Shadow of the Tomb Raider: A Review
The third installment in the revamped Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider finds Lara Croft tracking Trinity across South America, leading her to discover lost relics and cities along the way. In her quest to beat Trinity to a legendary artifact, Lara accidentally triggers a series of events which will culminate in an apocalypse. Now, it’s up to her to make things right.
Let me preface this by saying that I hate shooters. They are not my forte, and I rarely play them. I have played all three Tomb Raider games on easy mode because I enjoy the story and the puzzles more than anything else, which is why this game was great for me. Shadow of The Tomb Raider heightened the number of puzzles and stealth, making it more of a strategy game than a simple blast your way through situations. Not to say the first two games are exactly like that. Shadow didn’t have as many large-scale battles as the other games, and if that’s what you enjoy and like about the series, you might be disappointed, but if you’re like me and enjoy the discovery and puzzles, then you’re in for a treat.
Another aspect of the game that makes this one different than its predecessors is that it is actually a pseudo-horror game. There are a couple of sections that ramp up the creep factor and just make you feel uneasy as you move through the area. It’s always a bad sign when there’s a cut-scene showing Lara pulling out all her guns.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider once again boasts beautiful locals and carefully crafted tombs for you to explore (9 in the main story, with more coming later when the DLC is released). There are new threats in the form of the wildlife, including jaguars and piranhas (which are super annoying and an insta-kill). A number of new skills and methods have been added to the game. Because of the thick vegetation, Lara is able to hide in overgrown grass and up against grass- and mud-covered walls, which comes in handy when there are a lot of enemies present. There are new plants to harvest that when consumed will activate different skills, such as perception and focus (though I never really used this until the final battle). As usual, Lara’s go-to is a bow and her climbing axes, with a pistol, shotgun, and rifle also available at your disposal. Lara also receives some upgrades to her gear, allowing her to repel from walls and do some overhang climbing.
Overall, Shadow of the Tomb Raider was a strong entry into the franchise and acted as a solid conclusion to this chapter in Lara’s life. It is definitely worth the play, though you should at least play through Rise of the Tomb Raider before you start this one. Hopefully Square Enix won’t close the lid on this reboot of Tomb Raider and continue on with Lara’s story. I feel there is still more for them to tell.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows.