Tomb Raider has been one of the most anticipated games of this spring season and while the wait was long, it was defiantly worth it. Square Enix’s prelude to the popular franchise featuring Lara Croft, one of the most recognizable characters in video game history, takes the franchise in a refreshing but great manner. The story no longer focuses on the typical Lara Croft archetype that most fans of the series are accustomed to, the truly heroic, fearless character, but focuses on the character as a developing hero, a game style that is risky in today’s gaming market.
The story focuses on Lara Croft before she became the heroic character she is known for. In this version she is not as mentally tough which is what she is known for and although this may come as a shock or uncomfortable situation to fans of the genre, I feel in the context of this game, suits her character just as well. Lara is not the battle harden girl that is seen in the previous games and it’s this lack of toughness, shall I say weakness that drives her story. It’s impressive to see her character being transformed and shaped by her environment as she battles her way through various trials on this island in order to survive. She has to experience the burden of taking a life in order to save hers and the grittiness of her struggling to justify taking a life in an industry that treats killing as natural is refreshing but also amazing to see.
What this game represents is an idea that most games have not really touched on, the idea of a character developing and becoming something else through environmental stressors. There was a time when Master Chief was not the impressive war machine that he is known from and it is nice to see a developer that actually focus on the character and makes this game more about the story and less about the killings. You feel for Lara as she struggles to carry on after falling off of a waterfall to escape certain death, you struggle with Lara to justify taking a life until your life is threaten like hers.Â What this game excels in, along with the environmental design and various mechanics is the character development. I recommend this game to anybody who wants to try the Tomb Raider series out or whoever enjoys a smart game.