We’re now free to go and pick up Lara Croft‘s latest adventure and the last chapter in the Survivor trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The 2013 Tomb Raider pioneered this gritty reimagining of Croft, and this third game sees you become the tomb raider you were meant to be.
Although, as many have pointed out, this not exactly the tomb raider we remember. This is a version of Croft who shoots first and asks questions later. There are no rules of engagement, no requirements of proving self defence. She sees Trinity and she kills.
There are a few main things that define the game, most of which we cover in the above video. You’re in the jungle now, and that means three “layers” of traversal. You can make your way across the canopy, you can stalk your prey on the jungle floor, or you can go underwater. We had a lot of luck using the water for stealth kills and disappearing afterward.
We found it interesting that this one jumps straight into the supernatural. There’s a bit of a philosophical argument towards the beginning between Lara and Jonah, the latter saying they don’t know for sure that meddling with ancient artifacts caused the raging natural disasters before them. But… c’mon. It so did.
Croft has put up with a lot of punishment over the series, and it’s high time for her to take a self care break with some PJs and a hot cup of cocoa. We’ve lost track of how many lead pipes have gone through her midsection — some of them in scripted cutscenes, some of them due to failed jumps.
We had a fair few of those missteps and failed jumps in our time with this new game, too. That’s even on the normal setting — it only gets harder from there. Eurogamer was nice enough to snap the different kinds of terrain paint that appear on different difficulty settings, and you can find that here.
As for whether the franchise itself will be taking a break, watch this space. The trilogy might be over, but this grittier version of Lara mightn’t be. It may well depend on the success of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.