Adventure gamers rejoice, as we are getting closer to the release of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We packed our treasure hunting kit and went for an exclusive preview of the game, and also spoke to Nadine Njeim, the voice you hear when protagonist Lara Croft speaks Arabic.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is set after the events of Rise of the Tomb Raider, and sees protagonist Croft set out on a new adventure looking for a Mayan relic. We will see a different outlook on the British archaeologist this time, along with new features and gameplay mechanics. Our gameplay demo put us at the beginning of the game itself, where Croft does some good old tomb raiding, and sets off a Mayan Apocalypse (oh well).
This time around, players will be able to adjust the gameplay to suit their styles. You can now customise the difficulty individually for exploration and combat. Altering these settings can also change how you solve puzzles. For example, on easy mode, Lara will tell you what to do, but on hard, even Survivor Instincts won’t provide hints. Combat and stealth options are improved upon and new features have been introduced, such as letting Croft hide between vines to launch a surprise attack on her targets.
Immersion mode is a new addition to the series, which will have all background characters speak in their native language. Lara can now talk to these characters, and get useful information about the area as well as tombs in the region.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider also introduces new weapons for improved fighting styles, both on the guns blazing front or from the sneaky shadows. Crafting options are also improved, allowing Croft to enhance her abilities and skills. Every weapon can now be completely modded, making even the pistol a formidable tool of destruction, should you invest time and parts into it.
Traversal is also improved, with new elements introduced to the game. Players can now grapple down surfaces from high ledges. Underwater exploration is also improved, as previous games allowed Croft to just dive below the surface. Now, you can dive deeper, thanks to air pockets that can be found while swimming, which could mean there might be underwater tombs awaiting your arrival.
A whole new Lara
Apart from the game itself, Croft is quite different in the game. Along with improved combat and stealth mechanics, she also seems a lot more prepared for what’s coming, sometimes even being obsessed.
“In the first game, Lara was young, naive and spontaneous,” Njeim tells #GNTECH. “She does things with such a big heart and such strength but without proper thought. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, she’s this woman who is feeling everything, especially after what she has gone through in Rise.” She adds that Croft is a lot more complex this time, added to her responsibility to save humanity.
The game also introduces more customisation, with a variety of different costumes available for Croft, each which can mixed and matched. The costumes are not just cosmetic, allowing for different combinations for gameplay advantages.
When asked about her experience voicing Lara, Nadine says, “It was a dream come true. Even getting the chance to be Lara Croft for a day is amazing, how about being her for a two full games. So I am super excited and I relate to her and I understand Lara. I understood her in the first game, and now I am coming back to her in a more mature version, five years later, its kind of like growing up with someone.
“I relate to her because as a female lead, she is strong and independent. She wants to find her own way and wants to get things done. Every woman wants to relate to that.”
When can you go tomb raiding?
Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches on September 14 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.