As a huge fan of action-adventure games, and one that will probably never fully recover from the Uncharted games coming to end, my biggest trepidation coming in to Shadow of the Tomb Raider was that lead development duties had transferred from Crystal Dynamics to Eidos Montreal. Thankfully, my anxieties that the DNA of this third rebooted instalment may have felt ‘off’ were quashed immediately during the opening chapter. Taking place in Mexico during Day of the Dead, this colourful and dramatic opening not only felt wonderfully familiar but also set the story off on a very strong path – namely what if Lara’s actions have serious consequences? The game’s answer to this question gives us easily the darkest Tomb Raider game of recent times, and far from that being a criticism it really brings a sense of urgency and desperation to the plot.
The game is set just two months after the ending of Rise of the Tomb Raider and sees Lara and her friend Jonah Maiava hot on the heels of the shady organisation Trinity. Having had more of an influence in Lara’s life than she’d ever dared thought, Trinity could quite easily be the ‘shadow’ the title of the game is referring to. The main antagonist, Pedro Dominguez, isn’t just another of Trinity’s lieutenants, he’s their leader. Stopping him ups the stakes considerably. After beating Dominguez to a well-hidden ancient relic in Mexico, Lara sets in motion a tsunami that destroys much of the nearby coastal village. Far from being a purely local anomaly, there are global ramifications to these events.