Shadow of Tomb Raider
AMAZING but.... Again?
Shadow of Tomb Raider is the 3rd game of the reboot published by Square Enix and developed by Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics. Tomb Raider to me has always been a clunky mess from the early 2000s so when the reboot came about I was super excited to jump right into it again. The third game in the series is another installment of Lara Crofts adventures with his partner Jonah and it's an improvement in some aspects but it seems like the same game as the last one.
The story is interesting at first but after an hour or so you start to forget what's going on or just don't care anymore. The beginning scenes show a very dramatic intro where it shows Lara causing an apocalypse type scenario. There is going to be a Tsunami, a strong rainstorm and a volcano will erupt because she took an ancient artifact from the legend of Kulkulkan in order to protect it from Trinity. After she survives the first Tsunami she notices how the entire town was destroyed and many were killed. While this was occurring Trinity was able to ambush her and take the Artifact. Now it's up Lara to get it back before they continue the legend of opening a Silver Box to wipe out the world. While she is on her search coincidentally Trinity is part of the Cult of Kulkalkan which is terrorizing the town Patiti, which she later is a part of and one of. The Cult leader is coincidentally the person, which is named Doctor Dominguez that stole the artifact from her. The rest of the game you are just searching for the artifact while helping townspeople in meaningless side quests. Also throughout the entire game, you go through hell with Lara getting to the next section and Jonah random appears at the end and so does Trinity. It always makes you wonder, How the hell did they get over there??
The graphics for Shadow of Tomb Raider are breathtaking and they are a small improvement from Rise of the Tomb Raider. The environments very detailed to the smallest tree branches to the random small insects around the game. I have noticed that after playing more than 30 hours I still get impressed by the graphics when finding new tombs. Lara and her partner Jonah are very detailed and very from top to bottom. Even though Lara's face changed from the other games she still looks great.I have noticed that some models for characters are reused or are so similar they can be mistaken for the same character. When running around the camps you notice almost every child looks the same and some adult models are the same except some have hats or others have a shirt on.
The gameplay is amazing and the biggest achievement for this game. Jumping from one cliff to another, running through sections while fighting enemies. This time there is fewer gunfights and more Tomb Raiding with a lot of platforming. People that hate platforming will hate this game as the game is about 80% platforming and solving puzzles. When you get to a gun fight you can always do the stealth way which is the best way to do it because it's so satisfying seeing the assassin side of Lara with the brutal takedowns. They added a new mechanic where she covers herself with Mud when there is a mud puddle in the map and she hides in the grass that is on the walls. It's a very strange addition to the game since you can clearly see her and is not hidden but it's a new way to stealth around the map. Her bow is amazing and very satisfying with her headshots but like I stated before it's nothing new. I would recommend this game be played in the hardest difficulty because if it's any other difficulty you can mow down every single guy with your machine gun at so much ease. It's laughable how overpowered her machine gun can be and can be cheap. You also have a Shotgun that can be fun but it seems a little weak compared to the machine gun since it shoots slow even after upgrades and it takes 2 shots to kill someone. She has pistols which I always thought were useless unless they have a silencer for stealth kills but even then it takes too many shots to kill someone before getting spotted. She also now has a move where if she goes up in a tree she can hang someone, which has 2 problems with it. 1 is that it never looks like the person you hang dies since it looks like she just hangs them and also 2, whoever does not see you swinging a giant body beside them is incredible blind, which seems like they all are. The entire Trinity army seems to be Stormtroopers the way they always miss Lara out in the open and can never hit anything in scripted sections which ruins the experience. Climbing is very fluid but she can only climb things the developers want to climb, so sometimes it can be difficult finding out what's climate even with their white chalk in some walls that indicate they can. It's very strange that halfway through the game she gets an outfit from Patiti that has sandals. I'm not rock climbing expert but the fact that she can climb in sandals for almost 10 hours is insane. There is also a lot of side things to collect such as artifacts, which has a rich story and can be a great distraction. Compared to the older titles you cant turn the artifact anymore to get more story, which was a disappointment to get rid of such a feature especially now since there is so many more. The leveling system seems like a copy and paste from the last game and you can pass the entire game without leveling anything. It can definitely make the game easier and some upgrades such as healing faster can be great but not necessary.
The game is definately a must buy if you are a fan of the series but if you never played any of the games it would be best to wait for a price drop or try the 1st one first. Almost nothing has changed from the older version and it's a disappointment that this game may be the last one of the series and there was no innovation or drastic changes. Overall the game is still a graphical eye candy and the character development of Lara and Jonah is amazing. They clearly put a lot of effort into the game and made some changes that can make the game kinda fresh. However it can be seen as a huge expansion of the Rise of The Tomb Raider.