When the Tomb Raider reboot emerged earlier this year, it came out to a mix of reviews, both within and without the company. Despite selling three million copies it failed terribly to live up to Square Enix’s expectations – luckily, they’re still willing to give a sequel a go, knowing that the franchise will always sell at least moderately well. While some of Lara’s characterisation in the game has been criticised, the game-play itself has largely been praised by reviewers, with most complaints related to expectations from the original game.
The first game was incredibly impressive for its time, especially in terms of graphics. Luckily the new team have kept this up, with some incredible scenes and detailed nuances in the reboot; now that we know the sequel will be next-generation, there’s no way they can afford to let this quality slip. Miles away from the confident, strong Lara Croft we knew in the earlier games, the reboot shows a vulnerable girl who is desperate to survive – at least for a while. After the initial and understandable horror of her first experience killing another human being, she falls incredibly quickly into mass-slaughter without much emotion, leading the player to feel less certain that she is the good guy!
One of the biggest criticisms of the game was about the quick-time events, some of which were difficult to work out and lead to horrific insta-deaths; seeing the heroine snap her neck on a shallow riverbed, being torn apart by wolves or impaled on a tree repeatedly served to be a little much for some players. The attempted rape scene near the beginning was difficult to stomach, and some found her vulnerability unnerving – we think we know Lara, thanks to the proliferation of various entertainment artefacts such as films, novels, console games of course, various online iterations such as the Tomb Raider slots game, and the franchise has even inspired theme park rides, but this reboot seems to want us to forget that. An upcoming comic by Gail Simone aims to bridge the gap between this game and the next – hopefully a lot of Lara’s progression can be dealt with there so that by the next game, she’s back to her dual-pistol wielding self.
What would make the next game better?.. Less quick-time events is the most popular suggestion, followed closely by a desire for more countries to explore, and the return of Croft Manor. The Eidos games forum has come up with a list of requests which board members are voting on – some of the most popular include underwater/swimming scenes, bigger hub areas and more tombs contributing to more of the game-play. Options for non-lethal take downs and stealth would also be appreciated by a great amount of people who are uncomfortable with Lara’s uncharacteristically quick adjustment to cold-blooded killing…
So what would you like to see in the next Tomb Raider game? Leave your comments below!