The highly anticipated finale of Lara Croft’s origin story, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, is about a month away from release. In this new game, players will be able to customize their experience in great depth, including customizing difficulty settings.
In a recent post on the Tomb Raider website, it is explained that the player will have control over all kinds of settings, such as aim sensitivity, centralizing the camera behind Lara, reducing camera shake, and options for tapping some buttons when they would normally have to be held down, or holding down a button when it would need to be tapped quickly. Of course, there are more standard settings options as well, such as setting Y axis inversion, toggling controller vibration, and various subtitle options.
What’s particularly interesting though is how much control the player will be given over the game’s difficulty. In a video posted late last month, it was revealed that, where most games would encapsulate the entire game’s difficulty in Easy, Medium, or Hard modes, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will let players set certain parts of the game’s gameplay to different difficulties. The game’s Combat, Exploration, and Puzzle mechanics can all be set to different difficulties, allowing players with different strengths to set them in the ways they’ll find most enjoyable. For example, if you’re someone who likes really challenging puzzles but isn’t good at combat, you might want to set the Combat difficulty to Easy, while the Exploration difficulty is at Normal and the Puzzle difficulty is at Hard. There will also be a difficulty setting called Deadly Obsession, which is harder than Hard mode. Unlike with other difficulty levels, if a player chooses Deadly Obsession, all three areas of the game will be set to that difficulty and there will be no way to change the difficulty mid-game.
In the aforementioned video, it was explained that the amount of paint on climbable surfaces letting the player know where to go will be lessened as the difficulty level is increased. However, the new post gives much more details about how difficulty levels will affect the various areas of the game. For Combat, difficulty levels will affect things like aim assist (which doesn’t exist in higher difficulty levels), enemy health and damage (the higher the difficulty, the higher enemies’ health will be and how much damage they will inflict), ammunition boxes (which become more rare as the difficulty levels increase), and enemies’ illuminated silhouettes (which disappear on higher difficulty levels). For Exploration, difficulty affects how much paint there will be on climbable walls (amount of paint decreases with higher difficulty levels, making it harder to find where to go), saving grab timer (higher difficulty levels allow for less time to save yourself with a grab if falling), and base camps (which are unlit in higher difficulty modes, and are the only places where players can save the game in Deadly Obsession mode). Difficulty affects Puzzles with Lara’s clues to the player (which become less obvious, or aren’t given at all, with increased difficulty), how interactable objects are highlighted (they become less highlighted, or not highlighted at all, with increased difficulty), and how much time is available for timed mechanics (with decreased amounts of time available in higher difficulties).
Shadow of the Tomb Raider will launch on September 14 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.