Following the Tomb Raider Reboot series which was first released in 2013, it made me have the obligation to play all the series. I have successfully completed the first two series, Tomb Raider and Rise of Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, for Shadow of Tomb Raider, I had to wait quite a while to play it.
The need for one reason or another made me play the game only in 2021. It’s too late, but I haven’t been spoiled at all about this game so when I play it, I still get the best experience.
In my personal opinion, this game has succeeded in being the cover for the perfect Tomb Raider Reboot trilogy. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix were not kidding when developing this game. Even though in some moments there were things that made me feel uncomfortable, overall, this game was extraordinary.
There are several aspects that make the game Shaod of Tomb Raider the perfect trilogy ending and we’ll go over them one by one!
Puzzles are much more confusing
When first discussing this game, Crystal Dynamics did promise that the game would be more focused on puzzles and exploration than shooting. This is indeed true where we are literally presented with a myriad of puzzles.
Different from the two previous series, the puzzles in the game are really confusing. We have to be sensitive and understand every detail in the game in order to solve the puzzle. In fact, we have to open an inventory and do exploration in order to understand what should be done.
Apart from inventory or exploration around the area where the puzzle is located, we also have to understand what Lara Croft said. For puzzle business, survival instinct doesn’t help much, so it makes the puzzle much more difficult and fun.
Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix really make survival instinct as directions and loots not hints of solving puzzles.
More Solid, More Complex
It must be admitted that the gameplay system in the game is more solid and complex. Starting from the combat mechanism with more and more execution options. Not only entering the bush, Shadow of the Tomb Raider also allows us to smear ourselves with mud for stealth and disguise ourselves with the bushes on the wall.
The stealth options are wide and realistic, indicating that this game is indeed different from its two predecessors. For matters of character movement, we can see that there are various new styles that can be done by Lara.
In addition, in terms of the skill tree, Shadow of Tomb Raider looks more solid and complex. There are lots of new skills that can be unlocked here. Although there are quite a lot of skill models that can be opened. There are three core skills that can be accessed, namely Warrior, Scavenger, and Seeker.
Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. But if combined, the three of them will produce various sustainable things to make Lara’s fighting experience even more effective in the field.
Besides skills and combat, the most interesting thing is that the outfit system in this game is made more beautiful. Each existing outfit has its own buff. For example, there is an outfit that makes Lara difficult to identify by the enemy.
Uniquely, sometimes there is an outfit that can be obtained when defeating certain enemies. For example, when defeating a Leopard, Lara will get a leopard skin shirt that changes Lara’s appearance and buffs her.
The complexity that exists makes this game more solid and realistic than before. In a way, Shadow of Tomb Raider is the culmination of this trilogy thanks to all its updates on various sides. There are many different aspects from the previous two games that we will encounter in this game.
Going Deeper in Telling the Lara Croft Story
In the first series, we are presented with the survival storyline of Lara Croft from an ordinary spoiled adventurer girl to a survivor. Meanwhile, in the second series, Lara is more proficient but still hides her fear.
In the third series, Lara has grown into a brave woman and doesn’t hesitate to kill anyone who threatens her and her friends. As a person, this was Lara’s peak as a survivor. Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix will have to find practical ways to keep these characters interesting.
So they took Lara’s past. In this game, we are told about the problems he and his father faced plus we are shown Lara’s childhood. Even though it’s short, it’s enough to make this character interesting.
Not to mention that along the way we are always asked questions that confuse Lara about her, her father, and the Trinity organization. In addition, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix also provide clear pictures that as great as Lara Croft is in this game, she is just an ordinary human. Lara is sometimes described as brave, sad, and selfish, even far from being heroic.
This message can be conveyed well. Wrapped with an interesting personal story makes this game a great closing. All of our questions about Lara’s life and her relationship with Trinity are mostly answered in the game.
Even though it is considered to be the perfect ending, that doesn’t mean this game has no flaws. Maybe in another review the shortcomings have been explained. However, there is one flaw which in my opinion is quite fatal because it is illogical.
This flaw occurred in the Croft Manor chapter when we controlled little Lara Croft. There, Lara is described as a child who likes mystery and exploration. Unfortunately, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have gone too far in describing Lara Croft.
Imagine, like mystery and exploration does not mean that he can climb his very large and high house at will. Well, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix made Lara a climbing climber since she was little. Imagine, he was doing very high climbs without any security.
Hanging here and there in order to reach a secret place in one part of the house. Crazy, this attempt ended in failure where Lara fell from a height without significant injury. Indeed, this is only a video game, but it would be nice if it was made more realistic, especially since Shadow of the Tomb Raider is not a game with a fantasy genre.
Maybe that part could be replaced where Lara couldn’t climb and only focused on the puzzle considering how young she was and couldn’t possibly do it. If she’s been that good since she was little, why do Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix bother to make Lara become an amateur survivor in Tomb Raider 2013?
Another minor flaw is the conversation between Lara and the people in Mexico. The Mexicans answered in their local language but Lara answered in English instead.
Even though there is one flaw that I think is quite fatal in making this game more realistic, it cannot be denied that the positive aspects of this game outweigh the drawbacks. If you ignore these shortcomings plus the minor flaws that exist, this game is already very good.
You lovers of adventure and puzzles will be spoiled with all aspects that exist. In addition, the storyline that was raised also felt more emotional than before. I highly recommend playing it especially for those who have played the previous two series.