Shadow of the Tomb Raider Articles RSS Feed | Shadow of the Tomb Raider RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Hands On with Just Cause 4 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:10:57 -0400 Joey Marrazzo

Over the past several years, New York Comic Con has been host to some great demos and video game showcases. Last year, we were able to get our hands on The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, both of which turned out to be very well-received.  

This year, we were able to catch up with Square Enix and get a look at some of the studio's upcoming releases, including Just Cause 4 and the forthcoming DLC for Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Here's what we found out about each of them. 

Hands on With Just Cause 4

Just Cause 4 is a wild ride -- let's just get that out of the way right now. You might have thought the previous iterations in the series were insane but this newest installment takes everything to the next level.

Everything that you love about the Just Cause series -- such as the gunplay, driving, and high-dive parachuting -- is back and exactly how you like it. 

When I asked one of the Square Enix representatives why they insist on pushing the envelope of crazy in the series, he replied, "Just cause." (Pun not intended).

But when you can put weather balloons on a tank and battle mid-air, you can't really complain. 

Aside from what we've come to expect from the Just Cause series, there are also quite a few new elements in Just Cause 4

The introduction of attachment mods drastically increases the catalog of weapons and accessories in the game. You can change the behavior of some of the mods and even affect behavior by changing the button controls in the settings.

Riding Out the Storm

The introduction of the Extreme Weather also makes things chaotic. One of the missions I was able to play involved Rico, the storm chaser. Featuring a tornado, the one we've seen in some of the trailers, it's easy to get sucked inside because why not? Don't worry, though, getting sucked in doesn't mean instant death -- it just means you'll be going for a fun ride, latching on to flying cows or debris. 

Seeing the tornado rip apart buildings, planes and anything else in its path is so much fun to watch, and at the end of the mission, you get caught in a lightning storm that, well, makes things even trickier. 


You'll get to have your taste of Just Cause 4 when it comes out on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on December 4. The team at Avalanche Studios is already working on DLC, so keep your eyes open for that in the future after release. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC: The Forge

Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the third in the rebooted Tomb Raider series, released in early September on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. You can read our review of the game here.

While sitting down with the team behind the game, they shared some info about the DLC that will be coming to the game.

Starting in November and going through May 2019, there will be a new DLC pack released each month. These packs will feature new narrative missions starring some of the secondary characters that you met in the base game. Each pack will have a challenge tomb, a new weapon, a new outfit, and a new skill.

If you wanted to play Shadow with your friends and were sad you couldn't, great news! Five of the seven DLC packs will support co-op play, and only one of your friends needs to own the DLC for the both of you to play. 

There will also be three modes for each of the DLCs: Exploration, Score Attack, and Time Attack. 

To test things out, I was partnered up on the first DLC coming out in November, titled The Forge. The goal of challenge DLC is to get to the top of a structure while inside a tower.

Needless to say, communication is very important in completing this mission. 

The DLC plays the exact same way as the base game. Solving puzzles, jumping off ledges, climbing to new heights.

If you had some gameplay problems in the base game, those problems are, unfortunately, in the DLC, too.

The climbing still seems a little weird and you will be jumping up and down trying to get to certain ledges. The camera can get in the way sometimes, too, clinging to weird angles when running around the tower. Even if none of these issues ruined the experience, they are worth noting for those who have played the base game. 

The mission took my partner and me around 30 minutes to complete, but if you don't communicate well, it could take longer.

The puzzle was pretty hard to figure out at first, too, and involved you splitting up with your partner in order to move forward. 

The Forge is one of seven upcoming DLC's coming out over the next couple of months. Here is what that DLC schedule looks like:

  • November: The Forge
  • December: The Pillar
  • January: Devil Inside
  • February: Unwilling Savior
  • March: Serpents Heart
  • April: Grand Caiman
  • May: Paradise Lost

If you don't own the season pass, you can purchase it for $29.99 or you can buy each DLC pack separately for $4.99.


You can start playing the Shadow of The Tomb Raider DLC starting with The Forge in November.

Just Cause 4 is looking to be crazier than the previous entries of this series and you definitely don't want to miss this one.

Thank you to the Square Enix team for letting me hang out and play these two amazing games.  

Shadow of the Tomb Raider FPS Drop & Spikelag Fix Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:56:53 -0400 Sergey_3847

Many PC players are experiencing some serious FPS drops, stuttering and spikelag issues in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This makes the gameplay a lot less enjoyable and at times even makes the game unplayable.

If you're one of those players that can't wrap their head around fixing these issues, then just follow our step-by-step guide below for all the possible solutions to FPS drops and spikelags in the game.

Step 1: Change Game Settings

Some of the game's settings may not be optimized to work properly on your system. So in order to force the game run as it should here's what you can do:

  1. Go to "SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Shadow of the Tomb Raider"
  2. Right-click on the "SOTTR.exe" file
  3. Choose "Properties," and click on the "Compatibility" tab
  4. Check the box with "Disable Full Screen Optimization"
  5. Click "Apply" and close the window

After that you need to make Steam launch the game at high priority, here's how to do it:

  1. Go to your Steam Game Library
  2. Right-click on Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  3. Choose "Properties," and click on the "General" tab
  4. Click on "Set Launch Options"
  5. Type in the "-high" command (without the inverted commas)
  6. Press "OK" and close the window

Lastly, you can change the graphics settings inside the game's menu to the following recommended ones:

  1. Launch Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  2. Go to "Settings"
  3. Choose "Display and Graphics"
  4. Set Anti-Aliasing to one of the following options:
    • Off
    • SMAA
    • TAA
  5. Set VSync to Off

You can also set your display mode to Windowed, and set the actual resolution of your monitor. Try a few of these options and your FPS should stabilize.

Step 2: Change nVidia Settings

This step will be useful for those who use nVidia graphics cards. In addition to the previous step you can do the following adjustments:

  1. Launch nVidia Control Panel
  2. Choose "Manage 3D Settings," and click on the "Program Settings" tab
  3. In the list of applications select Shadow of the Tomb Raider
  4. Enable "Threaded Optimization"
  5. Disable VSync
  6. Set "Maximum Pre-Rendered Frames" to "1"
  7. Set "Texture Filtering" to "Performance"
  8. Click "Apply" and close the window


With the help of these settings adjustments you now should be able to run the game without any FPS drops and spikelags. For other related Shadow of the Tomb Raider guides at GameSkinny, just follow the links below:

Shadow of the Tomb Raider's Photo Mode Broke My PS4 Share Buttons Mon, 17 Sep 2018 11:56:40 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Even if it means I need a separate savings account just for new controllers, every modern game should have a built-in photo mode. After spending 60+ hours in the gorgeous world that is Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I'm in the market for two new Dualshock 4's if I want to continue my escapades as an armchair paparazzo.

With more than 175 screenshots, it's no wonder that two share buttons on two Dualshocks have given up the ghost. With so many breathtaking vistas and interesting NPCs -- not to mention the Tomb Raider herself -- it's hard not to pause the game very few seconds to grab a snapshot of the environment or of the game's many explosive moments. 

God help me, I've not even played Marvel's Spider-Man yet. Excuse me while I take an advance on my next paycheck. 

In the past year and a half, games like Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, the recently released Spider-Man, and Assassin's Creed: Origins have proven that most gamers secretly midnight as well-trained professional photographers. Just check out these spectacular community shots of your friendly neighborhood wall-crawler, and you'll see there's a growing number of us that could should have second careers in white-collar game photography. 

While it's most certainly not as robust as the mode found in Spider-Man, and it has a few annoying limitations, Shadow of the Tomb Raider's photo mode makes for stunning, funny, and sometimes "creepy" shots.

Earlier this year, the NPD Group affirmed that the Dualshock 4 was the best-selling controller of all time. It could be because so many console gamers own PS4s, which inevitably inflates the controller's sales numbers. But it could also be that like me, many PS4s owners just like taking pictures and keep breaking share buttons.

OK. Probably not, but it fits the weird angle of this article, so let's just go with it.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

However, one thing that's for sure is this: developers would do well to make photo modes more ubiquitous. Take the pulse of gamers and it's obvious that regardless of platform, we want the ability to not only make our own content from the games we love, but we also want the tools to do so right at our fingertips. 

Regardless if our controllers and equipment hold up shot after shot, we want to share game worlds with our friends and families, as well as the developers that spend so much time making them. It might seem inconsequential on the surface, but in a culture heavily predicated on everyman content creation, gamers demand the ability to share their exploits in multiple ways at the touch of a button.  

It's true that many of us could only dream of having the talents and abilities of true professionals like Duncan Harris of deadendthrills or Justin Pollock of Virtual Geographic, both of whom take truly breathtaking images used for marketing assets across the industry. But for the average gamer, having access to the tools those specialists have at their disposals is mostly out of reach. 

In-game photo modes increasingly help bridge that gap. 

Just like many that spent hour after hour taking amazing shots of Kratos and the frigid world of this year's God of War, and those who took picture after picture of a spandex-clad Peter Parker swinging through the Big Apple in Marvel's Spider-Man, most of my time with Shadow of the Tomb Raider was spent behind the lens. 

And even though I'm going to have to drop $60+ to grab a few new controllers, what I came away with after 60+ hours in SotTR was well worth the price.

That's because sometimes, playing video games isn't about blowing shit up or pounding other players into submission. Sometimes it's not about high scores or leaderboards. And sometimes it's not even about a good story. 

Sometimes, it's about getting so immersed in a world that you come out the other side feeling like you're somehow a part of it -- that you somehow affected it in a unique way. 

If you want to see some of the photos we took in our time with Shadow of the Tomb Raider's photo mode, take a look at our gallery on Imgur. Now, I'm off to add a few Dualshocks to my cart.  

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider: Trial Of The Eagle Collectibles Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:07:28 -0400 Ty Arthur

Got a spare 60 hours available? You'll need all of them (and possibly more) to find all the hidden collectible scattered across the jungle in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider

Unlike most other areas that are absolutely stuffed to overflowing with items, the Trial Of The Eagle map only features a handful of collectibles. They are all quite easy to miss, however, and you aren't likely to accidentally stumble upon them like in any other section of the world map.

Ready to get started? Let's find all the Trial Of The Eagle documents, murals, and survival caches in one quick swoop. 

Be sure to check out the rest of our guides at the bottom of this page. 

Trial Of The Eagle Collectible Locations

Half of these collectibles are in an small side path that you might walk right past when first coming across the area's main puzzle.

Did you already make it through the puzzle and didn't find all the collectibles below on your first trip through the area? Just fast travel from anywhere in The Hidden City to the campsite at the far north end of the Trial Of The Eagle. From there, it's simple to grab all four collectibles in quick succession.

Trial Of The Eagle Survival Cache

Survival Cache 1

From the campfire at the start of this area (immediately after leaving the tunnel from Kuwaq Yaku), jump across the first chasm, but don't go up the short cliff towards the puzzle yet.

Instead, hang an immediate right to go down a path that isn't clearly visible from across the chasm. Run all the way down to the end of the broken stone trail to find a wall with the first mural.

When facing toward the wall, to the right of the mural is a small patch of dirt where you can dig up the survival cache. Note: It won't show up on your map until you dig it up, so be on the lookout for a small icon to appear when you are standing over the correct spot.

Map showing location of the first supply cache for Trial of the Eagle

Trial Of The Eagle Murals

Mural 1

The first mural is directly next to the first survival cache listed above. Just take the hidden side path before the area's main puzzle and follow it until you a hit a wall. The mural is the broken piece of architecture positioned up against the wall.

Map showing the location of the first mural

Mural 2

The second mural can't be found until you fully complete the Trial Of The Eagle puzzle.

