©2017 by James Hewlett.

  • James Hewlett

Shadow of the Tomb Raider


For the last couple of weeks I’ve taken every opportunity of free time to play the new Tomb Raider game.

I’ve only been able to play when Sara is at work or is upstairs as we both love these games and don’t want any spoilers.

The reason I’ve been pouring as much time as possible into this is because Red Dead Redemption 2 is out in just over a week and I know that will completely take over any video game playing time I have and I don’t want Shadow of the Tomb Raider to be neglected and left unfinished.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say about the game, but I don’t want that to be taken as a negative. This is the third game in the modern series by Crystal Dynamics and if you’ve not played the last two you’re not likely to be interested in playing this one.

If you enjoyed those games though you’ll continue to love this one. The developers have continued to improve on systems and mechanics that, honestly, were already pretty top notch. Traversal feels smooth and natural, combat is fast paced and pretty tight for a third person adventure game and the puzzles are just as challenging as ever.

It feels like they’ve taken feedback and tweaked things so that this iteration can be the definitive chapter. As you start the game you’re presented with the difficulty setting options, but unlike most games this isn’t as simple as ‘easy, medium, hard and whatever that games equivalent to insane mode is.’

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider you are able to alter the settings for individual aspects of the game; find it hard figuring out where you need to jump to and what ledge to catch? Turn down the exploration difficulty and not only will the traversable terrain look more obvious but Lara will also give hints as to where to go next.

If you just want to feel like a terminator and not have to worry about bad guys then you can turn down the combat difficulty.

And if you really want a challenge you can turn everything up to the highest difficulty and stand there not knowing where the hell to go because the textures of the map are so good that everything looks natural and not ‘video gamey’ while one hit from a bad guy will kill you.

It is a great feature and something I hope more games take note of it.

This entry to the series definitely feels bigger than the last ones too. Each of these games has featured a few hub areas that branch off to where the story progresses but allow you to spend more time in if you want to. They’re populated by side quests, collectibles, challenge tombs, things like that. There doesn’t seem to be many more of these huh areas but they definitely feel larger, denser and more populated with stuff to do. I spend hours the other evening and didn’t even leave one village or progress the story. I was just getting collectibles!

I don’t know why, probably because I enjoy them so much, but these Tomb Raider games are some of the only games I make a point of hundred percenting these days. They’re big, but it’s always achievable and I really enjoy them.

I don’t know if this is definitely the end of a trilogy but I hope that no matter what they take a few years before coming back. They’ve not rushed these games and the time and quality is obvious.

I’ll be finishing it up this week hopefully before Red Dead drops next week.

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