After multiple leaks regarding its special editions and trailer, Shadow of the Tomb Raider finally had an official reveal showing off what you can expect from the third game in Square Enix’s new take on Lara Croft when it hits on September 14. The last two games were 2013’s Tomb Raider and 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider and if you wanted to get up to speed on what to expect without having to play these prior entries, here’s what you need to know. Spoilers for Tomb Raider, and Rise of the Tomb Raider follow, so if you plan to play these games, we’d advise you look away now.
Tomb Raider 2013 is a reboot focussing on Lara Croft’s Origins
This game has Lara Croft out on her first expedition on the ship Endurance with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. Like every good origin tale, Croft and her crew find themselves shipwrecked on an island replete with violent cultists known as the Solarii Brotherhood and dangerous storms that are seemingly conjured the moment any possible rescue ship or plane draw near.
One of her friends, Samantha «Sam» Nishimura is captured by the cult to be put through an ancient and fatal fire ritual use to choose the successor of Himiko — the fabled Sun Queen who had shamanistic powers that allowed her to control the weather on Yamatai. If this wasn’t enough, you’ll square off against Oni — ancient, undead samurai that served as Himiko’s personal guard, in addition to human Solarii foes.
After the death of two of her allies, Roth and Grim, as well as a seemingly infinite bodycount of Solarii, including the game’s big bad Mathias — with Croft’s once signature dual pistols from past games, it ends with her deciding to uncover the world’s many myths, stating she isn’t ready to go home yet.
Rise of the Tomb Raider introduces you to Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s big enemy — Trinity
Taking place a year after the events of Tomb Raider 2013, Rise of the Tomb Raider’s Lara Croft still can’t explain her experience of the supernatural on Yamatai island. She sets off to Siberia in search for answers to her late father’s research on immortality despite being warned by his partner Ana that it resulted with him killing himself. Along the way she runs into Trinity — a shadowy ancient organisation of knights that investigates the occult, and its boss Konstantin. She also finds an ally in Jacob. He’s the leader of the Remnant, descendants of the Prophet of Constantinople who discovered what’s known as a “Divine Source” that granted immortality.
As the game progresses you learn that Jacob and the prophet is one and the same, and that the Divine Source — unlike its name — has you fighting against enemies that are far from divine. Namely undead soldiers using shields, swords, bows, and arrows. You also discover that Ana is a spy for Trinity and Konstantin is her brother. Towards the end you fight Konstantin and on defeating him, you learn that Croft’s father did not commit suicide. Rather he was assassinated by Trinity.
A post-credits scene shows Croft and Ana departing Siberia. Ana denies killing her father but divulges that Trinity ordered it to happen. Before she could say more, she’s killed by a Trinity sniper, setting up the events of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider — what to expect
Naturally, Trinity will be the focus of this entry. According to several magazine interviews with developer Eidos Montreal, Lara Croft is obsessed with the Trinity. She wants revenge. Jonah will lead Croft on the right path. He advises you to save people. She only wants to destroy Trinity, allowing for a possible morality system akin to Dishonored and BioShock. Other characters like Sam and Reyes make a return.
In terms of setting, there’s a city ravaged by a tsunami, obvious Mayan influences and its villain is called Doctor Dominguez. The game begins in Cozumel, Mexico with her hunting down an ancient key.
With a gameplay reveal slated for E3 2018 expect to have more details about the game then.
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