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Tomb Raider (2013 video game)

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Tomb Raider (2013 video game)

Tomb Raider


Developer(s) Crystal Dynamics
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Distributor(s) Feral Interactive (OS X)
Director(s) Noah Hughes
Daniel Chayer
Daniel Neuburger
Producer(s) Kyle Peschel
Alexander W. Offermann
Programmer(s) Scott Krotz
Artist(s) Brian Horton
Writer(s) Rhianna Pratchett[3]
Susan O'Connor
Composer(s) Jason Graves
Series Tomb Raider
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
OS X
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Xbox 360
Xbox One
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action-adventure
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Tomb Raider is a 2013 action-adventure video game published by Square Enix. Tomb Raider is the fourth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasises the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft.[4][5] Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and on 23 January 2014 for Mac OS X.

Crystal Dynamics began development of Tomb Raider soon after the release of Tomb Raider: Underworld in 2008. Rather than a sequel, the team decided to completely reboot the series, establishing the origins of Lara Croft for the second time, following Tomb Raider: Legend. Tomb Raider is set on Yamatai, an island from which Lara, who is untested and not yet the battle-hardened explorer she is in other titles in the series, must save her friends and escape while being hunted down by a malevolent cult. Gameplay elements focus more on survival, although exploration is used within the game when exploring the island and various optional tombs. It is also the first game in the series to have multiplayer and the first game to be published by Square Enix, after the latter's acquisition of Eidos Interactive in 2009. Camilla Luddington was announced to voice and perform as Lara Croft in 2010, replacing Keeley Hawes.

After a delayed release from late 2012 to March 2013, Tomb Raider received much anticipation and hype. Upon release, the game was critically acclaimed, with critics praising the graphics, the gameplay, Luddington's performance as Lara, and Lara's characterization and development, although the addition of the multiplayer mode was criticised. Tomb Raider sold one million copies within 48 hours of its release, and has sold more than 8.5 million copies as of April 2015, making it the best-selling Tomb Raider title to date. An updated version, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, was released in North America on 28 January 2014 and in Europe on 31 January 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One containing all features and DLC.

Contents

  • Gameplay 1
    • Multiplayer 1.1
  • Synopsis 2
    • Setting and characters 2.1
    • Plot 2.2
  • Development 3
    • Animated model 3.1
    • Voice cast 3.2
    • Gameplay showcases 3.3
  • Music 4
  • Release 5
    • Pre-release incentives 5.1
    • Retail editions 5.2
    • Downloadable content 5.3
  • Reception 6
    • Sales 6.1
    • Controversy 6.2
    • Awards 6.3
  • Sequel 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Gameplay

Tomb Raider is presented in third-person perspective. Players take control of the series lead character Lara Croft. The game uses an interconnected hub-and-spoke model that combines action-adventure, exploration, and survival mechanics.[6] Players can traverse between the camps and across the island using footpaths, improvised or already-available ziplines and climbable tracks. Many of the players moves are carried over from the previous games created by Crystal Dynamics, with some tweaks added, such as incorporating elements of stealth gameplay. Quick Time Events are scattered at regular intervals throughout the game, often appearing at crucial or fast-moving points in the game's plot, such as extracting a shard of metal, and escaping a collapsing cave.[7]

The player character, standing atop a high ledge, creating a makeshift zipline to a lower ledge by shooting an arrow.
Players can create makeshift ziplines to traverse between camps and across the island.

The combat of the game borrows multiple elements from Naughty Dog's Uncharted series, with players having the ability to free-aim Lara's bow and the guns she salvages, engage in close-quarter combat and perform stealth kills.[8] Players can also use Survival Instinct, an ability in which enemies, collectables and objects pivotal to environmental puzzles will be highlighted for players.[9] The game also incorporates RPG elements: as players progress through the game, they earn experience points from performing certain actions and completing in-game challenges linked with hunting, exploring and combat: this enables players' skills and abilities to be upgraded in specific ways, such as giving her more storage capacity for arrows and ammunition.[7] Players can also upgrade and customize weapons using salvage collected across the island. There is also a character progression mechanic in the game: better items, weapons and equipment are gained as players progress, though the appearance of most of these items is closely linked to events in the story.[10] In addition to the main story, players can complete multiple side quests, explore the island, revisit locations, and search for challenge tombs.

