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‘Tomb Raider’ revisits story of veteran video game vixen

Submitted by Jacob Ellerbee on March 14, 2013 – 5:16 pmNo Comment

In this scene of "Tomb Raider," players will watch as Lara Croft experiences a close encounter with skeletal remains as she reaches to pry a bow from the body. Croft utilizes weapons such as guns, a pick ax, and a bow and arrow throughout the game. Photo by Jacob Ellerbee

In what can be described as the biggest video game release of the year thus far, “Tomb Raider” brings the world’s most famous fictional archaeologist back into the spotlight after a five-year hiatus from gaming consoles.

It’s not often a video game features a female lead character, but “Tomb Raider” is noteworthy for this and a host of other reasons. The gaming experience, technique, musical score and cut scenes remind me of recent blockbuster hits such as those from the “Uncharted” series and the latest “Batman” saga. It has a very cinemati feel to it and utilizes theatrical sequences to drive the plot and create emotional ties between Croft and the player.

Like other installments in the series, the “Tomb Raider” reboot follows the story of Lara Croft (voiced by Camilla Luddington) and her search for finding the lost Japanese city of Yamatai. The game also explores the emotional struggles Croft faces in transitioning from a scared damsel to an independent, fierce fighter.

The game starts off at sea, where the ship carrying Croft and her crew is sinking during a torrential storm. The crew is later dispersed and Croft finds her way to the shoreline, but she is suddenly blindsided after someone strikes the back of her head.

Many hours later, she wakes up in a cave, suspended in the air and wrapped in a cocoon-like structure. It is at this point when players finally take control of the character, with Croft swinging from side-to-side in order to ignite herself by way of a nearby cauldron. After successfully breaking free, she falls to the ground and later finds a set of tools — as well as shelter — at an abandoned campsite.

After Croft finds a bow attached to a nearby corpse, it’s apparent she struggles with the reality of death and how she could end up just like said person. But now that she wields a weapon (albeit a primitive one), she can hunt for food. The player later takes control, attempting to shoot a deer. It’s not long until the two-way radio begins to sound and Croft is able to rejoin her crew, but the task of finding help off the island and finding the underground city still take priority.

“Tomb Raider,” an action-adventure thriller, is a game that gives fans the opportunity to become immersed in the game’s nearly 15-hour solo campaign and emotionally invested into the bond established between players and the game’s protagonist.

 

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