Top 100 of 2012: 2 – Tomb Raider

I’ll be honest, I was a little edgy with the announcement that Tomb Raider would be getting a reboot. Whilst it’s not a series that I’ve followed exceptionally closely, it’s one that I do have a lot of affection for. I have some very happy memories of playing the second and third instalments of the series, and although the general consensus seems to be that the more recent incarnations aren’t great I did find something to enjoy in them.

However, any concerns I had about the reboot of the series were quite clearly misplaced, as just about everything we’ve seen of the game looks fantastic. The promise of a young Lara who is on her first adventure is very exciting, and although a more realistic approach didn’t seem all that appealing at first the footage we’ve seen suddenly makes it look very interesting.


The thing with Tomb Raider is that recent games have made you feel less and less threatened. Even when they threats have increased, some how there just wasn’t a feeling of danger. Next year’s game really seems to fix this, with the inexperienced Lara looking exceptionally exposed and vulnerable on a mysterious island.

Perhaps it’s the fact that she’s not composed in the face of life threatening peril that does it, it makes her far easier to connect to; if I was being chased through a cave full of human sacrifices I’d certainly be terrified. Beyond that it’s the way that she clearly isn’t prepared for any of this, she responds to any situation with anything that comes to hand.

Of course it helps that the game looks absolutely stunning so far, with a well realised world that makes good use of the generational trend of greys and browns in its colour palette. Some how it feels right that the world for this game should be dark and dingy. Even when you’re out of the cave systems that have been prominent in footage and previews of the game the world seems fairly dark, as well as having an impressive scale. Crystal Dynamics have been keen to point out the size of the island the game takes place on, with the world seeming much larger than it has in earlier Tomb Raider titles.

The other big change we’ve seen so far is the “survival instinct”, a feature that highlights the solution to a puzzle if you get stuck. Whilst some may feel that removes some of the challenge from the game that’s traditionally had a very heavy focus on its puzzles, it does seem like it’s optional and only works if you’re not moving. However, it does indicate a shift in the series towards survival gameplay over puzzle solving.

There are few games I want more than Tomb Raider next year, and I can only hope that the new realistic approach pays off. All the signs so far are very positive but in the end we can only wait until the game’s expected release in the third quarter.



  1. Inb4 The Last Guardian for No. 1?

    • I’d like to think so, but there are massive concerns for it over dev time taking too long and people leaving.. Hopefully it doesn’t compromise quality :/

    • Yeah, i’m not even sure if TLG is still confirmed for 2012 – but it’s still my no.1- whenever it’s released! :)

    • surely its got to be GTA V!?

      • Rock star only release one game a year, and it’s Max Payne next year.

  2. I got Underworld with Plus and it’s almost torturous to play. However, saying that, I am looking forward to this and I’m pleased with the stuff that’s been showed so far; hopefully it’s actually good to play as well

    • It’s horrendous compared to other action/adventure games well mostly Uncharted. I am also looking forward to this. Wondering what is number 1 now :P

      • Yeah, Uncharted is just 100 times better than Underworld

      • lol @ “just” :D

      • yes, but you have to agree, I doubt that Uncharted would have been made by ND as it is if not for the early TR successes

      • I couldn’t agree more. I got tomb raider underworld on ps+ and couldn’t believe how much of a chore to play it was and how convaluted and crap the story was. I finished it but under mass sufference at least the final level wasn’t as bad as the Thailand Jungle level which was truly awful. The whole experience made me appreciate Uncharted so much more.

        I really hope Crystal Dynamics take care to make a great game this time. Lara and the tomb raider series are one of gamings crown jewels. It’ve disappointing if this is another crap tomb raider game.

    • Feel the same playing it. Glad to see others feel the same.

    • So did I, and I’d just been playing through UC1 and 2 before I got it. Underworld’s gameplay mechanics feel very “last-gen” in my opinion, so I touched Lara once, and didn’t go back. This new game looks good though, and so does Laras new look, strangely enough she’s by far the hottest one yet, and the devs claim not to be as sex-based this time…?

  3. This is the one, for me. The trailer is amazing, it has an awesome direction to it and Lara actually looks real for once, someone who can feel pain and elation among other things. Absolutely huge hopes for this.

    • Totally agree. I actually forgot about this game until I saw the title of the article. The trailer looked amazing.

    • Totally agree mate, really looking forward to the game and I think that the new direction that it’s taking will woo back a lot of fans that have become disillusioned with the series. Great choice for No2, just hope that it delivers…as hopefully GTA will with it’s next offering ;)

    • Agreed, everything revealed so far looks and sounds fantastic.

  4. I’ve played every Tomb Raider since the first in 1996, and although not all have been great, I’ve enjoyed them all in there own way. I would consider my self a Tomb Raider fanboy and am really looking forward to this re-boot!

  5. I think this one looks really good. I think it looks like a better game all round, and I like that they’ve toned Lara’s ‘assets’ down a bit…

  6. This one looks very interesting to me, but will have to wait and see :D

  7. you were in more danger from the camera than the enemies in the last few games. ^_^

    as somebody who’s been a huge fan of the Tomb Raider series right from the start this has to be my most anticipated game for next year.

    i’ve played all the main series, including Angel of Darkness.

    they improved the series a lot with the last few games, apart from the drunken camera and Lara randomly ignoring ledges resulting in her plummeting to her death.

    if they can sort those problems out this could be a great game.

    then Lara will show that pretender Drake how you raid a tomb. ^_^

  8. Nothing better than a great Tomb Raider, have high hopes – hopefully it lives up to them.

  9. So it’s either The Last Guardian or GTAV for top spot.
    I reckon The Last Guardian will do it, as maybe the voting had already started before GTAV?

    Anyway, I’m watching Tomb Raider with interest, but seeing as the only good game since Chronicles was Anniversary, I’m being very cautious with it. All I can say is that I hope Nathan Drake doesn’t get run into the ground like Lara did.
    And that I hope she can pick herself back up again too. :P

  10. Hmm, i’ve only seen a little bit of gameplay footage,and it seems to be more Uncharted then Tomb Raider. But it’s been 6-7 months since i saw the footage so i apologise if i’m wrong. :) I think i may have played a Tomb Raider game before but not completely sure.

    I may keep an eye on Lara’s Breasts… I mean Tomb Raider as it does seem like a game that i would enjoy. :) I wonder what is number 1?

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