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'Shadow of the Tomb Raider': Is this Lara Croft's Final Adventure?

In 2013, Crystal Dynamics revisited one of its most prolific characters, the adventurous, tomb-raiding Lara Croft. The reboot took the already established Croft in an entirely new direction, providing gamers with an origins story of how she became the titular raider of tombs. On March 15, Crystal Dynamics revealed the first trailer for its third entry in the newest Tomb Raider series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Uninspired title aside, Shadow of the Tomb Raider promises another grand adventure for Croft, but the announcement also came with a troubling statement. Based on the HTML coding of the official Tomb Raider website that crafty gamers happened upon, the tagline for Shadow claims that this entry is the “climactic finale of Lara’s origin story.”

The first entry in the Crystal Dynamics reboot series focused on molding Croft into a confident adventurer as she set out on her first expedition. Rise fleshed out the dynamic between her and her father as she follows in Lord Richard Croft’s footsteps, filling in the shoes of a bona fide tomb raider along the way. This leaves the third game in the series to inevitably wrap up her quest to find out what happened to her father, thus neatly concluding the original trilogy of games.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider may end one chapter of Lara’s life, but that doesn’t mean Crystal Dynamics is done with her character entirely. As series like Uncharted, Devil May Cry and Gears of War have proven, even when a series seems to have reached its peak and all possible long-running plots are resolved, there is still much to be explored. For instance, a fourth game could show off the successes of Croft’s affluent career, something gamers got a taste of in the original series by romping around Croft Manor. The Rise of the Tomb Raider DLC Blood Ties gave a glimpse into the family manor, but it was brief and didn’t allow players to enjoy the opulence of it. Many may agree that the biggest downfall of the DLC was not being able to lock a butler in a freezer while enjoying an obstacle course.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is scheduled to release on Sept. 14, 2018. Crystal Dynamics is scheduled to make the official announcement at 9 am EST on March 15, 2018, but the teaser has been leaked. Unlike Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow doesn’t yet appear to be a timed exclusive for any platform.