Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a 2018 action adventure video game developed by Eidos-Montréal and published by Square Enix. It continues the narrative from the 2015 game Rise of the Tomb Raider and is the twelfth mainline entry in the Tomb Raider series. The game was originally released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Versions for macOS and Linux, and Stadia, were released in November 2019. After release, the game was expanded upon with downloadable content in both a season pass and as standalone releases.
Set shortly after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider, its story follows Lara Croft as she ventures through the tropical regions of the Americas to the legendary city Paititi, battling the paramilitary organization Trinity and racing to stop a Mayan apocalypse she has unleashed. Lara must traverse the environment and combat enemies with firearms and stealth as she explores semi-open hubs. In these hubs she can raid challenge tombs to unlock new rewards, complete side missions, and scavenge for resources which can be used to craft useful materials.
Development began in 2015 following the completion of Rise of the Tomb Raider, lasting until July 2018. Shadow of the Tomb Raider was designed to conclude Lara’s journey begun in the 2013 reboot, with a key theme being descent both through the jungle environment and into her personality. The setting and narrative was based on Mayan and Aztec mythologies, with the team consulting historians to create the architecture and people of Paititi. The gameplay was adjusted based on both fan feedback and the wishes of Eidos Montréal, incorporating swimming and grappling while increasing difficulty tailoring. Camilla Luddington returned to provide voice and motion-capture work for Lara.
Released as the final instalment in Lara Croft’s origin trilogy, Shadow of the Tomb Raider received generally positive reviews from critics, with particular praise going to the game’s emphasis on challenge tombs and puzzles, although some felt that the series’ gameplay had become stale and lacked innovation. While opening to slow sales, the game eventually shipped over four million copies worldwide.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an action-adventure game played from a third-person perspective; players take on the role of Lara Croft as she explores environments across the continents of Central and South America. In addition to standalone areas, the game has a large hub in the Hidden City of Paititi. A new barter system allows players to trade and sell various resources gathered from the areas surrounding Paititi.
There are numerous adjustments made to gameplay, which is otherwise identical to Rise of the Tomb Raider. The controls for swimming have been revised, as Lara is able to hold her breath underwater for a longer period of time due to the introduction of air pockets. She has the ability to rappel down a cliff using her climbing axe and rope. Stealth is important, as Lara can disengage from combat when she escapes from enemies’ line of sight by camouflaging herself in mud, hiding in bushes or blending into densely vegetated surfaces.
Like its predecessors, the game allows players to hunt wild animals, craft materials using resources collected, solve puzzles and seek out optional tombs and side quests. The game features larger tombs and more complex puzzles compared to previous instalments in the reboot series. Players have the option to tailor their gameplay experience as exploration, puzzles and combat have their own difficulty settings. An Immersion Mode enables players to hear the background conversations of the locals in their native languages; when turned off the conversations are heard in the players’ chosen voice over language.