Lara Croft is an icon in the world of video games even if she might not have had a terrific outing this generation. After a series of games in the early 2000s that were clearly derivative and stuck in an era which was making the series look dated, the Tomb Raider franchise came back with a nice reboot of sorts with two PlayStation 2/Xbox games that offered some new mechanics (grapple device) and just offered some genuinely fun gameplay. But then Tomb Raider made its HD premier with Tomb Raider: Underworld and the game had its moments, but for some odd reason was rougher around the edges than its predecessors – both of which were developed by Crystal Dynamics.
Since Lara Croft is too iconic of an entertainment figure to let fade away into obscurity, Square Enix has opted to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise and take it in a new gritty and slightly more action packed experience. Unlike other game reveals/reboots, there wasn’t a huge outcry from gamers when Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics showed their new vision for Lara Croft earlier this year and instead a lot of people were immediately excited by what they saw.
For some odd reason Square Enix hasn’t really given gamers a good look at what the new Tomb Raider game looks like outside of a few simple screens, but living up to their reputation we have a brand spanking new pre-rendered trailer for Lara Croft’s new adventure. Created by the team at Square Enix Japan, the trailer is entirely composed of pre-rendered footage and is sadly devoid of even one five second gameplay snippet. But like most Square Enix trailers, it doesn’t matter if we’re seeing something that may not represent the final product at all since it looks amazing and is wholly entertaining in just about every way.
There’s not too much to nitpick about this premier trailer for Tomb Raider, but I will say that the general vibe of the game may be a depressing one if Lara is constantly getting her beaten up or is near death. It’s nice that Lara is no longer this super woman who is not susceptible to getting injured, but the game may be a bit of a downer if Lara is constantly having to mend broken bones or is simply failing at almost every corner. The one thing that may have longtime Tomb Raider fans already talking is the actual voice Lara has. Lara’s new voice definitely sounds young to match her appearance, but there’s just something off in how she sounds. Perhaps I just need to get used to Lara’s new voice after hearing actress Keeley Hawes do a damn good job as Lara Croft for the past few years.
If this trailer is indeed a major sign of the direction Crystal Dynamics is taking the Tomb Raider franchise in, then perhaps we’ll see Ms. Croft return in a way we’ve never seen before and that more importantly is capable of standing up against major games like Uncharted.
Tomb Raider will be available on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC sometime next year.
I've always been a fan of Tomb Raider. Yea, there have been some less-than-steallar releases over the last couple of years, but it's one of the best blends of action/adventure/puzzle-solving that I've ever encountered (as a whole). Uncharted may have revitalized the genre, but it was Tomb Raider that started it IMO. - I'd definitely love to see a return to glory for Ms. Croft, and from the look of this trailer the new look, gritier feel and darker story could make for a /very/ interesting reboot. :D