Blood Ties

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Blood Ties is a new story level in Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration that sees Lara return to Croft Manor.

Story

After her visit to Syria in search of the fabled Tomb of the Prophet, which promises to hold the secret to eternal life, Lara returns to the Croft Manor to study her father’s notes and to uncover the secret of a mysterious mark she has found by the exit of the tomb which only held an empty coffin.

Upon her return Lara finds her claim on Croft Manor disputed by her uncle, Atlas DeMornay. She has to prove her rightful ownership by exploring the Manor in the search of her father's last will and testament, all the while confronting her past and overcome the trauma of his sudden death.

Final notice to Lara Croft, the current tenant of the premises. This is to serve as your final notice for the purposes of terminating your ownership of Croft Manor. You are required to immediately vacate and surrender possession of said Manor to Atlas de Mornay.

Lara it is unfortunate that you would force my hand in this matter but so be it. As you know, your parents appointed me as executor of the estate in the event of their absence. Since your mother disappeared, her death was never technically declared, and given the circumstances surrounding your father's death, it's no surprise that he never drafted a formal last will and testament for this circumstance. Unfortunately, you have no legal claims to the estate. I'm willing to negotiate a modest monthly stipend from your trust, but only if you leave the Manor by week's end. Don't fight me on this Lara, your mother wouldn't want that.

Sincerely,

Atlas
Letter from Atlas[1] to Lara, intro cut-scene from Blood Ties


Throughout the manor she encounters items or places that trigger memories from her past. For example, when she enters the Wine Cellar the player can hear a conversation she had with her father when she was a little girl:

"Dad! This is it: The Basement of Despair!"
"Indeed, Lara. Muster your courage, for this is the only path to the Library of Infinite Knowledge."
"Look there! See the string?"
"Ah, an ancient Egyptian tripwire! The Keepers of Knowledge want none to disturb their treasures. We must tread carefully."
"Let me lead, I know how to spot all the traps."
"I'm sure you do, my darling. Lead on!"
Gamescom game-play trailer[2]


There are several parts of the manor that Lara can explore, like the the Wine Cellar, the Library, and the West Wing, where the Master Bedroom is located and that was off limits to Lara as a child, after the tragic death of her mother Amelia.

Gameplay

The Blood Ties Expedition adds about one hour of game-play to the main game, although fully exploring the castle and discovering all Documents and Relics can take much longer. The whole level can be experienced in either the standard third person perspective or - exclusively on the PlayStation 4 - in the new Virtual Reality Mode using the PlayStation VR headset.

After finishing the Blood Ties story, the player can always return to the manor to look for Relics and Documents he or she missed on the first visit, as well as admiring all the Easter Eggs the level designers have build in which reference the old games like a Stuffed T-Rex doll and mentions of Winston and the Freezer. Also, many of the Relics found are reminiscent of the older games.

Levels

Note:: The actual order in which these messages appear depend an where Lara goes first within the Manor, e.g. it is possible to first explore the Atelier and then the Master Bedroom before returning to the Library.

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  • Find the entrance to the Servants' Passage using Lara's childhood Expedition Map
  • Find a flashlight to light the way into the Servant's Passage
  • Use Servants' Passage to reach the Library
  • Search for the Combination in the Library
  • Use the Secret Map to find the Master Key in the Library
  • Search for the combination relics in the Library, Atelier and Master Bedroom
  • Search Master Bedroom for the remaining combination clues: 0/2
  • Search for the remaining combination relics in the Library & Atelier
  • Search the Atelier for remaining combination clues: 0/2
  • Search for the remaining combination relics in the Library
  • Return to the Study to open Lord Croft's safe

Pick-ups

When first playing Blood Ties, there are 40 Relics, 54 Documents, and 2 Murals to be found.

Gallery

References

  1. Notice Served from Atlas de Mornay (Blood Ties Document Set)
  2. https://youtu.be/XBLd995Klt0