After making your way to the top of the rotating platform arms and jumping across the collapsing statue, head forward into the room with the pool of water. The mural is on the edge of the pool and recessed in against the wall with all the offerings.

Map showing the location of the second mural

Trial Of The Eagle Document

Document 1

This is really the only collectible in this area that actually requires you to interact with the acrobatic puzzle with the constantly moving platform arms.

To get this document, proceed through the puzzle to the middle section where you have to go outside the main area to attach rope arrows on the rotating ledges.

While outside the interior area, look for this document on the wood platform outside. If you completed the puzzle already, you can still go back from either side (Kuwaq Yaku or The Hidden City) and just climb up the wall to reach this area again.

Map showing the location of the only document in Trial of the Eagle

Did you find any other secret nooks and crannies in the Trial Of The Eagle? Let us know in the comments below!

Looking for more help with the puzzles and collectibles? Check out our full list of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider walkthroughs.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Challenge Tombs Locations & Solutions Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:41:24 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Like we mentioned in our crypt locations guide, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is filled to the brim with collectibles, challenges, and puzzles. Some of the most intense of those are the game's Challenge Tombs. 

Each of these Challenge Tombs will test your mettle, with each of them focusing on a specific game mechanic or skill. Some are relatively straight forward and easy, while others might lead to a little bit of head scratching. 

But to get some of Shadow of the Tomb Raider's best skills, it's well worth your time to complete these Challenge Tombs as you come across them. Below, we've put the tombs in an optimal path order. We'll go over the locations for all of the tombs, how to complete each of them, and what skill rewards you'll get for completing them. 

We've also attached videos for each because sometimes it's just easier to see it than read it. However, keep in mind that every tomb is marked by what looks like yellow paint; follow the markings, and they will lead you to the entrance of each tomb.

Challenge Tomb #1: Judge's Gaze

Location: Peruvian Jungle
Basecamp: Plane Wreckage
Skill reward: Caiman's Heart (health regenerates faster)

Judge's Gaze will be one of the first Challenge Tombs available.

From the Plane Wreckage basecamp, go toward the lake in front of you (where you first got your supplies when starting in the jungle area). Go right along the bank like you're going to the game's first crypt. 

About halfway down, turn right and climb up the cliff face.

Follow the path through the water and break open the wall at the end with your pick ax. You don't need to grapple across the chasm; you can just jump down into the water below. 

Swim along and grab the mural in the next area. Turn around and go to the back left of the area.

There, jump up on a ledge and then another to your left. From there, jump on the counter weight in front of you to move the idol statue out of the tomb's entryway. Go through and activate the basecamp

Go across the bridge and swim down when you get to the other side. When you surface, go left and climb up the wall. There will be a mural directly in front of you. Once you've got that, go right to enter the puzzle area. 

Judge's Gaze Puzzle Solution

When you enter the puzzle area, you'll see two suspended statues on the right and left of the stage. In the middle, you'll also see ruins in the very back and a wooden structure lying on the ground in front of the ruins.

Your goal is to raise the wooden structure in the center of the area so it makes a ladder to the top of the ruins.

First, drop down from the entrance and go left.

You'll see a counterweight on a cart. Pull the cart out from underneath the counterweight. This will raise the counterweight and lower the statue on the left side of the area.

Now push the same cart out into the middle of the area as far as it will go. 

Still on the left side of the area, stand next to the wooden structure in the middle and use your rope arrows to attach it to the statue.

After that, move the cart in front of the statue underneath the counterweight you just released on the left side. 

Climb up the ruins on the left side and follow the path around, minding the spear trap along the way.

Jump on the counterweight to lower it and lock it into the cart below. This raises the wooden structure a bit and lets you move to the right side of the area. 

Push the cart in the middle to the right side of the area and lock it into place.

Next, attach the suspended statue on the right to the wooden structure using your rope arrow.

Then, use the wooden structure to get back to the entrance to the area. Once there, look to the ruins on the right side of the area and climb up them, gathering the collectibles there. 

Jump on the counterweight to lock it in the cart below. Now the wooden structure is a ladder and you can climb to the top to get your skill reward: Caiman's Heart

Challenge Tomb #2: Underworld Gate

Location: Peruvian Jungle
Basecamp: Jungle Ruins
Skill reward: Eagle's Perch (increase climbing skills to traverse with more speed)

From the Jungle Ruins basecamp, follow the tomb markers along the path.

After you climb along the cliff face and pass the first spear trap, make sure to grab the backpack on the left side, just before the big drop off.

Once you grab the backpack, turn around and follow the path up toward the right side of the cliff and the trees.

Continue along and when you reach the encampment from the "20th Century", go to the tent in the back for a collectible. Keep going and grab the basecamp and collectibles further down the path.

Go through the gap in the cliff in front of the campfire and climb up the wall in the back right of the next room. Continue left and you'll come to the puzzle area proper. 

Note: There's an alcove to the left full of collectibles and resources just before you get to the large puzzle mechanism. 

Underworld Gate Puzzle Solution

This puzzle requires you to move a suspended crate from one side of the area to the other in order to get across.

After you see the enemy on the cliff to your right (Lara will say "I know what you are"), go straight ahead and pull back on the lever to open the path forward.

Use your rope arrows to create a tether to the cliff with the large mechanism. 

Go across and follow the path all the way around. Pull back on the lever there to move the suspended crate around to your right.

Jump on the crate, then jump to your right and back to the first lever. Push the first lever back to its original position, and use your rope arrows to attach the crate to the rope post on the lever. 

Now, jump back on the crate and go to the second lever, the one you pulled to move the crate. Push it forward. Quickly turn around and jump on the crate as it moves back to its original position. 

Once it stops, jump off to the platform below. Go right and grab the mural in the nook in the left wall. Continue along and climb up the cliff face. Be wary of the falling boulders from above. One hit will kill you. 

At the top, follow the path to claim your prize: Eagle's Perch. Be sure to pull down the wooden barricades to get the gold before you leave. 

Challenge Tomb #3: Howling Caves

Location: Kuwaq Yaku
Basecamp: Kuwaq Yaku Ruins
Skill reward: Huracan's Mantle (reduces damage from fire and explosions)

From the basecamp, go right past the exploding barrel.

Continue right and go into the jungle. Hug the left side of the area and follow it all the way (through the swampy area and all the wild boars) to the back. 

Continue along and grab the backpack before crossing the small bridge.

After crossing over the little bridge, jump down into the pit and land safely in the water below. Swim to the left, climb up, and follow the path. When the path breaks left, follow it left to miss the huge spike that lies ahead. 

Continue down to do a lot of rock climbing, rappelling, and jumping.

Eventually, you'll come to a large open area full of rabid wolves. The best way to kill them is with the shotgun at close range. Use endurance herbs to slow time (if you have them) to make things even easier.

Before you continue toward the tomb itself, make sure to grab the mural in this area. 

Climb over the fire pit and climb up the cliff face in front of you. In the next area, grab the basecamp to the right of the downed tree that bridges the small gap, then continue on. 

Howling Caves Puzzle Solution

As soon as you enter the puzzle area, go right and pull the lever by the fire. This will open a billows that will swing the pendulum in the middle of the bridge. Jump on the pendulum and use it to get to the platform on the left side of the area. 

Once there, use the lever by the fire in front of you to open another billows that will put out the fire on the bridge.

Go right and jump across to the bridge. Go right again (rolling through the wind to not get swept off) and go back to the first lever. Push it to close the first billows. This will provide more air for the second billows. 

Now go back to the bridge and go forward. The second pendulum will now be swinging more.

Just before the large blockage in the center of the bridge, go right and jump across to the platform there and continue along to the platform with the fire in front of you. 

There, turn around and wait for the second pendulum to reach its highest point.

Use your rope arrows to pull it toward you and smash into the blockage in the center of the bridge.

Go all the way back across and close the second billows or you'll be blown off the bridge when you try to cross it. 

Once you've done that cross over the bridge where the blockage was and go to the platform on the left.

Go to the right of the fire and climb up the wall. Climb around the pendulum stuck in the wall and drop down. Attach the pendulum stuck in the wall with the second pendulum using your rope arrows

Now, go all the way back to the second billows and use the lever to open it. The second pendulum will rip the third pendulum out of the wall.

Go back to where the third pendulum was and open the third billows. This will put out the last fire on the bridge. Now you can claim your prize: Huracan's Mantle

Challenge Tomb #4: Path of Battle

Location: The Hidden City
Basecamp: Wild Jungle
Skill reward: Sip's Quiver (loose up to three arrows without pulling from the quiver)

From the Wild Jungle basecamp, follow the path from the campfire left, past the tomb symbols.

When you reach the deep water, dive down and go through the crack in the wall to the right.

Once inside, go left and follow the underwater tunnel through the skull and all the way down. 

When you surface, climb up the embankment and rappel down to the to the platform below. Make sure to grab the mural and the basecamp here.

Continue along and use the lever in front of you to open the path to the upper left. Be sure to not get hit by the obsidian blades along the path.

Rappel down again and grab the mural along the path.

Press the lever across from the mural, then jump over the obsidian blades and go through the large stone door to get to the puzzle area. 

Path of Battle Puzzle Solution

When the tower of bladed death rises in the middle of the area, go toward it and follow the path all the way around to the right, making sure to miss the rotating arms as you go. One hit from any of the obsidian blades here will instantly kill you

Jump across to the platform and go left through the stationary obsidian blades.

When you reach the end, pull the lever out, which will cause the tower in the middle to fold up its arms.

Now, go back down the path you just came from, minding the now-moving blades along the way. At the end, push in the lever to lower the tower

Repeat the same process for the opposite side of the area. 

After that, climb to the top of the tower in the middle to claim your reward: Sip's Quiver

Challenge Tomb #5: Temple of the Sun

Location: The Hidden City
Basecamp: Temple Path
Skill reward: Hoatzin's Hunger (increases the amount of natural crafting resources gathered from each source)

Starting at the Temple Path basecamp, follow the path up. Climb up the cliff and go through the crack in the wall ahead. Use your pick ax to grapple swing across the gap and then climb along the rock face. 

Once you get into the temple itself, don't climb up the ladder in front of you yet. Instead, go right and grab the mural.

Go back to the ladder and climb up to get another basecamp.

From the campfire, follow the path right and then rappel down to the temple floor below (don't jump, you'll die). 

Climb up the steps in the center to get another mural.

Coming down the stairs, the alcove on the right side has some resources, while the alcove on the left will lead you into the tomb's puzzle area. 

Temple of the Sun Puzzle Solution

This tomb can be tricky because it requires a lot of backtracking.

The goal is to use the mirrors and the light to lower the platform in the middle of the area, as well as use them to make a path to the end. 

There are four mirrors in the puzzle area: one in each of the room's four corners: 

  • Mirror 1: bottom right (right by the entrance)
  • Mirror 2: bottom left
  • Mirror 3: top right
  • Mirror 4: top left

Start by turning Mirror 1 to the left. This will turn a platform. Use this platform to move over to Mirror 2.

You can use Mirror 2 to turn the platform to your left, cross it, and grab some collectibles now (as I did in the video), but I would actually wait until a little later. Instead, use Mirror 2 to turn the platform across the area near Mirror 3. 

Now, go back to Mirror 1. Turn Mirror 1 to the right and turn the platform leading to Mirror 3.

Go to Mirror 3 and turn it left. This will illuminate the same platform Mirror 2 is currently illuminating. That's OK.

Go back to Mirror 1, turn it left, and cross over to Mirror 2 just like you did in the beginning.

