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LTP: Shadow of the Tomb Raider...unmarked action bit spoilers.

Been playing through this thanks to PS+ and I both like and loathe this game at the same time. I think Im almost at the end so here are my impressions of this weird ass game.

The highs:

-Its very very pretty first of all. The tomb "reveals" are usually stunning and the environmental details are excellent. Swimming is a big part of this game and it looks properly pretty underwater as well. There are tons of gorgeous vistas and dense jungle environments to enjoy and it just gives the impression of a high budget game overall.

-Climbing is great. It gives just enough depth to stay interesting and is much better than Uncharted as its less "on rails" and requires more player engagement

-The bonus tombs that are hidden around are usually pretty good. They are definitely the highlight of the game as they are puzzle and traversal oriented.



Lows:

-combat fucking sucks. Guns feel terrible and melee combat is a joke. Stealth is the only way to really enjoy combat encounters and even that feels wonky and unrefined. Why is it that gunplay got worse with each iteration of this "new" Tomb Raider series? It feels like you are shooting cap guns.

-The story, fuck me....Its fucking AWFUL. The characters are all insufferable or/and have incoherent motivations. Jonah is the most useless friend-zoned piece of shit sidekick I've seen in any game. Every time he's on the scene you cant help but wonder why the fuck he hangs around this psychopath Lara. It hurts the game because I cant fathom why anyone would give two shits about the story at all.

-The "open world" sections. There are several instances where you are free to wander around a town and the surrounding areas. When you are exploring for hidden tombs, its pretty good but the rest of it is totally bleh. You can get side quest from several completely uninteresting NPCs but most of them are garbage pointless quests.

-The amount of "open world" style collectible garbage. There is so much shit to pick up that the game designers dont even try to put them in logical places. You'll find pointless doodads and "logs" or "reports" just laying on the floor all over the damn place and the game seems to keep track of your progress for ALL OF THEM. If you are someone who cant play UBI games because of the constant % reminders that you havent collected 2987349239487 of ::insert pointless collect-a-thon nonsense here:: then stay away.


The Weird:

There are several bizarre moments in this game that just dont make sense. One involves Lara getting through a tomb via a riddle that leads to a secret city, but once you get to the other side of the tomb and get outside, there is a fucking steel bridge being traversed by Humvees literally right next to the tomb going towards the secret city.

There is also a moment late in the game where Lara goes totally psycho out of nowhere. It starts when she gets close to a refinery and she gets a message from some baddie (I guess we are supposed to remember from a previous game?) that tells her that her ally is dead. There is a big action scene and she gets knocked into the water from an explosion. She remembers some call back lines from earlier in the game that doesnt really seem to pertain to anything happening at that moment and then....




She is portrayed like some movie monster and proceeds to brutally stab the fuck out of some dude looking like Rambo. (This scene would actually be pretty rad if they did it correctly) She then gets a light machine gun and lays waste to an oil refinery killing dozens of guys and downing a helicopter. After the whole refinery explodes, her friend, who the baddie said was dead, casually walks out of all the wreckage like nothing ever happened and she goes back to the normal annoying character as before. Unless there is some big character beat at the very end, its never mentioned again.

This would probably work if over the span of the last few games if they painted her as some PTSD survivor who snaps but they dont. It feels like someone on the team thought this would be cool and fought really hard to get it inserted into this game even if its jarring as fuck. This is several hours into a game where you murder dozens of people with a knife and guns and she doesnt even change her demeanor afterwards.

I will finish the game because its fun enough to at least see it through to the end, but overall its been a very strange experience. IMO the series has gotten worse as time goes on so I would say play the original reboot and forget about the other ones unless you are really desperate for some more Tomb Raider.
 
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Moogle11

Banned
I still enjoyed it, but it definitely was my least favorite of the trilogy. I share your sentiments about the combat and most about the story (I wasn't quite as down on it as you though).

I also just didn't like it being more puzzle heavy. I know that's the series' roots, so it's not an objective flaw by any means. I just never really cared for the series before the first two games in the the reboot trilogy (esepcially loved Rise) which made it more like Uncharted but with some more reasons to explore since you need things for upgrades etc. instead of just finding pointless collectibles. I love cinematic, narrative driven games so the first two were right up my alley, this a bit less so with more tombs and puzzles slowing the pacing for me.
 

