Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review – It is since 2013, with the release of the first Tomb Raider reboot, that the Crystal Dynamics saga has been living a new life. A rather intense experience, given that new chapters, is coming out regularly: the first Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015, and then the awaited Shadow of the Tomb Raider, whose development began more or less concurrently with the release of the previous one. In this article, we will give a complete guide about the shadow of the Tomb Raider review in 2020.
This time it is Eidos Montréal to take the reins of the situation, with Crystal Dynamics in any case as support for the Canadian software house. The third and final chapter of the trilogy sees us in a new setting, that of South America, in the role of a slightly older Lara, matured, but still tormented by the ghosts of the past. And the present-past dualism, which we find in Lara’s memories and present purposes, in her work (that of an archaeologist) and the references to previous chapters, both in terms of mechanics and history, is among the undisputed protagonists of this chapter. So here are our hot impressions of Shadow of the Tomb Raider!
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Video Review
Our video review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider is made with gameplay clips taken from our game sessions on PS4 Pro and summarizes the concepts expressed in the following paragraphs. Good vision!
Shadow of the Rise of the Tomb Raider?
There is no doubt about one thing: Shadow of the Tomb Raider owes a lot to its predecessor. If you still have the dynamics of Rising of the Tomb Raider fresh. After a few minutes of play, you will feel at home—the vast majority of the commands related to the combat. Resource gathering and ammunition manufacturing phases and the like and even those pertaining to exploration are there in their place. The same level design fully respects the strengths of its two predecessors. It is offering environments that develop horizontally and vertically, with more roads and more approaches to action.
The various backdrops have air pockets at regular intervals. In order to allow Lara to refuel with oxygen, and drowning is not the only risk that Lara runs while swimming. Waiting for you, there will be morays, piranhas, and other dangers. Some to face head-on (perhaps consuming precious oxygen). Others require a stealth approach along the lines of what would happen on land. The scalable difficulty allows you to focus further on these phases of the game at the expense of the raw action. There are three selectable levels. But you can decide to alter the difficulty levels of three different parameters: combat, exploration, and puzzles, so if you want an adventure more based on exploration and puzzles. You can keep the difficulty of the fights low so as not to waste too much time or vice versa.
All one with the Jungle
The survival and RPG elements that had distinguished the two predecessors have been further enhanced in this second sequel. Hunting is still of considerable importance, both for obtaining animal resources and for accumulating Experience Points.
The beasts you will encounter are more cunning than in the past. A movement too abrupt or a suspicious noise will be enough to make them run away. However, specific abilities will come to your aid that, once unlocked, will improve bow performance or display the weak points of animals and enemies more clearly. The latter does not have an extensive Artificial Intelligence, but as always, they are present in large numbers, and to get them out, you will often have to resort to more cautious approaches.
Lara can also “craft” different types of arrows (from incendiary ones to poisonous ones for which she will have to recover the serum of particular spiders), heal herself on-the-go even during a fight, and use herbs that increase her concentration by highlighting the interactive elements. To do all this, he will have to recover herbs, berries, roots, bark, and so on. There are more than enough of them in every corner of the dense forests you will be roaming around while the seabed will hide other types of resources.
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In short, quantity isn’t a problem for Shadow of the Tomb Raider. But does the overall quality live up to that abundance? Although the WOW effect aroused by the first chapter is missing. This last episode is undoubtedly the best from all points of view. The plot, while being vaguely frayed at some juncture. Wouldn’t look out of place in the next Indiana Jones movie as the gameplay has completed the circle it began five years ago by adding the elements that were missing to be the most epic and fun adventure ever. Fewer bullets, more tombs, and ruins to explore. This is the proper maturation of Tomb Raider, becoming what it was in its glorious past again. Not everything works perfectly, and some elements can be redundant, such as the merchants in the two main villages, on whose usefulness we have some doubts.
Aside from some extra equipment. Which could have easily been assigned to side missions. The items for sale are pretty much useless as the game’s crafting system is more than enough to get you everything you need. However, these are presences that give color—placed in incredibly lively and vibrant locations.
Lara passes from deep and narrow abysses to very high peaks. She was visiting suspended temples and diving from dizzying heights. Young Croft runs, climbs, jumps, shouts, screams, grunts, and rejoices in wonder. She is number one, and the developers have done nothing to hide it. They put her at the center of the scene for the duration of the game. Always in the spotlight, never overshadowed by other protagonists. On her shoulders rests the responsibility of having started something more significant than her, but also the strength and the ability to remedy it.
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In general, the stealth approach has been further enhanced in this chapter. The perhaps too action vein of the predecessor. Who did not disdain even quite intense firefights, is at least at first put aside. Over the years, Lara has learned to become an increasingly brutal killer. The protagonist finds herself again against The Trinity, and to advance in the environments. She will use every possible expedient to get rid of the enemies without emitting noise.
