The “Tomb Raider” franchise received a much-needed reboot last week with the release of a new game that goes back to Lara Croft’s origin and begins anew with the series.
Given the character’s long history and high profile over the last two decades, it seemed appropriate to take a look back at the series’ evolution from a highly detailed clone of an Indiana Jones adventure to the innovative, global brand it is today. I interviewed the Creative Director for the new “Tomb Raider” game and wrote up a lengthy history of the franchise from that first installment released back in 1996 all the way through to this month’s reboot.
Here’s an excerpt:
By the time Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation hit shelves in November 1999, the pressure placed on Core Design to produce a new Tomb Raider game each year had become increasingly apparent. The mixed reception to the previous installment prompted the Tomb Raider team to do the unthinkable: kill off Lara Croft.
While The Last Revelation was another critical and commercial success, selling 5 million units worldwide, the fourth chapter of the series didn’t stray too far from its predecessors when it came to technical upgrades and improvements. At this point, even the series’ diehard fans had begun to grow tired of the repetitive experiences offered by each new Tomb Raider game, and developers responded with a wide-reaching sendoff for Lara Croft that saw her trapped in a tomb and presumed dead in an epic finale.
“With a game series that has been around as long as Tomb Raider, it is difficult to maintain freshness and relevance while still catering to nostalgia,” said Hughes of what the series’ evolution can teach developers. “As a franchise like Tomb Raider evolves, it can’t just repeat the same formula over and over, but it also must not lose sight of what made it great in the first place. This is a difficult balancing act.”
You can read the full article at DigitalTrends.com.