Review: Shadow of the Tomb Raider

With Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the trilogy comes to an end. And what a beautiful ending it is.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as everyone knows, revolves around Lara Croft. In the first two parts she has grown into a true “Tomb Raider”, and this is also reflected in the game. You see a more grown-up Lara dealing with the situations presented to her.

Story:

Where in Rise of the Tomb Raider we thought that with defeating Konstantine, Trinity was finally over, this turns out not to be the case. In notes from Lara's father, she finds out that Trinity is on the Mexican island of Cozumel. She and her boyfriend Jonah go to Cozumel and run into Dominguez. From this point on you will start to get more information about what Trinity is up to there.
Apparently Trinity is after a special dagger related to an ancient Mayan ritual called "cleansing". Lara finds the dagger first. In order not to let the dagger fall into Trinity's hands, she takes it with her. With this, she unleashes the first of four "curses", a major tsunami that destroys the island. When things go wrong, she has to give up the dagger and start the hunt for Trinity and prevent them from getting to the final goal earlier.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is first and foremost about the story. This is a completely linear story where you can only go one way most of the time. This is sometimes interrupted by open places for you to explore and find items

Gameplay:

The game is a joy to play. The various elements of the gameplay have clearly been well thought out and the balance in this is fine. There are a few quicktime events throughout the game. And as someone who hates quicktime events, I didn't find it disturbing in this game. It is rare and almost always supports the story.
I set the difficulty to normal. For me personally this is way too easy. A nice advantage with this game is that you can set the degree separately for puzzles and battles. In this way you can set exactly what you like.
You can finish battles in stealth or run guns blazing into it. Again, you get several ways to play from which you can choose. This way they appeal to a larger audience who can like this game and give the game a somewhat better replay value.
There is also a large Skill Tree present. Here you have skills that you unlock as you progress through the game. But of course there are also skills that you have to buy yourself with skill points. This way you can upgrade Lara to your way of playing.

Atmosphere:

The combination of beautiful graphics and a good soundtrack ensure that you are completely absorbed in the game. Whether you're running through the forest in Peru or hanging from a ledge in a crypt. You really do feel like you are there. I played the game on a standard PS4 and the graphics are already blowing my mind. What they get pushed out of such a PS4 is impressive. What also needs to be mentioned separately is the water. How this looks is also a gem in the game .
What could have been better in my opinion is the styling of the crates and jars that you can open. Each type of item is then in a different object, but each crate or jar is exactly the same. There could have been a little variation here. Likewise when Lara walks through water that is only knee high, but then starts wading with her arms. These are some small points that struck me, but they don't detract from how well the game is put together.

For the collectors and completionists:

There's a lot to collect in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. You can find relics, murals, diary pages and other documents. You can also find images and objects that teach you a language and help you further in the game. Everything is quite easy to find and if this doesn't work, you can also find a map in the game with the locations on it.
There are also side missions. They could have easily added these side missions to the linear story or left them out altogether. It comes across as filler to me. Throw in some side missions to extend the playtime.
When we talk about filler, the challenge missions also come up. Another useless thing. Shoot five things from a tree, challenge complete.

Verdict:

A great ending to a trilogy. Strong and compelling story that you can jump right into without playing the first two games. The game creates a good atmosphere with the beautiful graphics, tight soundtrack and beautiful environments. The filler, on the other hand, is unimpressive and feels thrown in. All in all, the game is very entertaining and highly recommended to play.

 


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