Gaming – Shadow of the Tomb Raider

I am very happy that I managed to sub again to the Playstation service called PSnow (I blogged about this service before, click this link to the post). Very recently they added the game “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, a game I was very interested in. So I immediately downloaded it and saw it would only be available for 150 days (approx). So best to start it asap. And I did.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider on Playstation Now (PSnow)

Immediately after the download was complete, I booted up the game. The graphics really struck out as being stunning. It reminded me a bit of Horizon Zero Dawn, also a beautiful game. I had only tried out a Lara Croft game once on my PS3, a game I bought digitally (back in the day) for my ex to play. But as it’s digital, she couldn’t keep it (and seeing I paid for it…). So I still have that one to play as well. But besides having played that game for a short bit, I was and am totally new to Lara Croft games. I made some screenshots during the game, which I will share in this post. I do not own copyright, but I did make them while playing the game. Interested? Keep reading then, *winks*.

Starting up the game

The game starts, as most games do, with a kind of introduction level. You get to learn which button does what, the objective of Lara’s goals and who the key players in the game are. It’s all very basic, but I as a Lara Croft noob could understand it all well, and it went in a nice pace, so I can totally recommend this game to a new player. This game is said to tell the story of Lara becoming a “tomb raider”, and so far I’ve encountered one level where I played Lara as a kid, having to solve a string of puzzles in order to continue. And that’s what a (big) part of this game is about, solving puzzles. But, there’s also a combat aspect, one which I struggle with. It’s not the game! It’s my hands and response times… (as I wrote about in my gaming with a disability post).

There is a very military based group called Trinity, who are (of course) after the same thing Lara is. And they’re not afraid to use violence to get what they want. They have gotten my gall Lara killed a plenty already. And I am guessing she’ll die a lot more before this game is over. But as I said, it can be very tricky to beat those guys. I haven’t come too far in the game I think (I believe it said somewhere near 22%), so I can’t tell you all about the game just yet. But so far, it’s been a mix of doing a puzzle, escaping a camp, up comes a puzzle, escape the piranhas, escape a camp and then probably another puzzle. The first puzzles were rather “easy”, in my honest opinion. But when I arrived at the Eagle, WOW what a masterpiece.

This is the guide I use to play the game. If you still want to play it and not be spoiled, PLEASE don’t watch this video. If you’re not bothered and you wanna see why I was so impressed with the Eagle, then by all means, check this video out!

Conquering the Eagle

So far, I really enjoy the story line. There is a good mix between story telling and playing the game. The story isn’t too long winded and the graphics are beautifully done. For the (gaming) readers that want a bit more information about the game, I’ve Googled some info fo you to share here in this blog. I have used Wikipedia as a source, just so you know.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an 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 released worldwide on 14 September 2018 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A macOS and Linux version of the game was released by Feral Interactive on 5 November 2019, followed by a Stadia release on 19 November 2019.

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.

As you make progress in the game and discover more about the ancient people and their lives, you can gather skill points. With these points, you can improve Lara’s skills. Some skills can be improved when you complete certain aspects of the game. Some things you will maybe use a lot while others come in handy at certain times. But I recently learned stringing up bad guys while hiding in a tree and that’s a lot of fun. As I mentioned before, I have had some troubles already. But, I can proudly say, I have so far conquered them all without any help (YouTube excluded, as I did need that a few times already). When it comes to being stealthy and quiet, I’m like an elephant in a porcelain room, I absolutely suck at it. Probably because my reaction time sucks at times when reacting to things that happen on a screen. And partly because my hands suck. But before traveling to the Eagle, there is a camp of Trinity that you have to win over. And I have tried it first a few times and I just couldn’t do it. Then someone recommended TheRadBrad on YouTube and I watched his video. Some things I already was doing. And then I saw he didn’t finish it all in stealth either. So I tried again the next evening.

I tried several times more and I became sad and disappointed tat I couldn’t manage. A dear friend already offered his help and I told him I would try once more, and if that would fail, I would gladly take him up on it. And I tried. I sneaked. I strung guys in trees. A few I mowed down with my automatic rifle. And before I knew it, the quest thingie popped up with the next objective, which meant, I had succeeded. I was so terribly happy about it. And I knew I was getting to a very nice bit in the game, the one I mentioned before and shared the video of: the Eagle. Without that video though, I would have needed more than the night to figure it out. I guess for more seasoned players, this might have been an easy one. But me being all noob here, I really needed some help. I’d try a bit first and if I didn’t figure it out, I watched a small bit of the video. Then I’d try again to get further, and if needed, I’d watch some more video. But it was really beautifully done and so well thought of. I was stunned by the graphics and cunningly way the pieces fit together. Don’t wanna spoil too much, but really looking forward to the rest of the game because of this bit.

I have all settings on easy, as I am not an experienced player and my hands already struggle with this. But I am guessing that for the people who game more/are more known to Lara Croft games, the settings can be set higher for better challenge (or maybe even experience, depending on your game play). And as I already wrote, I really love the graphics. I would have loved to play this on a PS Pro (4K)! But unfortunately, I don’t own a pro. I did check the HDR settings on my tv, which improved the game already a bit. I’ve seen some YouTube videos of people playing on high res on their PC and it looked very nice as well. So I guess it’s safe to say that if you love a good visual game, this one will suit your needs.

Slowly working my way to the top of the Eagle.

If you like a game with a good story, so far, I can say I find it good. As I wrote, there’s a good mix between the story telling itself and you actually playing it out. And the puzzles, I have no idea how difficult they will be in a higher difficulty setting, but I’m guessing they might blow your mind at times. I’m in about 22% and I am loving it. So far, I would recommend this game for sure. And if you don’t want to pay to try, PSnow is free the first 7 days, so while it’s still online (about 145 more days as I write this), you could try it out for free.

Made it to the top of the Eagle.

Thank you for your interest in my blog, I hope you enjoyed your time here. I am hoping to write another blog about this game, if I am able to finish it in time, before it gets taken off PSnow again… I hope to see you back here soon again! If you like to keep updated, please consider pressing the “Follow” button (for WP users) or leaving your email down below. If you enter your mail to the mailing list, you’ll receive automated emails whenever I post something new. I am wishing you a very nice day. Stay safe, stay indoors when you can. Read a book, or like me, play a nice game or maybe binge-watch a nice TV series… Be wise while this virus were dealing with lasts… I hope to see you back here soon! Sending you all the best, with love, Cynni 🌹

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