Lara Croft’s first adventure was mostly packed with screaming and running away or towards danger. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara is more confident, mature and a straight up badass, making Trinity baddies run with horror.

Gaming’s foremost explorer is back (Sorry, Nate) and this time with a bit more internal struggle than before. There isn’t anything drastically different from the previous installments but Square Enix manages to pull a rabbit out of the hat by polishing on the established mechanics and delivering a fine game.

Fairly new raider

Running and gunning days are long behind Lara. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider you’ll witness a more focused and stealthy Lara. Trying to stay true to the previous Tomb Raider games and obviously to avoid direct comparison to a rather gunslinging Nathan Drake from Uncharted, the series’ last and final chapter has brewed a perfect recipe to conclude this trilogy.

Not only does the strong narrative deliver in embracing the change in Lara from a mere novice but it also brings together a certain amount of depth to her actions. For the first time the consequences of her actions are fairly delivered, making it more nuanced and right-in-the-feels game. That is not entirely the whole premise of the game however.

She’s back into cargo pants and a single pony to whoop some Trinity baddies. Those guys who apparently killed her father and now seek world domination through yet another ancient artefact buried in a far off Tomb (obviously) or something like that.

More Raider

Eidos Montréeal want you to feel like a shadow and hence the name. The jungle combat is by far the most entertaining and playing as Lara you literally feel like Rambo minus the machine gun.

There are new ways to whack baddies but there’s a tremendous amount of focus on stealth. Most combat scenarios will offer places to hide and blend. The game lets you cover yourself in mud to camouflage which makes it harder for enemies to spot you. Meanwhile hiding in bushes and vines helps you stay in the shadows… (anyone else feels this is more Assassin’s Creed than Assassin’s Creed? Only me? Fine.)

Whatever you feel, the combat remains the same with guns, bows and brewing a concoction of smoke bombs and stuff using tin cans mid combat. It’s all very same from the previous two installments and while you can’t shake the feeling of been-there-done-that, the traversal mechanics have got a good spit polish. Climbing rocks, grappling off cliffs and boulders is still here and still so much fun. Aside from the main story line, the optional side tombs are much, much better and require more than a peanut size use of your brain this time. It’s what essentially separates Tomb Raider from Uncharted and could see why we’ll head back to the game again to complete all of them.

Everyone’s raider

The main map is separated into chuck size mini zone that unlock with story progression. Each zone has its own optional tomb challenges and tons of collectibles to complete. Small cities or villages that breathe life into the world of Tomb Raider that are spread throughout the map. Each City Hub has its own locals and optional side missions that you can get from interacting with them.

City Hubs have vendors that carry unique weapons, outfits, gear or equipment upgrades to unlock new areas. They will definitely cost you, so your time mining for gold will not seem as useless.

Not only does the city come alive visually, but the audio too creates an amazing atmosphere in which ever situation you’re in. The constant chattering of animals and birds in jungle areas make the feel that much more immersive and engaging. It’s as amazing as Lara’s lungs. Yes, this time there are more underwater scenes with lurking dangers as well. Not that its much of a threat, but you’ll be spending plenty of time swimming and escaping through narrow cracks.

You can hunt down animals for their hide, grab plants for healing remedy, branches for creating arrows and metal scraps to upgrade your arsenal. It’s all here and again, add another sense of sameness.

Stuff says... 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider review

The best game in the trilogy with a lot more emphasis on tombs than before, however we wished the story had some more flavour to it.
Good Stuff 
Smooth mechanics
Amazing audio
There’s an evident growth to Lara’s character
Side tombs are just mind boggling
Bad Stuff 
If only the main story was slightly better
Very similar to the previous two games