Multiplayer

Alongside the single-player mode is an online multiplayer mode, which allows players to compete in several maps.[11] In each multiplayer match, there are two enemy teams: four survivors and four scavengers,[12] and there are three types of games for multiplayer to compete in, played in five different maps: the modes are Team Deathmatch, Private Rescue and Cry for Help.[13] The first mode is a simple PvP combat scenario, with teams pitted against each other, and the winning team being the one to kill of the opposing team in three separate matches. In the second mode, the "survivors" team must take medical supplies to a specific point on the map, while the "scavengers" must reach a certain number of kills, both within a ten-minute time limit.[12][14] The third mode, Cry for Help, involves the "survivors" exploring the maps and retrieving batteries for defended radio beacons while being hunted by the "scavengers".[9] Across all three modes, weapons and destroyable environments from the single-player campaign are carried over.

Synopsis

Setting and characters

The game is set on Yamatai, a fictional lost island in the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. The island—and the kingdom that once existed there—is shrouded in mystery, given its reputation for fearsome storms and shipwrecks that litter its coastline. Yamatai was once ruled by a queen named Himiko, known by her honorific title of "Sun Queen", who according to legend was blessed with shamanistic powers that enabled her to control the weather. Very little is known about Yamatai's history in the time since Himiko's death, other than that the island's infamy was established shortly thereafter. In exploring the island, the player may find evidence that—among others—Portuguese traders, United States Marines and a Japanese military project were all stranded on Yamatai at various points throughout history. At the start of the game, the island is populated exclusively by the Solarii Brotherhood, a violent cult of criminals, mercenaries and shipwreck survivors. The Solarii Brotherhood has established its own society based on the worship of Himiko, complete with a social structure and laws, with their exact purpose and intentions being explored over the course of the story.

The player takes on the role of Lara, who is a young and ambitious archaeology graduate whose theories on the location of the lost kingdom of Yamatai have convinced the Nishimura family—descendants from the people of Yamatai themselves—to fund an expedition in search of the kingdom. The expedition is led by Dr. James Whitman, a celebrity archaeologist who has fallen on hard times and is desperate to avoid bankruptcy, and is accompanied by Conrad Roth, a Royal Marine turned adventurer and close friend of the Croft family who serves as mentor to Lara; Samantha "Sam" Nishimura, Lara's friend and a representative of the Nishimura family who films the expedition for a documentary; Joslyn Reyes, a skeptical and temperamental mechanic and single mother; Jonah Maiava, an imposing and placid fisherman who is willing to believe in the existence of the paranormal and esoteric; Angus "Grim" Grimaldi, the gruff Glaswegian helmsman of the Endurance; and Alex Weiss, a goofy and bespectacled electronics specialist.

Plot

The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition aboard the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against Whitman's advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon's Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and shipwrecked, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others and captured by a strange, savage man. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses due to her actions. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, such as strange carvings, dead bodies, and animal sacrifices. She eventually finds her friend Sam and a man called Mathias, who claims to be a teacher who was shipwrecked on the island. As Sam tells Mathias the legends of Himiko, Lara passes out; when she wakes, Mathias and Sam are nowhere in sight. When Lara regroups with the other survivors, Whitman decides to go with Lara and search for the still-missing Roth, while the rest of the group (Reyes, Jonah, Alex and Grim) set out to find Sam and Mathias. As Lara and Whitman explore, they discover that the island's inhabitants worship Himiko, confirming that the island is Yamatai. Upon discovering a shrine erected in Himiko's name, they are captured by the islanders and taken to a settlement along with several other survivors from the Endurance. When the survivors attempt an escape, the captors turn on them. Lara is separated from Whitman and tries to hide, but is found by one of the islanders and forced to kill him. She fights off the remainder of the attackers and reunites with Roth, saving him from a wolf attack.

