It’s inevitable that a franchise already 17 years old and still going strong would have had its share of up and downs, and Tomb Raider is no exception.
We’re fresh off the back of the moderately received reboot, written by veteran screenwriter (and daughter of phenomenally successful fantasy writer Terry Pratchett) Rhianna Pratchett. The newest game, simply called Tomb Raider, focuses less on Lara Croft’s famous assets and more on her transformation to the kick ass archaeologist adventurer we know and love.
It’s a refreshing change to see Lara with semi-normal body proportions and actually sustaining a bruise or three and, in general, the game has been well received. With Lara Croft fever taking over yet again, talk of a new movie franchise has sprung up, although it’s not known who is set to follow in Angelina Jolie’s footsteps – after all, she is the personification of the character for a generation of gamers.
As well as the movies, console games and comics featuring the lovely Lara, she’s also cropping up in online casinos – yes, you really can experience Tomb Raider slots at www.tombraiderslot.net
To celebrate Lara’s always welcome return to a brand new video game, we thought we’d collect some of the highlights of the franchise since it started. Feast your eyes and see if you agree with us.
The original Tomb Raider
For some, this will always be the best Lara Croft game. Released by Eidos and Core Design in 1996 for the Sega Saturn, PC and PlayStation, it was instantly an enormous success. As the gamer you could control Lara as she interacted with the environment in complex (for the time) ways, allowing you to guide her through a series of adventures that included diving, swimming, hanging and various other moves. The game was particularly popular for its cinematic approach and excellent soundtrack. It sold a staggering seven million copies around the world and is generally seen as the reason the PlayStation became so popular.
Tomb Raider II
Obviously they were always going to do a sequel, hence Tomb Raider II which gave Lara more weapons, more moves, more detailed environments, loads of vehicles, enemies and, much much larger breasts. We’re not entirely sure why that character modification was necessary but it didn’t seem to harm the game’s popularity. It sold eight million copies and established Tomb Raider as a franchise with very long legs.
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (movie)
Although more video game sequels were being churned out (Tomb Raider III and Tomb Raider Chronicles) it was clear the gameplay was becoming stale and fans seemed to realise that they were paying for mere cash-ins. It could have been the end for Lara but then in 2001 she hit the big screen. It was really silly with a daft plot and completely unfeasible action sequences but in Angelina Jolie, Lara Croft’s alien-like perfection was brought to life. The movie was really successful and grossed $274 million worldwide.
Tomb Raider: Legend
In 2006 Crystal Dynamics made Lara fun to play again and gamers rejoiced. So did Crystal Dynamics as they sold 4.5 million copies. Sadly Lara’s fortunes didn’t continue upwards with the next couple of games, including the 2008 Tomb Raider: Underworld with its terrible controls and confusing gameplay.
Can the newest game revive Lara’s fortunes for good? Only time will tell, but it definitely seems that new life has been breathed into the franchise, which leaves Tomb Raider fans hopeful.