Editorial: 10 Things I Want From the Next Tomb Raider
Open World: A lot of long-time TR fans have bemoaned the lack of exploration in the recent games. The newest one excelled with satisfying combat, and that shouldn’t change, but there’s definitely room to boost the exploration quotient. Don’t skimp on the action, but give us larger areas to explore. In a recent interview Crystal Dynamics cited Skyrim as an analogy for the sequel’s exploration factor—that’d be a great start.
Vehicles: I loved it when the earliest Tomb Raider games let us traverse landscapes in snow mobiles and jeeps, but driving elements never quite gelled into something completely satisfying. For the sequel I’d love to see Lara have the ability to navigate her surroundings using jet skis, motorcycles, and whatever else is handy. The woman has a lot of resources at her disposal and spares no expense when it comes to her expeditions, so let’s ride!
Swimming: We know Lara can swim, so let’s see her ability to dive in order to locate underground tombs and treasures. It would help create a cohesive and immersive experience right alongside the open world environment. Who can forget the first time you slipped beneath the waves and faced Great Whites in Tomb Raider II? I would love to have that experience once again, only brought to terrifying life via NextGen processing and graphics.
Different environments/landscapes: This might be a bit of a contradiction to my first point, but I love globe-hopping adventures—something to give the story an epic sense of scope. To me, Lara Croft has always been equal to Indiana Jones, and while we largely associate them with harsh jungles and uninhabited tombs, there’s something fun about switching the action to urban locales every now and again. One of the franchise’s best moments was Lara’s high-rise raid in Legend, and there’s plenty of opportunity to go bolder.
Lara’s evolution: It was fun to watch Ms. Croft evolve into a hardened survivor throughout Tomb Raider, and like any great character, that should only be the beginning. Now that we’ve got Lara on the path to becoming the character we all know and love, I want to see how she deals with the fame (and backlash) spurred on by Yamatai. Give us a character that keeps evolving instead of plateauing.