We are approaching the September 19th th launch of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider which promises to close up the reboot trilogy. Square Enix invited PlayStation LifeStyle to a preview event in Ocean City, Manhattan Beach, California, to get a decent hands-on lump with Lara Croft's latest upcoming adventure. We have collected our thoughts and have a preview ready for you below.
A Big Chunk
During this event we played the first four hours Shadow of the Tomb Raider . In fact, we might be the first expiration to play the game on a PlayStation 4 Pro-all previous excursions had been played on Xbox One X. The game's engine supports 4K rendering and HDR, and both technologies help bring the jungle to life. Lush green vegetation sheds dark shadows, while ancient ruins have never looked so detailed. No words on the frame rate yet, but at least on PS4 Pro, it went well and stamming was never noticed during our four hours.
The Tomb Raider The Shadow of Tomb Raider is the best ever seen in a Tomb Raider game. Seen pieces are also high intensity and dramatic. Character models are incredibly real. There is some kind of creepy valley effect that happens, especially with Lara. While she sees and animates in a credible way, her neck is actually animated to push up and down as she breathes. This gives a strange effect, one that is realistic, but can be a bit unnerving since games generally do not model neck movement in this way. It does not take too much time to get used to, and also shows the level of detail. Eidos Montréal has been willing to enter this listing.
What was the content of the first four hours? Quite literally, at the very beginning of the game. Lara was shown on a lane and drove with longtime partner Jonah as they flew to a mysterious goal. Of course, things do not last long and before she knows, Lara is forced to fight for her life in a jungle where many dangers are present. Opening hours serve as a training culminating in a battle against death against one of the most dangerous carnivores of the jungle, in a satisfactory settlement between women and animals that is primal and exciting. After a little more setup, we finally made it to the game's first open area, Kuwaq Yaku. This also opened the game quite a lot when it introduced page assignments. It served as a preview of the main open area that will be discovered later in the Paititi campaign. These cities act as hubs, even with places for Lara to dabble in trade to acquire parts that she can use to create new or upgraded items.
A New Feature in The Tomb Raider Shadow is individual swingers for different parts of the game. Players can choose different levels for battle, puzzle and exploration. So if somebody likes discovering the solution to a puzzle all by themselves, but they feel that the battle is in the way of their pleasure, they can fight the difficulty level while all the puzzles are turned off. Likewise, someone who prefers to fight tougher enemies and will not be forced to brake and think about how to cross the next area between matches, they can beat the enemy hard and look for difficulties. This is a flexibility you do not see too often and should help to tailor the game for just the experience the players want.
There is also a new emphasis on stealth in Shadow of the Tomb Raider . While Lara may be more of a hunter than the one being hunted, she is still quite vulnerable. Only a few shot hits will take her down. But Lara is special. For example, R3 will display some of the key elements that can be interacted with, but it will also highlight visible enemies (she can not review walls, after all). If they are red, they will become visible to other enemies, while a yellow-colored enemy can be taken out clearly if desired. Once in a match, Lara can hide back in bushes, behind the cover or up in the trees if she can break the enemy's sight line. So there are opportunities to catch enemies, but also opportunities to get back to hidden mode when the cover is blown.
The Shadow of Tomb Raider represents Lara Croft's greatest adventure in the rebooted franchise. Thus, new ways require crossing a world that is also larger than ever. Lara can now rappel certain textures on the sides of the walls, for example. This will lower her to a new place down below. The implications this has for level design are obvious, as now, not only will areas be built horizontally but also vertically. This also means threats can come from all directions now. Rappelling is as easy as pressing L2 when climbing a valid wall texture. Hold L2 allows the player to adjust Lara height, and once at the desired level she can swing back and forth before jumping forward or press circle to just drop. It's a good change that opens the game in new ways.
When the big launch day is approaching, fans have a lot to look forward to in The Shadow of Tomb Raider . New stealth and swimming mechanics mean there are several ways to take down enemies than ever before. Meanwhile, adding the ability to rappel should lead to more vertical level design, which may also mean threats come from all directions. The massive open world button to Paititi also gives the promise of always having something new to do and see in the wide world that Eidos Montréal has brought to life. While we must hold back to the final verdict of launch, it seems to be promising to give this a start to the strong finish it needs when The Shadow of Tomb Raider launches September 14, 2018.