Shadow of the Tomb Raider - E3 2018 gameplay, release date, and everything you need to know

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After years of leaks and accidental teases, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is finally a reality. Showing up during Microsoft's E3 2018 press briefing, this threequel to Square Enix's rebooted Lara Croft series has already landed with a big impact in the crowded hub of E3 2018 games so far. 

The third adventure for this new Croft sets her off globetrotting in a new corner of the world - welcome to the Americas, Lara - and raises the stakes for her sneaking, exploring, and fighting to seemingly apocalyptic levels. Not that they were low before, but that constant solar eclipse imagery does look a bit more threatening than usual.

Square Enix has made it clear that this is "the end of the beginning" for Lara Croft: in other words, the final installment of the trilogy that reinvented her character as a more human, fallible tomb raider. One who still happens to go on unbelievable adventures fighting semi-mystical forces, granted, but no more fighting smack-talking skateboard kids. Where will Lara go from here? I reckon we'll have a pretty good idea by the time the credits roll on Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

Fast facts

  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider release date: September 14, 2018
  • Formats: PC, PS4, Xbox one
  • Developer: Eidos Montreal
  • Price: $59.99 / £59.99

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Due to some not-so-popular arrangements with Microsoft, Rise of the Tomb Raider was available exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 when it first came out in 2015. A few months later it hit PC too, but PS4 players were stuck waiting almost an entire year to pick up the "20 Year Celebration" edition on their platform of choice. Unlike Rise of the Tomb Raider, Shadow of the Tomb Raider will hit PS4, Xbox One, and Steam all at the same time. It doesn't sound like there will be any platform-exclusive content in this game, so feel free to play wherever you're most comfortable.

Check out the E3 2018 gameplay trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider

This is your best look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider yet. Not only does it set up the basis for Lara's new adventure to South America, but sheds light on tons of new gameplay, from action packed firefights to the puzzle-heavy tombs of the title. Running in 4K on an Xbox One X, the game looks no less than stellar, and suggests this final origin adventure for young Miss Croft will be one for the ages. I mean, just look at those lighting and hair effects. You really have outdone yourself this time,  Eidos Montreal. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider's reveal trailer kicks off the apocalypse right

The full reveal trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider doesn't have any gameplay to show us, but at least it's thematic as all get-out. We join Lara Croft deep in Mexican or Central American jungle as she turns an ambush around on a squad of goons from Trinity (those are the bad guys). Her calculated, predatory takedowns are interspersed with scenes of a man in a ceremonial mask preparing to sacrifice a child with a ritual dagger. With the Trinity goons dispensed, Lara leaps, climbs, and almost-but-not-quite drowns on her way to the peak of a distant ziggurat. Finally the two threads intertwine as Lara "saves" the kid, but there's a distinct "what have you done" vibe as Lara walks out to see a crowd of people gathered at the base of the ziggurat, a dramatic solar eclipse in the distance. Maybe interfering with ancient rituals isn't always the best plan?

The Shadow of the Tomb Raider release date isn't too far away

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

It took about forever for Square Enix to officially announce Shadow of the Tomb Raider (especially since the title first leaked years ago). The good part about that is it means we won't have to wait very long between the reveal and the arrival: Shadow of the Tomb Raider's release date is set for September 14, 2018. Again, that's for all platforms - no more of this weird time-limited exclusivity business.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider DLC and a Season Pass are on the way

The contents of Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ultimate Edition.

Lara's crypt-looting adventures will continue with a fairly extensive set of DLC. If you pick up the Season Pass, you'll be able to play through a series of seven additional adventures called "Paths." Each one includes a new side-story complete with missions and a challenge tomb, as well as a new skill, weapon, and outfit to earn. This part's extra cool: the first Challenge Tomb will also add some kind of new co-op gameplay, but we'll have to wait to find out what. You'll get an exclusive weapon, outfit, and skill for owning the season pass as soon as the main game comes out.

A plethora of editions will be available for Shadow of the Tomb Raider - the standard edition, the Digital Deluxe edition which includes the soundtrack and an extra outfit and weapon, the Croft Edition that has all the Digital Deluxe stuff plus the Season Pass DLC and two more weapon/outfit combos. But the biggest of all is the appropriately named Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ultimate Edition, which has everything in the Croft Edition plus several physical goodies: a Lara Croft statuette, a working branded flashlight, and even a teensy little climbing axe you can use as a bottle opener. It's adorable.