Rise of the Tomb Raider versus Shadow of the Tomb Raider video graphics comparison

YouTube’s ‘Nick930’ has shared a video in which he compares the visuals/graphics of Rise of the Tomb Raider and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Shadow of the Tomb Raider uses a more advanced version of the engine powering Rise of the Tomb Raider, therefore it comes as no surprise that the game should look better than it.

And indeed, for the most part this latest Tomb Raider game looks better than its predecessor. The game features better sub-surface scattering effects on Lara, gorgeous volumetric lighting and God rays effects, as well as better anti-aliasing solution (TAA over SMAA, though as we’ve said numerous times TAA slightly blurs the visuals so we strongly suggest using Reshade to sharpen the overall image).

Water effects have been also overhauled in Shadow of the Tomb Raider as we now have 3D water ripples and more impressive water interaction.

Similarly to Rise of the Tomb Raider, tessellation has been greatly used for deformable mud (whereas in Rise of the Tomb Raider was used for deformable snow). The effect appears to be similar in both games. Explosions have also been improved compared to the ones featured in the previous title

However, it appears that some features have been removed or downgraded. For instance, the campfires no longer have smoke or gaze effects, resulting in poorer visuals than before. Not only that, but contrary to the wind effects that affected the grass in ROTTR, in SOTRR the grass is static and is not affected at all by the wind.

Overall, Shadow of the Tomb Raider appears to be visually superior to its predecessor, though it’s true that some effects have been removed or downgraded. As for the game’s performance, we’ll talk about it in our upcoming PC Performance Analysis article so stay tuned. Until then, enjoy the video!

John Papadopoulos

John is the founder and Editor in Chief at DSOGaming. He is a PC gaming fan and highly supports the modding and indie communities.Before creating DSOGaming, John worked on numerous gaming websites. While he is a die-hard PC gamer, his gaming roots can be found on consoles. John loved - and still does - the 16-bit consoles, and considers SNES to be one of the best consoles. Still, the PC platform won him over consoles. That was mainly due to 3DFX and its iconic dedicated 3D accelerator graphics card, Voodoo 2. John has also written a higher degree thesis on the "The Evolution of PC graphics cards." Contact: Email