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PlayStation Plus users can currently grab one of the best action-adventure trilogies

PlayStation Plus users can currently grab one of the best action-adventure trilogies

PlayStation Plus users can currently grab one of the best action-adventure trilogies out there for free: Tomb Raider.

PlayStation Plus, like other subscription services, is great because it’s the perfect excuse to check out all those unplayed gems that you didn't get around to at release. I’ll admit, I’m only just playing Ghost of Tsushima - and yes, I’m very late to the party but I’m oh so glad that I finally arrived. PlayStation Plus gave me the kick I needed to check it out and it now safely sits among my all-time favourites. That’s not the game I’m here to talk to you about today though.

What I also love about PlayStation Plus is that when one of my pre-existing favourites gets added to the platform, I can finally beg everyone I know to pick it up - and that is what I’m here to tell you to do. If you’re a subscriber to PlayStation Plus’ extra tier, you’ll now have access to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and with rumours that Amazon Games may unveil the fourth instalment in the series at this year’s Summer Game Fest, now is the perfect time to pick up what is one of the most enjoyable action-adventure trilogies out there.

My personal top pick is Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Take a look at the game in action below.

I feel as if I’m constantly having conversations with friends that end up with someone saying, ‘I hope they make another Uncharted game,’ to which my reply is always, ‘Have you played the most recent Tomb Raider trilogy?’ The number of times I’m met with a ‘no’ astounds me. It’s hardly like Lara Croft is a niche character no one has heard of and yet, I find myself constantly recommending this trilogy. It’s about time that people take notice.

That’s not to say that Tomb Raider is just another version of Uncharted. It’s certainly not. While both centre around treasure-hunting adventurers, Tomb Raider dips its toes into the waters of semi open-world hubs far more than the Uncharted franchise does. It’s an aspect of the trilogy that grows with each instalment. By Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you’ll have a vast playground to explore in the form of Paititi. The key word here is explore. You’ll eventually stumble across plenty of secret caves and tombs, but you’ll have to seek out hard-to-spot crevices and underwater cavities if you want to see all the game has to offer.

Sure, all entries in the trilogy follow a linear story but there’s a real freedom outside of those main story missions. Tomb Raider is also a trilogy with a keen interest in horror and suspense, even if it is primarily an action-adventure. I’ll refrain from spoiling anything, but you’ll soon get an idea of what I’m talking about in Tomb Raider’s opening scene which sets the grisly tone of the trilogy. By the time you reach Shadow of the Tomb Raider, you’ll be entering dark caverns filled with echoing other-wordly screeches, while a kind of scurrying seemingly tracks your every step.

Rise of the Tomb Raider /
Square Enix

The word unnerving comes to mind. Particularly in that third game, I was alarmed by a couple of jump scares (and I can’t stomach horror in general) but it added an intensity that, in my opinion, sets the Tomb Raider trilogy apart from similar games in the same genre. It’s a joy seeing each game’s story unfold. You may start off trying to hunt down a simple treasure but it’s never that easy, is it? Ancient treasures come with ancient secrets.

Each game has a distinct identity seeing as Lara isn’t yet the assured adventurer we know her to be. This is her origin story. Tomb Raider’s Japanese island-set caper introduces us to a scrappy Lara, resorting to desperate measures to survive this intense duck-out-of-water tale. Rise of the Tomb Raider sees a more confident Lara take a measured and stealthy approach to her latest mission in Russia. By the time she reaches Peru in Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara is utterly ruthless - perfectly matching this instalment’s horror-fuelled intensity.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider /
Square Enix

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is an interesting one. It’s often cited as many people’s least favourite when for me, it’s quite the opposite. The story and world are incredibly engaging, Lara’s skills and abilities are more expansive than we’ve ever seen before, the tone is pitch-perfect and the big finale set piece is one of my favourites that I’ve ever played. What more could you possibly want?

I’ll add that while Tomb Raider is now somehow a decade old, all games hold up extremely well graphically today. With a fourth instalment in the series confirmed to be on the way, I can’t wait to see where Lara is headed to next. I just hope more people check out this series and come along for the ride.

Featured Image Credit: Charles Sims via Unsplash, Sony

Topics: Playstation Plus, Tomb Raider, Square Enix