Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the last installment in the Tomb Raider trilogy truly showed Lara Croft’s potential. Throughout the series, Lara grew as a character from a greenhorn adventurer into a veteran. In this third game, we see Lara evolved becoming more comfortable with exploring and venturing into tombs. In retrospect, this is quite funny because in the first game she actually said she disliked tombs. Let’s find out how much has changed for our dear Lara in this spoiler-free Shadow of the Tomb Raider review.
From the get-go, we get a darker vibe in comparison to from that of the previous game. The situation escalates even further when we see that Trinity is still up to no good. There was this particular scene that shocked me – the scene showed a child hanging on a ledge screaming for help. In most situations, this would be where we save the kid, but you are dead wrong here sir – instead, the child falls down, plummeting to his death. This hit Lara hard but good thing Lara still has one friend to get her through thick and thin – you guessed it, Jonah is still hanging around. It is rather nice to see a friendly face since Jonah has been in it since the first one.
With Trinity chasing after an artifact to change the world. Lara has to make life or death decisions every step she takes. Early in the game, we see Lara fixated on Trinity that she lost herself. At certain times she might seem a bit too self centered which is rather sad as you would think that Lara had grown much more. As the story progresses, she finally got her footing and figure out what she actually needs to do.
Gameplay wise there isn’t much difference that has been made from the previous games. The movements, the types of weapons we carry and combat are roughly the same. It doesn’t end there, even the indicators and minimap are still the same. But there is something new, with the addition of the grappling hook, this gadget really is a game changer. The skill tree on its own is a pretty cool addition as well. At first, it was weird because we were more familiar towards the older version but once you get used to it, it was actually a nice touch.
Honestly, I have always enjoyed doing the challenge tombs in the game. The best part in Shadow of the Tomb Raider is, rather than getting parts for upgrades – you get a skill that is only available from the tomb. Plus solving the tomb itself was very fun. It made you stop for a moment from all the action to just calmly find the solution.
Now let’s talk a bit about the combat. You will feel right at home as the combat didn’t change much. Lara still has her trusty bow and other weapons. Uniquely this time, you are able to craft fear and poison arrows to take down your enemies. This was so much fun as you go shooting fear arrows and let the enemy destroy each other.
One with the shadow
Previously, Lara was able to sneak up to unsuspecting enemies and stealthily kill them. With this one, they are really selling the title as the way Lara hides and sneaks really feels like she is the shadow. You can hide in bushes and hang from tree to tree to ambush enemies. One fun feature is seeing Lara cover herself in mud and blend with the walls. This new feature was really well made and fun to play around with.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn’t a perfect game. It has its faults but that doesn’t entirely make it a bad game. The story started a little shaky but somewhere along the line, you will get drawn into it. Plus the end gave closure to what Lara has been chasing all her life. For Tomb Raider fans it was nice to see Lara finally at peace.
Aside from the story, you have a ton of side missions, collectible artifacts and challenge tombs to do. What else would you want from a Lara Croft game – going on adventures and solving puzzles, it was truly an exciting experience.
Even though I enjoyed the game, there are aspects of the game that bothered me such as the animations and certain lighting problems. In the end, I would say Shadow of the Tomb Raider rates at 7.5/10. Still an enjoyable game overall. If you are looking to raid some tombs then this is definitely the game for you as the game has a lot of it for you to explore. This was my review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Hope you enjoyed it.