The movie Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life was released in 2003, and since then the Tomb Raider franchise has been floundering. Successes like Tomb Raider: Legend have been offset by missteps such as The Angel of Darkness. The latest Tomb Raider release, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, was well taken by the gaming community, but due to its downloadable nature likely didn't find the profits of its retail counterparts.
It's only natural for developers to begin pondering a reboot of the franchise, to reinvigorate both fans and themselves, which is exactly what Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics did. Introducing Tomb Raider, an origin story taking gamers back to when Lara Croft was simply an "ordinary woman" beginning her first adventure.
Darrell Gallagher, Head of Studio at Crystal Dynamics, had this to say about the franchise reboot:
“Forget everything you know about TOMB RAIDER, we are exploring things that have never been done before in this game,”... “This is an origins story that creates Lara Croft and takes her on a character defining journey like no other.”
It's quite doubtful that Darrell is implying gamers forget that Lara is a bad-ass brunette sex-symbol, and focus more on the back-story and history of the character. Or perhaps Darrell means the gameplay of past Tomb Raider games. Will the series vary from its third person action/adventure roots?
The brief plot tease reveals little. Perhaps there is a secret message hidden within:
"After a brutal storm destroys the boat she was travelling on,
a frightened young woman is left washed ashore on an unknown beach.
On her own but not alone she has only one goal, to survive."
A Tomb Raider reboot is quite unsurprising, as Game Informer has teased the release for some time now. A picture of a large, wrecked ship with the subtitle 'A Survivor is Born' certainly sounds like a reboot, doesn't it? What's most unfortunate is that the new game will be completely unrelated to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, a title that will likely fade into history despite its quality.
The question that should be on most gamers' minds is: How much is Crystal Dynamics willing to change? Is this reboot simply a publicity device, or do the developers honestly intend to change the formula gamers have grown accustomed to over the years? It's ridiculous to think they'd ever change their large-busted heroin, and risk the value of the toy and movie franchise. The third-person action/adventure gameplay could absolutely be revamped for a new generation, though.
What do you think, Ranters? Are you willing to give Tomb Raider one more shot? At least they named it Tomb Raider, rather than Lara Croft, right? That has to be a good sign... maybe.
Here's the cover of the January issue of Gameinformer, where the first details of Tomb Raider will be revealed: