Playstation tomb-raider-preview

Published on February 12th, 2013 | by Swaine Dillinger

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Tomb Raider – Preview

When you think about game history, it’s hard to come up with a heroine more well-known than Lara Croft. The star of Tomb Raider was not only one of the few female protagonists of her time, but Core Design’s creation was also a symbol which both men and women admired. She wasn’t a damsel in distress and she didn’t need rescuing, instead she empowered gamers in plots that took her and the player all over the world. It didn’t matter if she was facing tigers, ancient warriors, crazed gunmen or occultists, Lara won out in the end. Of course there was that other side to her design though, namely those irresponsibly sized breasts, the skin-tight hot pants, and those ‘sounds’ she made when she expired underwater.

Lara Croft was a complex character who meant different things to different people, so it isn’t surprising that Crystal Dynamics are rebooting the franchise from the floor up. All of the history of the character is being pushed aside for a fresh start, with 2013’s Lara coming across as more vulnerable and more sensibly proportioned.

This reboot focuses on Lara early in her relic-hunting career. She’s inexperienced and unaware of the true evils of world travel – no, not baggage weight restrictions, mercenaries! The campaign places her on an isolated island with no hope of rescue after the boat she was travelling on was violently sunk. Marooned, she’s desperate to find out if there are any other survivors on the island, forcing her to venture out, get a lay of the land and figure out for herself what to do next. If that isn’t a sink or swim moment we don’t know what is. And to make matters worse, Lara has to contend with bloodthirsty mercenaries whose motives are as unclear as their origins.

The campaign structure seems less linear than previous Tomb Raiders as players will have ample opportunity to take part in side quests and explore island surroundings.

While the campaign is being developed by Crystal Dynamics, Square Montreal are handling the competitive multiplayer. Each mode pits two teams of eight against each other, scavengers versus mercenaries, with objectives ranging from simply killing enemies to collecting med-packs spread around five different maps.

Tomb Raider as we know it has evolved. Here’s hoping Crystal Dynamics haven’t chucked the babe out with the bath water.

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