At a Square Enix event in London last night, I played for an hour of Shadow of the Tomb Raider the last game of a trilogy, which comes out on September 14 for PS4, Xbox One and PERSONAL COMPUTER. Although the action was very familiar, the tone was a bit different.
The most recent game Tomb Raider is the conclusion of a trilogy that brought Lara Croft rethinking a scared survivor to a competent explorer and, finally, to the sure killer. It seems that Shadow of the Tomb Raide could ask how all this has affected her.
The best of Tomb Raider -apart from Lara, whom I have enjoyed in all its various incarnations, from quippy action-heroine to teenaged survivalist, are the locations. The sumptuous South America of Shadow of the Tomb Raider is not a disappointment on that front. In the first hour of the game, Lara goes from a celebration full of Dia de los Muertos to an excavation site that opens up to a dizzying climb to a Mayan tomb whose entrance is hidden under the gaze of a giant skull carved into the cliffs. 19659002] In the opening scenes, Lara makes her way through a crowd of masked, painted and often drunken revelers in a celebration of the Day of the Dead, eavesdropping on a Trinity captain talking about an excavation site where he is waiting for a important treasure. He is the visually stunning starter who has become a convention for these narrative action games: very nice, but restrictive.
The first tomb is a better indication of the direction taken by Eidos Montreal with Shadow of the Tomb Raider . She gets there, surprise! Climbing, jumping, using spikes to move through the rocks and rappel down from a safe height. The ancient culture that Lara is investigating here worshiped death: the traps and spikes and imposing structures in her temples are not there just to keep intruders away, but for human sacrifice. This is a disturbing place, in the depths of the earth, with ancient bells that resound ominously while Lara climbs them. Instead of marveling, they provoke fear.
I like The climbing of Tomb Raider actually feels dangerous; It is almost impossible to fall into death in many games like this, but I plummeted more than a few times on my way through this temple. It was a sick feeling every time. Lara pulls out an old dagger when she leaves, it's never a good idea, and after a few minutes of feeling familiar by stabbing the militiamen behind the walls and jumping out of the bushes, there's a brief shooting.
However, it does not last long before Lara is swept away by a sudden flood of biblical appearance. It turns out that marking that dagger may have triggered the apocalypse. The demonstration ends with Lara inspecting the devastated scene.
This first hour, along with the advance and promotional material that Square Enix has presented today, suggests that Lara will find herself battling an inner darkness here, taking into account the consequences – a rather dangerous conceptual route for an action game that revolves around killing hundreds of faceless enemies. If Lara is forced to stop and think about that, then as players, we too.
I'm a little worried that Shadow of the Tomb Raider arrives a bit late. The Tomb Raider reboot came out in March 2013, and this is working with almost the same set of tools: bewildering light, stealth combat that frequently erupts in shootings, investigates corners of each area for trinkets, a plagued story the dangerous. In the elapsed time we have had Uncharted 4 and Lost Legacy God of War and The Last of Us all raising the bar for the narrative adventure for a single player
Rise of the Tomb Raider remained absolutely firm, but now we are within another three years. I hope that what we learn about Shadow of the Tomb Raider in the next few months shows that it takes the series further.