We then see Lara covered in mud and camouflaged in thick walls of vegetation, with the unsheathed knife ready to claim victims. Even on the branches of the trees, ready to hit her enemies with arrows equipped with rope perfect for making the bodies disappear above. The same stealth killings carried out near bodies of water are almost frightening when observing the defenseless opponents being dragged underwater. Also, in this chapter, we will have a broad skill tree with three different paths. Some of these allow gradually to make it more and more deadly and silent.
As mentioned, the ancient tombs and ruins. This time belonging to pre-Columbian civilizations, hide new types of traps and gadgets. Solving mysteries requires a certain amount of reasoning. Involves the use of clues you might have in your inventory or even the help of other characters, like the now inseparable Jonah, alongside Lara in this adventure as well. Everything was then realized with the help of a historian and a group of cultural consultants. This means that at least in those situations where that same touch of mysticism/fantasy that characterizes the other chapters does not enter Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it is possible to see great attention to historical, architectural, and cultural details.
Shadow of the tomb raider walkthrough
It should also be highlighted how the game takes us. We could easily say for the first time, in real city hubs with merchants: secondary missions and many ordinary people to talk to. Lara often finds herself surrounded by people. It is she herself in the game who almost expresses discomfort given her lone-wolf habits. The fact is that the cities and secondary missions also provide access to extra equipment that is often incredibly powerful. An excuse, therefore, to increase longevity and to enhance one’s Lara!
The slice of life in Mexico in the middle of the Día de Muertos is beautiful, with the typical masks and the various commemorations of the dead obviously while Lara is engaged in pursuits and infiltrations. The tsunami scene, already glimpsed in the E3 trailer of the game, is also truly incredible. It is not trivial to represent such a cataclysm in a match. We can assure you that the scene and the various factions of the player are mainly intended.
The frenzy of fighting and exploration isn’t just interrupted by city hubs. There are also often flashbacks and moments of introspection that allow you to delve into Lara’s past further. The still open wounds and even the background of characters like Jonah himself. Lara herself seems more mature, almost a little older than the previous chapter. Hence perhaps the more strategic and less impulsive approach to fighting. Still, other moments try to give an even more cinematic cut to the whole (such as the aforementioned tsunami), putting aside the classic game mechanics for a moment to concentrate on daring escapes that require a good dose of reflexes (and patience).
Shadow of the tomb raider review 2020
As for overall longevity, the main story lasts less than that of Rising of the Tomb Raider (perhaps even a little too verbose). The plot itself manages to entertain without reaching such high peaks. Even the secondary missions are not so “exciting,” but if nothing else, as already mentioned. They allow you to unlock extra equipment and, in general, to take some time better to explore the surroundings of the fantastic Peruvian settings.
From a graphic point of view, there are some steps forward compared to the previous chapter. The game setting, the jungle, is even more complicated to represent than snow-covered and less luxuriant landscapes from a flora and fauna point of view of the previous game of the saga. The South American forests in which we find ourselves instead explode with life and offer truly incredible views. In general, the movements of the characters are realistic, and the models are rich in detail and well characterized.
Already on PS4 Pro, the final result is often stunning. On Xbox One X and on PC, the final product should be superior, but unfortunately, we have not had the opportunity to test these versions. On the Sony Pro console, it is also possible to select multiple graphic settings. In order to benefit the frames per second or the resolution of the textures. The audio obviously deserves a special mention too. Benedetta Ponticelli remains the voice actress of Lara, and fortunately, the developers have opted this time to reduce the number of excessively exasperated and repetitive lines that the protagonist emits during the action. The music is also excellent, really pressing in some moments of tension that will keep you in suspense.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review – Final Judgment – All that glitters gold then? Basically yes. In the sense that Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s a great triple-A title. The worthy successor to the 2015 game, but some minor flaws can still be seen. The timing of the dialogues sometimes does not return, not so much for a lip-sync problem as much as for the translation. Whose sentences take longer than the original ones. It is not so unlikely to notice some graphic flaws.
Even some events could be partly out of tune. It is true that we are still talking about an archaeologist who, in comparison, Indiana Jones, looks like a young marmot. But a fight against a jaguar should be much more punishing even at lower difficulty levels. This also considered the difficulty level of the firefights, more complicated than its predecessor. Above all, more punitive precisely, given that with 2 or 3 hits, Lara can easily collapse to the ground. In this regard, the fire phases are certainly more difficult. But they are still immature, too heavy to digest even compared to the rest of the better-implemented mechanics.
You are missing a game like this for such details. However, I would not be brilliant. Especially if you have always (or only for the last few years) been a fan of the saga, just live it as one of the many adventures of the most famous archaeologist in the history of video games. I am treasuring the various insights and flashbacks to learn something about the character.
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Tomb Raider Pros & Cons
- Level design
- More stealth and thoughtful approach to combat
- Even more graves, even more puzzles
- The settings and the technology sector in general
- Some technical flaws
- It owes a lot (perhaps too much?) To its predecessor
- Still immature shooting dynamics
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