Lara's back and better than ever in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. In the culmination of the heroine's new origin story, Lara finds herself going up against the shadow organization Trinity once again as she tries to avert an apocalypse that she started (it's a long story). Full of action, stealth, puzzle-solving and, of course, tomb raiding, Shadow demands that you have skill, twitch reflexes and a bit of luck if you're going to survive the romp in one piece. Here are some tips to make your journey a bit more manageable.
Credit: Square Enix
Are you weak on puzzle-solving but strong on action? Or vice versa? Be sure to take advantage of the difficulty settings. Shadow is one of the few games that lets you set combat, puzzles and exploration at different difficulty levels from one another. Best of all, if you've over or underestimated your abilities, you can always go back and tweak the settings.
All sorts of bric-a-brac lies hidden in the nooks and crannies of Shadow. And let me tell you — you're going to need every bit of it. From upgrading your weapons to cobbling together new outfits, every bit of hardwood, cloth and metal comes in handy, so be sure to stock up. Because there's nothing worse than having to run back and forth to base camp because you ran out of animal hides — well, nothing besides dying.
Whether you're on the hunt for hidden resources, trying to track enemies or just lost on your way to the next mission, make sure to use your Survival Instincts (SI). Activating this skill illuminates all the important points of interest in the area. And if you enable the right skills (such as Illipa's Sight), SI can even highlight the location of an animal's heart, so you can inflict more damage during the hunt, scoring one-shot kills.
The world of Shadow of the Tomb Raider is absolutely massive, so be sure to explore everything you can. And be prepared to backtrack. The game is very Metroidvania-esque in that when you first go through an area, you won't have all the tools to access every part of it. It's cool. That's what fast travel is for.
Typically, when given a multibranch skill tree, players build out their characters to match their gameplay style. You should definitely do that here, but you should also unlock certain skills no matter what. Those include Raposa's Wit, which unlocks Tier 4 of your weapons upgrade, and Serpent's Glint, which adds a flare-round attachment to all your pistols.
Full of puzzles and death traps, the Challenge Tombs can be vexing. But enduring all that frustration can pay off with some really cool rewards, including powerful outfits or even better skills. Just be sure you have all the equipment to tackle the tombs; otherwise, you'll leave empty-handed or die — a lot.
This is the first time that Lara can barter for goods, and you should absolutely take advantage of that opportunity. Not for resources mind you — you've got a whole jungle for that. However, you'll find several items, like the Rope Ascender and the Lockpick, that only at a merchant's shop. While not vital to the end game, these items can help you access new areas and treasures. And if you're short on cash, don't be afraid to sell off a few resources to make up the difference.
Credit: Square Enix