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Thread: Tomb Raider's Identity Crisis

  1. #1

    Tomb Raider's Identity Crisis

    Last night, I was speaking with a friend about which iteration of Lara's character we had a bias towards and why. In the midst of the conversation, I came to a conclusion that allowed me to articulate a personal issue I had with the reboot games that I couldn't quite put my finger on.

    While Lara's character is always an important factor when identifying a Tomb Raider game, other aspects also help identify the franchise. Most fans seem to be caught up with the current Lara's personality, and while that is a valid point, the absence of other key identifiers has thrown Tomb Raider into an identity crisis.

    In the reboot games, Lara herself never bothered me. In fact, she is my favorite iteration of the character (for personal, sob-story reasons that I won't go into here). However, after Underworld, I felt as though something was missing from the games. This is the phenomenon I couldn't identify. Tomb Raider is having an identity crisis with its gameplay. Of course changing Lara's backstory and tweaking her personality is a huge factor when discussing a Tomb Raider game, but that''s not all that makes the games. The mechanics and settings are just as important as Lara, and that's what I believe is missing in the reboot titles.

    The Legend/Anniversary/Underworld trilogy tweaked Lara's backstory and personality, but main Tomb Raider staples remained: the dual pistols, challenging puzzles, TOMBS. While this did start the ever wonderful Core versus Crystal war, it didn't shake the fanbase as hard as the reboot did. The reboot had tiny, optional tombs and a singular scene with the dual pistols. Rise had okay but optional tombs, with no dual pistols. The absence of just these two components, dual pistols and tombs, has made the fanbase question the validity of these Tomb Raider games, and rightfully so. How can these be considered Tomb Raider games when the tombs in question are optional?

    To sum this all up, I truly think that if the current games retained key Tomb Raider staples, statements such as "this isn't a Tomb Raider game" wouldn't be thrown around nearly as often.

    (P.S. sorry if I'm coming to this conclusion extremely late. I was just super excited to share what finally clicked in my head.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Leeds, UK
    I think the OP makes some great points. I have been saying for a long while that we need to get more of the staples back that really define Tomb Raider and make it unique from all the other generic shooters out there. I really went out there to get classic outfit returned and I am really glad how many fans went out there and we got it included. I want to see the staples like massive tombs, classic outfit, dual pistols and Nathan McCree's music. It makes Tomb Raider well ... Tomb Raider.

    There is all this about evolving TR about trying to alter things. That's all well and good but get those staples in there and that is going to make me very happy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Here & There
    Well, after seeing some of the leaked concepts and the braid included I'm a little bit more hopeful. I do enjoy the reboot Lara, but she'll never measure up to the classic. The outfits, the guns, everything. I think this is what's missing in connecting the reboot back to the original. For now, they share the name Lara Croft-- and that's about it. I have always been one of those people that advocated for the reboot, but after having played some of the Crash Bandicoot remake, I questioned why Lara had to be changed so drastically. From a sales point I suppose it makes sense but beyond that, the new Lara is kind of forgettable as a character for me. Before I get crucified, I've been a huge fan of the franchise since its inception, and even bought an XB One for RoTTR.
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