The Differences Between Uncharted And Tomb Raider, According To Lara Croft Dev

Which do you prefer?

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Now Playing: Tomb Raider Vs. Uncharted | Versus

There's not long to go until Shadow of the Tomb Raider's release date of September 14 arrives. It's been almost three years since its predecessor, Rise of the Tomb Raider, launched on Xbox One, and in that time we've seen two games from Lara Croft's rival, Nathan Drake--Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. Now, Shadow of the Tomb Raider developer Eidos Montreal has commented on what it feels the differences are between Lara's long-running series and Sony's own adventure franchise.

"The tone is a little different--they're more grounded with their mythology, and we're more magical," Jason Dozois, Shadow's narrative director, told GameSpot. "They're more humor-oriented and we're a bit more drama-oriented. I think we have a uniqueness on the exploration side."

The director also said he and the Eidos Montreal team are "huge fans of Uncharted." He continued: "I loved Uncharted 4, it was a lot of fun. Great storytelling and great character moments. It's fun to be in that world."

In a separate interview, Eidos Montreal's lead game designer, Heath Smith, told GameSpot that the studio had no plans for a Nintendo Switch version of Shadow of the Tomb Raider. We recently got to check out an updated build of Lara's latest adventure--check out our verdict on Shadow of the Tomb Raider's highs and lows. While playing, we discovered the game will include outfits for Lara based around '90s classic Tomb Raider II. For more on the game, take a look at some fresh Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay.

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Avatar image for zmanbarzel

I think the big difference between the two series, and the reason I give the slight nod to "Tomb Raider," is that Lara's recent adventures have been more metroidvania than anything Nate has done. I just prefer that structure to the linear "go from location to location, never returning to explore."

Avatar image for barcaazul

I really like both, they are different and both good in different ways.

For me the uncharted series just edges it and lost legacy was excellent.

I think uncharted borrowed from TR, but since TR has borrowed from Uncharted,

Both great IMO

Avatar image for deactivated-5b8d89c601cb1

They are both fab! I personally prefer Tomb Raider, but the fact that we get to play two games in the action adventure genre of their calibre is amazing! A Tomb Raider/Uncharted cross over would be ace.

Avatar image for midna

Uncharted is miles better than tomb raider at the moment.

Avatar image for spectrexr1

@midna: the story in uncharted is better but the gameplay is much better in tomb raider. I was so sick of crates and endless climbing In uncharted I almost didn't finish it

Avatar image for Jdzspace

This makes me sad, because I grew up with Tomb Raider and saw it's rise and fall, played the new games, liked them enough to keep buying the collector's editions. but when you compare it to Uncharted, there is just is no comparison. And this "debate" was sad in and of itself. All it boils down to for his "argument" is 1. Lara is a bigger icon 2. There is no Uncharted without Tomb Raider (so what? there is no Tomb Raider without Indiana Jones, does that make the Indiana Jones licensed games better than Tomb Raider? of course not) and 3. Tomb Raider has tried new things.

But the fact is that Tomb Raider is at it's absolute best right now, and it is still nowhere near Uncharted overall. Lara is an icon of the past, but that time is over. And in this day and age, I respect the legacy of Lara. But Uncharted is by FAR AND AWAY the better MODERN video game franchise. and it's not even close to being close.

Avatar image for Marky360


I don't agree at all Lara's game still succeeds where Lara is best at exploration and puzzle solving. As good as Uncharted is the exploration is weak as **** honestly it feels like you are in training wheels the whole time with how much Naughty Dog hold your hand same goes for the puzzles. They range from either painfully easy and obvious to annoyingly tedious but are rarely ever truly clever. They just don't compare to Tomb Raider's excellent puzzles and it's wide open exploration with multiple paths to the same end goal. I would also say Lara has adopted a new great mechanic that is top notch and that is Stealth. Lara's Stealth skills far and away exceed those of Nathan Drakes and she is even approaching Splinter Cell Metal Gear Solid levels of stealth expertise. Now that's not to say that Uncharted pales in comparison to Tomb Raider as they undoubtedly have the better shooting mechanics and action set-piece moments and also seems to have a better overall narrative and better characters. So both series have their strengths and weaknesses which I think puts them in close proximity to each other in terms of greatness.

Avatar image for Jdzspace

@Marky360: agree to disagree because when I play uncharted I'm all about stealth kills and headshots and I was the same in Tomb Raider and they were almost the exact same. So I'm not sure what you mean. In fact they both have the exact same mechanic: approach an area and if you can wipe out the 4-6 guys with stealth then that's it, but if you are spotted then flood gates open and tons of extra enemies appear from nowhere. I didn't finish the second one, so if that is different I don't know about that.

Avatar image for Marky360


It's drastically different in Tomb Raider when it comes to stealth. There's many different stealth take downs compared to Uncharted and generally just more options. Like in Tomb Raider say if you take a guy out stealthily you can set a booby trap on his body with a poisonous mushroom so when another guard checks to see if he is ok he gets knocked out as well. You can also target up to three enemies at once with a head shot from the bow by holding three different arrows at one time. There's also the poison arrow which releases a poisonous plume of gas that is silent but deadly and can kill multiple enemies at once if they are all grouped together. I just feel there's way more options for stealth in Tomb Raider then Uncharted. Uncharted is a lot more limited and basic ranging from a silenced headshot or simply sneaking up close to your target and snapping his neck or putting him to sleep. Not much else past that but Uncharted does have ledge grabs which is unique to them as Tomb Raider doesn't have them.

