Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third installment in the recent reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise. I was a really big fan of both Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider. This time around, though, Eidos Montreal takes over the development reigns.
The demo that I was able to check out during E3 opened with Lara Croft spending some time in Mexico as she’s on the hunt for a hidden city. At this point in the story, which was still early in the game, Lara is running from Trinity. She is attempting to now beat them to the discovery of the hidden city.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider differentiates itself from the previous two Tomb Raider titles in its exploration. Both Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider demanded that you scale vast mountainsides and sky scraping structures. Lara will now spelunk deep into the different areas she explores. Chris Johnston, a spokesperson for Crystal Dynamics, mentioned that the game will be “turned on its head” in terms of exploration.
During the demo, I was able to see some of the stealth combat. Lara can now disappear into vines and brush in order to hide from enemies. She can use foliage to her advantage to kill and slip back into hiding. I could see this turning into something really cool if there are a lot of places where this feature can be put to use. I thought this was a great addition to Lara’s skillset. Although, it was unclear the extent of the skill tree surrounding your stealth abilities.
The demo showcased quite a few environments in a short period of time. The scene opened with Lara in a Mexican city, then moved to an underground cavern, then jumped to a muddy jungle outpost. Wherever she goes, Lara is able to examine murals for experience points among other benefits. She also swam through anxiety-inducing crevices while avoiding an eel. There are promises of other wildlife in the game. Although, I couldn’t get confirmation of the number of different animals we would see in the final product.
I can say that Shadow of the Tomb Raider showcased a solid demo. But, I kept finding it hard to really get excited about it. It was a little “more of the same” in terms of being another Tomb Raider title. I know I will most likely play it as I’ve played both Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider. The tenacity that the other two had was visible. This time around, I hate to say it, but it’s just kind of, there.