Few sagas like the one we are dealing with today have achieved the impact generated by Tomb Raider both inside and outside the video game industry. Lara Croft has pierced the pixelated screen of video games on numerous occasions for more than 20 years, and once again, we have her back to close one of the best adventure trilogies of all that has been enjoyed in the world of the video games.
The new trilogy starring Lara Croft closes with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, a title that returns to take the successful base of the previous installments while polishing and improves some small features. Will it have been useful for the title to be exciting and worth living a new adventure with the archaeologist? Find out in our analysis of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider!
If you liked the two previous installments of the saga, you would love Shadow of the Tomb Raider because it is practically the same. In essence and practice, except for those small improvements that we will explain later, the title does not suffer almost any changes and we return to enjoy an adventure practically with the same structure. What is good and bad, of course.
It will be great for regular players who want precisely this, a new game in the saga that will offer the same experience as the previous ones, but dull and lacking news for the rest of the players who expected to see at least some evolution in the franchise with this new delivery.
Lara the Explorer!
Something that has caught our attention is that in Shadow of the Tomb Raider exploration takes more prominence than action. We have not counted them, but we believe that the average number of shootings is much lower than in previous titles, and in the clashes, we are given many tools to promote stealth.
Now Lara is an authentic predator and can be covered in mud and hidden anywhere to attack. From a corner, from the branch of a tree or through the brush: no one is safe from Miss Croft. We played it hard (the third difficulty of four) and stealth is practically mandatory. It is quite difficult to survive against several enemies at the same time based on shots, so stalking from the shadows and taking advantage of the environment has always been our priority.
Another new feature is the submarine sections, which also take on more prominence. They are not a revolution, but they do bring variety to the game, and we personally believe they work well. It has also added the possibility of abseiling, expanding the possibilities when it comes to touring the scenarios.
Main, Secondary Missions and Tombs!
Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses again the same mission system, in which we find in small open maps the main missions that will allow us to advance in history, secondary missions that are usually very uninteresting and the hidden tombs, which follow possibly being the best of the game.
These tombs will introduce us into scenarios that turn out to be giant puzzles, and that you have to know how to solve with logic and skill to reach your final rewards. Secondary missions, unfortunately, are less exciting and not worth spending time and resources on them.
Combat and Stealth!
The game works very well with the puzzles, in general, and it is fascinating to try to discover what is the next step to take. It is clear that the studio knows how to design good spaces to make the player think. However, Shadow of the Tomb Raider loses a lot more when put into combat or stealth.
Although some small innovations have been introduced in the mechanics, it is still the same as in the previous games, with somewhat rough but exciting shootings, and with stealth that by now feels uncomfortable and quite old-fashioned. Sometimes, it is a bit frustrating to try to overcome some areas without being seen.
Although some pieces are very good, in general, we are facing a section that fulfills its function correctly but without blunting at any time. Luckily, the dubbing of our language if it reaches an outstanding level, and although some of the voices are better located than others, the work done by Danai Querol as Lara deserves a special mention. The soundtrack of the title recalls the most classic titles, with short scores, where the percussion instruments are the main protagonists.
We tried Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One X, and we have spent the vast majority of time with our mouths open. The graphics quality that Eidos Montreal has achieved seems incredible, making it one of the games with the best graphics of the generation.
In One X it offers two modes, one at 4K and 30 images per second and another at 1080p and 60 images, both, of course, with HDR. The scenarios and characters are so complex and rich in detail that if you have a 4K TV, you will appreciate that extra definition, as well as other graphics improvements, quite differently.
However, we went from about two million pixels to eight million. 1080p does not look bad at all, and playing at 60 images per second is a real pleasure. The performance in both modes is excellent, and we see some drops in frames or how the vertical synchronization is deactivated in some particular moments.
In short, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a continuation that similar to the two previous installments, which is good and bad. Good for the players who enjoyed these two deliveries and who will feel at home, but sorry for those who expect some evolving.
It is also remarkable how irregular the rhythm of the game is, with very intense and exciting moments along with others that are very difficult to swallow. Lara Croft demonstrates with this new release that is going to require the saga to receive a reboot again.