We all know the real reason behind why we have another Tomb Raider. Modern gaming graphics are strong enough to handle Lara Croft’s beautiful female form in glorious realism. Realistic fire! Realistic water! Realistic dead bodies everywhere!
Remember the grainy, geometric 1996 Lara Croft in the first Tomb Raider? 2013 Lara Croft is nothing like that. The new Tomb Raider is a testament to just how art-oriented videogames are becoming. Tomb Raider isn’t a mindless action game anymore, it’s a milestone on the road for an industry that’s taking itself seriously.
Tomb Raider from 1996 was a game with boobs and action. Tomb Raider in 2013 highlights a more character-driven plot. Yes, Lara still has a giant chest, cradled in a thin, low-cut, strappy tank top, but at least she’s wearing full-length pants this time around.
Pants or not, I would like to see stronger character transformation. This game supposedly explains how an innocent, starry-eyed youth becomes a cold-blooded murder machine/thief, but the plot shows us little of that transformation.
Not even 15 minutes in, Lara kills at least two people and five tigers with fast reflexes and a bow she lifted off of a dead body. She slaughters and field-dresses a deer with her bare hands and a rusty spoon. There was no gagging, no crying for all the lives she just took mercilessly for the first time in her teenage life. Nice character arc. What character arc? Regardless of character development and the coverage Lara’s shirt provides, the newest Tomb Raider stands as a solid rekindling of the franchise. The graphics kick some major butt and the plot was decent. While there is much room for improvement, game developers also did a lot right. This game is one big step forward for Tomb Raider, and that’s a thumbs-up in my book.