Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action adventure game but it has open world RPG elements to it. It shares a lot in common with games like Batman Arkham Knight, Middle Earth Shadow of War and Horizon Zero Dawn. When the Tomb Raider series was rebooted in 2013 it was rumored to be a trilogy showing the timeline before Lara became the more established character and the best know relic hunter in the world. There will clearly be other games coming since they have done such a great job reintroducing the character. It has been only two months since the events in Rise of the Tomb Raider took place. Lara and Jonah have found out that Trinity is not a single group but a huge origination with cells all over the world looking for artifacts. She has tracked down the leader of Trinity and is posed to avenge her father’s death and finally stop the rouge mercenary army of Trinity.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider gets right into the story and action elements. It happens so fast that a bit of a recap would have helped since the game takes place so soon after Rise of the Tomb Raider. You can engage in combat however you like most of the time but there is a catch that is a bit of an issue. First there are not as many combat situations as we would have liked. For a huge origination like Trinity they don’t have a lot of soldiers in their army. But the biggest issue is you are severally penalized for not using stealth. We love stealth sections in games but if you are going let us decide then there needs to be a balance.
If you get discovered every solider comes charging at you and knows exactly where you are. The game tries to get you to use stealth techniques like covering yourself in mud, taking cover in brush or hiding in trees but once they find you it all over and you are mostly likely going to die. When the stealth works it really fun to do but we would have rather been forced to use it in certain situations and then had the freedom to use the combat however we wanted in most of the missions. There is a scramble away button but that was not very effective either or we could not figure out how us use it right. Also there are times where you are being attacked by tribes with only a clubs and arrow but if you have the gun then the combat is too easy. Once again there is no balance. The guns are designed to pierce threw armor it makes short work of flesh. But if you are a situation where you only have a bow then the combat is a mess. It is hard to aim and all of your enemies just go charging at you because once again if you break stealth they all know exactly where you are at all times. We tried different way to fix this but it just never felt right and at times frustrated us.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider took us around 17 hours to get threw and 45 hours for us to get a 100% game completion rate. We like that you can change the challenge levels individually. If you want harder puzzles and easier combat they change it. The game is filled with great voice acting, tons of items to find increasing the story elements and you get both secret tombs and crypts to explore giving you better armor and abilities. This will help you unlock even more stuff further on in the game. The platforming is great we had no issues and wanted to explore all of the tombs and crypts just to play the platforming parts and figure out all of the puzzles. We just wish the combat was as polished as the platforming.
We did enjoy playing but to be honest Shadow of the Tomb Raider takes a step back when you compare it to Rise of the Tomb Raider and a huge step back when you compare to Horizon Zero Dawn. The controls are a mess sometimes and the underwater areas are worse not better. Despite this Shadow of Tomb Raider is still worth paying a new game price for. But if you find it under the $30 it is a MUST BUY PRICE!