Tomb Raider: Finding Lara’s Next Adventure


The Tomb Raider reboot’s tomb problem. 

Last year’s Tomb Raider was definitely a hit for new and old fans of the series.  In fact I liked it enough to rank it as my favorite from last year.  It was absolutely amazing to watch this new version of Lara grow from a timid, inexperienced young scholar into the bad ass heroine we all know and love.

The game is a shinning example of the modern action-adventure genre of games.  Its only fitting that the series which originally defined the genre and influenced games like Uncharted is once again at the fore front and even uses the new ideas from the very series it helped inspire.  The intense action sequences, great platforming and wonderful set pieces are all tied together by a great story and great protagonist.

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I loved these moments in Tomb Raider.

I don’t think I’ve talked to anyone who played Tomb Raider and did not enjoy the game immensely.  With all this success it only makes sense that Crystal Dynamics will make a second game and that is indeed the case.  But this of course raises the question, with the first game garnering heaps of praise from both players and critics alike, what do you do as a follow up?

Well I think there are several things Crystal Dynamics can do to build on the previous experience.  The biggest thing they need to do is just remember what game they are making.  Tomb Raider was a great action-adventure game with a lot of great action and some good platforming and puzzles, but not enough.  The six Hidden Tombs Lara could explore were very exciting to discover and added some very nice extra detail to the story.  The harshest critique is that while these tombs were well done, they were extremely simple to solve.  And this is representative of the larger overall “problem” with Tomb Raider.  (I say problem loosely, it is an amazing game.)

As previously noted, the action scenes in Tomb Raider are fantastic.  It has wonderful shooting mechanics and its novel approach to the cover-shooter is quite good.  The game play is extremely fluid and smooth and just fun to play.  And there is a lot of action in the game.  But I did find myself missing the long stretches of puzzle solving and platforming that the older games were full of.

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The action in Tomb Raider was extremely well done.

In the next Tomb Raider I want to see more exploration of actual tombs and more puzzles to solve.  It was so cool to see Lara almost pause and look around at all the ancient artefacts littered around the island as you got to explore and I want to see more of that.  There is no doubt that Lara is bad ass, but it is important to remember that she is also a very, very smart archaeologist.  So while I see no need to tone down the excellent combat the first game had, I want to see more of the actual tombs and puzzle solving the earlier games were known for.

So while adding more tombs is important, it will also be very important to pick a great location.  The series has always visited some great locations with long, long histories such as Egypt.  I was thrilled that the newest game chose to visit part of ancient Japan.  It could be fun to revisit some of the locations Lara went to in the older games but at the same time it would amazing to visit new places.  Perhaps it is time for Lara to visit Israel or if the little teaser at the end of the game is anything to go by, she could be on her way to the United States.

I have my own hopes for the next Tomb Raider but I am confident that whatever comes I will be loving it just as much as I did before.

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About Paul

Paul Stehlin is a Gamemoir writer who likes to spend all day talking about games and not much else. Find him on Twitter at @sharkboy421 or on his own blog at corrin.blog.com

There are 3 comments

  1. Deb

    Re tomb raider. I couldn’t get far into the game at all. I needed automatic shoot and one shot kills. It was all shooting….if I wanted that I would have bought COD.
    I love the puzzles and platforms..even if they make a new one with more true Lara features they are going to have to do something about the shooting or make an extremely easy option for non fighters like me
    Deb

    1. Paul

      I agree it was very combat heavy. I personally found it to be a smoother experience than the combat in past Tomb Raider game but I do also play a lot of shooters like Battlefield. I am on your side however, I really want them to bring back more classic Tomb Raider options and have a way to make the combat less of a hassle for those who aren’t interested. I believe it was in Underworld, you could adjust enemy health, Lara’s health and even ammo for all your guns, maybe something like that could be added.

  2. Misskenton

    I have been a fan since TR111. Love underworld.
    The latest one, which I had been eagerly waiting for was such a disappointment as couldn’t get into it at all. I agree make options available so it meets a range of interests and skill levels. Infinite ammo would also be good. I wish they would revamp some of the older ones, although you can play them on ps3 you have to yes the arrows which is a bit slow…
    Deb

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