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Shadow of the Tomb Raider review. End of the world – end of the trilogy

This March Square Enix rather predictably announced the last part of the reboot of the recognizable franchise about a curvy girl explorer of not the most welcoming ancient ruins – the third part of the new Tomb Raider

It was unexpected that the development was entrusted to recognized masters from the American continent – the guys from Eidos Montreal (developers of the beloved Deus Ex: Human Revolution, as well as the new Thief), not Crystal Dynamics… And if until now the Canadians were engaged in maximum assistance in the development of multiplayer for the series, now Square Enix has given a “field where to roam” – a whole third of the restart with a very impressive budget – $ 100 million, leaving the guys from Crystal Dynamics (who were engaged in all the previous parts of the series) supporting role. And this could not but affect many aspects of Shadow of Tomb Raider.

First impressions

First of all, it seems that Eidos Montreal also clearly understands that the franchise is about Lara Croft – these are primarily tombs, puzzles and studies of antiquities. And also the figure of Lara herself. In all senses. Already on the first puzzle you will feel that this is really a riddle that requires the tension of convolutions, and not “turn three levers, jump into the hole.” As an incentive for better head work, the Canadians chose the rather fatal consequences of mistakes – Lara not only dies, she dies brutally. Sometimes you don’t want to look at the result of what you yourself have done. And that’s definitely a plus. Compared to the first part of the restart of the franchise, where Lara Croft was an eternally aching and whining person who was more likely to pull on the daughter of rich parents, who bad luckthan an adventurous explorer of the most dangerous antiquities, here we see a more severe heroine familiar to old fans of the series.

It is also striking that the main emphasis in the game mechanics is on stealth (as a disguise, Lara does not hesitate to use the usual dirt). In the game there are no paired pistols familiar to old-school students. Now the heroine smashes her enemies from Trinity and not only with the bow and arrow. In general, the game turned out to be more gloomy and harsh (without eternal races through locations made of garbage and rusty pipes, as in the first part), which definitely made the immersion into the atmosphere of what was happening deeper and more holistic. The levels are drawn pretty well, the swimming mechanics have been slightly changed. There is even a flirtation with the Open-world – a vivid example of a city Paititiwhere you can find many side quests.

Video and sound

Also, let’s not forget about a good picture, which in consolidation with good sound leaves a lot of positive emotions from the time spent playing the game. This vegetation, sheer cliffs, ancient tombs and caves – it all looks great and sounds great. I want to interact with the world all the time. And interact much deeper than the developers envisioned.

While you won’t find any seriously engrossing tracks here, Shadow of the Tomb Raider sounds really good. Aesthetically speaking, the new Tomb Raider is without a doubt a pretty solid release. But then not very pleasant moments begin.

Plot

Of course, we are already accustomed to the fact that in the games of this franchise, you practically will not find a rather interesting story. But I want to ask the developers only one thing – how long to? Can’t you think of something more interesting with such a setting and such a rich background than “go-fetch” and “go-kill” quests? Or write a script that prevents you from guessing most of the plot twists in advance? The plot is quite promising: having found an ancient dagger, Lara incurred the Mayan curse, which is about to provoke the destruction of the Sun and the ensuing apocalypse. Now the girl-archaeologist must find the second part of the treasure – a kind of ancient silver casket, necessary to prevent the end of the world. In the final part of the trilogy, we see a more or less charismatic antagonist – doctor Dominguezwho doesn’t just want to kill Lara and get rich / gain power with ancient treasures. Our main enemy also wants to stop the end of the world, although he also pursues his own, not entirely good interests. But still, Dominguez cannot be called a villain, which makes the story more lively and interesting for the player. The final part of the trilogy has a good ending with a well-remembered previous scene, which is such a necessary plus for the plot of Shadow of Tomb Raider.

A little about the gameplay

But then everything goes pretty monotonously: a couple of unexpected turns of the script, then everything is predictable. Several new game mechanics such as wall jogging with a grappling hook and a rope refresh the gameplay a bit, but only a little. They are saved by good puzzles and, after all, but new for the series, serious stealth (which, as mentioned above, is very boring for moments anyway). Perhaps if Eidos Montreal made the game more concise, the impression would be somewhere near “Wow!” For now, just fine.

With regards to the controls and the promised chips, the developers did a pretty good job here: instead of explosive arrows, there are hallucinogens, substances for which Lara extracts from all sorts of small insects in the jungle. As for the battle itself, then again the usual problems for the series emerge – stupid NPCs. Once again, the researcher is forced to fight a horde of frankly stupid mercenaries who do not perform any interesting actions. With regards to the stealth component in fights, then there are interesting aspects – having received certain skills, Lara can, for example, kill two adjacent opponents at the same time, which is accompanied by rather exciting inserts. But the “intimidation” that the main character can commit by hanging another mercenary on a rope like some piñata does not give anything at all. Enemies in a second behave exactly the same as before. The chip with mud smearing could be much more interesting, but since the guys from Eidos Montreal carefully placed the baths with liquid almost at the very beginning of each location (it helps to blend in with the surroundings and move away from the sight of thermal imagers), the whole depth of the idea is simply lost.

Eventually

What do we have? A worthy representative of the Tomb Raider franchise, the latest part of the series relaunch trilogy, which has evolved too little from the previous installments. Fans expected much stronger emotions from the finale than what Eidos Montreal could give us for $ 100 million. Therefore, the ratings for the game were quite restrained.

LID2PRO reviewer verdict

Playability

Interesting stealth, several innovations in mountaineering and the standard combat for Tomb Raider. It is interesting to play the new “Lara” (adjusted for a weak plot), what is there to hide. The puzzles are generally excellent.

Simply gorgeous. The budget is large, the picture is so good that in moments it seems as if you are watching a good adventure film with excellent directorial work.

As mentioned above, you will not find a super catchy soundtrack here, but overall the game sounds great: the effects are on a level, the music is pleasant. And most importantly, it does not allow you to fall out of the atmosphere of a dangerous adventure.

Single player campaign

Quite a monotonous plot that is saved by a couple of good twists, an ending, a good antagonist and the general idea of ​​saving all living things from the end of the world, the culprit of which is Lara herself. Not bad, but no more.

Everything is harmonious: beautiful and dynamic videos for stealth killings, as well as intuitive controls while exploring the world leave only pleasant impressions.

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