Tomb Raider Preview
As I stood in line waiting to get my hands-on the latest game on Lara Croft’s CV I had one thought on my mind. “What if it is too much like Uncharted?” It’s a comparison that we are all likely to draw; it’s hard not too. However, I can safely say after getting my hands on the game, it’s not the similarities with Nathan Drake that worry me.
This is not the Lara Croft that your daddy used to know. That Lara was strong, witty and had great big pixellated breasts. This new origins of Ms. Croft is much more… well, realistic. The demo kicks in with Lara standing on a cliff staring out at the wreckage of the boat that brought her to this mysterious place. The first thing that jumped out at me was that the game sure did look pretty. The way the waves rolled against the shore, even the grass and the rock formations. The natural environment was a true beauty to behold. The next thing I proceeded to do was throw Lara off the cliff, repeatedly, over and over again.
Was this some form of sick pleasure? I’d be lying if I did not say ‘a little bit’, the way the she contorted and bounced down cliff had me howling with laughter. Much to the probable disgust of the people behind me too, but I did feel bad for Lara and surely that’s the point of this new game? This Lara is not the tomb raider that we knew. If you strip down this game to it core it is about a young woman trying to survive in the wild. We have seen this quite recently in the cinema with Katniss Everdeen and The Hunger Games. It was an organic tale of how woman will do what she has to survive. My worry here is that the developers might be going too far the other way.
I think they are making Lara too much of weakling, if you have seen or heard anything about this game they are literally throwing everything and the kitchen sink at her, even rape. Well, that controversial ship has sailed, but I get the uneasy feeling that inside of a natural arc of character progression, Lara is going to be spending every five minutes crying, and then some how at the end of game go “Ta-Dah! Here is the big strong feminine character you have been looking for”. I could be reading too much into it, but that is just how my gut feels at the moment.
How does the game play? Well you have played an Uncharted game right? Like I said, what Lara started, Drake reinvented and now Lara has every right to borrow some of those new tools back. I have seen her scramble up a falling plane ala opening of Uncharted 2 on a smaller scale. The controls are straight forward and the shooting mechanics are tight as far as I can tell. The one thing Tomb Raider has on Uncharted is that it has “wild” feel about it. Uncharted felt like you were jumping from one Indiana Jones set piece to the next. But Lara is on an island, with weather changes and wildlife; having to kill a deer with a bow I stole from a corpse, butcher the animal and take it back to camp to cook and eat. Really gave me the feeling that Lara is trying to survive under this horrible circumstances. Oh, and I am sure that you will have to duel wield pistol some bad guys and maybe ride a dinosaur. Okay, maybe not the dinosaur part, but you get what I mean.
After all that, would I still going to buy this game? Probably, thus far – what can I say, I’m a sucker for adventure. And big pixellated breasts.