Shadow of the Tomb Raider Has Separate Combat, Traversal, and Puzzle Difficulty Settings

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Aug 8
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Square Enix clearly wants Shadow of the Tomb Raider to appeal to the broadest range of players possible. As such, the game will let you set combat, exploration, and puzzle difficulty independently – are you an old-school adventure game fan who fumbles with action? Dial down the combat, while cranking up the traversal and puzzle difficulty. A hardcore shooter fan? Do the opposite, turning up the combat, while dialing down exploration and puzzles. Each category has four difficulty settings – easy, normal, hard, and the ultra-challenging Deadly Obsession.

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Here’s a deeper breakdown of Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s difficulty settings:

Combat

Easy

  • Aim assist enabled
  • Enemies have lower health and do less damage
  • Ammunition boxes are plentiful
  • Enemies have illuminated silhouettes

Normal

  • Enemies have normal health and damage
  • Ammunition boxes are rare
  • Enemies have illuminated silhouettes

Hard

  • Enemies have increased health, do more damage and locate Lara more quickly.
  • No health regeneration in combat
  • Ammunition boxes are rare
  • No hit markers on the reticle
  • Enemies are not highlighted in Survival Instincts

Deadly Obsession

  • Same as hard
  • No HUD icon when Lara is being detected by an enemy

Exploration

Easy

  • Obvious white paint on critical path
  • Longer saving grab timer
  • Base camps are lit

Normal

  • Discreet white paint on critical path
  • Normal saving grab timer
  • Base camps are unlit

Hard

  • No white paint on critical path
  • Reduced saving grab timer
  • No Survival Instincts during exploration
  • Base camps are unlit

Deadly Obsession

  • Same as Hard
  • Base camps are unlit and require resources to light
  • Game only saves at Base camps

Puzzles

Easy

  • Lara gives direct hints on next action to perform
  • Interactable objects are highlighted in Survival Instincts
  • Objects necessary to progress highlighted in blue during Survival Instincts
  • Longer window of opportunity for timed mechanics

Normal

  • Lara gives general hints on the next action to perform
  • Interactable objects are highlighted in Survival Instincts
  • Normal window of opportunity for timed mechanics

Hard/Deadly Obsession

  • No hints are given by Lara
  • No Survival Instincts
  • Shorter window of opportunity for timer mechanics

Honestly, I kind of love this approach to difficulty, and hope more games do something similar in the future. In addition to the highly-granular difficulty, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will include a wide variety of accessibility settings, including full closed captioning, and options to reduce camera shake and the amount of button tapping required.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider sneaks onto PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on September 14.

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