Despite all of the trailers and marketing that surrounded Shadow of the Tomb Raider, it honestly surprised me when it was released last week. It kind of come out of nowhere for me. Having played the previous two entries, I was pretty excited to jump into Lara Croft’s newest adventure. Unfortunately, I was almost immediately put-off by the game in it’s opening hours.
The biggest thing that’s stuck with me from my few hours with Shadow of the Tomb Raider is just how unlikable Lara is this time around. The entirety of my play session was filled with moments of her being incredibly selfish and self-centered, putting her goals over the safety of her and those around her. Despite whether it’s true or not, she considers everything that happens a result of her actions and considers herself the only one who can stop the cataclysmic events taking place in the game.
In addition to her entire persona being weirdly off-putting, Shadow of the Tomb Raider just feels a little less polished all around. Some of the animations felt jagged and sometimes didn’t blend together well, leaving the action feeling a little stilted at times. There was also a surprising amount of audio desynchronization in almost every in-game cutscene. I even was hit with a pause while traversing between two parts of a level that said “WAIT FOR STREAMING,” which served as a stark reminder that I was playing on my launch PS4, and not a Pro.
None of these things on their own would be enough to deter me from playing more of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but when combined, I just didn’t feel anywhere near the same level of motivation to continue that I had with other games this year. Shadow of the Tomb Raider isn’t a bad game by any stretch, but it just isn’t a game that I feel compelled to keep playing at the moment.