling a rock wall or climbing a tree. I took the tree. We sabotage the unit and the mission is complete, aside from informing the Remnant fighter who offered us the job so that’s where we head next. There is another camp here, but I ignore it and decide to talk to the fighter and camp at the location where I earned the mission. It’s just a matter of huffing it back and not get eaten by the still howling wolves patrolling the map.
But wait! Just before taking off, I notice a path along the cliff’s edge that looks to be he exit out of the area, so I’ll need to come back to this. We’ve got to give the good news to the rebel warrior that we disabled all the transmitters. We climb back down and head forward and stay to the right, hoping to avoid attacking wolves who seem to be enjoy some reindeer meat all on their own. No sense breaking that party up. As we sneak past them, I keep pushing to the right and discover a broken bridge behind another dilapidated building. Across the bridge and there is another hidden cave. This one isn’t blocked by a tool requirement and I knock away the cracked wall leading to the entrance with ease.
I descend a long narrow, curvy set of stone stairs though the catacombs and find another ancient emblem. Beyond that, there is a pool of dark water and a climbable ledge way out of reach. Time for a swim where we reach a ramp and go up a few levels to an overlook of what appears to be a casket. I jump down, open it, naturally, and slay the vampire, no, pick up the small treasure and move on up and out of the cave.
After to talking with the Remnant fighter, we complete the mission and earn the lock pick skill, which is nice considering there is a crate nearby that needs picking. Inside is the fourth semi-auto pistol part! That’ll come in handy. But now it’s time for a rest. The campfire is right beside the crate and I successful save at Base Camp: Logging Camp.
Impressions: The challenge has finally started and I’m really liking it. While the wolves were initially a little scary, they became, at least in this level, rather innocuous as they respawn and go lie down in the same spot every time. Once you get in an elevated position, they are very to easy to pick off. Otherwise, the rest of this level is well designed and full of great exploration. I really enjoyed the puzzles and the climbing parts. I always think it’s fun to see a destination and then try to figure out how to get there.
Best Moment: Cliff climbing.