Quite recently, YouTube user Nicobass has been showing off development of Tomb Raider II recreated in the Unreal Engine 4, and this Tomb Raider fan couldn’t help but grin with glee when watching the videos.
The original Tomb Raider games have not aged well in comparison to other titles from the ’90’s. In fact, it could be suggested that the original Tomb Raider games would be practically unplayable for new players looking to play the originals. So why should there be a remake, we have a reboot, right? Wrong. Not all Lara Croft fans are relics, or are clinging on to those nostalgia tinted glasses to the past. It’s true that the Tomb Raider series needed to take a fresh direction circa early 2000s, however, Lara was a little late to the show when the Uncharted games and showed that direction.
The Uncharted series is loved by many gamers, but I am not one of them. I have tried my utmost to like them, but found myself quite forced to like the Nathan Drake character. The comparison between Lara and Drake is quite tiresome, and the fact that the new re-boot is regularly being referred of being an Uncharted clone is also tiresome. Yes, Uncharted pioneered what the Tomb Raider series should have done before them. However, lest we forget how ground breaking Tomb Raider was upon release all those years ago.
Tomb Raider was ground breaking, especially for female protagonists across the game world, we had not seen it before. I accept that what Crystal Dynamics are currently trying to do with the series i.e. show us what Lara was like before becoming an experienced adventurer, but I cannot help but feel she is just too weak. Crystal Dynamics have turned Lara into a crying little girl, who apologises at any given moment – so to speak. I feel that Crystal Dynamics have created an adventurer that is more of a broken, female protagonist not necessarily inexperienced and a broken female lead is exactly what female leads don’t need these days.
I am not suggesting she should be an emotionless robot, but given her personality in the original series I do not envision she would have been this feeble even at her young age. If you take a look at Tomb Raider The Last Revelation it shows us a 16 year old Lara being a student of fellow adventurer Von Croy, even in these short cut-scenes Lara showed herself as a knowledgeable and eager young adventurer. She had some gumption about her, unlike the current embodiment of Lara.
Tomb Raider Anniversary was the poorest selling title in the series as a whole, however, I found this game to be thoroughly enjoyable and a great testament to the original games. I adored the opportunity to fight that T-Rex all over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to see where the current series heads, being a Tomb Raider fan after all, but there are elements to the new games that do not quite grip me as much as the originals. The point of remaking such a loved series would be to give life to a currently aged series that cannot be enjoyed by new players, and to pay homage to one of the most iconic female leads in gaming history. Therefore, the old series deserves a remake, and, who doesn’t want to see if Winston is still locked in that freezer.