Lara Croft will make her return in Shadow of the Tomb Raider on September 14, 2018, for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the conclusion to Croft’s origin story which has spanned two games thus far with Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015). We attended the Square Enix media event and reveal in Los Angeles (which also took place in London and Montreal) where we were able to play about an hour of the game which is still a work in progress.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks and sounds polished as expected. This time around Lara Croft can use more brutal force to take down enemies like being able to stab them in the back of the head with a dagger. It was implied that Lara will also be able to use things like mud for camouflage during the presentation but the thing that gave a cheer at this event was when developers announced that swimming would return!
Something else that will make Shadow of the Tomb Raider special is that underground tombs have been made even more dangerous and the developers have made it even more difficult to access them – complete with puzzles meant to kill you if you cannot figure them out. We experienced this first-hand during our hands-on gameplay with Shadow of the Tomb Raider as it took to scaling and climbing a treacherous wall just to reach the underground tomb that itself had plenty of traps and dangers to avoid.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider looks to be a great punctuation to this series with improved gameplay mechanics and response time – the only thing we noticed that could use more polish is the camera movement/position inside of caves which made navigating sometimes jarring. During our hands-on with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, we were able to swim which felt satisfying, however, the section of the game we were in was very scripted so there was no room for exploring.