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I waited this game like forever to be released and I had to pre-order the Croft Edition to get the game two days prior the launch. Even so, this review comes only now because I was little ill for few days.
I had high hopes for Shadow Of The Tomb Raider since I loved the two previous games. The graphics looked nice and the plot seemed to be adventurous and environments lushious.
As I started the game I was pulled in by the dramatic scene of Lara and Jonah (from previous Tomb Raider games) as their plane crashes down. The starter of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider was plus plus but does it hold throughout the game?
Prior to the airplane crash the beginning tells about Lara and Jonah being in Mexico and after Doctor Domingues who works for Trinity. He wants an ancient dagger and a box that’ll give enormous powers. Lara finds the dagger first but didn’t want to leave it for bad guys to find so she takes the dagger without second thought and so she started an apocalypse that will destroy the whole world. Then Doctor Domingues gets the dagger but the box is still to be found and Lara wants to be sure that he won’t be getting it.
The story then goes to the Peru where Lara and Jonah been lead by the faint clues and so the hunt of the mysterious box began.
Being totally honest I think the plot is very 80’s Indiana Jones-ish and it felt sometimes little bit confusing since Lara goes from place to place and country to country after gods know what clue. I didn’t remember anything special about the story other than it was very movie-like and kinda boring.
plot seemed to be adventurous and environments lushious
Gameplay & Controls
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has basically exaclty the same mechanism as two previous Tomb Raider games has. I don’t remember exaclty how the previous ones were but everything seemed to be very familiar to me. Lara uses her ice picks to climb, bow and arrow, guns, grenades and all those weapons has special or alternative use/ammo.
The climbing and jumping is same kind of ‘magnetism’ (as I call it) as in Uncharted games. Meaning the ledges and edges where you can grab, pulls Lara like a magnet towards it that makes it look like Lara is flying through the air breaking the laws of physics, as well. This mechanism can be horrible and wonderful at the same time but I think they should’ve toned it down little bit. Swimming was heavily presented and I had to dive long periods of times which sometimes was claustrophobic.
Camera is typical platform game that gets stuck on objects or moves the way you can’t see shit.
she started an apocalypse that will destroy the whole world
What bothered me the most was how unbalanced the gameplay was. 2/3 I didn’t encounter barely any enemies or had to kill humans or animals on that matter so the use of guns and bows was not necessary. But then suddenly I’m thrown in at middle of war zone and I have to use guns like maniac and it felt unfair since I hadn’t used to them. Mostly what I did was solving the puzzle tombs or helped people with their problems or doing the story which was more puzzle solving, climbing, collecting, and such…
Controls itself was heavily outdated. The Tomb Raider (2013) was good and the Rise Of The Tomb Raider was OK but the magic has worn off and it didn’t feel good to control her. And for gods sake she only runs when she had to, meaning, when enemies that run after you aren’t that important to be run away from. Even when they wanna kill you. She only runs when the typical ‘action’ scene is on air where she has to keep running and jumping over obstacles.
I don’t think there is that big of a difference with Shadow Of The Tomb Raider and Rise Of The Tomb Raider graphically. Everything was beautiful but also kinda outdated, too. Be reminded that I played this 4K HDR TV and if the graphics are not top notch it look horrible. I’m not saying this game is ugly by any means, but when looking NPCs and their details and faces it was not pretty. Technically everything was working and I got only one bug on me.
I don’t know about others but for me this game looked a way too dark or muted. It was hard to see around when in caves or other darker area and everything was same toned and lack of depth. The HDR was sometimes beautiful but only when I was in daylight or in other bright scene. Otherwise it was very bad.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider have photo mode!! I took many gorgeous photos even though the camera wasn’t movable all the time. Photo mode wasn’t that various as option-wise but it’ll do its job nicely.
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider includes lots of sounds, voices, noises, sound effects, animal noises… you name it. I liked how various everything was and sometimes I was sure someone is following me in the jungle, eventhough I didn’t see anyone. In options I could choose what language they are speaking. I could choose that everyone speaks English or main characters speaks English and everyone else their native language. This was nice touch but it was a bit silly that Lara spoke British English to some tribe in Peru who propably never even heard of it before and they could understand her and vice versa.
I played everything as ‘Normal’ in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. The difficulty options was diverse since I could choose from four different basic difficulties ‘Easy’ – ‘Normal’ – ‘Hard’ – ‘Deadly Obsession’ and then manually choose how difficult certain things are in the game. In the hardest one had brutal features such as health not regenerating at all, no HUD when detected by an enemy, enemies having increased health, ammo is rarely found, base camps are unlit and require resources to light, saving the game only possible in base camps, no white paint that shows where Lara can jump/grab on… so it sounds pretty difficult.
As ‘Normal’ I was I didn’t find this to be easy or hard. The only minus was how little the guns and bows are used in the beginning and then suddenly I had to learn in a millisecond how to aim perfectly.
The HDR was sometimes beautiful but only when I was in daylight or in other bright scene
Comparing to the first impression the last impression is not so good after all. I’m more of not dissapointed but bored to this whole game, plot, gameplay and controls. I played this 85% completion in one playthrough and I did so many side quests and tombs and collectibles that sometimes I forgot the story itself. I personally found the challenge tombs being more fun than other parts of the game.
I hope they won’t make another Tomb Raider any time soon or at least they should figure out something new and innovative. Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has new elements in it but they are more like detailed things or refined things that could easily be in the two previous games already.
I didn’t had wow–experience or any novelties when playing, more so the same old thing that I saw five years ago. Now I’m really interested what direction the developer is gonna go from now on? Huge points for this not being unfinished like 90% games nowdays that comes out. Can you really believe that?! I give a point for video game not being unfinished and fully playable…