Review : Shadow of the Tomb Raider

SOTR

I was never the biggest fan of Tomb Raider in its PlayStation heydays, but when the reboot released in 2013 I was immediately hooked. The sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, released two years later in 2015 by Crystal Dynamics was even more exciting. Which brings us to 2018, where Eidos Montreal has taken the reins and brought us Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Each one of these titles has given Lara’s personality a different trait. This is the main area of the game I struggled with. In some parts of the story she comes off as very confident and tired of struggling, while others she was very unsure of herself. It makes me question if the development team forgot what she was put through in the previous titles. She’s traveled all over the world and in this adventure we see Central and South America which highlight the locations and general look of the game. The jungles are beautiful, tombs are creepy, water is fun to swim in and who knew mud could look so good in an adventure. The only downside to the “look” of the game are the character models. There are moments where Lara and the supporting cast look amazing, while other times it appears as though people were made of plastic and lacking textures.

The strength in this game comes from the areas you traverse and jump through to progress the narrative. This entry in the series has the best tombs of the trilogy and navigating through the geothermal valley is a pleasant experience. With that being said, Lara spends more time exploring than fighting. Be prepared to do some tomb raiding versus fighting NPCs, and when you fight you’ll question if Sam Fischer was an inspiration. While exploring and fighting, you’ll come to appreciate the voice-over and motion capture work which is once again done by Camilla Luddington.

Your time investment in this title will be about 12-13 hours if you’re shooting straight through the story. If you’re like me and are looking for 100% completion you’re looking at about 28-30 hours. I had a grand time from start to finish and I hope that Crystal Dynamics continues Lara’s adventure in another title next generation. This isn’t a must play, but if you love the series it shouldn’t be missed.

Listen to our full Tomb Raider review discussion on Bitcast 31!

Author: Bert Saenz (TREBM3)

Gaming since the Atari 2600 and owning about every console stateside since. AKA Mr. Amiibo and resident Nintendo fanboy.

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