Square Enix’s release of the latest “Tomb Raider” is really more like a new book than the next chapter of the popular franchise. The game sees the title character not as the accomplished female Indy everyone knows, but an unsure twenty-something woman just starting out in life. Rhianna Pratchett, the writer of the story, goes back to the beginning of Croft’s adventures taking the player through the turmoil that creates the Lara everyone knows and loves.
The big question on many gamer minds is how this origin story will affect the game play that everyone expects from the usually action-packed titles. The answer to that seems to be not as much as one would think. It appears to still have the fighting and the platform jumping that people expect. There are also, of course, tombs to be raided and other sites to explore. There is a more RPG type aspect in this title that involves skill upgrades, side-quests, and a craft system. It is also open world allowing Lara to explore the island where she shipwrecks at the beginning of the game.
One major difference, so far, is the absence of the traditional Bond like gadgets Lara usually gets to play with. This title instead has Lara fighting with fire, bow and arrow, a gun, and her wits.
The bulk of the game seems to be the gamer embarking on a physical and psychological journey with Lara as she comes to terms with herself, how to survive, and what it means to take a human life. It’s obvious that this title is setting up the franchise for a fresh start with sequels nearly guaranteed to follow.
In the coming weeks it will be easy to judge how well this new beginning will be taken by die hard "Tomb Raider" fans. Hopefully, it will breathe new life into a series thats been sleeping since 2008.