The charming archeologist, scholar, adventurer and warrior Lara Croft is back. “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” is the third and final game in the reboot trilogy that follows the origin story of Lara Croft.
In “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” Croft explores the lush environments of South America. Thanks to the advanced technology, the visuals of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” are more vivid than that of the snow-scarred abandoned factory and the geothermal valley of the previous entry in the trilogy, “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” Players can explore rainforests, muddy lands, fog, canyons and waterfalls.
Additionally, “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” has many different settings that make the game user-friendly. For example, players who are struggling to solve puzzles can lower the difficulty so that the clues and tips of the game will be more conspicuous. Players can also change the exploration difficulty setting, choosing whether or not to let the enemy bring more exciting challenges. This new system allows players to personalize the game. Some players choose to focus more on battling and killing Trinity troopers, while others prefer puzzle solving.
To make the game more immersive, the production team designed a simulated sound effects system, with realistic environmental sounds and various human voices in different languages and dialects, highlighting the mystery of unrecognized monuments and villages. Players can choose to let people in the game speak in their native tongues with subtitles as part of the game’s sound effects system.
The combat style of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” is similar to that of stealth games, due to the production team’s experience with games focusing on stealth mechanisms. The complex and varied environment of the tropical rainforest is perfectly suited for hiding. In battle, Croft can smear herself with mud and blend with the environment to achieve a camouflage effect. Using cover, Croft is able to assassinate enemies using a method called drop assassination.
The overall design of “Shadow of the Tomb Raider ” makes the game feel closer to older installments of Tomb Raider. The ancient tombs are much better than the previous ones in quality and scale, and the production team increased the rewards for exploring the tombs, which are usually unique skill bonuses or legendary equipment blueprints. As always, these hidden tombs and crypts are filled with steep terrain, lurking dangers and deadly organs. If you don’t progress properly, you can still witness myriad ways of Croft being killed by different mechanisms, which is cruel but also one of the biggest pleasures of the exploring the tomb.
The final confrontation between Croft and Trinity should have been the climax of the story, but the game is somewhat rushed in some key plots, which could disappoint some players. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” is a high-quality production. Players have witnessed Lara Croft grow from a girl who cried when hunting animals into a strong and self-reliant woman who has the courage to take responsibility. She is no longer an impulsive adventurer and thief but a brave “Tomb Raider.”