What can we expect in Shadow of the Tomb Raider?

Írta: drlecter.


sottr_info2.pngWho’s waiting for September 14th? We sure do! According to our plans, we’re going to take a little break from our everyday lives and jump into the world of Shadow of the Tomb Raider instead... We’ve already started analyzing what we know of the game in our previous article, and aside from the official information that has recently arrived, we can think even further and continue our analyzation. Again, we’d like to let you know that most of the following are 100% fan theories and contain spoilers from previously released Tomb Raider games. However, we should still think about the following points...

Let’s go through it one by one and start the beginning, because there’s lots to talk about:

  • The puzzle below is starting to come to completion, it’s possible that we’re looking at the box art of the game. The newest part of the puzzle is already available, which unlocks a new piece. To acquire this new art piece, the community needs to solve the puzzle below 5000 times, together:

[Path of the Stars puzzle]



UPDATE: the puzzle has been solved, the full image can be found here

  • Our earlier guess about the title of the game has proven to be correct, which is not surprising to be honest, considering that writing the same message so that the word „Shadow” can be read from the initials cannot be a coincidence. In Tomb Raider (2013) Lara became a survivor, in Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) she embarks on her first adventure, however, according to the official information available, now is the time when Lara becomes the Tomb Raider we know her to be. So, Lara is not a Tomb Raider yet, which brings us to the next question: whose shadow are we talking about, then? It’s easily possible that we’re overthinking it and the title simply bears a metaphorical meaning, but – to make things more interesting – what if Lara’s father isn’t dead after all and we’d follow his „shadow”, his „lifestyle”? And this is where it gets exciting, as many have noticed that the voice of the man giving instructions to the sniper who appears at the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider is voiced by the same person who lent his voice for Richard Croft. There’s no official confirmation on this, and possibly there’s not much into it after all, as it’s quite common for a voice actor to play several roles. But what if this mysterious person who gives the order really is Lara’s father? She looked quite shocked in the final scene, which may just be due to the unexpected murder of Ana and the surprise it caused, and of course, it’s possible that the emotion she expressed did not show for solely that reason. However, all this is overshadowed (sorry for the pun :) ) by the fact: if her father secretly worked for Trinity, then would he be willing to give the order to get his own daughter he presumably loves killed? Hardly. An organization as big as Trinity can easily stage one’s death, so that a child would believe what she sees, but we don’t think the „possibly alive” father could put such a horrible action in order.
  • The next question is evident though: why did Trinity (we still don’t know who their leaders are and there’s no information about it yet) leave Lara alive? Could it be that they can’t get their hands on something, but Lara can? It’s also possible that (even if it’s cliché, it can be a good starting point) even if our heroine doesn’t know, thanks to her father, in her subconscious she could possess information that Trinity doesn’t have. Or maybe in her material heritage she could have documents that prove to be useful for her later. (We’re expecting Croft Manor to return as a playable level!) And here we’d briefly mention that there was a scene that probably ended up being cut from the movie in which Lara and her father were practicing swordplay, since the father had a suspicion about her future, and where of course, Lara won. :) A tiny idea, but it’s not to be dismissed, what if we found out that Trinity are „the good guys”, and due to the lack of information and the impression we got from the game, they may have looked like the ones with the wrong intentions? It’s not impossible to imagine, and it would explain why they haven’t killed Lara. Which then contradicts the question as why Lara was treated as an enemy by Konstantin and his men in Rise of the Tomb Raider. They could have fought together, couldn’t they? And they did try to convince her to be on their side. We know, of course, that Ana needed the Divine Source for her own benefits, and she was capable of manipulating her own brother his whole life, and here we come to the next question: what if Konstantin deceived Trinity and they didn’t even know about his plans? In the game he once told his soldiers that if they stand with him, honor and glory will be their prize. It could have just served as a demagogue encouragement, but we can also imagine that his secret plan was to get the Divine Source, heal Ana and with the Source in his hands, even Trinity couldn’t have stopped him… Anything is possible, and nothing is certain yet. Except for two things: the previous two games set up a very good story to base the continuation on, and that we can go pretty far based on just the title itself.


  • Thanks to the short teaser that was released a few weeks ago it became clear that some portion of the game is set in a jungle location with Maya/Inca/Aztec culture and mythology, so the hints at the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider were indeed meant to be a clue. The previous two games featured one big area each as our playground, which were divided into several smaller areas: the island of Yamatai and the cold wilderness of Siberia. If they follow the same tendency, then Central America may be the main location, but if they take a step further, we might have an Indiana Jones-esque adventure; we’ve already mentioned Croft Manor above, and as we wrote in our previous article, Vatican also came up as a possibility. However, both of these are relatively small locations, so following this logic, there should be at least one more big location in the game. The recurring theme of the immortality can be a useful lead, if we read a bit more about it, then we realize it is quite diverse and has appeared in several different cultures. Egypt would be obvious (pyramids, mummies), or maybe even China (the terracotta army). And let’s jump straight into the story and into the jungle… it’s obvious that the eclipse will be an important element – it’s closely tied to the Mayan mythology, see December 21, 2012 for example, when according to the ancient Mayan calendar, the end of the world (would have?) happened. Here’s some interesting information:
"The expert was collecting evidence on a hard-to-reach island in the Pacific Ocean, 670 km away from Chile. One of his greatest discoveries that set him on this path was that the mystical cosmology of the mayas aligns with our picture of the world today. Everything is circular, even time, therefore we can think of things as returning cycles. Every era transforms and is replaced by another. On one of his trips Turner discovered a roughly 45 metres high monolith, a rock and memorial he believed was connected to the maya Palenque. He soon realized it is the memorial of the Mayan god of the Sun. But this is not all. He realized that this memorial was situated based on the last eclipse, according to the Maya calendar."

