As Mission Impossible: Fallout has decisively proven, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to a formula if it’s good and you know how to build on it. Tomb Raider had a great formula: its electrifying 2013 reboot was a bold, tight reinvention of Lara Croft’s adventures for modern times, while 2015’s sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider expanded on the idea and upped the action movie excess.
The problem with Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the third game in the reboot trilogy, isn’t just that it’s formulaic. It plays as well as ever, the pacing is spot-on, and it’s often extremely beautiful. But without any substantial upgrades to the action, anything to escalate the drama, or any way of generating genuine emotional resonance, it ends up feeling…
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