Avatar image for gr4h4m833zy

I have the tomb raider reboot, rise of the tomb raider, uncharted's 1-4 and the lost legacy. That said, i lean more towards the last of us series, but I'm definitely getting shadow of the tomb raider..........PSYCHE!!! I'm with uncharted all the way, but still getting this game and tlou part 2 as well.

Avatar image for Xristophoros

the storytelling in tomb raider is pretty terrible... i don't think many people will defend the cardboard villains or lack of memorable character interactions. uncharted on the other hand has this area covered in spades. while tomb raider has an xp system which presents itself with more "depth", you will soon realize that the majority of upgrades are useless and unnecessary. tomb raider likes to give the illusion of depth but in reality it doesn't offer too much... just busy work -- all the crypts for example felt very cookie cooker, as if they were randomly generated. there was no unique identity to any of them. the tombs were a step up, but not by much. tomb raider does its best to pad out the experience at the expense of boring the gamer in the process. uncharted doesn't attempt to do this and focuses on the narrative, set pieces and only a few mechanics. would uncharted benefit from more puzzle solving? yes... would it benefit from more mechanics and an xp system? no, i think that would take away from the storytelling approach and bog everything down with superficial character development that is ultimately meaningless. both franchises have their place, but the uncharted experience is so much more polished, inspired and memorable than tomb raider.

Avatar image for deactivated-5b8d89c601cb1

@Xristophoros: I disagree. Both games are fab, and I don't want to complain about either of them because they are both good, but I find Uncharted's linear structure far too ridged and at times the shooting galleries are boring. The stories in Tomb Raider aren't "terrible", but they don't touch Uncharted - they are engaging enough to keep you playing. Tomb Raider shines in the hubs and the Tombs and Lara being a nerd about History. Tomb Raider feels more like a game, Uncharted feels more like an interactive film - and I mean that in a positive way.

Avatar image for videogameninja

This is a tough choice to make and one that is only compounded by the fact that both franchises are both highly acclaimed.

Personally speaking, I find myself gravitating to Uncharted as the better franchise for a few keynote differences and that's taking nothing away from an amazing series like Tomb Raider.

It’s funny because on paper Tomb raider sounds like the clear winner but when one sits back and looks at the overall impact and presentation between the 2 I find that the areas that Uncharted has a “one up” over Tomb raider on are areas that position it as one of the best franchises in gaming in the last 15 years.

Tomb raider I feel has many strengths over Uncharted most noticeably when one looks at it under the contemporary “traditional gaming” model. There is more RPG elements sprinkled throughout Lara’s campaign as well as a clearer and more apparent progression in the way of leveling up whether that be through new abilities, skill sets, or even weapons. Uncharted just doesn’t have that same level of progression as weapons are abundant/numerous and there is little (if any.) in the way of building up one’s character’s abilities.

With that being said the area that Uncharted really shines is it’s overall polish, presentation, character development, and story. While Tomb raider has it’s fair share of “Lara” moments Uncharted is very much more a story about Drake and the lives and people he impacts. The story-telling for our medium is almost second to none as well which helps catapult it not only into one of the more memorable story-telling adventures in gaming but one of the most memorable narratives in gaming period.

For that reason I feel it comes out on top but I wouldn’t hold my breath seeing as how we still have another adventure in the way of Shadow of the Tomb raider on the horizon. Who knows… perhaps Lara's next adventure will change my mind.


Avatar image for deactivated-5b8d89c601cb1

@videogameninja: I will agree, Uncharted (and Naughty Dog in general) write stellar scripts and have some incredible environments and character interactions. But I will say I don't like the way Drake feels physically, his controls don't feel like they belong in the world, too loose. I also find it really immersion breaking when you fall off a 2 metre wall and die because it's not the predetermined path, or Drake can't interact with a certain wall because it not one he can climb. And those shooting galleries are a slog to get through sometimes, Scotland in Uncharted 4 was almost unbearable, if it weren't for that script I probably wouldn't have finished Uncharted 4.

Tomb Raider on the other hand feels more like Lara is part of the environment and the gameplay and combat is more varied and enjoyable. I just miss the fun of the old Tomb Raiders - Lara is bit stiff and I want her to lighten up a bit. But both games are brilliant and I think as gamers we should be happy we have 2 franchises in the genre that are of such high quality. There are things I would personally change about both games (nothing is perfect after all) but I would rather be positive about what we have and not what we don't.

Avatar image for spectrexr1

@lauracruz: I agree with everything u said lol .

Avatar image for ice12tray

The difference is that the tomb raider games add new mechanics such as crafting and expand with each game. Uncharted stays polished but doesn’t move forward much. Both great series, but I applaud tomb raider for switching things up rather than play it safe.

Avatar image for CrusaderForever

@ice12tray: Uncharted 4 add the grappling hook which was a great addition. Works great in MP as well.

Avatar image for spectrexr1

@CrusaderForever: so did tomb raider did it first in 2015 lol

Avatar image for zmanbarzel

"and in that time we've seen two games from Lara Croft's rival, Nathan Drake--Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy"

<pushes glasses up>

Actually, we've seen only one game from Nathan Drake, "Uncharted 4." "The Lost Legacy" starred Chloe Frazier, with support from Nadine Ross and Sam Drake.

Avatar image for Ant_17

@zmanbarzel: Game journalism. Half ass 100%