Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review – Last step towards maturity

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With Shadow of the Tomb Raider comes the trilogy that started in 2013 with Tomb Raider and was continued with Rise of the Tomb Raider. The overarching story is about how Lara Croft of a normal girl eventually became one of the most famous tomb robbers ever, and in the last part she is fully maturing. This is accompanied by spectacular gameplay, in which Lara is no longer mainly hunted, but has actually become the hunter himself. The gameplay is well balanced, but especially the pieces in which Lara examines all sorts of tombs in a beautiful, atmospheric game world show this game at its best. Do not expect too much innovation compared to the previous Tomb Raider games and take into account a limited replay value, but otherwise Shadow of the Tomb Raider is very worthwhile.

Final verdict

After Indiana Jones she is probably the most iconic treasure hunter and grave robber, part of the ‘gaming education’ of many players, responsible for one of the first ‘nude patches’ once and foremost incredibly tough, the name ‘Lara Croft’ is chiseled in the history of games, on the same page as that of Mario, Sonic, Duke Nukem, and so on.In 2013, development studio Crystal Dynamics brought us the ‘reboot’ From the series, with the game simply called Tomb Raider, a trilogy started showing us how Lara transformed from innocent teen into the skilful grave-robber who we have met over the years with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. by Eidos Montreal in collaboration with Crystal Dynamics, this trilogy comes to an end and we finally see Lara coming to fruition, with all its consequences.

So in Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider we met again with Lara Croft. The message in those games was mainly that Lara was not always the adventurer who had been running on our screens since the late nineties, scrambling and fighting. She was once a very ordinary girl from England. A girl who, although admittedly quite adventurous and also had at least as adventurous parents, but she really had to learn the ‘grave robbery’. The emphasis in those first two games was mainly on survival. The main character was not the intrepid heroine we knew, but a young woman who had to use everything in her environment to overcome challenges and defy dangers.

Own gameplay capped from the Xbox One X version, at 4k in 60 fps

That adventure led to the fall of Konstantin, leader of a malicious group called Trinity, at the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Although Lara and her good friend Jonah reached their goal, it appears that the end of Konstantin does not mean the end of Trinity. Armed with notes from her deceased father about a Trinity cell on the Mexican island of Cozumel, the pair pulls to Central America. The presence of Trinity is indeed quickly established, and a new target is found in Dominguez, a renowned researcher who appears to have more influence in Trinity than originally thought.

Lara and Jonah find a special dagger on the trail that has something called cleansing, an ancient Mayan ritual that has to do with a solar eclipse in which the sun has to be restarted through a special action. The dagger would have an important part in this. To prevent Trinity from getting hold of the dagger, Lara seized the object in front of her. Then everything goes wrong. By stealing the dagger, Lara unleashes a gigantic deluge that sweeps the entire island. It comes to her on a reprimand of Jonah and gives ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ a completely different charge. The shadowy side of the adventures Lara experiences shows the player the disastrous consequences that her actions can have for others.

Actually Shadow of the Tomb Raider really starts after this opening passage of the game. That is no coincidence. It is a necessary piece for the character development of Lara Croft. Up to this point, Lara was never confronted with the consequences of her obsessive treasure hunts. Shadow of the Tomb Raider in this sense is not only the end of the narrative trilogy, but also the last piece of Lara’s route to adulthood. She has the skills and defenseless she is no longer, but her recklessness and insistence are still to be taken.

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