Tomb Raider 2012 Preview


Developer:       Crystal Dynamics
Publisher:        Square Enix
Release Date:  5th March 2013
Genre:             action-adventure

Weak, defenseless, dissolved. These are not necessarily attributes you would associate with one of the world's best known gaming figures, Lara Croft. But in her upcoming new adventure, players will be able to discover the brutal events in Lara's past, which actually turned her from a helpless, whiny archeology-student into the tough and self-conscious adventurer we all know so well.

Stranded on an old Japanese island after a ship accident, 21-year old Lara has to learn how to survive in an unknown, hostile environment filled with bloodthirsty animals and mysterious, murderous militiamen.
Beautiful young Lara
The story will focus heavily on her character development: After being forced to kill her first attacker, Lara is crushed, can't believe she took the life of another human, regrets it. Lara doesn't want to kill, but the circumstances force her to do so, and that's what changes her personality drastically, makes her stronger.
Before you know it, the little, whiny student shoots dozens of assailants, and becomes a person John Rambo would be proud of. Hopefully this transition won't happen too fast, so the player can comprehend how and why Lara changed that much.

The gameplay, in comparison to the other Tomb Raider games, changed a lot. There will be considerably more gunfights, only interrupted by occasional riddles and climbs.
Also, for the first time in the series, the world will be open for exploration. Lara will be able to return to already visited places on the island via fast travel points, and items she obtains in the later stages of the game will unlock new paths and secrets in preceding areas.

The new feature Hunting.
Another new feature will be the experience- and skill-point system,  Ms. Croft will be able to acquire new talents and abilities over the course of the game by obtaining experience-points.The game will also include the possibility to hunt and enhance your weapons, which turns Tomb Raider more and more into a standard action-adventure open world game.

The darker story seems really interesting, watching Lara handle desperate situations, and to see her character grow in the outcome could be an intriguing experience. The only fear is that the transition from "i am a helpless little girl" to "i am John Rambo" could happen too fast, too insincere.

The open-world stuff is another delicate point, if it is done well, and the player is motivated to explore the environment, it can contribute a lot to the game. On the other hand, it's very easy to mess up things like that, if the player isn't driven to investigate and scout, a giant part of the game becomes worthless
Lara being tortured by a mysterious militiaman.
The skillpoint system is also a section that can go either way. If the unlockable abilities are something you can look forward to, and I'm talking about almost game-changing skills, that make you feel like you really achieved something by leveling up, it can be a huge source of motivation.
But if the proficiencies to learn are just minor improvements and carry no weight in the gameplay, this could turn out to be a bad call as well.

Tomb Raider 2012 (or better 2013?) could be a
well made reboot of the franchise, or its downfall.



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