L0la H4vana

Banned
I thought it was pretty great overall, though i haven't made it to the end yet. I dropped it at Cenote because it got too scary, and I'm not even at THAT part yet. (I read all the spoilers)

It felt more like old school Tomb Raider which I've missed and would jump at to play through again with some new graphics, unlike the previous two reboot games.

I guess the story is kind of a mess but I'm too ADD to follow them anyway.

I loved petting llamas. 8/10 for me.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
I wanted to like it more than I did. The thing is, this is the game that a lot of people asked for I feel like. They wanted more tombs and less combat, which Shadow has the most to find and discover, but then the combat took a huge nose dive in quality. The stealth sections were just not great imo.

I dont think pulling CD was the solution here. Like I get it, you pulled them to do Avengers which on paper made more sense to pump resouces in after the TR IP was not pulling in what you thought it should, but the game clearly suffered from not having the same designers behind it.
 
I wanted to like it more than I did. The thing is, this is the game that a lot of people asked for I feel like. They wanted more tombs and less combat, which Shadow has the most to find and discover, but then the combat took a huge nose dive in quality. The stealth sections were just not great imo.

I dont think pulling CD was the solution here. Like I get it, you pulled them to do Avengers which on paper made more sense to pump resouces in after the TR IP was not pulling in what you thought it should, but the game clearly suffered from not having the same designers behind it.

I didnt mind having less combat but it just seems bizarre that they could have lifted combat wholesale from the first game and it would have been better than what we ended up with on the 3rd game in the trilogy.

Also I agree with you on stealth. Many encounters do not feel like they are really designed for stealth or they are too limited/linear to be much fun. There is only 1/2 ways to go at any time where you can successfully stealth by and thats it.
 
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Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
I didnt mind having less combat but it just seems bizarre that they could have lifted combat wholesale from the first game and it would have been better than what we ended up with on the 3rd game in the trilogy.

Also I agree with you on stealth. Many encounters do not feel like they are really designed for stealth or they are too limited/linear to be much fun. There is only 1/2 ways to go at any time where you can successfully stealth by and thats it.

If I remember correctly they were really pushing the whole stand in the wall/blend in thing for the previews of this game and I still dont understand why. Its not fun to do and it doesn't add anything to the mix. Rise of the Tomb Raider actually had some really good combat imo and some nice set pieces. I am confused why they didnt try to build off that.
 

rodrigolfp

Gold Member
"-combat fucking sucks. Guns feel terrible and melee combat is a joke. Stealth is the only way to really enjoy combat encounters and even that feels wonky and unrefined. Why is it that gunplay got worse with each iteration of this "new" Tomb Raider series? It feels like you are shooting cap guns."

Lord Gaben bless the pc version.
 
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Playing through it myself right now, I’m not far enough to have an opinion on all your points but Jonah, good fuck what an insufferably boring character, they all are. Coming off of The Last of Us 2 which I just finished, the characters, their designs, backgrounds, interactions, dialogues etc. are soooo boring in Shadow. I would have thought Jonah and the other supporting cast were boring regardless, but it’s just crazy how random grunts and even clickers from tlou have more personality than anyone in this game, lol.
 
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Nobody enjoys Tomb Raider for the story.
Gameplay is fine imo, it looks good, fine entertaining game.

But the story writers, oof, get a new job plz.
 

Kamina

Golden Boy
I think the story was fine.

The game feels a little more linear than Rise, but i did like the setting more.
 
Nobody enjoys Tomb Raider for the story.
Gameplay is fine imo, it looks good, fine entertaining game.

But the story writers, oof, get a new job plz.

The biggest problem is the characters IMO. Most of these types of games never have really interesting stories but at least Uncharted nails the characters. You feel like you get to know them and give a shit about what happens to them. In this game its kinda just whatever. Jonah could get shot in the face in the last scene of this game and I couldnt care less.

