Lara Croft is controversial. On the one hand, she is hated by the different civilizations and cultures whose graves she happily plunders like a quilted Pascal Nègre. On the other hand, she is adored by the airlines, which she regularly enriches with long-haul flights. On the players’ side, love also fluctuates, between impressions of slight laziness and solid adventure as the Englishwoman wanders. In this new episode, it’s South America that offers itself to Miss Croft’s ice axe. Maybe it’s finally time to find something new in antiques.

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Free Peru

Poor little Lara had been left 3 years ago to face the horrible truth of her daddy’s death in a cliffhanger of circumstance, given her climbing abilities. More than ever eager for revenge and graves to plunder for the love of film archaeology – that is to say, to wreck all usable traces of a civilization – she joins South America for this episode. Fertile land of lost cities, mystical treasures and Werner Herzog’s films, they are the perfect setting for a young woman in search of transcendence. This context is a reference to a whole section of the culture of adventure steeped in mystery, watered by a veritable pantheon composed of the Adventurers of the Lost Ark, Tintin and the Temple of the Sun, The Lost City of Z, the Mysterious Cities of Gold and many other works placed under the broad branches of the tropical forests.

The first steps taken under the canopy already contain this feeling of sinking into the ramifications of tenacious legends, idealized versions of a pre-Columbian history far more complex than a few temples and rooms filled with wooden traps. Shadow of the Tomb Raider obviously takes the path of esotericism in a forest environment and manages to transcribe with talent the essence of it, between lost paradise, race to discover and prophecy. In spite of the reuse of a division into small areas like so many vaguely open arenas, the game nevertheless gives the feeling of sinking into the jungle, of penetrating into wastelands that have been unexplored for centuries. A consequence of the work carried out on the crossed environments, snapshots of travel diaries which are moreover presented within sublime panoramas, as well as that operated on all the sound part.

The compositions of Brian D’Oliveira, Monsieur LittleBigPlanet 3 and Tearaway, without concealing strong melodic themes, subtly dress the progression with tribal atmospheres with original instruments. The same goes for a sound design at the top of the basket, which still allows itself a few strokes of genius, especially during a stalking event in overly inhabited caves where the surrounding screams plunge into constant tension. A trip a la The Descent, a memorable moment of the rare moments of brilliance of a production that goes down a straight track without hands.

Total ellipse

Passed under the direction of Eidos Montreal with Crystal Dynamics in support, Shadow of the Tomb Raider did not experience a revolution with this change. The recipes work, the AAA don’t bother. Like Spider Man or the Beaujolais, the new Tomb Raider does not bring any great difference in taste, or even a hint of bitterness. This is the concern when reusing the same barrels that have been slightly altered over and over again. A timid evolution of Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game works on the same mechanics, whether in the omnipresence of crafting, the acquisition of skills spread over 3 profiles (researcher/warrior/scavenger) or the action/infiltration duo. In any case, nothing has been rethought, in a cult of automatism that touches on fascination.

Worse, while previous episodes tried to distill the gameplay experience throughout the adventure with regular additions, new situations by stratum, Shadow of the Tomb Raider seems to have had enough. Halfway through her quest for revenge, Lara is subjected to repeated moments of play that tackle the throat at the slightest surge of power. Yet a specific scene is written as a click, a flight forward with no possible return, a call for reckless violence. But that doesn’t prevent the game from once again putting its slippers back on and stuttering its game design around a cozy fire.

Nothing is wrong, the annexed tombs to be explored reveal successful puzzles that enrich the dreary hours of the last third; but the whole lacks ideas. The plot follows this example by its admirable ability to create incoherence in the final hours, a machine that uses ellipses, shortcuts and “gameofthronesque” teleportations to justify the compulsory limits of its script. The unfortunate thing about all this is that the potential is underlying, especially in the construction of the characters. An interesting reflection arises from the motivations of the main antagonist, Lara’s opponent, not only from the point of view of the classic revenge opposition, but also from the moral aspect.

What are the dangers of media coverage of the immaculate enclosures of a dying collective culture? What to look for in an obsessive quest for the past? Questions that feed the protagonists without ever finding an answer. They therefore remain bloodless, deprived of that density that could have reversed the structural defects of the narrative without any problem. No, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is engulfed in an obvious difficulty in knowing what to say and what to do. The pleasure is there and the adventure is approached with a smile, thanks, once again, to all the immersion work, but out of the basics of a big budget game, SottR gets bogged down. Not to mention a QTE to get him out of there.

Buy Shadow of the Tomb Raider

ebay.fr ebay.fr 19,49€ Check the price
amazon.co.uk amazon.co.uk 19,99€

1 new from 19,99€

Check the price
fnac.com Fnac.com 19,99€ Check the price
fnac.com Fnac.com 25,90€ Check the price
amazon.co.uk amazon.co.uk 36,24€

6 new from €34.95

Check the price
pixmania.co.uk Pixmania.co.uk 49,99€ Check the price
ebay.fr ebay.fr 58,00€ Check the price
scdkey.com scdkey.com 31,00€

out of stock

Check the price

Last Amazon price update was: 9 February 2020 21:10

 

 

 

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