Lara manages to activate a radio tower and call for help, but the plane that answers the call is struck by a freak storm, and Lara hears a mysterious voice saying "No one leaves" in Japanese. Unable to save the surviving pilots, Lara is contacted by Alex and Reyes, who reveal that Sam has been kidnapped by the islanders, a violent cult known as the Solarii Brotherhood. Lara tries to rescue her, but is stopped by Mathias, leader of the Solarii, and ordered killed: she is saved by an attack from samurai-like Oni. Escaping the ancient monastery where she is taken by the Oni, she hears from Sam that Mathias is going to put her through the "Ascension", a "fire ritual" to find the next Sun Queen that will burn her to death if it is unsuccessful. Lara follows them to the Solarii fortress and is aided by Grim. The Solarii take Grim hostage, but he sacrifices himself so Lara can escape. With Roth's aid, Lara infiltrates the fortress and sees the ritual begin. When the fires are lit, a great wind blows them out, showing Sam to be the next Sun Queen. Lara escapes again and reunites with her friends, forming a plan to rescue Sam and escape. Aided by Whitman—who has managed to negotiate some degree of freedom with the Solarii—Lara returns to the palace to rescue Sam as Roth commandeers a helicopter to get them out. Lara succeeds, but persuades Sam to escape by land when she sees another storm gathering as the helicopter approaches. As Lara tries to force the helicopter pilot to land, they are brought down, with Lara nearly dying. Roth revives Lara, then takes a fatal blow from Mathias meant for Lara. While mourning Roth, Lara accepts that the storms are not natural, but are somehow connected to the Sun Queen and designed to prevent anyone from leaving the island. She meets up with the other survivors, who have evaded the Solarii long enough to secure a boat for escaping the island, provided that it can be repaired. They are joined by Whitman, who claims to have escaped, though Lara begins to suspect him of working with the cultists. Lara and Alex find parts for the boat in the wreck of the Endurance. They come under attack by the Solarii and Alex triggers an explosion, sacrificing himself so that Lara can escape with the tools.

Finding an account of a World War II-era Japanese military and Nazi scientific expedition to the island that sought a way to harness the storms as a weapon, Lara decides to explore a coastal tomb, where she finds the remains of a samurai general who committed seppuku. It is revealed in a message he left that he led the Queen's Stormguard, the Oni that defend the monastery, and that the Queen's successor took her own life rather than receive the Sun Queen's power. Lara realizes that the Ascension is not a ceremony to crown a new queen, but rather a ritual that transfers the original Sun Queen's soul into a new body; the Sun Queen had learned to become effectively immortal by transferring her soul into a young girl's body each time she grew old. The last priestess' suicide had interrupted the ritual, and left the Queen's soul trapped in her old decaying body, and Himiko's spirit has wanted to escape that corpse ever since. As a descendant of Yamatai, Sam is a viable candidate, and Mathias plans to offer Sam as a new host in exchange for his freedom. Lara returns to the survivors on the beach to find that Whitman has betrayed them, abducting Sam and handing her over to Mathias. Lara, Jonah and Reyes give chase, heading up a river to the monastery, with Lara arriving just in time to see Mathias trick Whitman into approaching and speaking to Stormguards: the Stormguards kill Whitman. After fighting her way through both the Solarii and the Stormguard, Lara arrives at the top of the monastery where Mathias is performing the Ascension ritual. Lara fights her way to the central platform, and after a struggle, shoots Mathias off the platform to his death using both his pistol and her own in her signature dual-wielding style. Despite Mathias' death, the ritual is already underway, with Himiko's soul starting to pour into Sam, but Lara then destroys Himiko's ancient remains, saving Sam and dispersing the storms. Lara, Sam, Reyes and Jonah then leave the island and are picked up by a cargo ship: as they sail home, Lara realizes that the mythical stories her father told her were more than stories, deciding not to return home just yet, and the screen fades to white with a proclamation of "A Survivor is Born."

