Christmas may be over, but the Epic Games Store isn’t done handing out free gifts just yet. Its latest free game is actually three free games in one. Until January 6, you can head over there and grab the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, its 2016 sequel Rise of The Tomb Raider, and its 2019 follow-up, Shadow of The Tomb Raider, for free. That’s a lotta tomb raidin’!
This isn’t a complete surprise. Like kids peeking under the Christmas tree while their parents are asleep, a few days ago dataminers and leakers had already revealed that folks would be getting some free Tomb Raider games on Dec. 30. And, they were right! Just a short time ago, the Survival Trilogy popped up as today’s free giveaway on the Epic Games Store. As usual, you’ll need to download the Epic Games Store launcher on PC, create an account if you don’t have one already, and then add the free games to your library before the giveaway ends on January 6, 2022.
If you haven’t played any of the newer Tomb Raider games, you should definitely try to play these during any free holiday time you might have left in 2021. The first game in the trilogy, confusingly named just Tomb Raider, shakes up the franchise formula, focusing more on survival and open-world-like exploration. There’s also a crafting system and as you progress through the game’s action-movie storyline you unlock upgrades for your gear and abilities.
Arguably the best game of the trilogy is the 2016 sequel, Rise of The Tomb Raider. This follow-up takes the solid foundation of RPG upgrades, open-world exploration, and satisfying third-person combat found in that first reboot and just turns the dial up to 11. Bigger levels, more tombs to raid, more puzzles, more upgrades, more weapons, etc, etc. It’s just a bigger and better take on the formula that the first reboot established, with some slick-looking visuals, too. I also enjoyed the narrative more than either the first game or the third game in the trilogy, with Lara acting more like a desperate hero trying to save the day while struggling with her own personal problems and demons.
Finally, in 2019 we got Shadow of The Tomb Raider. This third game was developed by Eidos Montreal, unlike the past two games which were produced by Crystal Dynamics. But while a new studio was in charge of this entry, it more or less followed the same formula established with the past two games. I don’t think it’s a bad game, but it does feel a bit more clunky and old compared to the first two installments of the reboot trilogy.
So, when do we expect the next entry in the long-running Tomb Raiderfranchise to be released? Not anytime soon. Crystal Dynamics is a busy studio these days, working on the Avengers game and also helping out Microsoft with its Perfect Dark reboot. All we know is that Crystal Dynamics is indeed working on a new entry in the series that is planned to “unify” the timelines of the original ‘90s games and the newer reboots. But the studio hasn’t given any timeframe for when this next Tomb Raider title will see the light of day. Until then, you can replay or check out the reboot trilogy for free on PC via Epic’s giveaway.
By Zack Zwiezen | Kotaku