Shadow of the Tomb Raider Game Review: The Best Adventure Yet

Jordan Samuel Jordan Samuel
Expert Contributor
September 16th, 2018

Content Editor, Film Critic and Writer for ComiConverse.com, the Founder and co-host of the official Nerdcast Network Podcast


Reviewed by:
Rating:
3
On September 16, 2018
Last modified:September 16, 2018

Summary:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the most significant, darkest and most intriguing Tomb Raider game to date. Each area of the game is well crafted and delivers in-depth tombs to raid and platforming action


Reviewed by:
Rating:

3
On September 16, 2018
Last modified:September 16, 2018

Summary:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the most significant, darkest and most intriguing Tomb Raider game to date. Each area of the game is well crafted and delivers in-depth tombs to raid and platforming action

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Sometimes you need to come out the Shadows, and raid tombs one last time - but does it conclude the series well? ComiConverse reviews Shadow of the Tomb Raider on PS4 Pro. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Game Review: The Best Adventure Yet

Credit: Square Enix

Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara must master a deadly jungle, overcome terrifying tombs, and persevere through her darkest hour. As she races to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, Lara will ultimately be forged into the Tomb Raider she is destined to be.

Raiding tombs is a tricky business for many - and Ms Croft knows this in spades with her search in artefacts leading towards various dangers including wolves and dinosaurs. Core Design’s Tomb Raider is, without a doubt, one of the most influential games ever made, appealing to gamers and non-gamers alike. It balanced state-of-the-art graphics and excellent puzzle gameplay, which set the world on fire immersing players into an Indiana Jones simulator. Fans spent hours trying to complete puzzles while defending Lara Croft from any dangers along the way. It was also one of the first games, to give a female character personality instead of being gloried sex objects.

Video Game aficionados, mark Tomb Raider as the turning point in character-driven stories - as it felt like a journey instead of generic levels with no progression. I love the original, as it made me understand the industries potential in years to come. Sadly, the franchise wasn’t able to keep up with potential as both Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness and live-action film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider - failed in reinventing the character.

But what was next? A gritty reboot which took inspiration from the successful Hunger Games franchise, with a younger Lara Croft taking over the reigns - trapped on mysterious island cluttered with elaborate tombs to raid. It felt like a modernised version of the classic games, even through criticism was made due to Lara Croft’s lack of experience. Square Enix’s Tomb Raider reboot trilogy has gone through a wild journey, as the series went into new directions taking cues from the Modern mechanic - including pure stealth and open world exploration which brought Lara Craft to fresh audiences.

Story continues below

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a decent conclusion to Square Enix’s reboot trilogy, celebrating everything up until this point in franchise history - developer Eidos Montreal takes fewer risks, but doubles down on great stealth and puzzles. It delivers a less action-heavy approach to proceedings, instead relying on the best stealth moments and thrilling mysteries. Separating the game from internet comparisons to Sony’s acclaimed Uncharted series, with less wild set species and more tense survival moments. Making for a unique game that its predecessor Rise of the Tomb Raider - which was spaded with unnecessary action moments and little gameplay.

Gameplay

Credit: Square Enix

Following on from both previous Tomb Raider titles, Eidos Montreal delivers the same sense of quality and refined gameplay seen before - while perfecting the creative puzzles which is core to Lara Croft’s lasting legacy. Shadow of the Tomb Raider feels like the perfect mix of classic raiding and the more modern stealth focused which has filled before - while the game doesn’t change the template, it delivers on a promise of more balanced elements.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is another story-driven game at heart, but the significant emphasis on puzzles and city hubs make for the more rewarding experience. It uses combat philosophies from previous titles but focuses on stealth more often than not - with Lara Croft covered in mud and hiding in plain sight for brutal attacks.

Eidos Montreal push for stealth allows for more tactile approaches to enemies, as upgrade points are earned by utilising surroundings to become a quiet assassin in combat. Challenge Tombs, however, are the real highlight which allows players to employ combat systems learned throughout the 15-hour story and felt like levels within themselves. I spent an hour trying to figure some of these puzzles but allow for great diversity from the stealth focus.

Shadow's semi-open world environment is varied, from dark, wet, gloomy caves to beautiful sprawling jungles, and everything in between. You will be lost in the new hub area, with hidden antiques - submissions which all improve Ms Croft's abilities including reading ancient languages and dialects. I loved these elements in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, they feel like a perfect antidote to the insane action and give us moments to enjoy each surrounding.

Story

From the first scene in the opening act,  you’re aware that this is a darker game than those that came before it. Without spoiling too much about the in-game events, Lara Croft finds out the hard way that there are real-life consequences for raiding tombs. I liked this approach to storytelling, as it provides some modern looks at the adventures of the characters - a nice change up from the ultra-safe Rise of the Tomb Raider.

There are moments early in the story where you come across a child holding onto a ledge for dear life, screaming for his mother as fire rages around him. In most games, players would be able to save the kid, but in Shadow of the Tomb Raider those moments effect Lara Croft and strengths her passions in defeating the evil Trinity organisation. This darker version of the character might upset fans, but allows for a more complicated story - which doesn't hold the player's hand.

Verdict

Story continues below

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the most significant, darkest and most intriguing Tomb Raider game to date. Each area of the game is well crafted and delivers in-depth tombs to raid and platforming action - which utilises Lara Croft’s iconic skill set. Eidos Montreal ties up their trilogy, perfectly and celebrates everything fans loved about the fresh approach to a video game icon.

It’s one of the last real adventure games out there, providing mysterious artefacts to find and hidden areas for audiences to explore - always encouraging you to go off the beaten track. While the combat is hit and miss, everything else about Shadow of the Tomb Raider is immensely created. Giving the character a reasonable conclusion, which hopefully will be followed up in future titles.

What did you think? Plan on picking the game up?

Drop us a comment below

Jordan is the Content Editor at ComiConverse. Follow him on Twitter: @JordanESamuel

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the most significant, darkest and most intriguing Tomb Raider game to date. Each area of the game is well crafted and delivers in-depth tombs to raid and platforming action

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