Shadow of the Tomb Raider - Welcome to Paititi: Walkthrough Video [ESRB]
Who it Caters to
You don’t need to be a video game enthusiast to recognize the name of Lara Croft, as she’s become arguably one of the industry’s leading females, perhaps of all-time. Old or new, fans of Tomb Raider should jump on this opportunity and dive into Shadow of the Tomb Raider because it’s a remarkably well designed title, with so much to offer. Anyone who loves action with a taste for adventure will most certainly be compelled to explore every nook and cranny of the ruins you discover, while building new friendships over the course of the story. From its picturesque environments to the exceptional visual effects, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an adventure that you don’t want to miss out on. As a heads up, and as to not avoid spoiling anything, we will say that there are religious rituals that take place, so this is something to be mindful of if you’re sensitive in that area. Now let’s carry on!
What to Expect
Those who have dabbled with the previous iteration of Lara Croft’s adventure will be happy to recognize a vast number of improvements, most notably in the cinematics department along with the interactions you do throughout the game. While certainly not perfect by any means, the team behind the title have put in a tremendous amount of work to ensure that fans are getting the best tomb raiding experience possible, and you can see it all throughout the game. From the emotional highs you get when learning of Lara’s unfortunate past, or the adrenaline rush you receive when traversing through dark and oftentimes volatile environments, Shadow of the Tomb Raider executes them almost flawlessly and creates a truly immersive experience. In spite of some technical issues which we’ll cover more of in the gameplay section, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an unbelievably enthralling experience from start to finish. This is truly Lara Croft at her very finest!
Lara finds herself in the midst of turmoil when she and Jonah crash land in the outskirts of Mexico and come to learn about a mysterious silver box, and the powers that come along with it. In order to discover more about the box and its truth, she and her partner Jonah travel across many parts of Latin America (such as Mexico and Peru) in search for clues, in order to restore peace back to a tempestuous world. From the fascinating Mayan temples and murals, to the mysterious artifacts from the Inca tribe, and intriguing villagers in Paititi, Lara must talk to locals, and put all the right puzzle pieces together to restore light where the darkness now consumes.
From the very start of the game, you’re immediately rewarded with hands down some of the best visuals we’ve seen this entire year. The overall presentation is pristine, down to the lip-syncing of every character you encounter to the visual effects you experience when racing through caves to gather artifacts. The character art and direction reflects the Mayan and Inca history meticulously all the way down to the instruments used during rituals, the clothing which reflects that of the time, along with the cultural influences that truly made these mysterious people so highly sought after. Every cave, village and underground temple you embarked on all were illustrated with great authenticity, which only made the experience all the more satisfying. Your curiosity peaks everytime you encounter something new because of how exotic everything is around you, and taking it all in is a memorable ordeal. Cinematics are executed brilliantly and truly capture the emotions of every character throughout, which lures you in even more.
To elaborate further on the music and sound within the game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider —in spite of being a fictional story— truly conveys the historical significance of the Mayan and Inca cultures wonderfully. For this reason, it helps to bring the game to life even more because it all feels real, and as you traverse around this massive liveable world you become a part of it. Simple things like wandering around the Amazon and hearing the many sounds of the animals creates a blissful feeling, and when tribes come together to celebrate their rituals is liberating. The voice acting is superbly executed, with the use of various authentic languages such as Spanish and Old Latin to truly convey the realism in every interaction you have. The game allows you to turn on subtitles so that you can better understand just what’s taking place, but having each unique language being represented wholefully throughout the game is a wondrous feeling, and more games should take note from this. We didn’t find any significant flaws in this area because it was conveyed very well, with the utmost care and appreciation of the cultures represented in the game.
Without a doubt, Shadow of the Tomb Raider surpasses that of its predecessor by leaps and bounds, going beyond what’s expected and creating an immersive world that constantly expands the deeper you dig for information. While the story campaign follows a linear path, you’re still able to go off course and take part in side missions, which at times actually help you to uncover more clues for the main portion of the story ahead. Not all side missions do this, but the game certainly encourages you to take initiative and tackle other quests for villagers, as they often times provide useful tips on how to solve riddles and tricky tomb challenges that lie ahead. Speaking of tomb challenges, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is full of them, and we had a blast trying to uncover every secret about them. However, some of these tombs are very hard to find, especially when you’re in the heat of the moment and your primary focus is to clear the story.