Now, turn Mirror 2 to the right and illuminate the same platform Mirror 1 is illuminating.

Go back to Mirror 1 and use it to illuminate the pillar all the way across the area at Mirror 4. 

Go back to Mirror 2 and turn it left.

Go over to Mirror 4 and grab the mural there. Now, use Mirror 4 to illuminate and turn the pillar directly to the left.

That will turn two pillars at once, opening your way to the prize at the end of the tomb: Hoatzin's Hunger

Challenge Tomb #6: Ancient Aqueduct

Location: The Hidden City
Basecamp: Temple of Kukulkan
Skill reward: Jaguar's Paw (increases chance of knocking enemies down with melee attacks)

From the Temple of Kukulkan basecamp, climb down the cliffs to your left and follow the yellow Tomb markings into the cave.

Dive down and follow the underwater tunnel all the way to the end. Go through the crack in the wall and swim up to shore above.

Climb up the cliff face and follow the path, making sure to grab the collectible to the right as you do so.

When you get to the cliff overlooking the next area, just jump down and follow the path up to the right (along the pallisades/wooden wall).

Climb the cliff there and grab the mural along the right side of the path. After the short cutscene, grab the basecamp.

Before you continue down, grab the supply cache in the water along the bottom of the cliff closest to the campfire.

Ancient Aqueduct Puzzle Solution

Jump down and kick the raft to the far side of the area.

Use your rope arrows to connect the raft to the gate that's along the wall with the waterfall.

Go back to where you first entered the puzzle area and pull the lever. This will raise the water level and open the gate you just attached the raft to.

Swim through the gate and break open the wall at the end of tunnel. Go through the crack and swim to the opposite side of the flooded area.

Use you pick ax to open the drain along the far wall (it's in the middle of the wall). Now that the area is drained, use your rope arrows to pull down the wooden barricade.

Once you've done that, you'll be in the original area. Four enemies will spawn. Take them out and kick the raft into the area you just came from.

Go back to the beginning of the puzzle area and pull the lever to flood the area again.

Swim over to the raft and use it to reach the opening in the wall. As you go through to the next area, there will be a handful of enemies you'll need to dispatch.

After getting rid of your foes, climb up the wall and fight a few more enemies. Before you go any further, stop.

You’ll notice you’re above the area with the raft. The temple will be to your left and a large tree with a crate dangling from it will be in front of you. Look to your left to see a lever tucked into the wall next to you. Pull it to raise the water level.

Go past the tree and turn around. Wait for the raft to float over -- or pull it if you like.

Once it gets close enough to you, turn around and use your rope arrow to attach the raft to the water wheel in the back of the area. Jump on the raft and ride it over to the wheel.

Jump up onto the platform by the water wheel and look for the round, rope-covered object hanging in front of the temple.

Use your rope arrows to attach it to the water wheel. However, don’t move yet; two enemies will spawn and the easiest way to take them out is from the water wheel platform. They’ll also cut the rope, meaning you’ll have to go back to the water wheel and attach it to the round, rope-covered object again.

Once you do that, go over to the tree in the middle of the area, climb up, jump on the crate, and jump across to the temple. Your skill reward is inside: Jaguar's Paw.

Challenge Tomb #7: San Cordoba

Location: Cenote
Basecamp: Deserted Cloister
Skill reward: Caiman's Breath II (further increases breath capacity when swimming underwater)

Go to the Deserted Cloister basecamp in the Cenote.

From the campfire, go right through the entryway and climb up the wall.

Follow the path and jump down into the water below. Swim toward the half-submerged temple ahead and then dive to follow the tunnel under the water.

About a quarter of the way through, before the first bit of trapped air, you can find a Survival Cache collectible on the left side of the tunnel. 

Surface and follow the path, which will have you climbing a few cliff faces and shimmying along a few walls before rappelling to a ledge.

After squeezing through a cave wall, continue and take a right where you see the yellow skulls.

Climb up the next cliff face you come to. At the top, you'll find another small body of water; dive down and follow the tunnel all the way down and to the left. Mind the Moray Eels along the way.

Eventually, you'll get sucked into a kind of vortex. You'll exit into a larger body of water. When you surface, there will be an embankment directly in front of you. Climb up, scale the cliff face all the way around and you'll finally come to a basecamp

San Cordoba Puzzle Solution

From this new basecamp, go right and climb up. Squeeze through the wall to enter the beginning of the Challenge Tomb.

Once you enter, look on the left and right sides of the stairs to find collectibles. Once you've gotten those, find the cart and the cannon at the end of the stairway. 

Move the cart to free the falconet (cannon). Push the cannon down the slope to smash open the wooden barricade below. 

Follow the path to the right. Find the raft at the end and kick it into the water. Scale the galleon. 

You'll be on top of the Captain's Cabin, which you'll need to smash through to finish the puzzle.

Before you can do that, head down the stairway to the deck of the ship. In front of you, there will be a mast; to the left of the mast is a lever. Pull the lever back and position the hanging cannon above the Captain's Cabin. 

Now go to the right side of the ship (if you're facing the lever) and down into the destroyed part of the deck. Swim down and break open the gate with your pick ax. Swim through to the other side of the ship. When you surface, climb the side of the ship to get back to the deck. 

Here, you'll find another lever identical to the one your turned before. This one won't move, though.

Instead, go right and out on the beam (section of mast) hanging over the side of the ship. Climb up the cliff face, go left at the top, and then jump back out to the ship.

Go to the mast and use your pick ax to disable the mechanism

Climb to the top of the mast and then jump back over to the cliffs.

Follow the path and use your pick ax to grab onto the cliff in front of you. Rappel and jump back over to the galleon. 

Use the second lever to position part of the mast so it points at the hanging box. Climb the mast and jump onto the box.

Climb the next mast and disable the mechanism at the top to drop the falconet through the Captain's Cabin. Go into the cabin to claim your prize: Caiman's Breath II

Challenge Tomb #8: Tree of Life

Location: Mission of San Juan
Basecamp: Ruined Tower
Skill reward: Kinich Ahau's Boon (health instantly restores near death in battle; refreshes between encounters)

From the Ruined Tower basecamp, go to the jungle behind the tower. You can either go left or right here.

Left takes you to Challenge Tomb #9 (and a fiesty jaguar), while right takes you to the Tree of Life

You'll come to a rusty gate. Go through and up the stairs. At the top, you'll see a basecamp at the end of the path. Grab that and the collectibles there.

Now, go through the ruined monastery. Just as you enter, there will be a collectible on a table to your right.

Further down, you will come to a wooden barricade on the left and a backpack on the right. Grab the back backpack and then destroy the barricade. 

Climb down the cliff face and follow the path to another basecamp and collectible.

Jump to the cliff face behind the campfire and rappel down. Make sure to rappel all the way down as you can get stuck on the debris above the landing. 

Keep going down. Eventually, you'll come to an area with stone Olmec head on the left side of the path. A green gas (sulfur) will be coming from its mouth. Use fire arrows to ignite the sulfur and clear the path. Climb up and continue forward. 

When you come to the large wooden barricade, look to the left to find another Olmec head.

Disable the mechanism clogging the sulfur and then ignite it clear the barricade.

Moving along, use your rope arrows to make tether to the other side of the chasm; when you land, turn right and grab the Survival Cache

The rest of the path is easy to follow. Get to the end and you'll be in the puzzle area.

Tree of Life Puzzle Solution

Use a fire arrow to ignite the sulfur from the Olmec head in front of you. It will push a swinging platform toward you; jump on it and get to the other side.

Follow the path until it forks to the right. Instead of going right, go straight and jump over the small gap. You'll find a collectible on the other side.

Jump back across and follow the path. 

Disable the mechanism for the Olmec head on the left wall and prepare for a short fight against the Yaaxil.

The shotgun is best for the melee attackers, while an upgraded SMG or pistol is best for the ranged enemies. Take them out and climb up the cliff from where the ranged attackers came from. 

Follow the path up and left.

At the top, look down to where you just were and ignite the sulfur coming from the Olmec head. Just like at the beginning of the area, a platform will swing over to you. Use it to jump to the cliffs across from you. 

Cross the rickety bridge. Jump on another platform and then climb up another wall.

When you get to the top, look to the wall on the left to find a mural. Then go right, following the path up and around.

Go all the way to the end and cut the rope holding the swinging platform. Be sure to nab the collectible here. 

Turn around and go a little way back down the path. Turn right and jump out onto the platforms.

On the other side, disable another mechanism on another Olmec head. Prepare for another fight. Use the shotgun on melee enemies and shoot the pot of sulfur on the opposite side to kill the ranged enemies. 

Jump back across the swinging platforms, but stop at the second one.

Turn around and ignite the sulfur to push the platform up to a grapple point.

Jump up the cliff. Go along the right side and kill the enemies that come after you.

Ignite more gas blocking the way and climb up the cliff face.

Cut another swinging platform free and continue along the path, picking up another collectible on the right side.

When you get to the end, jump on the first swinging platform and then the second. Turn around and ignite the gas once more. 

The platform you're on will get stuck in the wall after the blast. Jump down to the newly accessible cliff below and fight the enemies that appear.

Follow the path right from the hut and then climb up to the left.

Follow the path all the way around. Cross the wooden plank structure at the top and turn left to find your prize once you've crossed over the chasm. You'll get: Kinich Ahau's Boon.

Challenge Tomb #9: Thirsty Gods

Location: Mission of San Juan
Basecamp: Deserted Cloister
Skill reward: Sip's Strike (charged arrows deal more damage against armored enemies)

From the Deserted Cloister basecamp, which is outside of the Tree of Life Challenge Tomb, go across the jungle area behind the Ruined Tower.

Hug the right side and look for a hole in the wall near the jaguar. Go through and follow the path until the fence breaks on the right.

Jump down into the water below and go right.

Exit the water and follow the path all the way down until you reach another body of water. Dive down and follow the underwater tunnel.

When you surface, go left and up the stairs to find a mural.

From there, look up and to the right of the large skull in the room. Use a rope arrow to open the drain and empty the room. 

Next, go into the mouth of the larger skull and go down.

After you slide into the water, dive and find the crack in the rock in the wall in front of you. Go through.

In the next chamber, stay under the water and cut the rope holding the raft. Surface and use the raft to jump up to the cliff right next to the raft.

Activate the basecamp you find there. 

Climb up the wall to the left of the campfire and enter the puzzle area. 

Thirsty Gods Puzzle Solution

Be wary here: the water is teeming with piranha

Climb down to the water and jump across the rafts toward the temple in the back of the area. Since you'll need it later, go ahead and cut the first raft free.

Move toward the temple's left side to cut another raft loose. Climb up on this raft and follow the path. 

When you reach the open square in the back, make sure to grab the collectible and mural here.

Turn around from the mural and push the lever near the water's edge. This will drain the area you were just in, exposing a mechanism on the water wheel in front of you. 

Jump down to the water wheel and use a rope arrow to connect the water wheel to the gate in the front of the temple.

Now, go back to the lever and pull back on it to re-start the water wheel.

This part is important: only leave the wheel running for a few seconds to bring the water level back up. Quickly push the lever again to move the trough bringing water into the area back to the right side. If you don't do it quickly, the rope will break and you'll have to start over. 

Now that the gate is up, all you have to do is swim past the piranha and into the temple. Follow the obvious path to the top and claim your reward:Sip's Strike


And that's literally everything you need to know about the Challenge Tombs in the latest Tomb Raider. You can skip all of the Challenge Tombs in the game and still beat the final encounter and boss.

However, the rewards you get from solving puzzles in Challenge Tombs make it much easier. 