Development

Following [18] Game Informer website and magazine ran a world exclusive cover reveal in its January 2011 issue, as well as exclusive coverage of emerging details directly from Crystal Dynamics from 12 December 2010.[5] Tomb Raider was the first game in the series to receive a M rating in the United States.

In January 2012, when asked if the game would be available on Nintendo's Wii U console, Crystal Dynamics global brand director Karl Stewart responded there are no plans to have the game available on that platform. According to Stewart, the reason for this is that "it would not be right" for the game to simply be ported, as the developers built the game to be platform-specific before the Wii U was announced, and goes on to mention that if they started building the game for the platform "[they] would build it very differently and [they] would build it with unique functionality."[19] The multiplayer mode was created by Canadian video game development studio Eidos Montreal, known for making Deus Ex: Human Revolution.[12] In May 2012, it was announced by Darrell Gallagher, the studio head of Crystal Dynamics, that the game has been delayed and would be due for release in the first quarter of 2013. He said: "We're doing things that are completely new to Tomb Raider in this game, and the additional development time will allow us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a level that you deserve. We believe this is the right choice, and I guarantee it will be worth the wait."[20] The Definitive Edition framerate is unlocked on PlayStation 4, varying from 32 to 60fps (averaging 53.36fps). Xbox One version is locked to 30FPS (averaging 29.98fps); both versions of the game have a resolution of 1080p.[21][22]

Animated model

Lara Croft's model is animated using compiled performance capture, a technique used in the previous instalment Tomb Raider: Underworld.[23] The game was built on Crystal Dynamics' game engine called "Foundation".[24] Lara's face is based on that of model Megan Farquhar. On 3 June 2011, the "Turning Point" CGI teaser trailer premiered at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2011, emphasizing the release date was to be in the third quarter of 2012.[25] The trailer was produced by Square Enix's CGI studio Visual Works.[26]

Voice cast

Keeley Hawes did not return as Lara Croft for 2013's Tomb Raider, after completing Tomb Raider: Legend, Anniversary, Underworld and Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. She reprised the role of 'older Lara' in downloadable game Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, which was released on 9 December 2014. In December 2010, Crystal Dynamics was said to be trialling dozens of voice actresses.[27] On 26 June 2012, the voice actress of Lara Croft was revealed to be Camilla Luddington.[28] Lara is played by Nadine Njeim in the Arabic dub,[29] by Nora Tschirner in the German dub, by Alice David in the French dub, by Karolina Gorczyca in the Polish dub, by Yuhko Kaida in the Japanese dub, by Benedetta Ponticelli in the Italian dub, by Guiomar Alburquerque Durán in the Spanish dub and by Polina Sherbakova in the Russian dub.[30]

Gameplay showcases

On 31 May 2012, a new gameplay trailer was released online, showcasing more action-based gameplay along with varying plot elements. The trailer also confirms the presence of several other non-playable characters besides Lara on the island, many of which appear to be in a menacing organization, much like in previous instalments in the franchise.[31] On 4 June 2012, at Microsoft's E3 2012 press conference, a new gameplay demonstration was shown, depicting environmental destruction and other interactivity, stealth combat using a bow and arrow, quick-time events and parachuting.[32] During summer 2012, gameplay was shown of Lara hunting, exploring the island and killing for the first time. They were shown at EuroGamer Expo 2012 at London on 27 September 2012.[33] On 8 December 2012, a new trailer was shown during Spike Video Game Awards. At the beginning, an introduction was made by Camilla Luddington and during the event, the trailer was followed by a musical orchestra, led by the music composer, Jason Graves.[34] The next week, IGN presented: Tomb Raider Week. Each day from Monday to Friday, exclusive previews, features and trailers were released, showing more details for the upgrading system, survival tools and challenge tombs.[35] Tomb Raider officially went gold on 8 February 2013.[36]

Music

Tomb Raider (Original Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by Jason Graves
Released 15 March 2013
Genre Video game soundtrack
Length 74:55
Label Sumthing Else Music Works

