Spider-Man vs Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Which Should You Buy?
With Spider-Man releasing on PS4 earlier this month courtesy of the talented folk at Insomniac Games, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider hitting Xbox One, PS4, and PC a mere week later, many players right now may be deliberating which of these two blockbuster titles from September they should buy. To help you out, we’re running through the story, gameplay, and replayability factors of each of these games so you can make a more informed decision.
With both Spider-Man and Shadow of the Tomb Raider being single-player titles, the story is pretty darn important. After all, nobody wants to pour hours into a game with a terrible story that makes all of your actions feel pointless, or is just so corny it actually pains you to watch the cutscenes. Fortunately, neither Shadow of the Tomb Raider, nor Spider-Man have stories that are so outrageously bad you’ll want to stop playing, but there are some things you should be aware of.
Spider-Man’s release on PS4 may not be the first video game adaptation of the neighborhood superhero, but the narrative that drove all of the web-slinging action forward was an entirely new, original story. This meant that whether you were a hardcore Spidey fan or not, there wasn’t anything you felt you were missing out from. Everyone starts off getting to know this Spider-Man and the world he lives in from the same point – many years into his tenure as the superhero – and while there are nods and references dedicated fans will pick up on that newcomers may not, there’s nothing so significant to the story that it’s detrimental to the experience for newcomers. It may be a bit cliche at times, but it’s a superhero video game, and isn’t that all what superheroes are all about?
As for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, this final chapter of the rebooted trilogy finally sees Lara completing her transition from nervy architect, to the hardened bad-ass tomb raider that fans got to know in earlier titles. It’s satisfying to finally see Lara taking these final steps, as she goes about saving the world from a Mayan apocalypse, taking down Trinity goons who are on the same path, and helping out citizens as she goes. For the most part, it’s enjoyable enough and serves as a meaning to drive your exploration and tomb raiding experience forward, but it does have some shortcomings.
For one, Lara’s motives, particularly during the opening hour or two of Shadow of the Tomb Raider can feel muddled, and it almost makes her come across as selfish. While it’s always nice to see a slightly different side to our protagonists, it’s one that seems like a decision that was made in order to have Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s story make sense. And that’s because pretty much everything that’s going on in the game is because of something Lara did.
It’s difficult to empathize with a character who got themselves, and billions of others into a mess because of their own aspirations and desires, and as a result, you may feel less inclined to carry on your adventure in Shadow of the Tomb Raider than you would in Spider-Man.
As a result, though neither story is inherently bad, we’re going to give this round to Spider-Man for an enjoyable, action-packed story that made us feel like the neighborhood superhero himself.