Editorial: 10 Things I Want From the Next Tomb Raider

Puzzles: If I had to criticize the new game, it’s only that its puzzles are absurdly easy. I think there’s plenty of room to have a few simple starter puzzles, but the older games used to give me genuine anxiety as I’d sit there trying to figure out how to solve some of the sprawling riddles. Lara unearths places that are thousands of years old, and many of them were never intended to be found. Make her (and us) work for it.

Lara’s classic look: I won’t lie; I missed the ability to see Lara in her trademark outfit. Now that she’s going to be exploring on her terms, let’s at least have the option to slip back into those tan shorts with dual pistols strapped to thighs. You can’t fix what isn’t broken.

Tomb Raider

Isolation: One thing I truly miss about the oldest TR games is the severe isolation. The idea of Lara interacting with recurring characters is perfectly cool, and as I said, having her occasionally visit a city environment would give the series some diversity. But once she’s out in the middle of nowhere, she needs to be on her own. It’s not that atmospheric or frightening when she can be in constant communication with her support team via transmitters.

Weapon selection: I loved Tomb Raider’s combat. The cover system was perfect, and it was incredibly satisfying to go for headshots. But give us more choices and offer an ability to customize Lara’s loadout. Some of us old school players may prefer to go at it with just dual pistols, while others may prefer to take along a better insurance policy. Whatever the case, variety is the spice of life.

No multiplayer: Not every game needs a multiplayer mode. While there’s nothing wrong with Tomb Raider’s, that it exists at all is sort of intrinsic to the gaming industry’s identity crisis. Many publishers seem to be chasing Call of Duty money, and Tomb Raider was never going to attract that audience. Focus instead on creating a larger single player experience. I would’ve loved Tomb Raider to have lasted another five to ten hours because I can’t get enough of the damn game.

There’s very little I would change about Tomb Raider, but these are elements I hope can be threaded through the sequel. Crystal Dynamics succeeded in a big way by bringing Lara Croft into a new era, and she’s here to stay.

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This franchise had been my favorite since the very beginning. I've got the full run of the original comics, including most variants and everything. I completely agree with 99% of what you wrote. The newest entry was incredible, and I found myself stalling and delaying finishing it because I didn't want it to end. The one thing I don't fully agree with is the isolation aspect. I thought the voice acting was so well done and entertaining, that I am very much looking forward to that aspect of the next installment. A good balance could be increasing the difficulty, complexity and length of the tombs, which could be "out of cell range," and yet she still gets to interact with locals and other explorers. I doubt I would be disappointed if they went in either direction though, really. Can't wait. I'm more anxious about this entry than the reboot. It seems they always create quality early games in a run, but the quality goes down with each installment. I loved Legend. It was what the movie tie-ins should've been.

Submitted by Axeslinger0u812 on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 9:39pm.
Matt Serafini's picture

Yeah, I'm more talking about when you're in the recesses of a tomb.

I miss the unnerving quiet of the earliest games in those situations.

Submitted by Matt Serafini on Fri, 02/28/2014 - 11:39am.

That came out more fanboyish than I expected. Lol. Still, it's deeply satisfying when a franchise you like releases something as good as the first 3, Legend, and the reboot. Especially when the other ones were so disappointing.

Submitted by Axeslinger0u812 on Thu, 02/27/2014 - 9:43pm.

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