Be sure to bookmark this page for easy recall and check out our other Shadow of the Tomb Raider guides while you're here.  

Related Content:
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Crypt Locations Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:52:34 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a long game if you're a completionist. From gear and survival caches to treasure chests and murals, there are tons of collectibles to be had. 

As you play through the game, you'll come across various crypts, many of which you can find either by exploring or finding maps. There are 10 in all and each of them has a unique piece of gear you can't find anywhere else. These vestiges (gear) carry certain perks with them that give Lara buffs during combat or help her make better use of here survival instincts. Some even help her find resources more easily. 

You don't need these to beat the game, but they do help out. Just like challenge tombs, you should be completing these as you come across them to maximize your playthrough and end-game power. 

In the guide below, we'll go over where you'll find each crypt, how to get inside it, and what vestiges or collectibles you'll find in the sarcophagus at the heart of each of them. We've also included video walkthroughs to each of them to better help you get them done faster

Be sure to check out our other guides an the bottom of this article. 

Crypt #1: Peruvian Jungle 

Basecamp: Plane Wreckage
Vestige Rewards: Eveningstar's Boots (harvest more natural resources)

The first crypt in the game is located near where you first begin in the Peruvian Jungle area. After you've created/found your first base camp, face the wreckage in the small pond in front of you. 

Go right along the shoreline and climb up onto the small cliff there. Use your bow and rope arrow to pull down the wooden wall and proceed inside.

Once you reach the first juncture, use the lever to the right to open the gate in front of you. Follow the path around, minding the rope trap about halfway down, to find a mural

From the mural, go right and follow the path around to the end. Open the gate there to make a shortcut back to the beginning of the crypt. Turn around and look for the fissure in the wall to the left. Go inside to find a handful of collectibles. 

Go back to the mural and go straight ahead. You'll slide down the embankment and find the sarcophagus in front of you. Inside, you'll find the Eveninstar's Boots, a piece of leg gear that lets you harvest more natural resources from each source (plant, animal, etc.). 

Crypt #2: Peruvian Jungle

Basecamp: Jungle Ruins
Vestige Rewards: Eveningstar's Cape (increases duration of perception herb effects)

You'll find this crypt after you've located Jonah near the rest of the plane wreckage (after you've moved on from Crypt #1). From the base camp, don't follow Jonah yet. Instead, go back down toward the area with water.

Swim across and climb up onto the opposite embankment. Go straight along the shore to the rock wall in the back of the area. Climb up and use the tree branch to swing across to the other side. 

Now you'll notice a little pond in front of you and the larger water area to your back. Swim across the little pond area and tear down the wall you find in the back. Go through and make sure to nab the collectible to your right about halfway down. 

As you continue along, use your bow and rope arrow to pull down the wall. Before you go in, look to your right to find a mural. 

Now, go through the pathway you just opened up. Continue along and go left when you meet the gate. Watch out for the trap here by cutting the rope. After you've disarmed it, follow the path to find another collectible.

From the collectible, turn around and look at the left wall; you'll see a small opening there. Go through it. 

On the other side, use the lever on the far wall to open the gate that just blocked your path a moment ago. Go further down the wall to find another lever that will open another gate blocking your way. 

Next, traverse the climbing area and make your way to the top, minding a few traps along the way. Once there, you'll find another sarcophagus. Inside will be your next vestige, Eveningstar's Cape. This piece of gear increases the duration of perception herb effects. 

Crypt #3: Kuwaq Yaku

Basecamp: Kuwaq Yaku
Vestige Rewards: Nine Strides' Boots (harvest more man-made resources from each source)

You'll find two crypts in this area.

You can find the first one by beginning at the Kuwaq Yaku campfire in front of the restaurant/bar where you leave Jonah after arriving in the area. With the restaurant/bar to your back, go straight.

When you get to the bridge, jump off the left side and swim to the shore in front of you to the left. 

When you get there, go straight ahead into the cavern. Dive and swim to the very end of the cavern and climb the ledge to the left. Follow the path around, making sure to get the collectibles along the way.

When you enter the structure at the end of the path, turn left to find a map at the edge of the room. Continue through the area to find a mural in the next room. 

After you pass the mural, slide down the embankment. Make sure to miss the big spike walls as you go down. They alternate left, right, left.

At the end, you'll need to jump and use your grapple ax to rope swing across the chasm

Go straight ahead to find the sarcophagus. Your reward will be the Nine Strides' Boots. This gear will let you harvest more man-made resources from each source (downed enemies, etc.).

Crypt #4: Kuwaq Yaku

Basecamp: Hunting Grounds
Vestige Rewards: Condor Cowl of Urqu (increases the duration of focus herb effects)

Crypt 4 is also in the the same area. This will be the easiest Crypt to find and open in the entire game. However, you will need the shotgun before you can open it, so you'll need to progress through the game a bit more before circling back to this one.

Once you do get the shotgun, go to Hunting Grounds base camp.

Face the exploding barrel near the campfire and go straight ahead, hugging the bank along the way. When you get to the end, you'll find the crypt on the left.

Blast open the wooden barrier and find the sarcophagus inside. 

You'll get the vestige Condor Cowl of Urqu for your efforts. This gear increases the duration of focus herb effects. 

Crypt #5: The Hidden City

Basecamp: Temple of Kukulkan
Vestige Rewards: Yaway's Wooden Greaves (provides extra protection against fire and knockdowns)

This crypt might be the hardest to find in the game. Unless you're eagle-eyed, there's a substantial chance you'll overlook this one.

From the campfire at the Temple of Kukulkan basecamp, walk straight toward the bridge.

Instead of crossing it, walk to the right, toward the edge of the cliff.

Once at the edge, climb down over the side and rappel down further. Swing jump across to the rocks on your left. 

Once there, crawl through the opening and follow the path. Right after you crawl through the next space, you'll slide down into the chamber below. As you pass through, make sure to grab the collectible on your right -- across from the mural

Next, go through the room and jump on the counterweight in front you (the one in the room with all the bodies and the deep pit). Ride the counterweight down to the room below.

Just ahead on your left you'll find the sarcophagus. Inside will be the vestige: Yaway's Wooden Greaves. This gear provides extra protection against fire and knockdowns. 

Be sure to keep an eye out for collectibles as you make your way out of the crypt. To see how to get all the way through -- and what traps and minor puzzles await, check out the video above. 

Crypt #6: The Hidden City

Basecamp: Temple of Kukulkan
Vestige Rewards: Ch'amaka's War Vest (increases protection from melee attacks)

This may not be the actual sixth crypt in the game, as you can find other crypts earlier on in the Hidden City. However, we've put it in this slot because you will come across it as you progress the story, putting it the fifth in line if you're plugging through the narrative. 

Once you infiltrate the cult and finish the cut scene with the game's main antagonist in the upper city temple, you'll find yourself on the cliffs overlooking a raging river.

Once you make it to the other side, though, don't go right toward your objective.

Instead, go left and climb up the cliffs until you reach the end of the path. There, you'll find the entrance to the next crypt. 

Go in and rappel down to the bottom of the cavern. Use your bow and rope arrows to pull down the wood barrier in front of you. Keep going and climb to the top of the cliffs along the path.

When you get to the top, rappel and swing-jump across to the precipice with the gate. Make sure to be careful because you can fall off the edge since it's so shallow. 

Go through the gate and to the end of the path to find the sarcophagus. Ch'amaka's War Vest will be your gear reward. This provides increased protection from melee attacks. 

Crypt #7: The Hidden City

Basecamp: Abandoned Village
Vestige Rewards: Manko's Boots (provide concealment when hunting predators)

This one can be somewhat of a pain to get to if you're not paying attention to the lay of the land.

Go to the Abandoned Village base camp. From the campfire, follow the path as it curves slightly to the right then straight ahead.

When you reach the stone archway ahead, look for a ladder hanging from the building to the right. 

Climb up the ladder and follow the roof line to the left.

Jump to the tree in front of you, then jump to the elevated stone wall in front of that (just to the right of another stone archway).

Go straight ahead and connect the two rope pillars to create a pathway across the water below. 

Climb up the cliffs and look for the crypt entrance at the top, tucked away in the rock to the right side. 

As you follow the path, make sure to cut the rope for the trap that's just past the crouching section, then when you get to the well, check either side for collectibles before jumping in. 

After jumping into the well, swim down and look for the opening along the edges. Go through this opening and swim all the way to the wooden barricade at the end. If you look to the left of the barricade, in the part of the cave that bulges out to the left, you'll find a collectible on a stone altar carved into the wall of the cave. 

Once you're ready, tear down the barricade and proceed. At the end, you'll come to a set of steps. Ascend these and look for collectibles in the room you're in. When you're done, continue up the stairs and the sarcophagus will be at the top. 

Your reward will be Manko's Boots. These provide concealment when hunting predators. 

Crypt #8: The Hidden City

Basecamp: Fishing District 
Vestige Rewards: None

You can only open this crypt by starting the side mission "Star Crossed", which you get from Uchu in the Skull Cave.

After you've completed the first part of the side mission, you'll be tasked with finding the Savior's Amulet. You can get to the area in which this crypt is located earlier, but the entrance will only open when you begin searching for the Savior's Amulet. 

From the Fishing District campfire, look right along the bank of the lake.

Climb the tree between you and the the closest hut. Climb all the way up the cliff face and grab all of the collectibles at the camp at the top.

Look along the cliff face to your right to find the entrance to the crypt. 

Once inside, follow the path and crawl under the spear trap. However, be careful not to fall into the pit trap that lies just beyond. 

Grab the mural at the end of the path and use your pick ax to open the wall to the left. Go through and disarm the traps along the way (be careful rolling under the first spear trap because it's easy to trigger the one right after it). On the other side of the traps, grab all the collectibles in the room and climb up the left side of the wall in front of you. 

When you drop down, you want to go straight. However, you can go right into a chamber, then right again (crawling under a door) to reach another chamber with gold inside.

Go back to the primary path and follow it to the bridge leading to the sarcophagus. 

Don't celebrate yet -- this is where things get a bit tricky. The bridge will collapse when you try to cross it, plunging you into the water below. Swim down and find the hole in the wall to reach another part of the area. 

Once inside this part of the temple, look to your right. On the back right side, you'll see a lever. Push it to raise the water level.

Swim through the door at the opposite end, swim to the surface, then swim across to the the next room. Inside this room, you'll find another lever on the back right side. Throw it and swim as fast as you can back to the door you came in through before it closes. 

You'll repeat the process a third time, except you'll swim through a hole in the ceiling this time as the doors shuts too quickly. Break down the barricade, swim through the crack in the wall, and surface at the sarcohpoagus

You won't get a vestige for this one. Instead, you'll 125 exp and 750 salvage. 

Crypt #9: The Hidden City

Basecamp: The Wild Jungle
Vestige Rewards: Greaves of Six Sky (faster health regeneration)

This crypt is near the entrance to the Challenge Tomb in The Wild Jungle area of the Hidden City.

From the base camp, go left, following the Challenge Tomb markers. When you get to the deep water, turn left again and climb up the embankment and then the tree.

Traverse the cliff face past the waterfall. When you get to the top, turn right and enter the crypt. 

Be wary of the floor trap when you enter. Jump over it and pick up the collectible.

Go through the crack in the wall and pick up the collectibles in the next room. Follow the path straight for a vein of gold or follow the path to the right to the next area. 

