‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ Video Review: Lara Croft Has Reached Her Pinnacle, But at What Cost?

     September 13, 2018

Lara Croft has been a staple of video gaming culture for over two decades. From her first appearance in 1996, to her recent portrayal by Alicia Vikander in Tomb Raider (2018), Lara has always been a determined and confident force of a character. Since the video game franchise was rebooted in 2013, we have seen a new, more vulnerable side of Lara. Gone was the wealth of experience and poise under pressure. Lara’s very survival was put at stake in this visceral telling of her first adventures. This idea continued into Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) where we saw a Lara who had gotten the taste for adventure and was being built up into the tomb raider we knew she’d eventually become.

Now in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara is finally a fully-realized master of her craft. Through the turmoil of the two previous games, a new Lara has been formed, and the Tomb Raider we’ve ended up with is certainly a deviation from the one we knew in the 90’s. Lara is still confident and determined, but she is also world weary and not unaccustomed to failing. She is taking on the evil organization Trinity with more of a lethal approach than ever before. Eidos Montreal and Crystal Dynamics have built a relatable and flashed out character over this three-game arc. But has it paid off?

Dorian Parks of Collider Games has played through the recent Shadow of the Tomb Raider and has compiled his thoughts here for anyone curious about the game. Dorian goes over new gameplay mechanic like vertical traversal, and new environments to explore like the jungles of South America, the hub world of Paititi, and the underwater tombs scattered around the map.

2018 is certainly shaping up to be a year of cinematic video game content with God of War, Detroit: Become Human, Spider-Man, and now Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We are still waiting to see what Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 will bring to the table but it’s safe to say that this year’s game awards will all be heavily contested.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider releases September 14th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. DLC will be dropping for the game from October to April 2019.

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