Square-Enix Releases Trailer for Tomb Raider Reboot

Posted: June 3, 2011 in PC, PS3
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Feels just like starting over…

This is the second time the series has seen a reboot, the first taking place when Crystal Dynamics took over the series’ reins from original developers Core Design. It seems that they’re making good on their promise to redesign the game from the ground up as a survival experience (although we haven’t actually seen any game footage to confirm or deny that, only prerendered images are available thus far). In any case, it looks like they’re putting a lot of care and thought into the trailer, which is at least encouraging, although this being Square-Enix, I don’t think they’ve ever released a bad-looking trailer, whether the game is phenomenal or abysmal.

As for my personal commentary: I’m excited, and yet at the same time very worried. I’ve been playing the Tomb Raider franchise since the original came out in 1996. It seems that whenever the game gets a new development team, they focus on further developing it in a certain direction, yet they never seem to develop it the right way for my personal taste. It seems that the games further developed the combat or the character of Lara Croft, but they seemed to get further and further from what made the original game (and in my opinion the second as well) great, and that was the exploration, the sense of adventure. While Legend had some terrifically gorgeous environments, you felt as if you were on rails and couldn’t get out and scale them (as opposed to the impressive amount of scenery you could climb in the original).

They also seemed to grow less clever in design (and I count St. Francis Folly in the original as my favorite level in any game ever), relying more on good old violence and sex appeal to sell the games; granted this was always there, but when the adventure dried up, I quit playing. My nitpick is that the game looks like it’s moving in a darker, edgier direction, which has failed miserably with the previous attempts (Angel of Darkness and Underworld). It may be more realistic, but without the Indiana Jones-esque supernatural shenanigans and Lara’s occasional flippant quips, will it be a good Tomb Raider title or simply a survival game with a famous name?

Finally, two minor nitpicks. Lara’s voice sounds like an American shakily impersonating an Englishwoman (if my UK friends would be so kind as to tell me whether I’m right or not). Second, will there be any actual tombs to raid? Will Lara be able to compete with Nathan Drake?

  1. I get what you mean about the accent. It’s not so much that it doesn’t sound English, rather, it just seems a tad overacted; it kind of reminds me of the female equivalent of Adam Jensen’s voice from Human Revolution. Shaky, as you say, and with a sort of gravel or angst behind it.

    Otherwise, I’m looking forward to this. I was never much of a Tomb Raider player (the last one I experienced was Angel of Darkness and that was…uh…), so I don’t have any dreams to shatter.

  2. I feel ya on this one, Chad. TR 1 & 2 were definitely the highlights of the series for me. My favorite level, and I can’t remember which one of the two it was in, is a level I simply call Rat City; no idea what it’s actual name is, all I remember is that it’s a very vertical level, with a pool of water at the bottom and tons of rats!

    Also, is it just me or did the difficulty skyrocket up in TR 3? I tried to keep up with the series, but after TR e they all kinda became a blur. Maybe if the names hadn’t went from numbered entries to subtitled games, they’d be easier for me to keep apart.

    I thought the two TRs on current-gen were interesting experiments and fun to play, but sadly they took what was so great about the series in its inception – the amazing feeling of exploring and actually having to fight the environment to stay alive! – and turned them into more platforming games. Too bad.

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