At the end of the path, jump down to the bottom of the chamber. There will be a wall to break with your pick ax to advance. Turn to the left and climb up to find a collectible. And look to the wall opposite the breakable wall to find a mural

Go through the breakable wall and swing over the pit trap just inside. Follow the path down and pass a climbable wall to your right. Go this way to continue or turn left to go to the end of the path for a collectible

Back on the main route, traverse the wooden beams at the top of the cliff to find the sarcophagus. Your reward will be the Greaves of Six Sky. These make your health regenerate faster.  

Crypt #10: Mission of San Juan

Basecamp: Riverside
Vestige Rewards: Kantu's Gilded Vest (increases experience from hunting)

To access this crypt, you'll need to start the side mission called "Explore the Local Mysteries", which you can get from the two explorers near the river, to the left of the RIverside campfire. Like Crypt 7, you can find the entrance to this one at any time, but it will not open until you start this mission. 

From the two explorers, cross the river and follow the path past the wolf den.

Go up to the cross next to the den and press in the cross on the pedestal. Enter the crypt and rappel down. When you get to the second drop, you can just jump down since there's water below. 

Swim over to Isabella. The sarcophagus will be next to her. Open it to get Kantu's Gilded Vest, which gives you more experience for hunting. 

Make sure to watch the video above to get all of the collectibles that are strewn along the crypt's exit path. 


That's every crypt in Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Be sure to check out our other walkthroughs and guides for collectibles, best skills, and solutions for Challenge Tombs. 

Related Content:
Shadow Of The Tomb Raider: Peruvian Jungle Collectibles Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:55:30 -0400 Ty Arthur

While triggering the apocalypse and stealing artifacts from indigenous people, Lara Croft will also spend an absurd amount of time hunting down collectibles in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider.

When you get tired of trying to come across them all organically (and oh, believe me, you will), we've got you covered with a rundown of the locations for every relic, document, mural, survival cache, and monolith!

Be sure to check out the rest of our guides at the bottom of this page. 

Peruvian Jungle Collectibles

This may be on of the game's earliest areas, but it also jam-packed with some of the most collectibles. You can't get them all on your first trip through, however, as you'll need equipment from later areas to access some objects.

Some of these documents, relics, and murals require exploring the crypt and challenge tomb in the area. To get them all, you will need the climbing axe, the bow to fire off rope arrows, and the lockpick.

Peruvian Jungle Relics

Lara finds the first relic under an open red and white parachute near basecamp
Relic 1

It's pretty hard to miss this one since its right near the crash zone landing site where you start the area.

Map showing the location of the second relic in the Peruvian Jungle
Relic 2

This relic is in a dark colored box on the left side of the path in the lower southeast corner of the area before the bridge puzzle.

Map showing the location of the area's third relic
Relic 3

This one is directly next to the giant stone wheel that Jonah pushes for the bridge puzzle. Note that the first survival cache is also just to the east of here.

Map showing the location of the area's fourth relic
Relic 4

After crossing the bridge puzzle, this relic is found on the ground right across from the new campsite.

Map showing the location of the fifth relic
Relic 5

After unlocking fast travel in Kuwaq Yaku, return to the original plane crash site and jump down into the river to reach the western side of the Peruvian jungle. Head to the northwest area and use your axe to break down a wall and enter the crypt. The relic is on the ground near the entrance right next to an ancient corpse.

Lara finds the sixth relic between to rock faces in the Peruvian Jungle
Relic 6

The next relic is slightly past the previous one and is found sitting on a stone slab between two rock faces.

Map showing the seventh relic in the area
Relic 7

From the northern most campsite (the one closest to the challenge tomb), head southeast to find this relic on the ground between two palm trees.

Map showing the location of the eighth relic in the area
Relic 8

This one is directly north of the campsite closest to the challenge tomb in the northern section.

Map showing the location of the ninth relic in the area
Relic 9

This one is northwest of the northern base camp, up past the water section by the tomb.

Peruvian Jungle Monolith

Map with red arrows and circles show the location of the first monolith
Monolith 1

The Monolith is quite easy to spot, as it's down in the area you have to rush by to finish the timed bridge puzzle. The two serpents locked in an eternal struggle aren't far away, either. You just need to jump up a small jungle wall to find the stone serpents on the ground near the edge (location marked in the image below).

Peruvian Jungle Documents

Lara finds the first document on a stone in the Peruvian Jungle
Document 1

When you start leaping across the river to explore the back area near the crash site early on, look for this journal sitting next to a log by the edge.

Map showing the location of the second document in the area
Document 2

This one is on the ground near the end of the path when wandering around this back area.

Map showing the location of the third document in the area
Document 3

After the bridge puzzle you have the option to follow Jonah towards what he hopes is civilization, or you can go off into a crypt. Take the route into the crypt to find this next document on the ground.

Lara finds the fourth document near a dead body on the ground
Document 4

Continue along the same crypt path as the previous document and you'll see the next one on the ground near a dead body.

Map showing the location of the area's fifth document
Document 5

After facing off against the jaguars, this document is on the ground near a tree on the main path towards Kuwaq Yaku.

Map showing the location of the area's sixth document
Document 6

After reaching Kuwaq Yaku and unlocking fast travel, from the original plane wreckage cross over to the far western side of the Peruvian jungle by jumping down into the river from a high cliff. In the center of this area is a small alcove with a salvage box and a document.

Lara finds the seventh document in a crypt on a raised rock shelf
Document 7

In the crypt on the western edge of the Peruvian Jungle, look for this document on a raised rock shelf wall very close to Relics 5 and 6 listed above.

Lara finds the eighth document in the Peruvian Jungle Challenge Tomb
Document 8

This one is found inside the challenge tomb in the northern section of the jungle map. To get here, you need to jump up the cliff with the yellow paint marks, break through the wall, cross the bridge, then dive under the water section.

From the room that looks like it doesn't go anywhere, turn left and jump up onto a ledge to crawl into the actual challenge tomb area. The first document in this area is on the wall near the mural.

Map showing the location of the area's ninth document
Document 9

In the open room of the challenge area where you need to raise the ladder, climb up onto the left side section where you can jump onto the counterweight. You can find this document on the ground in the back.

Map showing the location of the area's tenth documentDocument 10

You can grab this document in the crypt at the northern section of the Peruvian jungle.

Map showing the location of the area's eleventh documentDocument 11

This one is in the southern end of the northern segment of the jungle. From that northern most campfire, head south across the water towards where the survival cache is located.

Map showing the location of the area's twelfth documentDocument 12

You can grab this one by heading down the side path on the way to the jaguar area.

Map showing the location of the area's thirteenth document
Document 13

The final Peruvian Jungle document is in a hidden cave right next to the area's only treasure chest. Getting there requires going down a cliff face that isn't easily visible. To see the exact location, check the Treasure Chest section below.

Peruvian Jungle Treasure Chest

Lara Croft climbs a rope tether across a chasm in the jungle
Treasure Chest 1

This area's only chest is in a truly obnoxious location that isn't even remotely close to where it seems on the map. You can run around on its exact map marker for hours and never find it. Instead, head over to the cliff's edge where you have to fire a rope arrow to climb across the chasm.

Climb about halfway across the rope and turn the camera to look back towards the cliff. Back on the other side, you should see an area that can be climbed with the axe that isn't normally visible.

Climb back to the beginning of the rope and run over to the cliff's edge. Use the axe to go down, then jump across to a hidden cave where both the treasure chest and a document can be found. Opening the chest requires having the lockpick.

Peruvian Jungle Murals 

Map showing the location of the first mural in the Peruvian Jungle
Mural 1

Just before the puzzle to cross the bridge with Jonah, this mural is recessed against the jungle wall.

Map showing the location of the area's second mural
Mural 2

After completing the bridge puzzle you will come across a new campsite. This mural of the lords of Xibalba is up against a rock wall slightly to the southwest of the campfire.

Map showing the location of the area's third mural
Mural 3

If you take the crypt route instead of going directly towards the next objective with Jonah, you can find this mural up against a broken wall right after Document #4 and near the area's campsite.

Map showing the location of the area's fourth mural
Mural 4

Inside the challenge tomb area in the northern section of the jungle, this mural is up against a wall next to a broken staircase near Document 8.

Map showing the location of the area's fifth mural
Mural 5

Be on the lookout for this mural in a dark area of the challenge tomb after breaking a rope wall.

Map showing the location of the area's sixth muralMural 6

This mural is found in the crypt in the far western section of the Peruvian Jungle.

Map showing the location of the area's seventh muralMural 7

This final mural is in the crypt in the northern end of the Peruvian jungle (the same general area where the challenge tomb is located).

Peruvian Jungle Survival Caches

Map showing where to find the first survival cacheSurvival Cache 1

In the southern area with the camp near the rare animal spawn point, head west to find this cache.

Map showing where to find the second survival cacheSurvival Cache 2

In the area with the giant stone wheel that Jonah pushes for the bridge puzzle, you can find this cache directly to the east of the relic.

Map showing where to find the third survival cacheSurvival Cache 3

In the northern section of the Peruvian jungle (the section with a crypt and challenge tomb), look for this cache on the ground near the crypt entrance to the northwest.

Map showing where to find the fourth survival cacheSurvival Cache 4

This cache is southeast of the previous one, located on the ground not too far from Relic 7.

Map showing where to find the fifth survival cacheSurvival Cache 5

This one is southwest of the northern campsite (the one with the tomb and crypt) and just to the northeast of the southern campsite.

Map showing where to find the sixth survival cacheSurvival Cache 6

This one is on the far western side of the jungle near where the water meets the cliff face shoreline.

Map showing where to find the seventh survival cacheSurvival Cache 7

In the same area as the previous cache, head slightly southwest (near the crypt entrance) to find this cache.

Map showing where to find the eighth survival cacheSurvival Cache 8

This one is near the monolith area where you find the statue of two intertwined snakes on the ground.

Map showing where to find the ninth survival cacheSurvival Cache 9

This cache is found inside the crypt after you pass the bridge puzzle with Jonah.


Looking for more help with the puzzles and collectibles? Check out our full list of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider walkthroughs here

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider: Head Of The Serpent Puzzle Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:54:12 -0400 Ty Arthur

Every area in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is packed to the gills with secrets and puzzles, and the Serpent sections of the Hidden City are no exception.

The final Head Of The Serpent area oddly only has a single collectible, but it also features a truly obnoxious puzzle.

Haven't been able to figure out the fire pillar puzzle yet? Read on for a full breakdown of how to get through the Head Of The Serpent!

Be sure to check out our other guides at the bottom of this page. 

Head Of The Serpent Collectibles/Puzzle Guide

Accessing this area is particularly annoying, as the entrance has none of the usual hallmarks of an accessible opening. It doesn't glow when using survival instincts, it doesn't have any white markings, and it appears to be a dead end that can't be interacted with in any way.

After climbing up the Belly Of The Serpent, Lara will see a cultist throw a body down the well, then turn around and close off the door so she can't go anywhere. From the closed stone door, turn right and walk directly into the dead end.

You have to be in the middle of the cul-de-sac and walk forward into an area that just looks like a solid wall to initiate the cut scene where Lara crawls through the wedged section of dead bodies.

Map with a red arrow to show the entrance to the belly of the serpent

After stealth killing the cultist from behind, examine the body on the slab, then look for a section of wall off to the right where you can use your pickaxe to break through. From there, follow the path into the Head Of The Serpent's first fire puzzle.

This region's one and only collectible is a mural on the right side wall across from the rope-wrapped lever. Grab the mural, then use your bow to pull down the rope lever and fill the basin with bloody oil.

Walk back to the beginning of the room and interact with the dragon head to light the oil on fire and gain access to the area's main puzzle.

Above: Lara stands in front of the stone wall entrance to the serpent; below: the map of the entrance

The first fire puzzle was incredibly easy, while this one is a head-scratcher and takes some serious thought. It's also really hard to get right by chance because the grooves don't seem to visually line up properly even when you have it solved.

