Tomb Raider. Need I Say More?
If you are not new to Gamelust, then it should be no surprise that I am once again talking about Shadow of the Tomb Raider. If you are new, welcome! As the resident Tomb Raider fan, I tend to be the one that gets the most excited about the seemingly insignificant little things that I see in trailers and pictures, and talk non-stop until I get it in my grubby little hands. And then you won’t hear from me for a week. E3 has given new information and gameplay so brace yourselves. Tomb Raider is coming.
Let us start by delving into the story. Little new information came from E3, but we did see a little bit. So Lara has finally become the typical reckless adventurer. She finds an ancient, ritualistic dagger and takes it causing a Mayan apocalypse to begin. Throughout the game, you will be trying to put an end to the destruction by any means necessary. It should be no great shock that Trinity will always be there with you, generally making life more difficult. They are also attempting to stop the apocalypse but at the end of the day, they want control over an ancient evil. Dammit, Trinity!
So the world is now falling apart and it’s all her fault. Thanks, Lara. But at least she is paying just as much as everyone else. We have all seen the gameplay of Lara jumping from rooftop to rooftop through a flooded city. Expect more horrific deaths involving being impaled on god only knows what.
Having seen that gameplay, I was obviously interested, but it didn’t look any different from the previous game. Which to me is not really an issue. If they changed everything, then it wouldn’t feel like a Tomb Raider game anymore, and what I’m looking for in this game is a sequel, not a revamp. That being said, some changes are good and any new abilities that Lara can acquire are always welcome.
It looks like I got my wish. If you liked the previous titles in the series, then you should feel right at home here. The areas to skulk around in are huge like in Rise of the Tomb Raider, but it’s time to get excited about all the new things you can do. This was already revealed, but one of the new ways to hide from foes is pressing yourself up against a wall of vines and essentially hiding behind them. You also have a huge knife to take them down nice and quick. No more strangling people with a bow and often getting caught at the last second.
If you are in the trees and watching them from above, you can also string people up from the branches which will kill one guy, and seriously freak out the rest. I’m hoping for an unlockable Batman costume at some point, but I’m not counting on it. If you prefer a ground approach, it would certainly behoove you to find a puddle of mud. Lara can cover herself in it to better blend in with her environment. I hear that mud is better for the completion than blood anyway.
What I am loving the most so far about Shadow of the Tomb Raider is how the jungle feeling is around you constantly. In Rise, you got a similar feeling but the jungle itself is such an immersive environment. You can tell how hot and sticky it is by the slight sheen on Lara’s skin. Normally, when you are sneaking around and trying to be quiet, the world around you is quiet as well. Not so in the jungle. Lara is silent but there is a cacophony of noise surrounding her at all times. If you hear something moving, it could be a large cat that wants to rip your face off, a bird, or a man with a semi-automatic rifle.
Like in Rise of the Tomb Raider, there is still a crafting system at play. If you recall, early on in Rise, you have to craft poison arrows to take down a bear. Well, Square Enix seems to have taken that idea and ran with it. Now you can make an arrow that causes the victim to go a bit mad and shoot his compatriots. Lara now has a Berserk Dart from Assassin’s Creed basically. What I love about that idea is that it once again fits in with the jungle theme perfectly. In fiction, hallucinogenic poisons almost always originate in the jungles.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks great. To sum up every long-winded word I have written, the game just looks great. Just be thankful I didn’t start talking about the water physics. The apocalypse will begin September 14th on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. But Square Enix has wares, if you have coin. If you pre-order the Deluxe or Croft edition of the game, you get 48 hours early access. For those that suck at maths, that means you get to play on the 12th instead of the 14th. Who could ask for anything more?
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