For the last few days I’ve been entrenched in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. While I won’t go as far as to say this game breaks any new territories in terms of gameplay, by any means, it’s still definitely a good entry into the reboot portion of the series and one I’ve been thoroughly enjoying. While I’ve personally had a 3 year gap in between playing Shadow and Rise of the Tomb Raider. To me, it still feels like more Tomb Raider, which I honestly feel isn’t a bad thing at all. I had always felt the reboot entries were some of the most fantastic games to come out in recent years, with the first Tomb Raider reboot to me still being the most memorable out of the three. Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s place in the series for me, would be a close second. It’s a good game that doesn’t really offer anything ground breaking verse more refinement of the series overall but still provides a well enough experience in itself.
Having put in a little over 30 hours into Shadow of the Tomb Raider I’d say story wise the game is ok, just ok. After playing through a flashback section in Mexico, Lara finds something called the key of Chak Chel in some ruins after which it’s stolen by the reoccurring villain organization of the series, Trinity. The key itself used to open the silver box of Ix Chel. After a whole segment of disastrous events the flashback ends and Lara is involved in a plane crashing into the Peruvian Jungle. The game seems to pretty much revolve around Lara trying to find the silver box of Ix Chel. Everything seems to be set more around the journey for Shadow of the Tomb Raider verse the destination with the main plot not being the only thing the game has to offer. Over the course of the time I’ve come across several mini side quests. Not being integral towards the main plot narrative, these quests provide an extra means for upgrades, be it better weapons or new equipment that you can craft using gathered resources. While the quests themselves aren’t by any means anything special to say the least, as one quest involved me trying to get a kids dice back, the upgrades certainly make them worth while.
Exploration wise I’d say this is where things definitely kick it up as tombs do make a return, each with unique puzzles or intricate ways of traversing to find your way through, with some areas reminding me of something that came straight out of Legends of the Hidden Temple. Like the side quests, these are worth doing to unlock upgrades as well as give you a way to obtain new unique equipment to craft, or find gold and jade to sell at any merchants you may come across. This has probably been the high point for me playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider as I’ve spent probably half of my time looking for more tombs and crypts to explore and still haven’t grown tired of them, albeit some of them feeling very lengthy to say the very least. There is a bit of back tracking as well, certain areas may not be able to be accessed until you obtain things like fire arrows, or an upgraded knife, this is more or less things you’d come to expect. Things that stay the same are really the combat and your ways of traversing; rope climbing, jumping, swimming, it’s all still the Tomb Raider we know. Campfires also make a return as ways to spend skill points and upgrade your gear as well as use as fast travel points. To me there’s nothing wrong with any of that as if it’s not broke, there’s no reason to fix it.
All in all I’ve enjoyed Shadow of the Tomb Raider so far, even while itself feeling like more of an overall refinement of the series, looking and playing it’s still just as amazing as both the reboot and Rise, it’s a very good game and one worth playing for anyone who’s enjoyed the last few Tomb Raider games. While it doesn’t stack up for me to the feels I have just remembering the original reboot, as that, being a game that I feel is the best Tomb Raider game in existence. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a game that does nothing wrong. It continues on delivering a familiarity approach while trying to make exploring a focal point and I’d say it succeeds there well enough with Shadow of the Tomb Raider being a game worth playing for anyone new or old who just enjoys the series as a whole.