E3 2012: Tomb Raider Impressions

An old and beloved franchise is back. However, this time, the developers have taken it in a whole new direction with a reboot. Some fans are concerned, some fans are enraged. The developer promises they are taking the concerns seriously, and they will do the series and the beloved characters justice. This is an all too common occurrence in games these days. Now it’s happening to Tomb Raider, and we’ve got a pretty good look at it. So let’s dive in to what the new Tomb Raider will look like.

The biggest change in the new Tomb Raider is the series protagonist. Gone is the confident, gun toting, badass action heroine. She has been replaced by what the developers feel is a more realistic character- An everyday adventuring archeologist. Competent, but vulnerable in the ways everyone is, and in some ways specific to her. This is a major change, but one central to the focus of the new game.

You see, there’s now a serious survival element to the gameplay and story. You see, because this is a reboot, they decided to start from the beginning. This serves as a sort of origin story. Lara’s boat is hit by a storm and she and a few other survivors are forced to find a way to stay alive in a harsh jungle environment. Not helping matters is that the island they are on appears to be populated by some hostile locals. It has a very Lost-like vibe as the locals seem to have formed some kind of ritualistic tribal community.

This means gameplay will incorporate several survival aspects. For instance, hunting in order to eat, finding shelter and starting fires. Generally things you’d expect to be necessary for staying alive.

That’s not to say that none of the classic gameplay will return. As she finds her way and progresses as a character, you will see her take on more and more of the characteristics you know of her. There will be plenty of action, which includes gunfights, as well as the use of a bow and arrow. As well as platforming you’d come to expect from a Tomb Raider game.

The game was certainly beautiful to look at. The scenes are definitely darker and grittier. They work well and I feel they do a great job at achieving the weight of the new direction they’re going for. Even so, the game has the potential to alienate a lot of fans. So we’ll have to wait and see how it’s received.


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