Shadow of the Tomb Raider The Official Art Book Review

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Titan Books has partnered with Square Enix to make the official Shadow of the Tomb Raider art book! Within this in-depth art book we find the concept art, environment, characters, and story development for the latest addition to the franchise. Put together by Paul Davies and Martin Dubeau, this book will be perfect for any Tomb Raider fan.

Book Layout

Shadow of the Tomb Raider the Official Art Book is laid out in a perfect format to cover everything within the new game, and aspects that players love.

Introduction

Characters

  • Lara Croft
  • Lara’s Equipment
  • Richard & Amelia Croft
  • Jonah
  • Abby
  • Dr. Dominguez
  • Trinity Soldiers
  • Trinity’s Weapons
  • Jungle Creatures
  • Unuratu
  • Etzli
  • Rebels
  • Paititi Citizens: Lower District
  • Paititi Citizens: Upper District
  • Yaaxil
  • Non-Player Characters [NPCs]

Artifacts

  • Box of Ix Chel
  • Key of Chak Chel

Locations

  • Croft Manor
  • Maya Ruins
  • The Path of the Stars
  • Cozumel
  • Temple of the Moon
  • Temple of the Sun
  • The Flood
  • Plane Wreck
  • The Jungle
  • Kawaq Yaku
  • Temple of Death
  • The Path to Paititi
  • Temple of Life
  • Paititi
  • Cenotes
  • Mountain Temple
  • Oil Refinery
  • Mission of San Juan
  • Library & Crypt
  • Flooded Catacombs
  • Volcanic Reuption
  • Chamber of Heaven

Miscellaneous

  • Challenge Tombs
  • Puzzle Designs
  • Tomb Raider: Iconic Art
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider: Iconic Art

With the book being broken up into particular sections relating to the game, it’s easy to see the hard work Square Enix and Titan did putting it all cohesively together.

For our review, we’re going to focuses solely on Lara Croft, her family, and the character development, as to not spoil contents of the video game or book to any aspiring readers or gamers. Do note there may be slight spoilers to 2013’s Tomb Raider, 2016’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and plot information for Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Spoilers Ahead for Tomb Raider

Lara Croft

Lara Croft is the iconic tomb raiding woman that we’re all here to see. She’s grown up from 2013’s Tomb Raider, where she rebelled against everything and everyone after her father’s suicide. Following 2016’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, she makes it her mission to validate her father’s theories, and establish the Croft name from ruin. This is where we meet Trinity, who seeks power and control through myths and artifacts. At the end of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara realizes that her family’s name is not important, and that she must find her own path – which involves hunting Trinity down.

“In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara is a force to be reckoned with. She becomes one with the jungle, an apex predator hunting down Trinity, one cell at a time. But she may have gone too far…

Lara takes the Key of Chak Chel, and triggers the end of the world: the Cleansing. As events unfold, Lara has to decide whether to let go of the darkness that is not only destroying herself, but the world, or be consumed by it” – Shadow of the Tomb Raider the Official Art Book

Different Tomb Raider Outfits, art by Michaël Vergaaf

In all the recent Tomb Raider games, outfits giving different abilities and resistances has been a large part of the crafting element. In Rise of the Tomb Raider materials had to be acquired for this creation, all done by Lara herself. This is no different in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but the team at Eidos-Montréal had reasons for their development and styles throughout the game.

“Creating outfits for this game was particularly challenging because we had to make them look handmade, but still maintain some elegance. For the first one that players can create, we went for something simpler to suggest Lara’s skill as a craft is still rudimentary.” – Michaël Vergaaf, Eidos-Montréal

Richard & Amelia Croft

Richard & Amelia Croft. Art by Brenoch Adams and Marek Okon

It’s known throughout the series that Lara lost both her parents at a very young age and under mysterious situations. Her mother died when Lara was six, and her father committed suicide three years later.

“In life, Lord Richard Croft was an obsessive archaeologist, driven by a thirst for discovery, inspired by the great myths of humanity that he believed were real. Even after Lara was born, her father continued his pursuits of legendary artifacts, creating tension whenever he was at home.

Amelia was very much Richard’s muse, described by those that knew her as sharp, witty, and creative. Like her husband, Amelia DeMornay came from the aristocracy. She enjoyed painting, her talent attracting many admirers and would-be suitors, but fell for Lord Richard Croft while studying at Oxford” – Shadow of the Tomb Raider the Official Art Book

Extra background information in the lives of Lara’s parents is developed within Shadow of the Tomb Raider, along with some of her flashbacks to her parents.

Croft Manor

Amelia Croft’s Studio in Croft Manor, art by Ricardo Lima

Returning to Croft Manor in Lara’s conscious memories is a crucial point of understanding her emotional situation, and the choices she’s made to become the tomb raider. This is essentially where Lara grew up, on the English countryside in a large estate.

“Amelia Croft’s personal studio. After her death, Lord Croft kept this room hidden away within the mansion. The elements of modern art and the visual arrangements, as much as the decorations and the color palette, create a strong link between this space and Amelia’s personality.” – Martin Dubeau

Without going further ahead and spoiling the environmental look of the Maya Ruins, Temples, and the Jungle; know that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a polished game by Square Enix, and developed to tell Lara’s story and take us on a new adventure with the infamous tomb raider. We learn more about Lara’s background, and go on this new adventure that could truly be the end of the world; started all by Lara and her inability to let Trinity get away with their business and what they’ve personally done to her family.

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading the excerpts and seeing the art and design for the new game Shadow of the Tomb Raider. An immense amount of work goes into creating these interactive plot-based games that traverse the player into a new world. With the legacy of Tomb Raider behind them, Square Enix and Titan Books has created a beautiful art book dedicated to Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and the years of work that has gone into the headlining game.

You can personally grab your copy of Shadow of the Tomb Raider the Official Art Book from Titan Books, where they will direct you to a distributor for your region.

If you’re feeling daring and want to go on an adventure, you can also get Shadow of the Tomb Raider for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC through Steam.

Good

  • Character Development Discussed
  • Environmental Art Present (Tombs, Temples, etc.)
  • Croft Family Background Discussed
  • Connected to Video Game and Franchise
  • In-Depth Look of Weapons and Armor
  • Close Look at Puzzle and Challenge Temple Creation
  • Lays out Foundation for New Game

Bad

  • Barely Any Plot/Story Discussed
8.5

Great

Character Development - 10
Concept Art - 8
Environmental Art - 8.2
Connection to Video Game - 10
Background Information - 7.5
Story/Plot Information - 7.5
An avid gamer, journalist, literary reviewer, and lover of all things Marvel; wrapped in a colorful hair-do.
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