Ignore the lever, pool, and fire dragon mechanism at the top of the stairs for now. Instead, run down to the bottom where your path is blocked. Use a rope arrow to attach the two pillars so that when you rotate the left pillar, the right pillar will also move.

Walk over to the left pillar and rotate it until the right pillar's grooves look exactly like the image below. Don't worry about what position the left pillar's grooves are in just yet.

On the right pillar, the lower groove should go into a hole, the right grooves shouldn't be connected to anything, and the upper grove should travel to the basin in front of the obstacle. 

Lara Croft stands on a rotating brown floor with channels in it

Now, cut the rope connecting the two pillars so that the right pillar doesn't move anymore. Go back to the left pillar and push it until it looks exactly like the image below. 

Some of the grooves won't lineup and go nowhere, but the top most groove of the triple section should lineup with the upper grove of the right pillar. Due to how the grooves look on the ground, it may not seem like they are fully connected, but if you follow the image below you'll have it how it needs to be attached.

This lineup gives you a clear path for the oil to travel from the basin to the flammable obstacle.

Lara stands on the brown, channeled floor next to a wooden lever

Go back up the stairs and use your bow to pull down the rope lever that fills the basin with bloody oil. Run over to the other side and interact with the dragon statue to light the whole thing on fire and break the obstacle.

With that out of the way, you can finally get the artifact you've been searching for in the tombs of the Hidden City. Be prepared for an obnoxious chase sequence right after this that you'll probably have to reload four or five times due to missing the timing with this game's wonky controls.

Lara presses a switch in a dark temple to initiate the serpent puzzle

Need help finding any other collectibles or completing the game's challenge tombs? Check out our full list of a Shadow Of The Tomb Raider guides here!

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider: Best Skills Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 13:53:41 -0400 Ty Arthur

Lara Croft is back to her stealth assassin shenanigans again in Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, which features a revamped skill system slightly different from the previous two games.

Some skills unlock automatically during the course of the campaign, or by completing secondary challenge tombs not directly tied to the story.

The rest must be unlocked as you earn experience and gain skill points. Deciding which skills to buy can drastically change your playthrough depending on whether you favor stealth, gunplay, or exploration.

Be sure to check out the rest of our guides at the bottom of this page. 

Best Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Skills

In general, exploration (Seeker) and stealth (Scavenger) skills tend to be the most helpful to pick. The Warrior tree tends to be the least necessary, as you usually don't want to be in drawn-out combat in this game.

Even on standard difficulty, combat isn't that hard if you stay out of sight more often than running into a group of guards firing wildly.

The Warrior skill Howler's Speed in particular just flat out isn't necessary, since you can just turn down the difficulty instead of spending skill points and get the same effect.

Below, we cover all the most important skill to buy first if you want to breeze through the game and find all the collectibles on your first go.

Caiman's Breath

Skill Tree: Scavenger
Bonus: Improve breath capacity underwater

Underwater areas play a significantly expanded role in Shadow, and it's really easy to get turned around when you have to wait on the air bubble animation in a dark flooded tunnel.

To find all the collectibles in underwater areas and complete some of the later crypts with the least amount of frustration, you definitely want this skill.

An upgraded second version of the skill is also available for those who want to truly explore every last nook and cranny of the flooded tunnels.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Skill Tree Showing Caiman's Breath, Lara to Right

Serpent's Fury

Skill Tree: Scavenger
Bonus: Chain together stealth kills

For those who prefer to stay in stealth, this is a must-have. There are areas where enemies will always be within line of sight of each other, and even if you distract a few you usually can't take out all the guards without kicking off a fire fight.

Use this skill to create a loophole. 

Skill Tree Showing Serpent's Fury, Lara to Right with bow

Boa's Blow

Skill Tree: Scavenger
Bonus: Craft concussive shells

Normally, I prefer to stick entirely to stealth and use either the bow or the silenced pistol, but in some cases, you've got to go loud. When you need to return to stealth mid-battle, Boa's Blow is amazingly helpful.

Concussive shells daze enemies and give you time to retreat to a mud wall, climb up a tree, get behind cover, jump into a swimming area, etc.

If you use this feature a lot, it can also be worth upgrading to the Serpent's Fang skill so the dazed effect lasts longer.

Skill tree showing Boa's Blow; Lara to right in blue heron tunic

Eagle's Sight/Crow's Cunning

Skill Tree: Seeker
Bonus: Reveal artifacts, monoliths, treasure chests, maps, and backpacks while using survival instincts

With the sheer number of hidden collectibles in the game and the constant need for more resources, this cheap skill will save you a lot of headaches for only a single skill point.

If you find yourself often missing the signs of traps and dying horribly, be sure to also take Crow's Cunning, which reveals traps when using survival instincts.

Skill tree showing Eagle's Sight; Lara to right with bow

Eagle's Talon II

Skill Tree: Seeker
Bonus: Hide corpses killed with rope arrows from tree branches

Eagle's Talon I unlocks automatically fairly early on in the game as Lara apparently decides to become a one-woman jungle death squad.

For maximum stealth combat opportunities, be sure to pick up the enhanced version of the skill. Enemies rarely notice you when hiding in trees, so taking them out from above without a trace is a big plus.

Skill tree showing Eagle's Talon II; Lara to right in blue heron tunic

Crow's Charm

Skill Tree: Seeker
Bonus: Negotiate better prices from merchants

This one is a bit of a personal preference skill. If you are fully exploring every crypt and grabbing every single resource, you will probably find enough gold and jade to buy whatever you want at full price. 

If you intend to fully upgrade every gun, this can still be a worthwhile skill to take, however, as merchants directly sell salvage for upgrading firearms. By buying salvage directly, you can upgrade much more quickly.

Skill tree showing Crow's Charm; Lara to right

Puma's Charge / Howler's Troop

Skill Tree: Warrior
Bonus: Draw the bow string more quickly, reduce time between charged shots

When the bow is your primary weapon for killing quietly, you need to be able to draw more quickly and use fully charged shots to the head to take down enemies in a single shot.

If you use the bow more than the guns, be sure to also take the related skill Howler's Troop, which lets you fire two arrows at different targets simultaneously.

Skill tree showing Puma's Charge; Lara to right

Puma's Brace

Skill Tree: Warrior
Bonus: Resist damage for a short time after healing

This one is primarily useful if you have trouble navigating the game's stealth mechanics. When you are often in direct gun fights and are hit frequently, this can be a life saver if you are always healing and then shooting again immediately.

Skill tree showing Puma's Brace; Lara to right with bow

Those are the best skills we used most frequently in our first playthrough of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider. What's your favorite skill, and which ones did you pick up that you never ended up using? Let us know in the comments below!

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider: Complete Cozumel Collectibles Guide Thu, 13 Sep 2018 14:00:12 -0400 Ty Arthur

Like its predecessors, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider has a whole lot more than just crypt puzzles and gun battles. If you want to fully complete 100% of the game, you'll need to search out hundreds of hidden challenges and collectibles.

The game's very first area -- Cozumel -- is already packed with a variety of survival caches, treasure chests, relics, documents, and more! Let's dive in and get started tracking them all down.

Be sure to check out the rest of our guides at the bottom of this page. 

Cozumel Collectibles Guide

Most of these collectibles and challenges can be grabbed at the beginning of the game -- before the tsunami.

To fully complete the area and get all the collectibles, however, you have to return later via fast travel after getting both the lockpick and the upgraded hardened knife.

You need the knife to removed the braided rope barriers in the area and the lockpick to access certain chests. If you haven't found it yet, the hardened knife is acquiring by buying the $2,900 knife upgrade from the merchant in the Hidden City after completing the Trial Of The Eagle puzzle.

Selling gold or jade pieces can get you that amount of money pretty quickly, or you can take the skill to lower merchant prices. You can also buy the lockpick from a merchant in the Hidden City. 

Whistle In The Dark Challenge

The location of the first whistle in the dark challenge
Death Whistle 1

From the first campsite, run into the hallway where you have to duck underneath the spears. In the first room on the right after that hallway, the first Death Whistle is in front of you and slightly above by the open ceiling.

The location of the second whistle in the dark challenge
Death Whistle 2

From the previous whistle, crawl through the tunnel with the low ceiling into the main room of this area with the water pool. As soon as you exit the tunnel, look to the right and upward to see this Whistle hanging from the stone structure on the east side of the room.

The location of the third whistle in the dark challenge
Death Whistle 3

On the other side of the room from the previous whistle carving, go through an opening where you should see a doorway with two impaled bodies on your left and a pool of water on your right. Look above the pool of water to see the third Whistle against the wall.

The location of the fourth whistle in the dark challenge
Death Whistle 4

The next two are both in the Tidal Caverns area near the second campfire in Cozumel (the section with the cart puzzle).

The easiest way to hit this one is actually from the campfire. Just walk forward to the edge (before jumping across to the main section of this room) and look up and to your right. You can hit it here.

If you missed it from that location, proceed through the area until you jump across the platforms to the opposite side of the room. From there, turn around and you can see it much closer to you.

The location of the fifth whistle in the dark challenge
Death Whistle 5

After firing a rope arrow and climbing across the chasm, you will need to duck under a wall with some spears. From there, you can jump onto the first bell platform to make your way towards the cart puzzle. From that platform, look up towards the ceiling to find the last whistle carving.

Cozumel Relics

Map showing the location of the first relic in Cozumel

Relic 1

In the room with the large water section and the braided wood door, look in the southeast corner near the floor to find the first relic.

Map showing the location of the second relic collectible

Relic 2

In the main water room after going through the low hanging tunnel, dive into the pool and swim down underwater. You will find a box containing the relic at the bottom sitting on a small stone block.

Cozumel Documents

Map showing where the first document collectible is

Document 1

To reach this area, head into the room with the large water pool and jump up on the stone structure on the left side of the area. Go forward and use the hardened knife to destroy the braided wood door.

From there, you can find a series of hallways with an archivist map and various other resources. Proceed toward the large area with the cart puzzle, where you should pop out above the campfire. The document is sitting by the wall to the right.

Cozumel Murals

A map showing the first mural in the Cozumel area

Mural 1

The first mural is right by the first campsite and can be seen against the wall before you go through the tunnel with the low hanging ceiling.

A map showing the second mural in the Cozumel area

Mural 2

In the large cavern with the cart puzzle, look for this mural against the wall after you climb across the rope bridge.

Cozumel Treasure Chest

Map showing the treasure chest in Hunter's Moon
Treasure Chest 1

This one is deviously placed and requires changing an element of the room with the cart puzzle. When you come to the Hunter's Moon area and begin to ascend the pyramid, you'll find several hanging bells you'll use to get to the end of the area. 

Cross over the first two you come to. When you get to the ruined area right after, climb the stairs and ascend the next two. Once you get to the other side of the gap, continue down and use a rope arrow to make a tether across the chasm. 

On the other side, turn immediately around and look for the tether point up above where you just came from. Use a rope arrow and cross. 

You can now climb up to a previously inaccessible area to find the treasure chest. Note that you can't actually open the treasure chest until finding the lock pick much later in the game.

Cozumel Survival Caches

Map showing survival cache one in Cozumel

Survival Cache 1

The first cache is in the southeast corner of the water room in a small alcove right up against the wall.

Map showing the location of the second supply cache

Survival Cache 2

The second survival cache is underwater. You have to jump into the pool and swim to the map marker location, then look for the cache icon to appear up against the wall.

