After months of rumours, Square Enix has finally officially confirmed the existence of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the latest entry in the long-running platforming franchise.
Announcing the news on Twitter, Square Enix revealed the game’s debut trailer, release date (September 14th, 2018), and confirmed that the game would be seeing a release on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.
With Rise of the Tomb Raider now three years old, a sequel has been due for a while. We’ve unofficially known about the new game for months now thanks to numerous leaks of internal documents, and previously the official site’s source code has hinted at a September 2018 release.
Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about Shadow of the Tomb Raider including all of the latest news, rumours, release date info, trailers and more.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider News
Although we now know the game’s official title and release date, details of what will feature in the game are currently scarce. A full reveal has been promised on April 27th however, so we won’t have to wait long to find out more about the upcoming game.
An April reveal is interesting, as it points towards Square Enix deciding against using E3 2018 to make its first announcement. We wouldn’t rule out the game appearing on the show floor, but it’s unclear how many new details there’ll be available at the show.
What is Shadow of the Tomb Raider?
Once again helmed by seasoned developer Crystal Dynamics, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will continue the adventures of Lara Croft as she discovers ancient cities, artifacts and spooky skeletons. It is unconfirmed whether Trinity, the mercenary group from the previous game, will remain as the core antagonists.
Either way, you can expect the usual combination of platforming, combat and exploration with a tightly woven narrative.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider release date – when is it coming out?
On March 15th, the official Tomb Raider Twitter account confirmed that the game will be released on September 14th, 2018.
The account also confirmed that the game will be released on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. With the previous game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, having been a central part of the Xbox One X’s release last November, we’re almost certain that the game will be X-enhanced when it comes out.
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Shadow of the Tomb Raider – 5 things we’d like to see
Rise of the Tomb Raider told an involving yet predictable tale with faceless mercenaries and inevitable betrayals forming the crux of its narrative. The spotlight was clearly on Lara herself, who proved to be a strong and capable lead amongst an otherwise unimaginative supporting cast. Shadow of the Tomb Raider would benefit from an in-depth character study of our favourite treasure hunter, addressing the ludo-narrative dissonance of past games.
Give Lara an end goal worthy of our emotional investment instead of yet another generic artifact for her to hunt down before the bad guys do. The formula worked incredibly well for Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, with the pirate’s treasure taking a backseat to Nathan Drake and his struggling relationships.
More imaginative enemies
Tomb Raider and its excellent sequel housed a solid combat system, however, the foes you fought were far too bland. You had your normal soldiers, ranged enemies and heavy variants, all of which felt direly generic. Crystal Dynamics has an opportunity to really shake things up a bit, throwing out the boring mercenaries in favour of adversaries actually worth fighting. Lara is a tough gal, and will surely have no problem dispatching a few supernatural nasties. Just don’t go full Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. No aliens!
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Croft Manor hub world
Crystal Dynamics has been chasing the Uncharted formula ever since the reboot launched back in 2013. The focus has clearly been on the tight platforming and bombastic set pieces that defined Naughty Dog’s masterful series. That’s all well and good, and Tomb Raider has done a fantastic job of crafting a unique identity, but it’s still missing something. Hardened fans of Lara Croft will have fond memories of Croft Manor back on PS1.
You freely roamed the grounds solving puzzles and locking people in freezers. You know, the usual stuff. Shadow of the Tomb Raider could introduce a home to store all your hard fought collectibles and track progress. It would also help break up the monotony of the fairly linear solo campaign, giving you a place to return after all the chaos.
No timed exclusivity!
Fans around the world reacted in anger when Rise of the Tomb Raider was unveiled as a timed exclusive for Xbox One, leaving behind two of the platforms its predecessor had launched on. Fast forward to 2016 and it’s available on all platforms, but the sting of that initial announcement can still be felt. With any luck, Crystal Dynamics will have Shadow of the Tomb Raider debut on all platforms simultaneously with no exclusivity nonsense blurring the lines.
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Above all else, Rise of the Tomb Raider was an excellent third-person shooter with some memorable, intense firefights. Luckily, it seldom spammed you with endless waves of enemies to kill. It always knew when to focus on puzzle solving or transition to a cutscene. It struck a clever balance that never got boring. That being said, it’d be nice to jump into a mode that focused purely on combat.
If anything, Tomb Raider is more capable of a successful horde mode than Gears of War. Lara Croft is incredibly resourceful, possessing a range of useful guns and gadgets. Imagine using these to defend a specific environment, holding back enemies with devilishly handmade traps. There are plenty of side characters to fulfill the roles of your friends, making such a mode ideal for couch co-op and online play.
What would you like to see from Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews