Friday, January 29, 2016

Now you guys obviously know that Tomb Raider has been around for several years. Dating back to the mid 90s. The first original Tomb Raider was released in 1996 by British company Core Design. I’ve been a fan of this franchise for years, since I was about nine years old in early 2000, I’ve been playing this game. It started with the most difficult game in the series, The Last revelation, which was fourth in the series. I remember as a young kid in the mid to late 90s seeing this game on store shelves and finding it to be a horrible game. Yet I had never played it, so I really had no right to judge a game by its cover. But I watched my dad play TR4 and found that it was quite interesting. Course he had the limited edition which meant this version only had 10 levels built into it. It was a limited demo edition. I don’t think he fully knew that when he was given the game. As I remember him telling me that a friend from work had issues finishing it because it would randomly stop. It wasn’t randomly stopping it was only a demo game.

My obsession for the game begun there, and it had no signs of stopping. I was falling in love with this game. My dad then brought home the first Tomb Raider game that a friend from work had given him. After watching him play it, I too wanted to try my hand at it. Tomb Raider 3 and Chronicles, which was number 5 in the series, soon followed. I had beaten them all except for TR4, as it wasn’t the full version. When I turned 13 I got my first playstation2 and the first game I went and bought was Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness, number 6 in the series. This game had so much potential! The plotline was amazing, and it would have been even better had they actually finished it. This game had so many issues as when it was finally released it was only 40% finished. Now I don’t know all of the details about exactly what happened. But from what I understand Core was working on a new system for the game and had been having issues. They continued to push back the release date over and over again. Getting frustrated Eidos forced them to release it when it wasn’t even finished. Now if you ask me Eidos cut off their nose to spite their face. It was the fault of both parties for why this game was a huge embarrassment. Eidos shouldn’t have expected Core to release this game in such a short period. From what I understand Eidos had come to rely on a steady stream of TR games. One every year.

I could be wrong on this and please correct me if I am. I feel it was a huge mistake for Eidos to have forced them to release early. I think it could have been an amazing game had they just been allowed to finish it. But then again, we wouldn’t have had the games that followed either…. Well maybe but not the exact games that followed. After this embarrassment Eidos decided to rip the game from the ones who had created it. They gave the game to a more reliable company in America known as Crystal Dynamics. Now that in itself is a big slap in the face, to have your project you worked so hard on taken away and given to someone else. That seems so unfair to me! And it was unfair to the fans that had grown up with Lara. Crystal took Lara and changed her to the point she really wasn’t the same Lara. At least in my opinion.

Now here is where it gets very tricky and debatable. Though the seventh Tomb Raider game entitled Legend was not officially labeled as a ‘Reboot’. Some people may argue that it in fact was. They say it was a continuation of the past Tomb Raiders. But if you paid attention to the story line it was not really a direct continuation. By them changing Lara’s bio a bit and changing up the story it was in fact a reboot. Though it supposedly remained the same Lara, I still feel it was a reboot. Most fans would disagree because well they don’t want to admit that Crystal did another reboot just a few years after Legend. But if you still think it’s not a reboot, please feel free to explain why you think it’s not.

Though I found it unfair how Tomb Raider was “stolen” from its original owners. I was quite fond of Legend. Though it was a short game that could be completed in about a week, depending on how many hours you spent on it. It was still an enjoyable game. However, it did have its cons, I don’t like how they made Lara this emotional person. Yes, it’s all great that she wants to carry out her father’s work and find out what happened to mommy. But the way it was done is just off to me. There is a scene in the game in which Amanda is down on her knees and Lara is pointing a gun at her. Lara is pressing for information about her mother. Now do you really enjoy a cold-hearted, emotional woman, willing to gun down a ‘not so innocent’, unarmed woman? I didn’t like the direction they took Lara into. Now Core did this as well at the end of Tomb Raider 3, Lara killed an innocent helicopter piolet… Well as far as we can tell he was innocent. The camera did pan away so we don’t know if it was perhaps self-defense. Which leaves us to believe Lara killed him in cold blood.

Now some people enjoy the emotional Lara, because it’s a refreshing change from the cold-hearted Lara we came to know and love. However, I felt in Legend she was still a cold-hearted killer which made the emotional part off to me. Some people did argue about a scene from Anniversary, where Lara killed a human for the first time. Larson was actually her first human kill, and you see her get emotional about it. Some people hated this, I liked it because she had never killed a human before so it’s understandable why she would react this way. But for her to then become a cold-hearted killer on the second and third kills threw me off.

Before I continue on that, I want to sidestep for a second. I didn’t see a whole lot on Core’s version of Anniversary, but I saw a bit and thought it was nice. It would have been nice to get a remake from the actual people who created that game. Not a rip off. Though I still enjoyed the Anniversary that we got. I heard that when Core was trying to create a remake of the first game Crystal got their panties in a bunch and started creating it themselves and pushed Core out of the way. For fear they would do better on the remake and redeem themselves and regain their game back. What ever happened, it no longer matters it’s over and done with. I still enjoy the games we currently have.

Anyways, back to what I was saying. Now as far as the new games go, I love them. The ‘actual’ Tomb Raider reboot was released in 2013. By the name of Tomb Raider, basically it’s an origin story. Lara’s first adventure, how she became what she is today. This game changed everything, most of her bio was changed once again and the storyline canceled out the previous games 1-8. None of those games ever happened. I love the reboot, not just because of the graphic but because of the storyline. There are a lot of Tomb Raider fans, there are different groups of them. There are some that only play the classic games, and by classic, I mean 1-5 and maybe 6. And there are some that play the newer games Legend through the current game. And then there are fans like me who play the whole series just because I am a huge fan of the game in itself. I think Crystal did a better job this time around trying to humanize Lara. They got it right this time, they didn’t start her off as a whiney …. you know what, they didn’t start her off as a cold-hearted one either. They showed her as if she were any normal human like you or me. As you play the game more and more you want to try and protect Lara. It’s funny I always use to say, “you are not a true Tomb Raider fan until you get a sick satisfaction out of seeing how many ways you can kill Lara”. But I feel like in this game, you don’t want to see how many different ways you can kill her, you actually want to protect her from that.

As you go along you kill only because you are trying to stay alive. You are simply defending yourself and not killing just because you can, or they got in your way. It shows what any of us would do if we were thrown into a situation such as this. Now Rise of the Tomb Raider does a bit less of that. Yes, there are sometimes when Lara may be killing just because they got in her way, but hey they’re the bad guys who most of the time shoot at her first. And she still is trying to defend herself and her friends. But they still do a good job of not throwing Lara into the “cold-hearted killer” category. I love what they have done with the new series and hope they continue it in the right direction. I don’t want to see Lara go down another dark path as she seemed to have done in previous games. I also love how realistic she looks in the newest game. This generation of technology is really truly amazing.

Another argument, which pisses me off, I heard some people got angry when they found out that Lara’s breast size was reduced…Like really? ….. That is not why you play this game to stare at a fictional character boob all day. Now I am not a feminist, but this is just getting ridiculous. Play the game because it’s a fun game, not because the character is female and has big boobs. For God sake! I love this game from the very first game every created to the new reboot to all the side games they have. From relic run to Lara Croft go. I can’t wait to see what game the create next.

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Posted in Review, Tomb Raider



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