You know things are bad when, as a wannabe commentator on all things important in the industry, you decide to write a post on an announcement of a trailer that will announce a game. Well, screw you, integrity, because I’m going to write it anyway.
In a week’s time, Crystal Dynamics are dishing up the first trailer for the new Tomb Raider, currently being quietly hyped (if that’s not an oxymoron) as a contender to the juggernaut that is the Uncharted franchise. We’ve already heard a bunch of details about the game and I can’t help but be mildly excited. I’ve never understood the attitude that has prevailed towards this series in recent years, with a degree of consensus forming around the idea that ever since the shoddy Angel of Darkness Lara’s adventures have never recovered. It’s odd: I personally thought that Legend was a blast of fresh air for the franchise, whilst Anniversary and Underworld (for all the latter’s control problems) had a charm and an excitement that was reminiscent of Miss Croft’s heyday. I almost feel sorry for Crystal Dynamics, in that despite their best efforts and the arguable quality of their games, an opinion has seeped through the gaming world that the series is no longer relevant.
If this new reboot doesn’t change things, I’m not sure what will. The developers are risking everything on turning Lara Croft, perhaps gaming’s ultimate action babe, into a more vulnerable, darker character. It only takes one look at that initial publicity shot to see the stake that Crystal has laid down. Tomb Raider isn’t one of those series that I love, but it has provided some of my most enjoyable gaming moments of recent years, and I really hope that the new trailer next week and more importantly the subsequent game will go some way to repairing its unfair, undeserved decline.