Republished on Wednesday, December 30, 2020: We’re taking this review back from the archives following the announcement of the PS Plus lineup for January 2021.
It follows the original text.
One last effort is made by Lara Croft to show to us that she has what it takes to become the Tomb Raider she was destined to be.
The developers behind Deus Ex: Mankind Divided put the fate of this final entry in her possession, with Crystal Dynamics holding back as sole collaborator. “Lara Croft’s defining moment”the defining moment of Lara Croft. Will she hop over her shadow with Ms. Croft?
Just two months after Lara’s brush with Trinity in the frozen wilderness of Siberia, Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s tale picks up. Lara’s fascination with avoiding the evil organization at any cost still struggling with questions leads her to a secret tomb in Cozumel, Mexico.
When she discovers a hidden knife, she feels she’s one step closer, but Croft soon finds out that this was a serious mistake when the city was devastated by a terrible tsunami. Our guilt-ridden adventurer, left without a dagger by the main villain of the game, Doctor Dominguez, and with the loss of a city on her mind, journeys deeper into the jungles of Central and South America to rebuild a world without an apocalypse.
Much like Rise’s beautiful Siberian mountains, the surroundings of Shadow are overflowing with life. Each shot of the surrounding landscape is more than just a nice sight for the eyes; the stunning scenery that the jungle has to offer is difficult not to pause and admire. In the context of the newly introduced photo mode, such admiration can come.
Although this mode in recent video game releases is not a new implementation, it is definitely a welcome addition to a series of beautiful environments.
The thorough focus on the group living in the secret town of Paititi and also early in Mexico is in addition to the grandiose scenic views of Latin America. There are streets full of food stalls in Cozumel, children playing with torches, and different altars reflecting the significance of ‘El Dia De Los Muertos’ or ‘The Day of the Dead.’ You can hear people speaking in their native language as you traverse the region, thanks to the immersion mode.
This feature is a slam dunk, since “immersion” only works if you don’t speak to the locals.
Lara starts reacting to their comments in English when you communicate with them with immersion mode enabled, which makes the conversation seem very awkward. This is a shame, because when Mexican natives are portrayed talking to each other in English, with a pronounced accent to please English speakers, one of the primary issues we have with games that portray Mexican culture.
As someone of Mexican origin, the author speaks fully in Spanish to family and friends. The mode of immersion is a move in the right direction, but one that is not implemented optimally.
With a double dose of tombs and general discovery, however, the best kind of immersion inside the game kicks in.
The lack of tombs, which from the beginning characterized the series, was a common criticism of the franchise. In more complex tombs, Rise began sprinkling, but they were mostly present outside of the main search, and not much to explain the name it bears. The fans were listened to by Eidos Montreal and ensured that this absence is fixed – tombs are everywhere.
The main quest is peppered with tombs to solve, overtaking the fight-heavy parts that seem to have been enjoyed by the franchise. Sometimes, you will find yourself needing to deviate from the main campaign to discover the dangerous secret tombs in the world that await you.
The inclusion of more tombs and crypts makes it more interesting to puzzle than the previous ones. With another familiar return from the classic entries: Underwater Swimming and Wall Running, players get new mechanics to tackle more than nine tombs (not counting the main campaign tombs) and crypts. Although they might seem like small additions, they undoubtedly add to the experience of discovery. Swimming will take you to wondrous underwater ruins in particular and will entice you to discover more tools, artifacts and murals in them, although the amount of the latter is also