In this action-adventure game developed by Eidos Montréal and Crystal Dynamics, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the gritty conclusion to Lara Croft’s origin story, and the last in the trilogy that began in 2013 with the hugely successful Tomb Raider and its 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider.

In the most authentic tomb raiding experience to date, Lara must overcome terrifying challenges, braving deadly jungles and dangerous puzzles of deathly tombs.

The Mayan Legend

Picking up two months after the events of the previous game, Lara Croft and her friend, Jonah Maiava, travel to Latin America to hunt down and stop the paramilitary organization Trinity. The organization is led by Pedro Dominguez, the man who gave the order to kill Lara’s father, and the mastermind behind the plot to cleanse the world by unleashing a Mayan apocalypse consisting of cataclysms culminating in an endless solar eclipse, called the “Death of the Sun.”

The Adventure Begins

Following the clues left by Lara’s father, we embark on a journey to explore the tombs being investigated by Trinity, uncovering a legend of a hidden city, a temple containing an ancient dagger artefact and a mural of a silver box that seems to depict apocalyptic events yet to come.

Mistakes Were Made

Despite the apocalyptic warnings, Lara races to obtain the dagger before it falls into Trinity’s hands, but in doing so inadvertently triggers the Cleansing, which sets off a catastrophic chain of events. Tsunamis, gigantic mudslides and earthquakes ravage nearby cities as the Mayan legend becomes all too real, taking many innocent lives.

Never Give Up

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara’s indomitable spirit persists through her darkest hour. Wracked with guilt, she must face the dire consequences of her decisions. In this dark chapter, Lara is comforted by memories of her father and the strong bond she shares with Jonah. Together they pursue Trinity and overcome hardships that will forge the Tomb Raider Lara is destined to become.

Explore Ancient Cities

In the open world adventure built around Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s tombs, you’ll come across the most breathtaking ancient cities and vibrant hub areas. On our journey we arrive at the legendary lost Inca city of Paititi, a Mayan and Incan inspired community based on the concept of the two ancient cultures coming together and developing in isolation.

Narrative director Jason Dozois, known for his brilliant storytelling in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided in 2016, endeavoured to create a truly immersive and authentic experience. A passion for realism is especially present when exploring marketplaces to obtain new weapons, crafting materials and gear. A new bartering system and immersion mode is revealed, in which non-playable characters speak Yucatec Mayan, adding tremendous authenticity to the game.

The Tomb Raider

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, tomb raiding and puzzle solving are once again the primary focus of the game. Beautifully intricate and creatively crafted, we explore larger and deadlier tombs inspired by ancient rituals, brimming with a plethora of traps to bring any adventurer’s journey to a grizzly end, including crumbling structures, fire pits and wall spikes. Still standing after centuries of earthquakes and storms, tomb traversal holds a wonderfully tense atmosphere that at times feels like a horror game.

Exploring tombs and caverns has never been so fun. Shadow of the Tomb Raider expands on Lara’s traversal skills as we’re able to use spelunking techniques to repel from high altitudes as well as hang from walls and ledges with Lara’s trusty grapple axe. Underwater exploration is also introduced with Lara being able to discover the most magnificent flooded ruins.

Choose Your Path

The skill tree of Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been greatly improved with three classes available to Lara. These classes include the Seeker, Warrior and Scavenger skill paths. Seeker skills aid you in exploration. Warrior skills include combat prowess and weapon handling. Lastly, the Scavenger skills entail the crafting of items and stealth.

Combat and Items

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara’s arsenal of weaponry and abilities makes her a force to be feared. Armed with fear arrows, Lara can poison and send enemies into a wild frenzy in which they attack both friend and foe. New stealth combat mechanics are introduced in which Lara blends in with her surroundings by covering herself in mud, hiding in walls and disappearing in foliage, ready to prey on unsuspecting enemies. Lara’s combat abilities are further enhanced by harvesting wild resources, like perception plants, to increase Lara’s awareness of her surroundings and focus plants to improve Lara’s reaction time by slowing time when aiming.

Choose Your Adventure

In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, players now have the option to create their own tomb raiding experience by independently adjusting the difficulty levels of Combat, Exploration and Puzzles within the game. Increasing the difficulty of Combat ensures that you’ll be up against more brutal and stronger enemies. Increasing the difficulty level of Exploration will make paths harder to find. When increasing the difficulty level of Puzzles, fewer hints are given in your quest to solve intricate tomb puzzles.

Conclusion

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is undoubtedly a triumphant conclusion to Lara Croft’s origin story. This dark cinematic adventure is memorable and breathtaking, with captivating tomb exploration, puzzle solving and storytelling. It truly captures the essence of the Tomb Raider series like never before, and I can’t wait to see where Eidos Montréal and Crystal Dynamics take Lara next.

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