Review: Shadow of the Tomb Raider — Incredible on almost every level

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a fantastic third-person action-adventure game. The title looks and runs great on Xbox One X, and even features a great story — despite a few missteps at the beginning. While some of the voice acting from the side-mission characters is unsatisfactory, overall Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the best entry in the franchise.

The game starts off in a bombastic way, but despite the action, it’s very boring. The real adventure starts when you discover a hidden city deep in the jungles of South America. There, the main villain is revealed, and there is a twist you’ll never see coming. From that point on, you’re more invested in the characters, especially the main antagonist, because you want to know more about him.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one of the best-looking games on Xbox One, and it’s even better on Xbox One X. While there’s a 4K 30 FPS mode, the 1080p 60 FPS mode is the highlight here. When Rise of the Tomb Raider launched, it only featured the 30 FPS option — and it didn’t even run at 4K on any Xbox One. The 60 FPS toggle tightens up the controls, reduces the input lag further, and makes shooting and aiming feel incredible. While the visuals take a little hit, the benefits in terms of responsiveness are worth the sacrifice.

The experience’s gameplay remains the same from Rise of the Tomb Raider. You still explore a restricted open-world environment — much like God of War — and solve a variety of puzzles. Tomb are also back and they’re even more deadlier than last time. They seem much more vertical in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and require more steps to master.

Merchants are a new addition because now there are a lot of them and offer new weapons and gear that’s fun to collect. Rise of the Tomb Raider only had one individual who sold items in a dilapidated bunker. This gear might not be the endgame material, but it’ll serve you well along the way.

In order to acquire meaningful, super-powerful rewards, you’ll have to explore settlements and interact with the locals. These individuals will give you quests. The rewards for these quests are weapons and armor that are completely overpowered. Just collecting these items is a satisfy endeavor.

Accessibility also appears to be a strong focus in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. You can fine-tune the difficulty so you don’t feel like you’re at a disadvantage. This helps players who want more of a casual experience to still enjoy the game. However, if you’re a hardcore player, you can turn up the dial too!

Overall, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is worth your time and money on Xbox One. There have been various reports that the PlayStation 4 version suffers from some downgraded visuals — like lights not being on in certain scenes and other issues — but the Xbox One X version is the best console port of the game. The performance is amazing, especially when it comes to playing at 60 FPS. If you own an Xbox One X, then you have to buy this game. It’s just that good. Just give it an hour or two to really pick up from the opening sequence.


Xbox One X

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