Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Is Visually Amazing, But Still Needs Work

The final game in Lara Croft’s origin story has finally been unveiled: Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released on September 14th, 2018 on PC (Steam), Xbox One and PlayStation 4. In the first Tomb RaiderLara was an inexperienced young woman who was “forged into a survivor,” leading us to Rise of the Tomb Raiderwhere we joined Lara for her first tomb raiding adventure. Now, in the final title, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we get to see Lara become the Tomb Raider “she is meant to be.”

The game will release in three different versions: a standard version a “Croft Edition,” and an “Ultimate Edition.” The Croft Edition features a different box art, 48-hour early access (for the Digital Croft Edition), skills booster pack, the original soundtrack, an outfits/weapons pack, and the season pass. The Digital Deluxe edition will give you all the Digital Croft Edition gives you except for the season pass.

Tomb Raider Box Arts
The different box arts and versions of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. © Tatjana Vejnovic, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Ultimate Edition includes a physical soundtrack, a statue of Lara with her machete, a bottle opener that resembles her machete, and a flashlight similar to the one she has in-game. Square Enix promises a “new adventure every month” with the season pass, with seven challenge tombs, seven weapons, seven outfits, and seven skills.

The demo presented, while visually breathtaking, was lackluster at best. In the sixty minute demo, Shadow of the Tomb Raider suffered from insufferable controls, poor camera angles, boring combat, and an oddly linear path. While the random QTEs in combat got boring fast, the best thing about Shadow of the Tomb Raider was the visuals.

Environments in the game are incredibly detailed, truly immersing the player. The demo opened up in a town in Mexico during a Day of the Dead celebration; if you’ve seen Pixar’s Coco, you’ll recognize the abundance of sugar skull face paintings and orange flower petals covering multiple graves and tombstones.

Tomb Raider has always been known for its story and environment, so the lackluster mechanics come as no surprise. Even if quick time events and bad camera angles can get frustrating, the (hopefully) strong story and breathtaking environments should make up for the title’s flaws.