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Tomb Raider now rolling off the production line

Wednesday, 13th February 2013 04:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Just a little blip; Tomb Raider brand manager Karl Stewart has shared a photo of a finished retail copy of Tomb Raider for Xbox 360. It’s apparently the very first unit off the assembly line. Tomb Raider went gold last week and is expected on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on March 5; it has been in pre-production since at least 2008, and represents the franchise’s most drastic reboot to date.

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20 Comments

  1. SlayerGT

    So curious to see how this game is received.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. salarta

    @1: It’s going to sell like crazy, probably the best selling “Tomb Raider” game in a long time. Even though it really doesn’t deserve it, at least on the grounds of how it ruins Lara as a character and her origin story. Reception will likely be mostly positive because so many people seem to agree with the idea that female protagonists can’t be naturally strong and brave like male ones always are, and the changes to gameplay and aesthetics will woo over the majority of people.

    It’s possible I could be wrong. I was wrong about the reception of DmC and RE6, I expected both of those games to sell ridiculous millions too. But the Tomb Raider franchise fell so far down that I think it’s impossible this won’t be considered a huge success regardless of quality.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. HauntaVirus

    I’m guessing it’ll get 8-8.5 on average. I’m picking it up for sure, got it for under $30 on GMG.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. aseddon130

    @2 it annoys me when people like you fear ‘change’ – change can be for the better. You cannot keep sticking to the same old formula over and over, CD tried that with Tomb Raider Underworld and that game bombed badly and with the likes of Uncharted besting it in every way they had to come up with something different. So giving it a Modern Bond-like makeover seems like a very interesting move, making it more gritty and realistic can do wonders for movies or games and i am really excited to see how it turns out.

    The only exception to your examples was RE6, from what i seen it could have done with being more like the original games and less a crappy shooter it became.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. salarta

    @4: There’s a difference between change and “change.” You’re right that change can be for the better. I saw it happen plenty well with Mortal Kombat 9 doing a reboot of a franchise the right way, I was pleased with Resident Evil 4, and I eagerly await Metal Gear Rising.

    Real change in an IP is when you take what has already been established about the IP, everything from backstory to past characterization, and build upon it, paying tribute to what has come before. “Change” is what happens when a company decides it needs to throw away core elements that define the series or character and force in things so alien and inappropriate to the already existing IP that it would be better to just make it into a brand new IP and start over. This is what led to the Devil May Cry series existing, Mikami realizing that his original plans for RE4 were so inappropriate for Resident Evil that they were better off as an entirely new franchise.

    The new “Tomb Raider” is not change. It’s “change.” It’s ripping out everything that defines Lara Croft as a character and trying to change her into something she isn’t. It’s trying to change her from an action hero to a horror film survivor girl.

    You’re right that a company can’t keep sticking to the same formula, but that’s where the GAMEPLAY needs to be changed, NOT what defines Lara Croft as a character.

    Mortal Kombat 9 proves this a hell of a lot better than I can put it into words, but I have to try to do so regardless. Mortal Kombat 9 didn’t turn around and completely redefine the characters and series; Mileena wasn’t suddenly reimagined as a fragile little girl traumatized by bullying over her freakish looks into becoming violent and sexual, nor was Kitana suddenly reimagined into a terrified survivor of child abuse that had to beef up to protect herself from her abusive adopted dad. All it took was completely reworking gameplay, and when it comes to story, RETELLING the original three games with alterations only done to the events, NOT to the (admittedly flimsy) core of each character.

    All Lara needed was reworked gameplay, less emphasis on sex appeal, and a chance to show off how kickass she is naturally as already established by past games. Yet for some reason, Crystal Dynamics decided the last one wasn’t worth a damn.

    You’re defending it for being more “gritty” and “realistic.” Gritty is fine. But if “realistic” means destroying everything Lara Croft ever was and making her into a terrified womanchild at the prospect of facing danger her first time, then I have to say to hell with making Tomb Raider “realistic.” Besides, the real Lara Croft encountered many artifacts with mystical properties, so “realistic” is not entirely appropriate here anyway. It’d be like demanding that Superman fit the upper limits of the human body and lose any abilities that human beings cannot naturally present.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    “Change is only good when I like it.”

    #6 2 years ago
  7. salarta

    “Change is only good when it comes from Dave Thomas.”

    Really though, that’s kind of silly. I understand where you’re coming from, YoungZer0, presenting the idea that saying a change is bad can very easily just be trying to enforce subjective desires. But in reality, how can you ever divorce whether something is a good or bad change from your personal opinion?

    Is it really possible to think “This is the worst change the series has ever undergone, but I loved the hell out of every second of it!” Or conversely, “This is the best change I could have ever dreamed of seeing in a game, too bad it makes the game suck.”

