Survival is key in Tomb Raider. But can you survive without seeing the latest media from this highly-anticipated reboot? I think not.
Crystal Dynamics wants to build a better Lara Croft. A person who’s both heroic and deeper in personality than her former one-dimensional gun-slinging, pin-up from an issue of Maxim, self. Which, as we’ve seen with previous attempts to expand on or fill out a character’s identity – hint: 2010’s character assassinating Metroid: Other M – is totally not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.
How do you balance making a character that’s bad-ass with applesauce and who’s chasing down sacred treasure Indiana Jones-style, while still trying to maintain a person who’s down-to-Earth? Who might react to being stranded on a island filled with many dangers after a nightmarish boat wreck, the way most reasonable human begins would?
That’s the test for the Tomb Raider reboot, scheduled for a March 5, 2012 release on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. And from what was shown at E3 2012, this new take on Lara is a frail-appearing shadow of her former self. I believe over-abused word is “whiny.” But to be fair to her, she’s not the experienced relic-seeker we know before, she’s much younger here and isn’t accustomed to a tropical island setting that wants to chew her up and spit her out, viciously.
Right now, reactions from across the web seem to be split on this violent thematic mood shift, with good measured concerns regarding Lara being subjected to aggressive, slightly worrying, male-on-female violence in a few scenes. This is all out-of-context though, and without having the full game playing before us, its way early to decide if Crystal Dynamics dramatic character change was for the best or we end up with another Metroid: Other M situation.
We can in the meantime discuss its gameplay; to which I say… umm, I hope you like Uncharted!
Being a self-described Uncharted fan, who may or may not have shrine dedicated to Nolan North in his closet, I found it pretty simple to point out the parts in any demo footage revealed for Tomb Raider that looks almost borrowed 1:1 from the Naughty Dog series; you know those “hurry up and climb this quickly crumbling ladder/bridge/train before it falls” sections in Uncharted? Tomb Raider has them, too.
Not everything is of carbon-copy quality from Uncharted, though. There’s parts to Tomb Raider that offer notable differences, like hunting for food or scavenging for tools, which, so happen to lend themselves to its role-playing game elements. At camp sights players will be able to upgrade Lara’s skills and weapons – essentially, give her points so that she can make better arrows or perform other must-needed survival techniques.
Survival, above all else in Tomb Raider, is important, and along with her Survival Instinct mode – think Detective Mode in Batman: Arkham City except here it helps Lara find in-game objectives and identify things that are of use – players will try to guide Lara into becoming a force to be reckoned with at game’s end. That’s how it’s suppose to go in theory, but again, we’ll have to wait till next year to find out for ourselves.
VIDEO TO ADD [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQ0qro-5JW0]
Did you miss E3 2012? Get caught up with any one of our reviews for each of the big three’s press conferences or don’t and just check out these quaint Breaking Bad cross stitch portraits. It’s a free country, you can do what you want.