- Gameplay 3.5/5
- Difficulty 4.5/5
- Effects 4/5
- Graphics 4.5/5
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game developed by Eidos Montréal in conjunction with Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix. It continues the narrative from the 2015 game Rise of the Tomb Raider and is the twelfth mainline entry in the Tomb Raider series. The game was released worldwide on 14 September 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with a further release on macOS and Linux set for 2019.
Set shortly after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider, its story follows Lara Croft as she ventures through Mesoamerica and South America to the legendary city Paititi, battling the paramilitary organization Trinity and racing to stop a Mayan apocalypse she has unleashed. Lara must traverse the environment and combat enemies with firearms and stealth as she explores semi-open hubs. In these hubs she can raid challenge tombs to unlock new rewards, complete side missions, and scavenge for resources which can be used to craft useful materials.
Development began in 2015 following the completion of Rise of the Tomb Raider, lasting until July 2018. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was designed to conclude Lara’s journey begun in the 2013 reboot, with a key theme being descent both through the jungle environment and into her personality. The setting and narrative was based on Mayan and Aztec mythologies, consulting historians to design the architecture and people of Paititi. The gameplay was adjusted based on both fan feedback and the wishes of Eidos Montréal, incorporating swimming and grappling while increasing difficulty tailoring. Camilla Luddington returned to provide voice and motion-capture work for Lara.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider received generally positive reviews from critics, although some criticized that the series’ gameplay had become stale and lacked innovation.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective; players take the role of main protagonist Lara Croft as she explores environments across the continent of South America. The game’s hub is set to be the largest in the franchise which also reveals the hidden city of Paititi. Players can participate in side quests and missions and learn about Paititi which provides a richer experience. A new barter system allows players to trade resources, salvage parts and weapons in Paititi. There are numerous adjustments made to gameplay, which is otherwise identical to Rise. The controls for swimming have been completely revised, as Lara is now able to hold her breath underwater for a longer period of time due to the introduction of air pockets. She also gains the ability to rappel down a cliff using a rope. Stealth becomes an important part of the game, with Lara being able to disengage from combat when she escapes from enemies’ line of sight by covering herself in mud, hiding in bushes or against walls.
Like its predecessors, the game allows players to hunt wild animals, craft materials using the resources collected, solve puzzles and explore optional tombs. The game also features more tombs than the previous installments in the reboot series Players will now have the option to tailor their gameplay experience as exploration, puzzles and combat have their own difficulty settings. A new Immersion Mode enables players to hear the background conversations of the locals in their native languages; when turned off the conversations are made in the players’ chosen voice over language.