    As for this game specifically, I haven’t played a single Tomb Raider game since Tomb Raider II. It’s not like I’m a hardcore fan of the series here.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. YoungZer0

    Then stop fucking crying about it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. salarta

    @8: You’re free to not read the comments I make.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    And you’re free to stop crying about a series you don’t care about, but suddenly do when they change things up.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. absolutezero

    Change is only good when its good. I thought that would be obvious theres nothing intrinsically positive about change for changes sake.

    Make something fucking new if you want to make something new. Stop raping everything just to make some easy fucking bucks you fucking cunts.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    If they wanted to make some easy bucks they would’ve made the same game again.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    New Coke.

    I think you can pretty much build a case to lean either way.

    XCOM Enemy Unknown was different from the old X-Com games in most ways, but a lot of people thought it was a stellar game. I’m not sure I agree, but then I’m also infatuated with the old ones.

    Either way it stands in pretty stark contrast to something like Syndicate which really had nothing to justify its existence, let alone its brand.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. PEYJ

    While I have been a long-time TR fan I can see why Crystal Dynamics wanted to change her. She had lots of appearance and attitude but no real personality as her “life” was centered in a James Bond/Indiana Jones like fantasy adventure. Now they are trying to make her more like a real person.

    While Toby Guard tried to pull her in that direction and never really achieved what he wanted, it seems that CD now have taken the next step. Whether they’ll be successfull or not remains to be seen but to sit and cry after realizing that she is stuck on a remote island and apparantly fucked, seems fair and real enough to me. If that draws a picture of her “performance” in the rest of the story, they have succeeded in making her more real so to speak. And that is pulling her away from what she WAS and not IS. The only thing she really is, is a fictitious person and an IP.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. salarta

    I care about how Lara Croft is being needlessly changed in this manner because I care about seeing video game franchises and their history being treated with due respect. Of course, I know that’s not good enough to many people who will try to find any way to spin a dissenting opinion into being “invalid.”

    If they’re a big fan of a series, the consumer’s voice somehow doesn’t count because they’re supposedly too obsessed with the past to accept change. If they’re not a big fan, the consumer’s voice somehow doesn’t count because they haven’t supported past attempts enough to “deserve” to be heard. Kind of like how a fan that doesn’t like a game is told to shut up with their complaints and vote with their wallets, but when voting with their wallets means the game bombs, suddenly the fans are “entitled” and “selfish” for daring to not spend their money on something they don’t want and never asked for.

    However, I think I should add that if Tomb Raider was done the right way, and if I wasn’t already boycotting all things Squeenix due to 3rd Birthday, then I would have bought a new Tomb Raider game. Just like I hadn’t bought a Mortal Kombat game since Deadly Alliance, but immediately bought and loved Mortal Kombat 9.

    And no, it’s not possible to make easy bucks by making the same game again. If that was possible, we’d be playing Guitar Hero 50 by now. What companies are doing instead is forcing ideas that SHOULD have been new IPs onto existing IPs. They know that they have to present something that looks like change if they want to keep selling games in a franchise, and they also have very little faith in brand new IPs compared to existing ones. So rather than make the new IP idea into an actual new IP while make respectful advancements with existing IPs, they shoehorn new IP ideas where they don’t belong, expecting people are so stupid and care so little about what really makes an IP what it is that they’ll buy the game in droves at the promise of “change.”

    #15 2 years ago
  16. CaptPierce

    Wow. Just wow. People complained that Lara’s character was pretty much a relic and had no place in games, and now that people are actually drawing her as an actual human being rather than a talking blow up doll with guns and a posh accent, everyone decides that they’re ruining the franchise. I loved the games as a child and even I could tell it held a bad image for women, regardless of how smart of strong Lara was.

    In survival situations, people are critically injured and can die from the things they put themselves through to live an extra hour for help that may or may not come. Nathan Drake hopped onto a moving train, was shot, passed out for a few minutes, climbed out of a train ON A FUCKING CLIFF, climbed some more, shot some dudes and then finally passed out again, and was able to live and go right back to kicking ass. People see Lara getting ONE splinter, and automatically it’s red flagged for some reason.

    When in a situation you’re stranded from civilization and everyone you know is dead and have no way of escaping, and the only people that are capable of surviving are trying to kill you, there is not a single human being that WOULDN’T be scared in this situation. It’s not much of a remake if you still draw Lara as a killing machine and can snap necks like Kit Kat bars; a real person is going to be scared out of their fucking minds and learn to be strong on their own.

    People preached and begged for the game to change and for Lara to change to, and the story and the way they carry Lara in this game is excellent. You are actually focused on playing the game (a really well made and gorgeous game) rather than the ass that’s in front of the camera.

    Little secret for you all too: THE WORLD IS A LITTLE DARK SOMETIMES. Taking things seriously is not by any means bad. They’re bringing life into a character that was an outdated boy fantasy and making her into a strong likable, believable character, and one worthy of being looked at as a role model to some. Smart, attractive and tough never hurt anyone.

