Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman Review

Things heat up with Lara

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing an Xbox One on

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman is also available for PS4

ESRB Mature rating

In this latest DLC pack, Lara travels back to San Juan after explosions around the town have started up again.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman screenshot 1
Good thing the rope is flame retardant

The new side mission's location in this DLC is within the town of San Juan where Lara meets up with Jonah and Abby. Trinity is up to no good as usual and the pair promptly ask her to take on the challenge of finding the root cause of all the recent shaking and explosions. Lara then heads to the Trinity camp, making her way through the tropical forest's luscious scenery. I love going through the forest areas in the recent Tomb Raider games because it brings back many memories of the earlier titles. Anyway, once you reach the camp, you make your way through some dark hallways and notice a covered up insignia that seems to appear in multiple places. Once you find the generator to turn on the lights and look around, you'll eventually have to pick one of four corridors to enter after using the information provided to you around the scenery.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman screenshot 2
I hope Lara remembered to hydrate before solving these puzzles

Soon after that, Lara grabs the crab relic that Trinity stole from the Temple of Zipacna then makes her way to the temple to return it as per Abby's advice. After completing her short trek through the jungle, she arrives at the temple and climbs through a small gap in the wall to finally reach this DLC pack's challenge tomb.

List of unlockable items Force of Chaos Gear

The following "Force of Chaos Gear" items are unlocked upon purchasing The Grand Caiman DLC pack:

Volcano skill: craft incendiary shotgun shells that ignite targets on impact.
Whispering Scourge: a suppressed shotgun capable of maximum damage.
Reptile Hide outfit: gain bonus XP from stealth kills and take less damage from bullets and arrows.

When you first enter the tomb, you're shown an impressive sight of a gigantic golden reptile standing on its hind legs in the middle of a pit of lava. The theme of the challenge tomb is fire and gold and your objective is to activate levers in front of the reptile's mouth as it rises. The tomb itself is quite visually stunning with lots of detail on the statue and within the surrounding scenery. Lara's athletic skills really come in handy here as you jump, pull, climb, and run through timed traps. The difficulty of this challenge tomb isn't that steep but it does require you to critically think in a few places in order to decide how to clear an area once you've temporarily deactivated a trap. I enjoyed how the tomb scenery is far from simple thus making you feel like you can get lost in its tunnels and cliffs. Occasionally, I felt like I was going backwards but in fact, I was actually making progress. As a result, it requires a little patience in this regard.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman screenshot 3
I wish this segment was compatible with the NES Zapper

After finishing the tomb, you enter an area filled with tons of Trinity soldiers who are mostly shooting at you from across a chasm but some of them will take a risk by sliding down a rope to fight you one on one. These shooting gallery segments aren't very common in Tomb Raider games as they usually try to provide a balance of allowing you to complete fights either stealthily or in an action-intense rage. I actually enjoyed practicing my aiming here and found the fights to be an impressively refreshing change.

The story in The Grand Caiman isn't as intertwined with the gameplay as some of the previous DLC packs but I enjoyed seeing how Jonah and Abby had formed a relationship. At the end of the base game, there's a hint at them liking each other but by the end of this DLC, they're holding hands and Lara's smirking while watching Jonah make goo-goo eyes at Abby.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman screenshot 4
As if that reptile wasn't crabby enough already...

The Grand Caiman DLC contains a visually impressive challenge tomb with a decent amount of difficulty. It's one of the shortest packs so far but as it keeps things interesting throughout the side mission and adds a little to the story, I still recommend it.

  • + Visually stunning challenge tomb
  • + Fun shooting gallery segments
  • + It's cool to see a bit of character progression in a DLC pack
  • - One of the shorter DLC packs
  • - Challenge tomb could have had more puzzles to increase its difficulty
6.0 out of 10
Gameplay video for Shadow of the Tomb Raider: The Grand Caiman 6:08
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