The Future of Tomb Raider

Mon, 07/16/2012 - 07:38 -- RLWaterman

It's sure to make some gamers around the globe feel old but it's true, the original Tomb Raider game is now more than 15 years old. Released originally for the Sega Saturn console in 1996, the game was soon launched on the PC and PlayStation and swiftly sold several million copies. The very well spoken British Lara Croft caught our attention with everything from her accent to, let's face it, her rather well endowed figure! The Tomb Raider games are staples of gaming history today, and the franchise also features a couple of movies, comic books, novels, rides at theme parks and more! Even those to whom an Xbox Controller is a completely alien object are likely to know the face of the heroine of Tomb Raider.

Fans of the Tomb Raider franchise are likely to know and have played all or some of the eight existing games, along with the original remake launched in 2007. Aside from the somewhat separate download-only title of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light released in 2010 however, it has actually been several years since we've seen a new entry into the marketplace. That looks set to change though, as an initial trailer shown at E3 2011 revealed snippets of the new look Lara. Crystal Dynamics weren't giving out any more clues though, and it wasn't until the same gaming expo in 2012 where we found out a bit more about the complete reworking of the Tomb Raider games.

Despite the enormous success of the Tomb Raider games, the heroine Lara Croft has never really been a likeable character. Running into any scene with dual-wielded pistols blazing and discovering ancient artifacts around the globe may have led to some interesting action scenes, but we've never felt much of an emotional connection with poor Lara (aside from sympathy for the constant backache the poor woman must have!). That's arguably the reason why the Tomb Raider movies have never seen much success, even with Angelina Jolie in the starring role. As much as we love action gaming, it's always good to have a bit of a story and emotional tie backing up the violence.

The Future of Tomb RaiderThis looks set to change with the next game in the franchise, once again simply entitled Tomb Raider. We're going to be taken back in time to the origin of Lara Croft. This young woman is the survivor of a shipwreck now stranded on a tropical island, and taken hostage by a savage band of scavengers also resident in this not so perfect paradise. The young Lara must learn how to kill and how to keep herself alive against the odds as she searches for other survivors, and uncovers details of a darker plot on the island.

It's an exciting turn for Tomb Raider, and certainly looks set to reinvigorate a series that some have felt to become more stagnant with passing time. The new game is set for release in March 2013, but with so much work being put into the reinvention of Lara Croft we are confident that it won't be the last visit to the world of the British archeologist. As a matter of fact, the global brand manager of Crystal Dynamics has even made the statement, "I have to be careful because I know exactly where she's going. You have to look at the future, you have to look at where… It's not just one game."

With more and more rumors and leaked documents regarding the Xbox One starting to circulate, it seems likely that the next Tomb Raider game after the one set for release in 2013 will be targeted for the next generation of gaming consoles. Initial snippets of the 2013 Tomb Raider look attractive enough in a wonderfully gritty way, so we can't wait to see what Crystal Dynamics could do with the processing power of the Xbox One. As an action-adventure game, enhancements to the hardware can only help with the fluidity of motion and action sequences, while the role playing elements of the franchise are sure to be extended with larger maps, more missions and generally more to keep us occupied for a greater amount of hours.

It seems that Tomb Raider is here to stay, and with new life breathed into old lips we can't wait to see how the story and the character of Lara Croft develop.

Article by - Rebecca Waterman
Insert Date: 07/16/2012

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