SHADOW OF THE TOMB RAIDER
By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on September 10, 2018
"Oh no, what are they doing? Waaaaah, what's happening now? Wiiiiii, look how awesome this is!" These, dear readers, are just a couple of phrases my husband Ferry "Sadhonker" heard me shouting out loud while playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, last weekend was all about Lara Croft's latest adventure for me!
And what an adventure it is! As we're used to by now from this tough lady, it doesn't take long for her to get into trouble. During the first couple of minutes of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara is already in a kind of a pickle. She's stuck in a tight and narrow space and, on top of that, has sprained her ankle. One thing is crystal clear; you'll need to crawl out of there. Now, I'm not that claustrophobic, but this situation really made me feel uncomfortable. And it's definitely not the last time I felt this way while playing the game!
Lara's not the only one who's back, because in this installment in the Tomb Raider reboot series, the nefarious organization known as Trinity also makes an appearance. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara travels to Mexico and Peru in order to prevent a major global disaster. But, instead of preventing it, she actually manages to be the cause of mayhem this time around. Don't you just hate it when that happens? In any case, the only way to stop this cataclysmic event is to find some other ancient artifacts. The leader of Trinity, dr. Dominguez thinks Lara actually did a good job and even offers her to retrieve the remaining artifacts together, so they can rid this world of weakness, agony and suffering. Now, this idea may sound like a good one, but Lara doesn't agree with him. So she sets out on her own and is soon busy finding and collecting these lost artifacts, all the while trying to save the world from the strange ideas of a power-mad maniac.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third installment in the Tomb Raider reboot series and is set several months after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider. It offers you even more options and abilities to help you survive the ordeal Lara finds herself in. Like the previous games, Shadow of the Tomb Raider has a skill tree. You can unlock the skills with the skill points you collect, but there are also skills which can only be unlocked through story progression and/or Challenge Tombs. The skills are divided in three categories: Warrior (combat & tactics skills), Seeker (environment & resources) and Scavenger (stealth & survive skills).
If you order the Digital Croft Edition, there will be some nice extras that will come with the game; 3 weapon packs, 3 outfit packs and a skill booster pack. Now, these are some really useful additions! The weapons are powerful, the weapons you get from the packs were by far the best option for a long time during the game. It's a nice way to get you started, right? Another way to gain some additional advantages are the outfits, which are not only there to look good; some of them even have some awesome benefits! The most outstanding and special outfit is definitely the Robes of Puka Huk. In my humble opinion, it may not be the most fashionable option, but this Indian looking outfit has a really good health generation benefit. And, to complete this fashion element of the game, there are a couple of nice outfits from the previous Lara games, including some outfits for the Tomb Raider fans of the first hour!
Now, the last two Tomb Raider games already offered you more than one way to approach any given situation, but Shadow of the Tomb Raider manages to even expand on this mechanic and works even better! You had (and still have) several weapons in your arsenal that enable you to break out of stealth and go for the kill, all guns blazing! But Shadow of the Tomb Raider makes it really inviting to go for the stealth option. The game enables you to almost literally become one with the environment. Hide yourself in tall grass or bushes, use mud as camouflage and if you find plant covered walls, you can put your back to them and become almost completely invisible!
Now I don't know about you, but I particularly liked the "learning-a-language" challenges in Rise of the Tomb Raider. Shadow of the Tomb Raider has something similar, where you can learn about the local ancient dialects. So keep an eye out for every opportunity to upgrade you language skills. And while you're paying attention to the environment, keep an eye on the plant life because there are several types of herbs that Lara can use, which all have different effects like healing or enhanced perception. You can find many, many materials on your journey. Use them to craft something useful and make your life a bit easier.
Now I have to mention that the agility parts of the game are the main reason I died while playing Shadow of the Tomb Raider. I'm not going to cry like a little girl and moan about how it certainly couldn't have been my own clumsiness that caused these failures, but at some point I definitely had the feeling that it may not be all my fault. Sometimes I felt that the controls were just not at the level they needed to be. Having said that, I didn't need more than four tries at most to overcome the obstacles and challenges in front of me. Plus, there is a day one patch announced, so I have a feeling these minor issues will be solved in the blink of an eye.
All in all, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an awesome journey into beautiful but deadly lands. The game looks absolutely amazing and the story picks up where Rise of the Tomb Raider ended, so there's no gaps in the story. Shadow of the Tomb Raider offers you more challenges, more secret tombs and another kick ass adventure with our famous and most-beloved Tomb Raider, Lara Croft!
Oh, and this is only going to make sense after spending a couple of hours in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but I have to say that Lara has best tree house ever!!!