    So if you want to preach that a game needs changing fine; but don’t let nostalgia blind you from actual progress.

    I’m hungry now. I want cookies.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. DSB

    @15 I’m gonna withhold judgement until I see the game, but while it may be needless to you, I don’t think the same goes for the majority.

    Square Enix gave this chart to Kotaku: Tomb Raider sales

    It looks like that cow had been milked for just about all it could take. No pun intended.

    If people wanted old Lara, they should’ve supported old Lara.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. salarta

    @16: I can’t speak for every person of course, but I believe that most of the claims that Lara’s character was a relic and had no place in games came from the (false) opinion that she had no personality, and that many thought she was mainly about having boobs to show off. Do you see anyone calling for any of the many, many male protagonists out there to be rewritten as starting out weak and absolutely terrified of combat as supposedly full-grown men in their 20s, on the verge of tears at the prospect of combat? No, you don’t. The one example I can give you where this happens with a playable male character, Edward from FF4, is one of the most hated characters in the entire game if not the entire franchise specifically because of his not acting like one of the fearless tough dudes.

    Yet somehow it’s decided that Lara Croft acting weak and terrified of combat is absolutely necessary, because it’s “more realistic.” I don’t care how “realistic” the reactions of “Lara” in this game are, if it’s not being done to iconic male protagonists across the industry too, then it shouldn’t happen. Until I see these people start shouting from the rooftops for every male protagonist from Master Chief to Kratos to Solid Snake and beyond to be rewritten exactly the same way as Lara is getting rewritten here, I’m not going to take the suggestion that Lara “needs” to be rewritten this way seriously. The industry, including Crystal Dynamics, implying that only women behave in this way by doing it only to female protagonists makes the industry and companies involved sexist, even as they try to claim such writing is somehow defeating sexism.

    Either all sexes get treated this way or no sexes get treated this way. To do otherwise is sexist.

    EDIT: I’d still have a problem with Lara Croft being rewritten this way even if male protagonists were getting the same treatment, because it still wouldn’t be appropriate for who she’s supposed to be as a character. But noting the inherent sexism of this and other recent “reimaginings” of strong female protagonists shows just how asinine and unnecessary all this is.

    @17: As I’ve said before, some kind of change is required, but when it comes to what they’re doing to Lara’s personality with this game, THIS kind of change is not at all necessary. I don’t think anyone could claim this franchise didn’t need to be revitalized, that’s more than obvious, but revitalizing the series does not require ripping out the soul of the main character and Frankensteining in one that’s not right for her. Mortal Kombat 9 did an excellent job with their form of a reboot without turning any of their women into scared little girls in adult bodies.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Vice

    #18 Mortal Kombat isn’t a reboot. It’s just a changing of some events in same old universe. And tbh Sonya did look like a damsel in distress to me few times…
    Tomb Raider is a reboot. Hell, I heard her parents still alive even! It’s NOT original Lara, it’s a new one. And as much as I loved strong Lara from Legend and Underworld, I don’t see any problems with this one. She’s 21, she never been in a situation like this before, she’s slowly getting used to it and we don’t even know how she’s gonna act even in the middle of a game after killing many people and surviving many dangers.
    I’m sure in a sequel she’ll be older and more resembling our original Lara.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. salarta

    @19: In using the word “reboot,” I was going by the broader definition of trying to provide several significant changes to revitalize the brand, but I think that was a poor choice of words on my part (as your post suggests) and I need to be more conscious of the normal and commonly expected uses.

    The problem is that Lara was intended to be an action star kind of character. One of the guys behind her creation has even said she was created to counter the commonly held stereotypes for women in video games of bimbo or dominatrix. She was intended to be strong, strong-willed and brave from the outset by her very nature. Saying she has to start off weak and terrified of danger for her first outing when that first outing is as a fully grown woman goes completely against her identity. Lara being tough and brave is no longer something she exhibits because she’s naturally inclined that way as a woman, it’s now suddenly Lara being that way because a bunch of men tormented or trained her to become something contrary to her true nature.

    No matter how tough she may look in future games, as long as this is her origin story, that toughness is unnatural and superficial. It’s not the woman she ever wanted to be, it’s the woman she was forced to become against her will.

    She’s no longer presenting empowerment as a woman that deliberately chose to face life-threatening situations head-on because it’s in her nature; she’s presenting empowerment as a terrified victim that took the only option she had available to her that didn’t involve her living a horrible remaining life or dying a horrible death.

    While that kind of story can be good, it’s not the kind of story that Lara Croft should have forced onto her identity. If she’s an adult, then she shouldn’t have to get used to it in the manner this game presents. Getting used to it in that she has to come to terms with having killed a man, or that she learns how to maneuver and fight, sure, but not this approach of her being a sheltered innocent flower of a girl at the outset.

    #20 2 years ago

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