Tomb Raider‍ '​s soundtrack was composed by Jason Graves, whose previous work includes Dead Space and its sequels, F.E.A.R. 3 and Star Trek: Legacy. The Tomb Raider: Original Soundtrack was released on 5 March 2013, alongside the game's worldwide release. The album was released to critical acclaim, with multiple sites including Forbes and the magazine Film Score Monthly giving it high praise.[37][38][39]

A podcast was released by Game Informer on 21 December 2010, featuring a "sneak peek at a track from the game itself"[27] composed by Aleksandar Dimitrijevic.[40] Tweets from Crystal Dynamics Global Brand Director, Karl Stewart, clarified Game Informer's statement; confirming that "Alex Dimitrijevic is scoring the trailer. We officially haven't announced the composer for the game".[41] On 8 June 2011, after the trailer's première, Stewart stated in regard to the final Turning Point score that "...this piece is not a piece that [Alex Dimitrijevic]'s worked on".[42] On 7 June 2011, Meagan Marie, community manager at Crystal Dynamics, expressed on the official Tomb Raider blog that "Our goal [is] to make sure that we release a soundtrack".[43] Stewart added "this is a completely new composer and somebody who we've brought in to work on the game as well as this [trailer] piece" and that "we're going to make a bigger announcement later in the year".[42]

In the Making of Turning Point, sound designer Alex Wilmer explained that the unannounced composer had remotely directed an in-house concert violinist to perform the "very intimate" piece.[44] In the fourth Crystal Habit podcast which premiered at the Tomb Raider blog on 17 October 2011, Marie spoke to Wilmer and lead sound designer Jack Grillo about their collaboration(s) with the unannounced composer. Grillo stated that "We're doing this overture... where we're taking an outline of the narrative structure and having our composer create different themes and textures that would span the entire game" while Wilmer emphasised that the composer's music will dynamically adapt in-game; scored "...emotionally so that it reacts instantly to what happens".[45]

In an episode of The Final Hours of Tomb Raider on YouTube, the composer was revealed as Jason Graves. He revealed that his musical style was shaped by two classical composers Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky, and a more recent one: Krzysztof Penderecki.[46] Apart from his trademark orchestral style, Graves wished to create a signature sound that would impress on players and stand out when heard. Along with using objects like mallets to create odd musical sounds, Graves, with the help of neighbouring architect Matt McConnell, created a special percussion instrument that would create a variety of odd signature sounds to mix in with the rest of the orchestral score. In creating the main orchestral score, Graves used his earlier score for Dead Space as inspiration when creating music that matched the game's dark atmosphere.[47]

Release

Tomb Raider was released as scheduled on 5 March 2013 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows. However, it was released early in Australia, being available on 1 March 2013.[48][49] On 25 April 2013, Tomb Raider was released in Japan.[50] A ported version of the 2013 game to the Mac OS X was released by Feral Interactive on 23 January 2014.[2] Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, an updated version, was released in North America on 28 January 2014 and in Europe on 31 January 2014 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One containing all features and DLC.[51]

Pre-release incentives

Prior to the game's release, various stores offered extra items as a way of attracting customers to order the game from their store. In North America, GameStop offered the in-game Challenge Tomb. Best Buy orders received the Tomb Raider: The Beginning, a 48-page hardcover graphic novel, written by the game's lead writer Rhianna Pratchett, and telling the story of "how the ill-fated voyage of the Endurance came to be". These orders also came with the Aviatrix Skin as well as the Shanty Town multiplayer map.[52][53] Walmart orders received a free digital download of Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, access to a real-life scavenger hunt, the Shanty Town multiplayer map and an exclusive Guerrilla Skin outfit.[54] Pre-orders from Microsoft Store also received 1600 Microsoft Points for Xbox Live.[55]