Source: boldognapot.hu

  • We can also safely say that undead evil entities will return in some form, just like in the previous games (have a look at the final scene of the teaser!) If Mexico was the main location, then maybe even some kind of zombies could make an appearance. But for now, it’s certain that ritual sacrifices were part of the Maya culture, with vital elements like ripping hearts out, beheading, and sometimes they shot the victims from the top of their huge pyramids built to honour their gods. In any case, dealing with the enemies definitely won’t be easy. :)


  • We can’t miss talking about the wonderful opportunities of the location itself. We’ve already been to Mexico in Tomb Raider: Underworld, but only for a single chapter. This time we may get to spend more time in the dense, lush jungles, and this calls for a rich wildlife as well. Let’s talk about the fauna: Rise of the Tomb Raider had lynxes and bears, this time we’ll probably have panthers and/or jaguars. Raiders with eagle eyes may have spotted the spider-like entity in the teaser, and we wouldn’t be surprised if we bumped into spiders, snakes, bugs and who knows what else. (It’ll be a „pleasure” to listen to the buzz of the bugs for a while.) And in an „enclosed” area like a jungle, we think some more exotic animals, like butterflies, could appear (they were also present in RotTR, in fact), as Lara continues her journey. After all, it’s not just the fighting and drama a game has to be all about, why wouldn’t Lara admire the nature (maybe even in a cutscene or two), and why wouldn’t she enjoy the positive side of adventuring? Besides the animals, the flora is also the organic part of the location, can you imagine how wonderful it could be with some beautiful, maybe even never before seen plants and flowers? Since in both previous games watery or underwater parts also played a role, and the jungle provides plenty of opportunities for that, we think it’s not impossible that we might visit some breathtaking waterfalls on our journey, but let’s take it even further: we’re counting on a small underwater journey/fight. If that happens, then cute little piranhas would likely appear too, so don’t be scared if they do, we warned you :) Also, we can easily imagine a scenario where two smaller areas are connected by a river or waterfall, and on a smaller section we’d need to hop on a raft or canoe, while we engage in an exciting shootout.


  • Based on the previous games, Lara will likely have several new „helpful companions” regarding her weapons, her repertoire will likely grow bigger. But what are they going to be exactly? The bow and arrows, a pistol and some kind of rifle or shotgun are surely there, but due to the dense jungle, a machete instantly comes to our mind. We could create different poisons using the exotic plants mentioned above, or maybe even use a blowpipe (good old memories from our years at school :) ). And if you allow us a very rough comparison, the mayas and native americans have some things in common, so even an axe or throwing knives could appear as new weapons.
  • We don’t know the main studio, but it’s almost certain that Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montréal are working on the game together. It’s positive though that Camilla Luddington returns as Lara, she’s confirmed it herself on Twitter. She’s already finished motion capture, which is a good sign, meaning the game is well on its way.
  • Let’s talk about the opportunities given by the location again for a moment. So theoretically, we’d get Mexico, the Maya culture, pyramids – so this (accompanied by some other thoughts from above) means that we’ll hopefully be seeing a lot of traps and puzzles. If we think about it further: these can be hidden quite well in a jungle (not to mention secret pickups like relics, documents, etc.) If the good tendency regarding the number of optional tombs continues, then this time there could be more than 10 of them in the game – Tomb Raider (2013) had 7, and Rise of the Tomb Raider had 9 optional tombs. And let’s be honest, we wouldn’t mind if these tombs were more difficult this time around, also, we’d love to see more secrets, puzzles and mysteries, that are also more challenging, during the main story. It’s definitely a good sign that puzzles were included in the marketing campaign itself via the Path of the Stars puzzle. You should also listen to its background music, in which you may notice Lara’s theme, and this brings us to the question: are we admiring a piece of the new main theme? If so, does it represent the mood and atmosphere of the game? If it does, then this time, presumably we may be getting a darker, moroser game, which we’d be happy about. We don’t know who the composer is yet, but many fans, including us, would be over the moon, if Nathan McCree returned! And why do we mention his name now? Not long ago a fan asked him if he was the composer of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Nathan’s answer was „Time will tell.” Curious. :)

For now, these are mostly just theories and dreams, but one thing is certain: the big reveal will be on April 27th, on that day we’ll get lots of answers, hopefully. Until then, thank you for your attention and stay with us, the countdown has begun, and more and more news and info will see the light of day!


Written by drlecter
Translated by a very tired Matie :)