Lara Croft can do it all: she can lethally dispose of enemies, explore uncharted territories, and solve mind-bending puzzles (because for some reason, ancient civilizations were apparently in competition to see who could come up with the most complex way to open a door). But if you'd like your experience to be a little less about combat and a little more about exploration or puzzles, good news: Shadow of the Tomb Raider (opens in new tab) has separate difficulty settings for each category.
You can see a full breakdown as well as other accessibility options on the official Shadow of the Tomb Raider site (opens in new tab), but we've also recapped how things work below:
For exploration, Easy mode highlights important paths with conspicuous environmental cues, while Normal difficulty blends them into the background a bit more, and Hard mode features no such clues at all. Easy mode will also give Lara more time to make saving grabs for those extra-dramatic leaps, and Base Camps (where you rest, save, and stock up on supplies) are lit. Normal mode gives the default amount of time to make a saving grab, and Base Camps are unlit. On Hard mode, Lara has the shortest amount of time is also unable to use her Survival Instincts ability during exploration portions of the game, and are unlit.
Puzzles can be even more varied. On Easy mode, Lara will give direct hints on what to do, her Survival Instincts ability will highlight objects she can interact with and mark objects necessary to progress in blue, and players will have a longer window of opportunity for timed mechanics. Normal mode will have Lara give more general hints, and her Survival Instincts will highlight interactive objects but not distinguish between what is and isn't required to solve the puzzle. Hard mode won't allow Lara to use Survival Instincts at all during puzzles, she'll have the shortest window for timed mechanics, and she'll give no clues.
Personally, I love this idea. I'm much more interested in the idea of Lara as an explorer, and I enjoy the challenge of solving a centuries-old riddle much more than mowing down Anonymous Thug #47. Letting players tweak the game so that it suits their individual tastes should result in a more enjoyable experience for everyone.
Want to know more about Lara's journey? Check out our Shadow of the Tomb Raider interview (opens in new tab) and hear it straight from Crystal Dynamics.