Eidos Montreal on Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s difficulty settings

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will allow players to select the difficulty of each three of the game’s core mechanics — combat, exploration and puzzles — and we sat down with Lead Game Designer, Heath Smith, to discuss the functionality.

“We wanted to bring the most equal balance between what we call the pillars of Tomb Raider,” Smith told Stevivor. “Combat, its exploration, but also its puzzles and tombs.

“What that means essentially is there’s more puzzles in this game. But what was fascinating that came out of that is when we put more puzzles and we put harder puzzles not just in the tombs, but on the main path. In fact, Lara herself is solving a giant puzzle in this game — that’s what she’s doing; she’s solving a riddle. When we did that, some people said, ‘I don’t like puzzles. Puzzles are too hard now.’

“This is one of the reasons why we now have split difficulty levels. So we have combat difficulty, puzzle difficulty and traversal difficulty because we know we have an expanded audience these days. People can really tailor the experience the way they want to play it. So if they want like almost like a puzzle game, they can put the puzzles on hard and they can put combat on easy and you can mix and match all those things.”

Each of Shadow of the Tomb Raider‘s difficulties is detailed here.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider heads to Windows PC, Xbox One and PS4 in September.

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Steve Wright

Steve's the owner of this very site and an active games journalist for the past ten years. He's a Canadian-Australian gay gaming geek, ice hockey player and fan. Husband to Matt and cat dad to Wally and Quinn.