When you do come across them, they’re truly an exciting adventure that’s full of cleverly hidden traps and glorious rewards that only the most brave can handle. You’ll probably die a lot when venturing down the uncharted paths, but it’s honestly satisfying when you unlock a new weapon to use, which then unlocks a new path for you to discover down the road. With the help of your skill tree you’ll be able to upgrade said weapons over time, allowing you to increase firepower or overall damage and giving you the edge over the enemy. Some tools will require you to utilize the fast travel option in order to go back and reopen blocked paths, and that’s where the fun derives from. It can be distracting at times to keep your attention focused on one thing, because there’s just a plethora of places to explore and it makes you feel like a kid in a candy store... or in this case, like a beautiful archeologist in a lush open world. Collecting items is integral to progression within Shadow of the Tomb Raider as you can use them to craft new tools, buy new weapons via the merchants, or simply to create a costume from. The costumes you don within the game all have their unique significance, while others have their nostalgic beauty attached to them, and you can choose from whichever you want. When things get rough, making sure to have the right apparel equipped is imperative to your survival, as they provide the right disguise to get through sticky scenarios.
As we mentioned earlier, interactive events play a big role in Shadow of the Tomb Raider since that’s usually how Lara travels around and so, being able to jump off of ledges and time your button pressing to latch onto a wall is important. Of course, the game isn’t without its flaws as we stated before, and there will be times when Lara doesn’t want to cooperate and you’ll die many annoying-yet-hilarious deaths. In the heat of the moment, it can be hard to get things right and that’s really what adds to the realism and immersiveness of the game, because it really makes you feel like you’re the one climbing these seemingly impossible walls, or leaping from one crumbling ledge to another. Your butt muscles clench, shoulders tense up, but all in good fun because in the end, you’re just as hungry as Lara is to uncover more behind the mystery. The AI in Shadow of the Tomb Raider are very cunning and will respond immediately to any sounds or off-putting movement that occurs, so stealth plays a major role in progression.
Sure, you can go all Rambo on them and turn everyone into swiss cheese, but you also put yourself at risk of dying a lot, which slows down the flow a little. Of course, you’re more than invited to play the game at whatever pace you prefer, but this is just a heads up that the AI are not to be toyed with, especially with harder difficulties in place.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
In the end, Shadow of the Tomb Raider gives us a glimpse into Lara’s life, and how she emerged from being a simple adventurer into the brave survivor she is today. Her story is impactful and truly empowering, allowing us to see just how hard it can be to let go of something you truly love. With a cornucopia of options to choose from with regards to challenge tombs, exploring crypts, collecting every secret artifact and more, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a complete experience that anyone will love. From its impeccable lighting, brilliant motion capture, stunning environments, well crafted story and strict attention to detail, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is truly a heart-pumping adventure. We’ll close out by saying that those who stick around to the very end will be greeted with a nice surprise, and perhaps a hint as to where the next story unfolds! It’s a lengthy adventure (roughly 20-25 hrs. via story campaign only) but with all of the added side missions and secret artifacts to collect, this game will take up a lot more of your time.
Breathtaking landscapes that look all too real.
Strict attention to detail with regards to the Mayan and Inca cultures, along with Christian ethics as well.
Superb voice acting and lip syncing.
Amazing cinematics truly capture the essence of the game.
Players are rewarded for tackling the harder challenges.
Those who complete the game are in for a nice surprise.
Symbolic references scattered everywhere for those who have a keen eye.
Interactive moments sometimes weren’t very cooperative, leading to unnecessary deaths.
The game would sometimes take a while to load.
Some caves in the game were a bit too dark to see where to go.
Honey's Final Verdict:
Shadow of the Tomb Raider gets our vote for being one of this year's best titles, at least in the action adventure category. We wouldn’t be surprised if it won game of the year in that genre because it truly executed everything very well, and shouldn’t go unnoticed. We hope you found our review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider to be insightful and informative, providing you with the right information to make your purchase decision that much easier.
As always, for all things sweet, with news straight from Japan, be sure to keep it locked here on Honey’s Anime.
Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!