Map showing the location of the third survival cache in the region
Survival Cache 3

The third cache is in the large cavern room with the cart puzzle. After climbing across the rope bridge, rappel down the cliff side to this section and the cache icon should appear on the ground.

Looking for more help with the puzzles and collectibles? Check out our full list of Shadow Of The Tomb Raider walkthroughs.

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Shadow Of The Tomb Raider Review Mon, 10 Sep 2018 09:00:25 -0400 Ty Arthur

How did we manage to reach the end of a trilogy of Tomb Raider reboots already? It seems like just last year when we first had a revamped Lara Croft climbing her way up rocky inclines while avoiding deadly guards and picking up hordes of collectibles.

After the snowy sequel Rise Of The Tomb Raider, we're now headed into the South American jungle with Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Yet again, this entry is another third-person action adventure that doubles down on killing cult members, skinning animals, and horribly injuring a even more vulnerable Lara.

From plane crashes to jaguar attacks to being crushed while drowning, Square Enix just loves to see this iteration of the Croft heiress fall into painful situations. But this time around, in the climax of the new trilogy, we find her against the greatest stakes, so her trials and tribulations are understandably the most violent yet. 

With a title like Shadow Of The Tomb Raider and a marketing campaign full of of eclipse imagery, it would be easy to think this ultimate version of Tomb Raider was full of gimmicks. However, the imagery and name speak more to what we see in the game -- a changing world and a changing Lara in a dying world brought about by some bad decisions in an ancient tomb. 

A jaguar growls in Lara Croft's muddy face in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

From Doom and Gloom to Polygonal Laras

If you just want to plunder old sarcophagi without giving any thought to who's buried there, this may not be the Tomb Raider for you. The narrative has strongly shifted here, and there's a big focus on Croft's privilege as an ultra-rich white woman tromping across the world taking whatever she wants.

This time around there are finally some consequences for her impulsive actions. In fact, the game starts with the world on the brink of utterly ending because Lara couldn't keep her hands off an artifact. In Rise, the pseudo-stakes felt more personal. Here, they're literally global. 

It's clear the developers went out of their way to make the cultures and people Lara comes across more of a central focus here, rather than something to be trampled through while she seeks out trinkets. This may be a fictional universe, but the game still wants you to think about how people in South American nations are treated by the wealthier nations to the north.

But if you don't care about heavy concepts or social commentary, there's plenty of amusingly silly options to lighten the game up a bit. Want to play through as the old school, 32-bit Lara from Tomb Raider 2 or Tomb Raider 3? Guess what? You can. And it's a hilariously fun nod to the players who have been following this franchise throughout the years.

Personally I couldn't play Shadow with the model for very long, because it felt too much like playing Dead Rising where Chuck has on some absurdly silly outfit. My second playthrough will be all old-school Lara though for maximum lulz, though. You can count on that. 

Lara wears a throwback PS1-era polygonal skin as she stands in front of plane wreckage

Familiar or Repetitive?

Silly Easter eggs to fans aside, the core of the game feels nearly identical to the previous two entries of the rebooted trilogy. Remember the first time you played a TellTale game and were blown away? Then five or six games later you were thought, "Are we still doing the same exact thing yet again?". That's what's going on here ... at first, anyway.

If Shadow feels too familiar from the get go, don't give up in the first few hours. Shadow comes into its own and sets itself apart around the 25% completion mark. When you hit a certain hub area, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider finds its stride.

It's so large you could get lost just exploring this one location. Talking to the locals and performing quests in this area is essentially a game all its own -- and that's without ever even hitting the surrounding tombs.

Traveling through populated areas and talking to characters adds something to the base experience, so the game isn't just completely adherent to remote jungle set pieces anymore. These characters feel more like people whose lives Lara is intruding on rather than silent NPCs that solely exist as quest givers.

Because of this, you also get to see behind the curtain and into what made Lara into the titular Tomb Raider. In one particularly memorable segment, we get to see a young Lara at Croft manor and learn why she's so hellbent on living the life of a professional assassin archaeologist. 

A young Lara Croft solves a puzzle on a playground at Croft Manor

Lara Croft: Ninja Assassin Archaeologist 

Some of Shadow's changes, like a bigger city to explore, are welcome. Others are less so -- and start to strain credulity. There's no question the first game in the reboot trilogy featured improbable actions like ridiculously expert rock climbing and god-tier bow skills, but it was still grounded in reality and aimed for a more restrained feeling.

However, we're officially starting to lose that here. Lara landing impossibly perfect pickaxe throws to somehow wedge it into a rockface while leaping insane distances is stretching it to say the least. That's not to mention she also carries an absurd amount of disposable rope, which is also all apparently invisible. 

Despite being a completely polished third installment in a trilogy, Shadow feels somewhat regressive. Some areas are in retrograde, particularly in the mechanics department. 

Invariably, there will be sections where it feels like you very clearly landed the jump or grabbed the crumbling wall section, but you fall to your death anyway. Many crypts and challenge tombs are more about battling controls than the puzzle -- and that's very frustrating for a game that revolves primarily around puzzles.

On top of that, the blue waypoint pillar no longer functions as well as it did in the previous two games, and sometimes it just doesn't function at all. You can literally be standing directly on top of a collectible you've set as the marker point and it won't appear. 

For the most part, the game's combat is satisfying, but the death animations deserve special mention. There are some truly weird body physics going on that rival the worst of Bethesda's ludicrous glitches. Dead guards often looking like they are either taking a very uncomfortable nap or keeled over in the middle of break dancing. That's not to mention some of Lara's death scenes are unnecessarily brutal. 

Lara Croft shoots an enemy with an assault rifle in ruins

Why Am I Pondering Morality?

While slaughtering your way through rank and file Trinity guards and seeking out a way to save the world, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider takes some time to make you think about your actions. We aren't quite in Spec Ops: The Line territory here, but the developers seem to be keenly aware that a more grounded, realistic Tomb Raider universe needs to have more consequences. 

It starts out with little things like a villager commenting, "Oh, I wish you were a tourist. Tourists bring money. Archaeologists just take things." Which, of course, is a somewhat subtle commentary on Lara's tendency to dabble in kleptomania from time to time. 

But the concept or morality expands rapidly from there, and by the end of the game's first quarter, you may start to wonder if maybe Lara is actually the villain and Trinity might be the saviors of the world.

I actually laughed out loud when Lara at point muses, "What are they so afraid of?" upon stumbling across some terrified Trinity guards. Gee, I don't know, maybe they are a tad bit worried about the psychotic ninja archaeologist literally stringing their friends up from trees?

Lara hangs an enemy from a tree in the jungle

Honestly, the only difference between Trinity and Lara's rag tag group is the size and scale of the operation. Both are well funded, both break shit and take what they want, and both firmly believe they are justified in doing so. Trinity just has more people at their disposal. 

The primary driving force of the story is directly caused by Lara in the opening segment. She just can't stop herself from snatching a magical ancient artifacts without thinking it through -- and being hyper focused on keeping it out of other peoples' hands.

In more than a nutshell, she's responsible for widespread death and devastation throughout the game, and then she doubles down on her bad decision. Her entire motivation in trying to stop Trinity from getting the totem she seeks is that she thinks no one else should be allowed to find what's rightfully hers.

If you look at this game from the viewpoint of anyone besides Lara Croft, the only conclusion you can really reach is that she's really a mega-maniacal villain. Oh sure, she's cute and likable, but she's also a mass murderer. Seriously, how many of those armed guards have even close to the kill count Laura has racked up in the last two games? 

I have absolutely no idea how much of this was intended by the develops to be inferred by the player, but there's something to be said for a game that makes you think a bit.

Lara Croft overlooks a city devastated by a tsunami in Shadow of the Tomb Raider

The Bottom Line

There's a solid mix of old Lara and new Lara here, along with the good and bad that come with those. You get a revamped skill tree to play with, and the camera mode is fun for taking snapshots of a dangling Lara defying gravity (and death). Stealth mechanics take more of a front seat this time, and there are now merchants to trade with and cities to explore, providing a bit of an RPG feel to the action-adventure formula.

Water also plays a much, much bigger role than before, with huge flooded areas to swim across while avoiding deadly piranha. There are also tons of places to explore while diving, and some of the game's tombs and crypts use water in unique ways. 

The game can appeal to any kind of player because of its difficulty settings. Instead of being static difficulty modifiers, you can turn on super blunt hints and just play through the story or crank it up to maximum and try for the classically hard Tomb Raider experience.

There are some frustrating downsides to battle against, however, like clunky mechanics that need an overhaul, specifically in traversing cliff faces and jumping from precipice to precipice.

Overall, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is a worthwhile experience for fans of the previous two games, although I'm getting the feeling the series may be in need of another reboot soon.

Check out our pre-order guide here

[Note: The developer provided the copy of Shadow of the Tomb Raider used in this review.]

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Pre-Order Editions Guide Mon, 27 Aug 2018 11:53:46 -0400 Bryant Pereira

All great things eventually must come to an end -- and the conclusion of the Tomb Raider reboot series signifies that. Preceded by two incredible entries, Shadow of the Tomb Raider marks the end of the reboot trilogy with its debut on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 14.

If you're planning on joining Lara's journey to save the world from a Maya apocalypse, it's dangerous to go alone. Use this pre-order guide to overcome the challenges of the deadly jungle and tombs to become the ultimate Tomb Raider.

From pre-order bonuses to special editions, we've got everything covered for you in this guide.

Pre-Order Bonuses

Pre-ordering any physical edition of Shadow of the Tomb Raider from most retailers nabs you a collector's steelbook case with three art cards. All digital versions of the game come with a skills booster pack that enhances skills in all three skill trees. 

You also get access to the game 48 hours early if you pre-order any edition above Standard.

Here are the retailer-exclusive pre-order bonuses. These only apply to all pre-order options except the Standard Edition and its Limited Steelbook variant.

Standard Edition

Price: $59.99

For a time, you will be able to pre-order Limited Steelbook variants of the Standard Edition. These are the same as the Standard Edition, just with a Steelbook case.

The Standard Edition of the game can be purchased either physically or digitally for $59.99. It comes with the pre-order bonuses seen above, along with any retailer exclusives when purchasing physically. There are no additional bonuses. The Limited Steelbook is a good choice but is not available for PC.

Digital Deluxe Edition

Price: $69.99

The Digital Deluxe version of the game is the lowest tier that gives access to the 48-hour early access. Additionally, this version comes with a digital game soundtrack and an outfit/weapon pack. Each digital outlet comes with a small platform bonus as well such as a theme or avatar outfit.

Croft Steelbook Edition

Price: $89.99

For those who are confident they'll be raiding and exploring for a while, the Croft Edition of the game comes with all the standard pre-order bonuses along with the Season Pass ($29.99 value) and three additional weapons/outfits.

Season Pass content will release on a monthly basis starting in October 2018. For seven months, each update will come with a new "Path" -- including a new story, missions, a Challenge tomb, a new weapon, new outfit, and a new skill. Some of the Challenge Tombs will come with new co-op features.

Ultimate Edition

Price: $199.99

The most dedicated, hardcore Tomb Raider fans may have already nabbed up the limited amount of Ultimate Editions available, but there is a waiting list on the Square Enix Store for $200. If you're lucky enough to get this edition, it will come with a statue of Lara, a climbing ax bottle opener, a flashlight, along with all of the extras from any of the cheaper editions.


Planning on pre-ordering Shadow of the Tomb Raider? Let us know what you're looking forward to most below along with which version you'll be picking up!

