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Shadow of the Tomb Raider begins with Lara fighting Trinity, the same evil corporation that has been a thorn in her side since the Tomb Raider reboot. However, in her quest to stop them once and for all she unwittingly kickstarts the apocalypse and must race against time to save not only herself, but millions of others as well.
It’s an interesting premise that leads on to some interesting story arcs that the series has only briefly touched on previously. The concept of the death of her mother and father, the effect it has on her, and how that shapes her actions are at the forefront in this game, providing a far more introspective view into what drives her. It adds a level to the story beyond the usual ‘‘we are killing the bad guys because they are bad’’ angle.
While Shadow of the Tomb Raider is more thoughtful, it is every bit the action-packed adventure game as its predecessors, modelled after Indiana Jones films and the Uncharted series. You’ll be thrown from exploding planes, battle wildlife and Trinity goons just as before.
When you’re not sneaking around putting arrows into the bad guys or blasting them with machine guns, you’ll be solving clever environmental puzzles, all of which are tricky enough to require some thought without being infuriating.
As with the previous games, there’s a bunch of collectables and world-building objects scattered throughout the world for those completionists among you, as well as the series’ much-revered challenge tombs, which are now more imaginative and clever than ever.
My only letdown was that the environments weren’t particularly exciting. I felt like it was all stuff that I’d seen before, whether in previous games from the series or in the series Uncharted. Admittedly, there’s only so much you can do for a series such as this, but still nothing stayed in my mind quite like the plane crash in the desert in Uncharted 3, or the final sequence of Uncharted 4.
All in all though, yet another excellent big-budget game in the series, and one that I hope inspires more games in the future: They’re well made, easy to play, good value for money and above all else, fun.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
- For: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- From: Eidos
- Rating: (R16) 4 stars
- by Simon Bishop