Also, how many opportunities do the bad guys have to kill Lara and Jonah but dont for whatever reason? They dont really come off as totally evil bad guys when they keep letting them live.
 

bender

What time is it?
Like you, I tried it out because of PS+. I finished it last week. I skipped most of the side quest stuff because I just wanted the game to end. It's spectacular to look at and I loved some of the stealth elements (mud, ivy covered walls, tree branch stealth take downs using rope arrows) but everything else in the game is a drag. It's always been weird to me that the response to Naughty Dog taking elements from your franchise (and Gears of War) and dumbing them down was to then copy that formula and dumb it down even further. Having a handhold or platform fall out beneath you is exciting once, repeating that trick ad nauseum is not. Same goes for chasing sequences. The worst part about the game is that you can't move two feet without some other crafting material or collectable to pick up.
 
This is almost exactly how I feel abous this game and the modern Lara trilogy (this one sucks the most and the first one I liked a lot):

- Lara is really unlikable
- Jonah was made to be so "lovable" but he's just so meh and the chemistry between them is awful.
- The game is stupid "let's blend in a Mexican fiesta and speak English with the locals while wearing masks" and people in the middle of fucking rainforest are living like Aztec/Mayans and speak perfect English.
- Trinity is the most cliche name for an Evil Group who's trying to take over the world. And don't even start with "Operation BlackOut"...
- There's just so much shit to loot. I really liked to find stuff in the first one and find if there were any hidden details in them. But this game just has WAY too much stuff laying around.
- The story is so bad
-BUT it's actually pretty liberating to just play a game and not to give shits about it's collectables, characters and story. I just enjoy the scenery, puzzles and pretending of being the Predator 😅

As a bonus: Why does every game have to have the rule of "press three times square to break a door etc.?"
 
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GymWolf

Gold Member
Is the second one any good? there is enough shooting or they toned down the action parts like in shadow?!
 
D

Deleted member 17706

Unconfirmed Member
I loved the first two games, but I had a really hard time getting into this. About three hours in and keep dropping it. Still got it installed, though, so one day...
 

Melfice7

Member
The only shred of fun i get playing these tomb raiders is when im..well actually tomb raiding on optional tombs and shit
 

assurdum

Banned
Is the second one any good? there is enough shooting or they toned down the action parts like in shadow?!
Significantly better. The third is a tragedy gameplay wise and outside the tombs, is incredibly unfunny and boring to play. The second indeed succeeded in everything the third failed. Of course nothing remotely close to the glorious old TR
 
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bender

What time is it?
Dont forget the 3 swipes at the mineral deposits! #gameplay

I'm kind of torn. Multiple strikes does have some minor game play implications for underwater veins as you are burning oxygen and I do prefer games that have some sort of animation for material gathering as opposed to games that forgo animations all together. I guess it's about finding the right balance between skinning animal in RDR and Jin's magic hands in Ghost of Tsushima.
 

Neff

Member
Pretty much spot-on, OP

It's a very, very silly game, but I enjoyed it for its bright moments nonetheless.
 

Certinty

Member
It’s a good game but the story is the biggest thing that lets it down from being great.

Still far better than Rise though but nowhere near as good as the first.
 

Fredrik

Gold Member
I enjoyed it and the jungle segment after the crash might be top 10 prettiest areas in gaming, but it’s still a 6 or 7/10 game. Hated every single chased sequence though, I don’t understand the appeal, feels like playing Dragon’s Lair.
 

Bartski

Gold Member
Beat the game last night. I mostly agree with everything the OP said.

There is one single thing this Tomb Raider game does really well IMO, which is the actual TOMB RAIDING.
Everything else is mediocre at best but I quite enjoyed a lot of it for that reason alone.

Locked 60fps on PS5 probably helped a lot too.

Level design is what really saves this game. Grabbing a hidden ledge and discovering an ancient secret temple deep within a tropical jungle, one of its own unique design, complexity, theme, and collectibles that tell some of its story, traps... yeah, the vibe is there. Ended up doing ALL the sidequest challenge tombs and crypts and they were all really fun.

Some really intense, tight scripted bombastic setpieces, great vistas.
Somehow ended at 96% map completion, to my surprise because both the combat and story are straight-up shit.