Customers ordering from Amazon, received access to the Tomb Raider: The Final Hours Edition, including with a 32-page art book, an in-game Hunter Skin for Lara, and a digital copy of Geoff Keighley's The Final Hours of Tomb Raider for the Kindle Fire.[56] Customers also received the Shanty Town multiplayer map and an access code to a real-life scavenger hunt.[57] Customers who purchased from Steam also received a free copy of Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light, a Challenge Tomb entitled Tomb of the Lost Adventurer and the Shanty Town multiplayer map.[58] Steam also offered three exclusive bonus Team Fortress 2 items.[59]

In the United Kingdom, ShopTo.net offered a digitised graphic novel, entitled Tomb Raider: The Beginning.[60] Orders from Amazon.co.uk received the Shanty Town multiplayer map.[61]

Retail editions

Exclusive for Europe is the Survival Edition. The Survival Edition comes with a mini art book, double sided map of the in-game island, CD soundtrack, an exclusive weapons pack, and a survival pouch.[62] The Collector's Edition for Europe contains everything from the Survival Edition along with an 8" Play Arts Kai Lara Croft figurine in a metal box.[63] The Collector's Edition for North America is similar to the European one, however instead of a mini art book and a survival pouch it contains three iron-on badges and a lithograph.[64] A new version of the game including re-built graphics and all DLC, titled Definitive Edition, was released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on 28 January 2014.[51]

The Survival Edition from Steam includes a digital 32-page art book, 10 downloadable tracks from the Tomb Raider soundtrack, a digital double sided map of the game's island, a digital comic, the Guerilla Skin outfit and three in-game weapons from Hitman: Absolution.[58]

In the United Kingdom, Game offered the exclusive Explorer Edition bundle, which included an exploration themed Challenge Tomb and a skill upgrade.[65] Exclusive to Tesco was the Combat Strike Pack, which included three weaponry upgrades and a skill upgrade.[66]

A limited edition wireless controller for the Xbox 360 was also released on 5 March 2013.[67] A download code for an Xbox exclusive playable Tomb Raider multiplayer character was also included.[68]

Downloadable content

At E3 2012, during Microsoft's press conference, Crystal Dynamics' Darrell Gallagher announced that Xbox 360 users would get early access to downloadable content (DLC).[69] On 19 March 2013, Xbox Live users had early access to the "Caves & Cliffs" map pack. The map pack consists of three new Tomb Raider multiplayer maps, entitled "Scavenger Caverns", "Cliff Shantytown" and "Burning Village".[70] The pack later became available for PSN and Steam users, on 24 April 2013. On 2 April 2013, the "1939" multiplayer map pack was released for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. This map pack consists of two new multiplayer maps, entitled "Dogfight" and "Forest Meadow".[71] On 25 April 2013, Square Enix released a Japanese Language Pack on Steam.[72] A multiplayer DLC pack was released on 7 May 2013, entitled "Shipwrecked", on Xbox Live, PSN and Steam. The DLC pack offered two additional multiplayer maps, "Lost Fleet" and "Himiko’s Cradle".[73] Additionally, a single player outfit pack was released on Xbox Live. The pack contains the Demolition, Sure-Shot and Mountaineer outfits.[74]

Reception

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (X360) 88%[75]
(PS3) 87%[76]
(PC) 87%[77]
(XONE) 87%[78]
(PS4) 86%[79]
Metacritic (PS3) 87/100[80]
(X360) 86/100[81]
(PC) 86/100[82]
(XONE) 86/100[83]
(PS4) 85/100[84]
Review scores
Publication Score
Eurogamer 8/10[85]
Famitsu 38/40[86]
Game Informer 9.25/10[87]
GameSpot 8.5/10[88]
GamesRadar 4.5/5 stars[89]
GameTrailers 8.5/10[90]
GameZone 9/10[91]
IGN 9.1/10[92]
Joystiq 4/5 stars[93]
OPM (UK) 8/10[94]
Digital Spy 5/5 stars[95]
The Guardian 4/5 stars[96]

