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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Has Gone Gold, Says Eidos

The highly-anticipated third installment of the Tomb Raider reboot has “gone gold,” game developers Eidos Montreal and Square Enix reported this week. For the uninitiated, going gold means that the development team has completed all the critical parts of designing the game. It’s now ready to go to print as physical copies.

The game is now officially on its way to manufacturing. Fans should note that though the game has completed development, the studios are still designing the Season Pass content. Eidos announced earlier that Season Pass content on the latest Tomb Raider game would include seven new mission paths, which would have new challenges and tombs to explore, among other things.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be available on PC, PS4, Steam, and Xbox One on September 14 of this year.

Teasers and Reveals

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is the third installment of the latest Lara Croft reboot. The game follows the highly rated “Tomb Raider” and “Rise of the Tomb Raider.” The new trilogy envisions the protagonist Lara Croft as a young woman who embarks on survival-horror style adventures around the world. The story follows a prequel-style format where the players get to know Lara before she becomes the iconic dual-gun wielding archeologist.

Eidos and Square Enix have released two teaser trailers for Shadow that show Lara Croft in a South American setting. In the first trailer, Lara makes her way through thick jungle to what looks like a Mayan pyramid to stop a child sacrifice. The voiceover mentions Trinity, the sinister Illuminati-like cult that’s been cast as Lara’s main antagonist for the trilogy. Eidos has said the new game would show players the “defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider.”

The developers are offering bonuses to preorders of the game. These bonuses will include two-day early access to Shadow of the Tomb Raider for preorders of the non-standard editions of the game. Preorders for the physical CD will include art card bonuses. Digital preorders come with a skills booster pack that will unlock a skill in each mode of the game.

In addition to the bonuses from the developer, some retailers also offer separate bonuses. Amazon offers a mini digital game guide for preorders, Steam, an exclusive wallpaper, and GameStop, a Tomb Raider-themed flashlight.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be available in three editions: standard, Digital Deluxe, the Croft edition, and the Ultimate edition. The standard edition would cost around $60. The digital deluxe edition offers an extra weapon, one new outfit, and the game soundtrack with the core game. The Croft edition includes the core game, Season Pass, the game soundtrack, plus three extra weapons and outfits.

The Ultimate edition includes a number of digital bonuses plus physical gifts such as a Lara action figure, a bottle opener, and a flashlight, in addition to the core game. The Ultimate edition is only available from the Square Enix Store. This version costs $200 and there’s a waiting list for PS4 and Xbox One.

Gameplay Preview

Square Enix and Eidos Montreal recent released a new “treacherous traversal” teaser trailer for the game that showcases all the gameplay action. Lara retains her classic Olympian athlete moves for the new game, including mounting climbing, scaling rocks, sliding on roofs, and using her grappling hook. For the jungle setting, there’s some vine swinging as well, a move seen in previous Tomb Raider games like Legend and Anniversary.

The 37-second teaser showed a number of stunning new locations Lara will explore in the newest installment. The developers haven’t disclosed much about gameplay. However, the game is said to be between 13 to 15 hours long. Just like the previous two installments of the trilogy, Shadow will focus on Lara surviving in a harsh jungle environment while overcoming many enemies. The new game also includes underwater environments where Lara swims through deep tunnels and crevasses.

Lara’s challenges in the jungle would include camouflaging herself using mud and disappearing to confuse enemies. The developers have upgraded the actual tomb exploration for the game, saying that the new tombs will be “dark and brutal.” Lara would need advanced techniques to overcome the challenges in the tombs and solve puzzles.

A preview of the game was available to play for at SDCC. Attendees who tried the preview said the game is “totally immersive.” At least one level is set in a fictional South American town, where Lara will go underground to explore a hidden city. According to the players, the game is filled with tombs, adventures, and many side quests.

The developers have used sound and other effects to get players optimally engaged with the game. According to those who played the preview, when Lara is underwater and running out of breath, the controller starts pulsating like Lara’s heartbeat, indicating the urgency to get her above water.

The game seems to be designed for players with different tastes. Players can do little to beat the core game or immerse themselves more by chasing rewards, bonuses, and trying out extra quests. There are multiple difficulty settings for the core game.

Getting Ready to Play Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Square Enix has yet to reveal the exact system requirements for the PC version of the game. However, players can expect it to be similar to Rise of the Tomb raider requirements, perhaps with a slightly better GPU.

Rise of the Tomb Raider, released in 2017, minimally required a Windows 7 64-bit operating system, an Intel Core i3-2100 chipset or an AMD equivalent, at least 6GB of RAM, DirectX Version 11, 25GB of storage space, and NVIDIA GTX 650 2GB or AMD HD7770 2GB graphics cards.

Shadow will most likely require an Intel Core i5 processor or an AMD equivalent and at least 8GB of RAM, considering how graphics intensive the game is. The game would probably perform best on GeForce GTX 960 2GB or higher GPU. HDD storage space required would most likely be more than 25GB, considering the game pack is bigger than the previous installments. Players probably can rely on a Windows 7 OS, although the game will most likely be developed for Windows 10 OS.

How to Prep Your PC to Play Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Players who can’t wait to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider will have to start prepping PCs for the new system requirements unless you plan on using a console. Expect the new game to require significant computing power, memory, and storage because of the state-of-the-art engine it’s being built on.

If you own a desktop PC, it’s highly recommended to upgrade the processor to a new generation Intel Core i7 processor. The Core i7 has consistently passed rigorous testing to emerge as the best processor currently available for gaming. AMD doesn’t have an equivalent that matches the power of Core i7. However, Ryzen comes very close.

Modern gaming titles require at least 8GB of RAM, which is the standard minimum requirement for most games. But if you want to enjoy the game to the fullest on optimal settings, set up at least 16GB of RAM on your PC. There’s no guarantee that you won’t experience some lag even with 8GB, especially if there are background programs like Skype running at the same time.

Upgrading storage will be a hefty investment. SSDs are recommended for gaming because these drives are much faster compared to traditional HDDs. The latter, though, has more storage capacity. Now it’s standard for an HDD to have at least 1TB of storage space. In comparison, a 1TB SSD would be extremely expensive.

The GPU is ultimately one of the most important components for a gaming PC. If you have one of the latest NVDIA graphics cards in your computer, you should be set to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider. It’s highly unlikely that the game will have extraordinary graphics demands, considering that it’s aimed at a general audience.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is expected to be a highly immersive game. To best enjoy a game like this, make sure the display and sound systems of your PC are up to standard. A 4K or Full HD display with that can handle a high FPS rate would allow you to enjoy all the intricate environments and actions without hindrance. Much of the game’s effects are due to the wonderful sound, composed by Brian D’Oliveira.

The game’s score is full of traditional South American instrumental sounds, best enjoyed with speakers that can deliver excellent treble as well as bass. Upgrading the sound system should not cost you much. A good pair of headphones or desktop speakers would cost around $50. This will, of course, depend on your personal taste.

Gamers should also consider “cleaning up” their PCs to smoothly run Shadow of the Tomb Raider without any lag. Uninstall unwanted programs and defragment the disks. Make sure all software is upgraded to the latest versions.

In the coming weeks, Square Enix will release the system requirement info for the game. Keep yourself updated to get your computer ready to play the latest epic installment of Lara Croft’s long-running franchise.

 

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