There is zero hit reaction from enemies making your guns feel like pea shooters. I played on normal, which means if those are upgraded - you're an unstoppable, bulletproof killing machine and I don't think I even died once by something else than gravity. No threat detected 'till credits. Melee 1 on 1 feels broken and laughable.
Stealth has some cool mechanics, like the string up dude from a tree or the wasted potential of mud camo, that would all work really nice but in a different game.
The "detective mode" looks like playing with accessibility settings on for the visually impaired, not exactly an immersion-friendly choice.

Also, it's still noticeably buggy - map markers are routinely broken for challenges and other minor annoyances. Tons of collision jank, noticeable LOD fades, just things you'd expect from a very mid-last-gen game.

The dissonance between the character's personality outside of combat and her turning to a Rambo mercenary battalion slayer on a whim is as jarring as ever, no point dwelling further after looking through the thread everyone else pointed that out already.

The story... despite sharing the lead writer with Assassins Creed Black Flag, is actually so bad I checked out halfway through and noticed myself reading GAF in the cutscenes.
I still have no idea what the motivation of the main antagonist was and I don't think it's worth the time to read the wiki. None of it really made any sense but as far as I recall neither did Rise.

Thanks, PS+, it was alright.
 
I beat the game last night and my opinion hasnt changed at all. The only thing I have to add is that the ending is goofy and reaches for emotional strings that it never even makes the attempt to earn. The last boss fight is boilerplate at best and the whole finale, while technically impressive, has almost zero actual gameplay challenges until the boss encounter. The boss encounter would be laughably easy as well if it wasnt for the aim botting bow enemies but I still never died. Only came close once or twice.

I will say that in a week I will probably have a hard time remembering much of anything about this game.
 

levyjl1988

Member
The first game on Xbox 360 was really good, except for the narrative dissonance when she first killed the guy in the cutscene.
The Remaster and future titles I didn't up playing because they fucked up her face and it isn't attractive anymore. They honestly ruined it.
 

phil_t98

Gold Member
I really like these games, yeah third was not as good as the first two but more than playable.

what really annoys me with these type of games though and uncharted was the same, is there are place your character can easy jump to or jump as high as but they block you from doing so. I mean she could easy grab the corner of the wall when climbing but no you have to have a special ledge and we’ll make you go round the world to get there.

if there is somewhere your not supposed to go make it unreachable or that a jump isn’t as high as the wall/ledge/floor
 

Mossybrew

Member
Not much to add other than you are fairly on-point with your evaluation OP. The game was fun when you were just out there exploring tombs and stuff. The story and characters were just dumb.
 

Matt_Fox

Member
I'm playing this game at the moment, around 3-4 hours in (just passed the section where she discovers the secret ancient valley and as OP says there are trucks and a steel bridge!).

I have to say I'm very much enjoying it, the flood sequence and the flashback level where you play as young Lara and climb Croft Manor were both particularly good. Lovely graphics on PS5 and pretty chilled gameplay, and nice sense of progression with the skills.

I do agree about Jonah though! The rule of the sidekick is that they're either a kick ass fighter or a comic relief wisecracker. Jonah is neither, just a dead weight personality vacuum.
 

Matt_Fox

Member
I really like these games, yeah third was not as good as the first two but more than playable.

what really annoys me with these type of games though and uncharted was the same, is there are place your character can easy jump to or jump as high as but they block you from doing so. I mean she could easy grab the corner of the wall when climbing but no you have to have a special ledge and we’ll make you go round the world to get there.

if there is somewhere your not supposed to go make it unreachable or that a jump isn’t as high as the wall/ledge/floor

I hope that's something we might see this gen.

The climbing and clambering in Tomb Raider and Uncharted are all scripted, with a set route. It would be great to have environments that are much more centred about the physics, allowing for freedom of routes and emergent gameplay from A to B.
 

RAIDEN1

Member
Well I couldn't get into the last PS+ release the anniversary edition, so I was thinking about giving this a go...to busy with the Xbox GamePass trial at the minute...
 
