Back in 1996 when Tomb Raider first launched we were all marveled by the 3D environments and the triangle boobs, boys let’s be honest here. Through the years the transformation of Lara Croft has been some what one dimension on who she is as a person. Also with the same short shorts, belly exposed shirt and dual wielding pistols holsters. We never really got a sense of who she was as a person from her past. Sure here and there we would read tidbits about her great father and his incredible Nathan Drake like expeditions, but in the end it was all up in the air. She just seemed like a woman with too much money and time on her hands.
That’s why when Crystal Dynamics announced that they would be making a reboot to the franchise it was a sigh of relief to some fans. The Tomb Raider games over the years , lets face it… might have been getting a little stale. With the same old formulas of climbing, puzzles and combat that we have loved for over a decade. It was a breathe of fresh air to just wipe the slate clean and start over. Some media can benefit from this sort of treatment and needs to be done, Its like a cleansing of the palate. With the majority of big properties falling to their “death” from annual releases it would be a shame to see one of Playstations’ best heroins fall to her death, on the dreaded annual spike.
In my opinion Tomb Raider the Definitive Edition is one of the best reboots ever made, and was my 2013 game of the year. I don’t know if Jaded would agree with me on that, (Ed- he does) but at least he would agree it is one the best games he missed that year. Like with the Nolan Batman movies, what Crystal Dynamics did was take Lara and show you her beginning from the rubber on her boots up. The quest of her becoming a survivalist and conquering her worst fears and putting that all aside when the time counts. Relying on what her father taught her, become the woman that we all know her as today. Yes, the game is flawed, and yes there is not much of a tomb raiding aspect to the game. You must look at the game as whole complete 360 on what we know and roll with the new.
The game is honestly stunning and gorgeous to look at. All the detail in the lighting and scenery is breathtaking. Opening the game up to a semi open world with fast travel option was a smart move. The upgrading system was a great addition too. Making Lara stronger as the journey persisted. The Weapon mods and crafting is addicting and changes the dynamic on the battlefield. I get it. I am gushing here. She is no more a killer by the end of the game then Drake is, sure. But that’s where we have that beautiful twist of reality and video game worlds. We have too much of either and its kinda boring to most. We need that blend to give us bit of relation to hook us in and that blend of fictional stuff to set us free in our gaming minds.
Most people were in such a huff about how Lara was portrayed in the game. For one, the attempted rape scene was blown way out of context. Lets set that straight here. A guy touched her leg, she broke free and shot him in the face. Her first human kill… the message is directed at that. A life changing moment that sent her on a hundred man killing spree… haha well lets not get carried away. Second, the constant moaning and groaning can be taken either way I guess, but if you were traversing and repealing off cliff sides, you wouldn’t be silent.. would you? The model of Lara is sexy. I said it. There is no two ways about it. She is stunning to look at along with the motion capture used by the same voice actress. It is what brings this whole play to life for me. She is a strong female lead, but not at first glance. That is the whole point of the Journey. I love female characters in games, some of my favorite characters in video games are women.
To me, if you have not played this game, it is a must. The game can be found for dirt cheap these days. I own it on three separate systems and have played through it that much also. It is a modern classic in my eyes and one that should not be missed. And come on, TressFX for the win.
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