Welcome back to Survivor Reborn! Today we’re delving into something very exciting, and examining the newly released teaser trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Yes, it’s finally been revealed, and you can start raiding those tombs in just six months, when Lara’s latest adventure will come to a console near you on September 14th 2018.
Let’s dive right in.
The first thing to note is the ‘Not Actual Gameplay’ tag at the bottom, suggesting this entire teaser is thematic and represents the game without actually showing what we’ll get our hands on.
- Shadow’s teaser opens with a solar eclipse, the moon passing in front of the sun. It’s quite a striking image, and if you’ve ever experienced a solar eclipse you’ll know how breathtaking they can be in reality. We’re mesmerised by these cosmic events, and echoes of them can be seen throughout history and mythology. From dragons devouring the sun to omens and portents of doom, a shadow falling across the sun is generally seen as a pretty dark turn of events and a sign that something catastrophic is to come.
- Our first shot of Lara shows her rushing through a lush and gloomy jungle – but what’s that on her back, and what’s that around her waist? As if there was any doubt, Lara’s bow and arrow and dual ice-pick combo make a return. Not that there’s likely to be much ice in the jungle, but I’m sure she’ll find a skull or two to plunge them into.
- Next – danger. A masked soldier brandishing an assault rifle and marked with an unknown symbol. A sword is clearly visible within a cross, which is a very Knights Templar-esque symbol – but is this Trinity? Perhaps a division of Trinity? Either way, it doesn’t look like he’ll live to delve into his secret society, as Lara has snuck up behind him with her trusty axes.
- Here we can see Lara ascending a rugged cliff amid more sprawling jungle, in a shot that looks quite reminiscent of the opening of Tomb Raider Underworld’s Thailand level. Where is it? This is unclear, but perhaps we have a better idea as the trailer progresses.
- Lara cautiously scans her environment, lighting her way with a flaming arrow. She appears to be in a cavernous subterranean area, hints of a lost civilisation are littered throughout the scene. Fires seem to have been lit inside pockets and caves along the walls of this cavern, and, of course, there’s a pyramid. A step pyramid, to be precise. It looks very much like the type of Mayan pyramid found in the jungles of Mexico and Yucatan, but older and far more sinister. Threatening spikes fill the cavern and line the walls of this pyramid, warning intruders against coming close. On the right of the scene, you can make out an unfortunate victim, hanging upside down from some kind of ritualistic totem, in a remarkably similar fashion to when we first met our Reboot Lara back in 2013.
- Finally, the money shot. Lara stands atop what we presume is a Mexican pyramid, facing three more, beneath a total eclipse of the sun. The sky is ablaze with a fiery golden light, and Lara looks tired and worn out. Where does this eclipse fit into Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s storyline? We can venture a guess that the eclipse will be part of a prophecy, perhaps heralding the reveal of a certain artefact, or the unlocking of an ancient tomb or temple at that precise moment, and no doubt something that Trinity(?) are heavily invested in. Mayans saw eclipses as “Star Demons” devouring the sun, which were often portrayed as giant snakes or insects. Is this hinting at the inclusion of a more classic Tomb Raider type of supernatural monster within Shadow, or will all references remain as a metaphor?
We can even gain some insight from the soundtrack to this trailer; heavy drumbeats accompany the edit, adding to the dark and foreboding feel. Harsh whispers can be heard at the start, and by the time the title makes its appearance, the tone has certainly taken on somewhat of a tribal drumbeat. It fits in quite nicely with the aforementioned foreboding mythology surrounding eclipses.
The trailer is short, but it gives away a good chunk of what we can expect. We can tell that at least some of the game will take place in Mexico and that the game could be quite a bit darker than Reboot and Rise, potentially both visually and thematically. Finally, it’s clear from the inclusion of the eclipse within Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s logo that the eclipse will play a big part in the climactic finale of Lara’s origin story.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Trailer Analysis by Chris Carpineti / Survivor Reborn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://survivorreborn.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/shadow-of-the-tomb-raider-trailer-analysis/.