Shadow of the Tomb Raider lets you independently tweak puzzle, combat, traversal difficulty

Yesterday, we caught a glimpse of Shadow of the Tomb Raider's brutal stealth kills, deadly tombs and cave-swinging. Now, publisher Square Enix has revealed the difficulty of these puzzles, set-tos and traversal set pieces can be independently adjusted to suit individual playstyles.

Across four settings—Easy, Normal, Hard, and Deadly Obsession—players can choose how much or how little assistance they desire across combat, exploration and puzzles. This might mean activating aim assist in a fire fight, or disabling hit markers on the reticle. It might see Lara giving direct hints on the next action to perform while unpicking a puzzle, or making climbable platforms easier to spot. 

Some of that's outlined here:

Square Enix explains that on 'Easy', objects necessary to progress are highlighted in blue during Survival Instincts mode. On 'Normal', the entire object is lit up. And on 'Hard', Survival Instincts are disabled entirely. Likewise, the window of opportunity for timed mechanics is steadily adjusted across settings.  

Square Enix also explains that 'Easy' coats critical paths with "obvious" white paint. On 'Medium', the same path yields a "discreet" coating. And on 'Hard', critical paths have no coating whatsoever. Moreover, the save grab timer is adjusted across settings.

Speaking to the game's Deadly Obsession setting, Square Enix warns: "While traditional options like easy, normal, and hard can be swapped at any time, once a player chooses Deadly Obsession, it applies to all three categories (puzzles, traversal and combat) and they will be unable to change the difficulty for the remainder of the playthrough. Choose-wisely…"

More information on all the above can be gleaned from this blog post (as pointed out by Game Maker's Toolkit person Mark Brown on Twitter). 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is due September 14. Till then, here's another look at its E3 trailer: