Review: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Game: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Publisher: Crystal Dynamics

Release Date: September 14th, 2018

Genre: Action Adventure

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third installment in the modern trilogy of the Tomb Raider story. This new game in the franchise explores vastly bigger environments and is easily the most ambitious attempt by Crystal Dynamics to date. The game takes a risky look at the character of Laura and how the actions of her past are starting to take there toll on her. This game delivers more of the same while still pushing the franchise forward in every way possible.

The first DLC for the game “The Forge” is set to release November 13th.

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Plot: (Minor Spoilers)

The story of shadow of the tomb raiders picks up where the previous game let off. In rise of the tomb raider you figure out that her fathers research was leading him to South American and thus that is where the third game picks up. The game starts with a black screen and your controller pulsing in tandem with laura’s heart, as you come to, you realize that your on a plane that has lost control and your going down. As is typical Laura croft fashion she tries to take control of the plane but to no avail, you crash and are thrown into the South American jungle with no one and no gear to help you.

Of course it wouldn’t be much of a story if Laura didn’t recover, eventually she meets back up with Jonah, finds her gear, and begins her journey to find the Lost City, a city modeled after the infamous lost city of El Dorado.

Antagonist:

You are introduced early on to the main villain of this game who I will not reveal. What I will say is that he is one of the better parts of this game, his conviction is infectious. Towards the end of the game when villain and hero came to a head I found it hard to side with Laura.

That said the supporting villain needed way more development. It felt as though he was introduced and then minutes later he was dead. It would of been better to exclude his character all together.

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Mechanics:

There are a couple of new mechanics along with many of the same mechanics seen in previous games. The two major new mechanics were the inclusion of rappelling and stealth. The rappelling system was an addition to the climbing system where you attach a line to the wall and rappel down and can then swing to gain access to different levels of an area. There was also the inclusion of a new stealth mechanic where Laura could use mud found throughout levels to disguise herself and make her harder to detect. This allowed her to hide in the vines located on vertical surfaces throughout levels and hide her from the thermal scopes of elite enemies.

Graphics:

This game took the graphics to a whole new level. Not only did Laura look incredible but her character felt real. Laura’s story is taking her down a dark path where she is starting to feel the weight of her past actions. As a fan of the franchise I can buy into that story in itself but Laura’s character frequently displays small details during cut scenes such as avoiding direct eye contact or a look of sadness in her eyes that pushed forward this story in an incredible way.

This all comes in addition to the absolutely incredible vistas that have become popular throughout the Laura Croft Franchise.

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Overall Score:

4.75 Shredded up Laura’s out of 5

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