Square Enix E3 Showcase Roundup: Kingdom Hearts 3, Tomb Raider, and More! Mon, 11 Jun 2018 15:53:29 -0400 Ashley Shankle

This year's showcase from Square Enix may not have been long, but it did pack a punch. Fans of their long-running series like Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, and Tomb Raider have plenty to look forward to based on what was shown during their showcase during E3 2018 -- but there's definitely something for everyone among the lineup.

Without further ado, let's get to what was shown during this year's Square Enix showcase.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay reveal

Shadow of the Tomb Raider got a brand new trailer yesterday during Microsoft's showcase, but it seems Square Enix wanted the real hype-inducing meat to be during their own presentation. It's some juicy meat.


The gameplay demo featured above shows some great gameplay footage, especially focusing on stealth combat. The developers claim Shadow of the Tomb Raider will have wall-running, grappling, underwater swimming and survival, and will feature the largest world of the series yet. Laura Croft has really come a long way from the PlayStation, that's for sure.

Final Fantasy XIV Under the Moonlight 4.3 trailer

All I wanted from FFXIV at this point was some Final Fantasy XII-related content and it looks like we're finally getting it. The trailer for patch 4.3 is sure to send FFXII fans up the wall.


The trailer features familiar music, outfits, themes, and even the Bangaa race from the Ivalice Final Fantasy games. These certainly aren't the only things Final Fantasy XIV fans have to get excited about in the above trailer, though. There's a lot going on, and it all looks great.

Final Fantasy XIV x Monster Hunter World collaboration trailer

This was my personal hype machine.


Not much to say, not much to see! But nothing in the world can get you as excited to play a game like the Monster Hunter theme. This seems to be a collaboration that will take place in FFXIV, and will be coming sometime this summer. HYPE!

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit trailer

We got a second look at Life Is Strange developer Dontnot Entertainment's new spin-off for the series called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit, which they promise will have an impact on the upcoming Life Is Strange 2.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age trailer

Fans of the classic Enix RPG series will be happy to find that Dragon Quest XI now has an official North American release date: September 4, 2018.


As with previous entries released overseas, Dragon Quest XI will feature voice acting not present in the original Japanese release. We may be getting it over a year after it released in Japan, but late is better than never in the case of this classic turn-based series.

Babylon's Fall trailer

A Japanese publisher needs to have at least one Platinum game in their lineup, right? Right, that's what I assume. Even if it's not really the case.

Enter Square Enix's newest game from developer Platinum Games, Babylon's Fall.


The above trailer doesn't show much, but it does show some of that signature over-the-top Platinum style. Hopefully we will hear more about this game during or soon after E3.

Octopath Traveler trailer

Octopath Traveler is looking like the first completely original classic-style JRPG on the Switch and, for all intends and purposes, it looks fantastic for what it is.


This is one game we've known about for some time but we're mere weeks away from its release. Octopath Traveler looks very much like a SaGa game, with cues from Romancing SaGa and even SaGa Frontier. How will it actually play, though? Hopefully it'll play like it looks.

Just Cause 4 trailer

In case you needed some true chaos in your Square Enix presentation, Just Cause 4's trailer is here to give you just that. The off-the-rails open world series returns with a bigger and more varied world than ever.


The new weather system looks to be the biggest introduction in this release, with full-size tornadoes, massive thunderstorms, and more. And let's not even get into the vehicles and open world. Just watch the trailer!

The Quiet Man trailer

There's not much said in the below trailer and it goes lengths to blur the lines between live-action footage and in-game footage, but it does look interesting. It's an understatement to say there are not many games with deaf protagonists.


Kingdom Hearts 3 trailer

It's been how long since we've gotten a mainline Kingdom Hearts game? It's been 12 years since Kingdom Hearts 2 was released on the PlayStation 2. The series has survived in remixes and spin-offs since then and it's gone on strong, but all anyone wanted was a third game.


This time around Sora and the game will going into both Disney and Pixar worlds, featuring Hercules, Wreck-It-Ralph, Frozen, Monsters, Inc., Tarzan, and more. Fans will be watching this trailer over and over for sure, just to get a glimpse of what might be.

That's it for what Square Enix had to offer in their showcase during E3 2018. Later today we have more from Sony, Ubisoft, and more as E3 and its nearly endless stream of reveals pushes forward.

Square Enix's showing was strong, but there is surely stronger to come! Did one of these games make your E3? I have to admit, the FFXIV patch and collab have me worked up. Let us know in the comments!

3 Things “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” Should Do Wed, 22 Mar 2017 08:00:02 -0400 J.Lucas

I shouldn't need to tell you how big and important the Tomb Raider franchise is for gaming. Since its inception all the way back in 1996 (which, today, seems like ancient history in video game terms) it has created the action-adventure game genre as we know it today, it proved that you don't need to hide a female protagonist inside a suit of armor to make her a star, and has spawned a multimedia franchise containing 11 main games, numerous mobile and handheld spin-offs, two full-length movies starring the biggest female actress at the time (with another Tomb Raider film coming), thousands of pages worth of comic books, an animated series, and even a slot machine.

There is at least one game, possibly two, coming as well. One presumably in development by Crystal Dynamics, and another certainly in development by Eidos Montreal titled Shadow of the Tomb Raider. And no, despite the name and some early prototype images floating around, it's probably not going to feature Lara fighting Colossi.

tomb raider, prototype

Now, as much as I enjoyed the previous two games in the reboot, 2013's Tomb Raider and 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider, I couldn't help but feel like they were missing something. I grew up in a different era, with the first Crystal Dynamics reboot trilogy (Legend, Anniversary and Underworld), and while I did really enjoy the newest reboots, they were missing things that they could've benefited from. So despite the fact that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is probably already in full development, let's give the good people over at Eidos a couple of pointers about what they could add -- at least to improve the experience even further, and create the definitive Tomb Raider title!

1. A More Fun-Loving, Confident Lara

lara croft, tomb raider

By far the biggest problem of the reboot games is that Lara seems kind of passive in them -- she's not doing much in them, she has things happen to her. Which was fine in the first game, which cast her in the role of a shipwrecked college student who had to survive by any means necessary, but starting from Rise we were supposed to start seeing glimpses of the Lara we all know and love... and we didn't.

Once again, despite the fact that this time she's actively hunting for something, she finds herself in a situation beyond her control, forced to survive in the Siberian wilderness. Disempowering Lara in such a way might make for a fun gameplay experience built around resource management and scouting, but it also takes away a good chunk of what makes her interesting. She's not some passive victim that has unfortunate accidents happen to her, she's Lara 'Friggin'' Croft, she gets herself into danger on purpose all the time for the thrill of it! It's important to establish Lara as someone who is perfectly capable of escaping from a dangerous situation if she wants to, but why would she ever want to? Where's the fun in that?

In addition to that point, it wouldn't hurt if she's a bit more likeable, personality-wise. Because, let's face it, reboot Lara is pretty plain, and sometimes even comes off as a bitch -- like when she called her stepmother a c**t. Lara Croft isn't supposed to lose her cool like that, not unless something extremely serious has happened. Lara is someone who always had a witty remark in store, someone who genuinely enjoys every single thing about her life, who takes a moment to take in the sights, who isn't afraid to banter with her villains when appropriate because that's all part of the fun. Treasure hunting is a game for her, it's a sport. She's the best there is at it, she knows it, and she loves it. Lara needs that confidence back, alongside her sense of humor.

 2. More Varied Locations

lara croft, tomb raider, underworld

A staple of the Tomb Raider franchise since its inception have been the varied locations that Lara travels to throughout her adventures. The very first game took her to the Himalayas, Greece, Egypt and even Atlantis. Legend took her to four different continents, there's hardly a place that our favorite raider of tombs hasn't visited in her pursuit of shiny trinkets from the past! As such, it's kind of disappointing that the rebooted franchise have decided to mostly keep her confined to only a single location.

It made sense in the 2013 game, as its whole premise was that Lara was stranded on an island she couldn't escape from, but Rise of the Tomb Raider, despite having a great opening in Syria, stuck Lara in a Siberian installation for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, the Uncharted series -- Tomb Raider's direct competition which have been very clearly inspired by their rival -- have continued to send their protagonist Nathan Drake across the globe right up until his adventure ended in 2016's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

tomb raider, lara croft, tomb, sphynx

So, how do you reconcile the more open-ended level design of the rebooted games with my idea? One option would be to do what Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain did and just give Lara a central hub (such as Croft Manor) that she can use to freely travel to one of several large locations in the world. For example, imagine being in Ghana, you retrieve some kind of artifact from a tomb there, do a couple of side quests and gather supplies, then call a helicopter, go back to Croft Manor for a change of equipment and clothes and fly over to Afghanistan to continue your adventure.

This also fits in with the 'Lara isn't FORCED to do this, she's doing it because she wants to' philosophy I outlined earlier, and adds a very convenient fast travel function to replace the nonsensical one from the previous game where you mysteriously teleport between fireplaces. Another option would be to do something akin to Dark Souls where the whole world is interconnected, but still divided into zones which are very distinct in appearance. However, I'm not sure how realistic that would be in practice, and it also defies the idea of Lara travelling the world.

3. A Supporting Cast

lara croft, tomb raider, Zip, Alister

The best, or depending on who you ask, worst thing that Tomb Raider: Legend added to the formula was that it made Lara a team player. Instead of working alone, she'd now hired a team of experts, namely the hacking genius Zip and the historian Alister (alongside her butler Winston, who makes a return from earlier games after narrowly avoiding a horrible, icy death -- don't try to deny it, you know what you did). Aside from that, she also had numerous contacts across the globe, such as the engineer Anaya, and by Tomb Raider: Underworld she'd also made frienemies with the mystically powered Amanda.

This gave Lara a supporting cast, people to work off. Some people loved the banter between Lara, Zip and Alister during missions (I know I did), others thought it detracted from the experience. Both opinions are valid, but in any case, it's better to have a cast of characters you can get attached to than simply having Lara by herself, in silence, forever.

The rebooted games tried to do that, with the implication being that the survivors from the first game would go on to have their own adventures together, but the only one who joins Lara in Rise of the Tomb Raider is Jonah -- the rest disappear between games (including Sam, Lara's best friend who was a HUGE driving force behind her motivations in the first game), and unless you've read the comics, you'd have no idea what even happened to them. Hell, even Jonah is barely in Rise, for the most part he's merely a damsel in distress for Lara to save and take care of rather than an actual character that she can work off. He's a plot device.

tomb raider, jonah

If we're to move forward, we need an established cast. Again, look at the Uncharted franchise, which by the first game had established that Nathan Drake worked alongside Sully and Elena and then followed through on that in the second game, further expanding the cast in the second, third, and fourth games by adding Chloe, Charlie, and Sam, respectively. Only, Rise of the Tomb Raider added no one, and even Jonah isn't all that interesting or compelling -- the most interesting and compelling characters from the reboot died either in the 2013 game or shortly after it. I'm not saying that Lara absolutely needs to have a voice in her ear 24/7, but an established cast of partners is basically a necessity for these types of games. We need people we can care for... especially since, right now, we don't exactly care about this version of Lara all that much.

These Changes Will Make A Great Game Better

Look, I'm not saying that if Shadow of the Tomb Raider does none of those things then it's going to be a bad game. Rise of the Tomb Raider had a boring Lara, was constrained to one location and only featured one returning character, and yet it was still a really great game -- and a worthy successor of the 2013 reboot.

However, right now Eidos Montreal have an opportunity to not only follow the formula that Crystal Dynamics established four years ago, but to improve upon it, to enhance the Tomb Raider experience. They can add things which have worked in the series before, but have been lacking recently, to create a game that's different than the one before it. Whether or not they do any of that, well, only time will tell, but one can only hope.