Tomb Raider received critical acclaim upon release, with most critics agreeing that it was a solid and long-overdue reboot for the franchise. In a 'world exclusive' review, GamesMaster magazine gave the game a score of 90%, as well as the "GamesMaster Gold award" (awarded to games that manage a score of 90% or above). The editor regarded the quality of the visuals, the length and depth of the gameplay, and the "spectacular" last third of the game as the highlights. The summary said "sitting back exhausted we were left with just one question dribbling forth from our gaping jaws. How on earth are they going to top this in the sequel? Because of one thing there can be no doubt. Lara is back."[97] IGN's Keza MacDonald also spoke extremely positively, stating that they felt the game was "exciting" and "beautifully presented", included "great characterization" and "more depth than you would expect". They gave the game an overall score of 9.1 out of 10, the highest score they have given a game in the series since 1996's Tomb Raider, describing it as "amazing" and concluding that the game "did justice" to both the character and franchise.[92] Ryan Taljonick of GamesRadar lauded the location's setting and environment, and expressed that "not one area ever feels like a rehash of another". Taljonick also felt that the game had great pacing, and that it is "unrivaled by any other game in the genre". Furthermore, the reviewer considered Lara's character development as "an integral part" of the whole game's experience, and concluded that Tomb Raider "is a fantastic game and an excellent origin story for one of gaming's original treasure seekers".[89] Australian TV show Good Game praised the game: it was rated 10/10 by both hosts, becoming the eighth game in the show's seven-year run to do so.[98] Giant Bomb gave the game four stars out of five, stating that "Tomb Raider‍ '​s tone is somewhat at odds with its action, but the reborn Lara Croft seems primed for a successful new adventuring career".[99]

One of the major criticisms of the game stemmed from a disparity between the emotional thrust of the story and the actions of the player, with GameTrailers' Justin Speer pointing out that while the story attempted to characterise Lara Croft as vulnerable and uncomfortable with killing, the player was encouraged to engage enemies aggressively and use brutal tactics to earn more experience points. Speer felt that this paradoxical approach ultimately let the game down as it undermined Lara's character to the point where he found it difficult to identify with her at all.[90] IGN's Keza MacDonald also highlighted the issue, but was less critical of it than Speer, pointing out that both Lara and the player had to adapt quickly to killing in order to survive.[92] However, Game Informer‍ '​s Matt Miller noted that the game offered the player several options for progressing through its combat situations, and that the player could avoid open conflict entirely if they chose to do so.[87] He also praised the behaviour and presence of the enemies for the way they felt like they had actual tasks to perform on the island, rather than being clusters of polygons whose only function was to be killed by the player in order for them to progress. While on the subject of character development, GamesRadar's Ryan Taljonick expressed that the supporting characters were underdeveloped relative to Lara Croft, describing them as "pretty generic characters who, while rarely annoying, just aren't memorable".[89]

While many reviews applauded the single-player campaign,[87][90][92] the multiplayer mode bore the brunt of the game's criticism, with MacDonald, Speer and Miller all finding fault with it, describing it as lackluster and stating that the difference between the developer's vision for the game mode and the finished product made it difficult to enjoy.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the game's port to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles, were also well received. Review aggregate website Metacritic assigned a score of 85/100 and 86/100 to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, respectively.[83][84] Game Informer‍ '​s Matt Helgeson considered the updated graphics at native 1080p resolution as a good addition to the core Tomb Raider experience. He cited mostly negligible differences between the two versions, but noted a smoother frame-rate on the PS4 version.[100] The Escapist's Jim Sterling was less receptive to the Definitive Edition; he praised the visual improvements, but felt that nominal content additions to the single-player experience and the game's price point made it difficult to recommend to players outside of those who had not played the original version.[101] GameZone's Matt Liebl gave Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition a 9/10, stating "Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was my first time playing Crystal Dynamics' reboot, so I can definitely recommend it for newcomers. As for whether or not it's worth paying full price for the same game with upgraded graphics, well that's something you need to decide."[102]