I still enjoyed it. Maybe the weakest of the 3 new games. The puzzles and tombs were FAR better than the last 2 games but combat was a missed mark. The reboot still had better combat and AI for some reason. Still hungry for new TR games. Lara Croft for life!

 

Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
I also played it as a free offer on PS Plus and have to agree with most of your opinion.


Some exceptions would be that:

I think the gun play in Shadow of the Tomb Raider felt realy good even more so when upgrading the weapons.
By that I mean the aiming itself. The overall feedback from the gun is not the best that is correct.

While the climbing is better than in Uncharted it is still not challenging at all and for a game like this a huge misstep. Just think of the first Tomb Raider game and where we are now.



The biggest issues are story and characters.

The whole writing is all over the place and often to dramatic for its own purpose.
 

Camreezie

Member
I think it was the weakest of the trilogy. It wasnt a bad game by any stretch but a fair bit weaker than the other two in most departments
 

EverydayBeast

thinks Halo Infinite is a new graphical benchmark
The PS4 Tomb Raider games are legit 8/10 traditional 15 hour games at some point I’ll play the Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the first two are serious threats to Uncharted.
 

martino

Member
imo it's the one that tries the most to be what tomb raider was before and it's more its own thing.
I've like it a lot.
As a uncharted clone the first one is still the best
And the worst one is the second one (but still a decent game)
 
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Hugare

Member
I played it for about 5h, and I cant remember playing a game this souless before

Feels like it was entirely made by commitee and there's no heart to it, at all

Lara is a bitch that only cares about herself
Jona is a poor simp that follows her despite her not caring for him at all
Dialogue is atrocious. There's no defined tone, no high stakes. Right after almost getting smashed by rocks, Jona is like "oof, we almost got killed just now. Anyway, I know a great coffee shop at the town". If even them dont care about their fates, imagine how much the player cares.
Bunch of useless collectibles. Like, TONS.

Climbing mechanics were actually quite developed, which I appreciated. And graphics were nice (animations sucked tho).
 

L0la H4vana

Banned
What can I say, I'm a giant pussy. The old school Tomb Raiders were some of the most nerve wrecking games I have ever played, especially the third and fourth. That damn living Shiva statue.....and the whole of the pacific world with all the water...what about that disgusting final spider boss.

The fourth was completely creepy from the start right up to the point i dropped it somewhere in the middle.

I should stick with disney games, really.
 

The Alien

Member
I think it places third out of this TR reboot trilogy (ROTR #1).

Overall i still liked it. Sure, I didn't buy into the Apocalyptic story much, but thought the gameplay was pretty fun: well-paced alternating between gunplay and climbing/exploring sections. Game looked good too.
 

L0la H4vana

Banned
welcome on board I'm sure you'll find friends here :messenger_tears_of_joy:
Seriously, I can't even look at screenshots of that game.

I think actually playing it would give me a heartattack.

The thing with SOTTR is that the ambiance really carries a lot of the game. There are these moments of silent threat wherein nothing actually happens but it feels like something will. It's pretty cool. But man it gets to me.
 

D.Final

Banned
I think it places third out of this TR reboot trilogy (ROTR #1).

Overall i still liked it. Sure, I didn't buy into the Apocalyptic story much, but thought the gameplay was pretty fun: well-paced alternating between gunplay and climbing/exploring sections. Game looked good too.
Just people taste
 

Orpheum

Member
Never been so bored playing a game. I feel like i have to put the controller away every 30 seconds due to some shitty exposition dump which tries to explain what the actual fuck is going on in this boring ass story. The rest of your reasons are spot on in my opinion, but the bad way outhweighs the good. Played it for around 6 hours and can't be bothered to finish it, glad i didn't waste a penny on this.

Tomb raider 2013 was actually fun, i loved it! So what the fuck happened here? It's mind boggling...
 

AgentP

Thinks mods influence posters politics. Promoted to QAnon Editor.
Graphics are pretty good, even in performance mode which is supposed to be 1080P. The AA is so good I would have guessed it was higher. The characters are bad, this is a hallmark of CD's Tomb Raider franchise. It is trying to be Uncharted, but far less likeable and poor storytelling.
 
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