Sales

The game had sold more than 1 million copies in less than forty-eight hours of its release.[103] In the United Kingdom, Tomb Raider debuted at number one on the charts, and became the biggest UK title launch in 2013, surpassing the sales of Aliens: Colonial Marines, before being overtaken by Grand Theft Auto V.[104][105] Tomb Raider set a new record for the franchise, more than doubling the debut sales of Tomb Raider: Legend. Furthermore, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Tomb Raider set new week one records as the fastest-selling individual formats of any Tomb Raider title so far, a record which was previously held by Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness.[104] Tomb Raider also topped the charts in France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and the United States.[106][107][108][109][110] In the United States, Tomb Raider was the second best-selling title of March, excluding download sales, only behind BioShock Infinite.[111] In Japan, Tomb Raider debuted at number four with 35,250 units sold.[112] On 26 March 2013, Square Enix announced that the game sold 3.4 million copies worldwide at retail, but has failed to reach predicted sales targets.[113] However, on 29 March 2013, Crystal Dynamics defended Tomb Raider‍ '​s sales, stating the reboot had the "most successful launch" of any game this year in addition to setting a new record for highest sales in the franchise's history.[114] On 22 August 2013, Darrell Gallagher, head of product development and studios for Square Enix, announced on Gamasutra that the game sold more than 4 million copies worldwide.[115] On 17 January 2014, Scot Amos, executive producer of Tomb Raider, revealed that at the end of 2013 the game achieved profitability.[116] On 3 February 2014, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, a re-release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, debuted atop of the UK charts.[117] On 6 March 2014, Gallagher predicted that the game would surpass 6 million units by the end of the month.[118] By April 2015, Gallagher announced that the sales had reached 8.5 million, making the game the best-selling Tomb Raider title to date.[119]

Controversy

During an interview with Kotaku, executive producer Ron Rosenberg stated that during the game, Lara Croft "gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and- [...] She's literally turned into a cornered animal. And that's a huge step in her evolution: she's either forced to fight back or die and that's what we're showing today."[120] The suggestion of a possible 'attempted rape' in the game soon caused outrage and controversy.[121]

Studio manager Darrell Gallagher later denied the 'attempted rape' suggestions, stating that one of "the character defining moments for Lara in the game, which has incorrectly been referred to as an 'attempted rape' scene is the content we showed" where "Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time. In this particular selection, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly. Sexual assault of any kind is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game."[120][121] The creative director Noah Hughes later further clarified that they "wanted to create an emotional investment, to draw people into Lara and her point of view [...] We wanted to draw you in, make you care, put you in Lara's shoes and have this be an intense moment you were experiencing with Lara, not from an outsider looking in perspective."[122]

In an interview with story writer Rhianna Pratchett, she explained that the scene wanted to show Lara's reactions, rather than her assailant's actions. Pratchett was critical of the way the game's trailer cut out Lara's reactions to focus on the attack rather than the aftermath, and that when seen out of context, the scene took on an entirely different meaning than was originally intended. Pratchett also expressed dismay that, as a female protagonist, Lara had been misrepresented as a victim of a sexual assault.[123]

In the final game, failing the alleged "rape" scene resulted in Lara getting choked to death.

Awards

Sequel

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, it was announced that comic writer Gail Simone would be continuing the reboot's story in a line of comics published by Dark Horse Comics, and that the story of the comic would lead directly into a sequel.[139] Later, at the beginning of August, Square Enix's Western CEO Phil Rogers confirmed that a sequel to Tomb Raider was being developed for unspecified next-gen consoles.[140] In an interview later that year, Brian Horton, the senior art director for Crystal Dynamics, said that the sequel would tell "the next chapter of [Lara's] development... her life is changing. She can't go back to the way she was."[141]

During Microsoft's E3 2014 presentation, Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced as a sequel.[142] At Gamescom 2014, Microsoft announced during its press briefing that Rise of the Tomb Raider would be exclusive to Xbox consoles at launch.[143] The exclusivity is timed, with Square Enix, the game's developer, allowed to release the title to other platforms after an unspecified period of time.[144] In December 2014, Microsoft announced that they would be publishing the title for its release on Xbox consoles.[145]

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External links

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