Last Tuesday, Square Enix re-released their wildly popular Tomb Raider reboot on both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 platforms. While the Definitive Edition proved to be a great next-gen port, the overall package was essentially the same game from last year with a few graphical improvements to amp up the overall gameplay experience.
After having the opportunity to review both the regular and definitive edition versions of the game, I found both myself and others who were fixated on a few ways that Crystal Dynamics could improve the franchise moving forward. So without further ado, here is our list on 5 things that we want from Tomb Raider 2.
When Crystal Dynamics started working on this reboot a couple of year’s ago, they made it very clear that they were working on an origin story focused on the humble beginnings of everyone’s favorite female archaeologist. This approach essentially paid off as we were introduced to a much more vulnerable Lara before her full-fledged transformation into the hardened warrior that we all know and love today.
Now that Lara is fully in tune with her survivor mentality, we need to see those boundaries tested even further in Tomb Raider 2. Many can easily forgive the cheesy dialogue and weaknesses found throughout the origin story, but a sequel of the same quality is absolutely unacceptable. Crystal Dynamics should make this their top priority right out of the gates and deliver a Tomb Raider experience that easily outshines the first.
Tomb Raider featured an ensemble of supporting characters that were deemed suitable but were never fully fleshed out to begin with. Given the studio’s desire to make Lara the standout character, I fully understand this decision but still have some reservations about it.
Characters like Roth and Sam were essential to the story because they both played pivotal roles in Lara’s life and transitional period. The same exact thing could be said about the crazed villain Mathias as his evil intentions also brought out the best in Lara. While these characters didn’t fully live up to their true potential, I expect a much more refined and useful supporting cast the second time around.
Before Naughty Dog decided to put all their blood, sweat, and tears into creating the infamous Uncharted series, Tomb Raider was already a well-established and successful IP in its own right. Going by this logic alone, one can’t help but question why several dynamic action sequences and QuickTime events in this reboot borrow so heavily from the Uncharted formula.
Crystal Dynamics’ logic behind this decision is that they wanted to make the reboot refreshing and immersive from start to finish. Now that Lara has been re-established as a character, the developers should do as much as possible to separate themselves from being labeled as nothing more than an Uncharted clone. Tomb Raider 2 can get the ball rolling on this concept and show what else the creative team is fully capable of.
Anyone who has ever played a Tomb Raider game would tell you that exploration is one of the strongest aspects of the series. Given Lara’s profession as an archeologist, it would seem like an absolute no-brainer that various secret avenues and discoverable artifacts should be scattered throughout a game of this multitude.
While this reboot does offer a few exploratory tombs here and there, the general consensus seems to be that the developers sacrificed the number of tombs to instead deliver a much more action-oriented single-player experience. For a game titled Tomb Raider, this is simply inexcusable and we all deserve better in the sequel.
When Square Enix first revealed that multiplayer was being added to Tomb Raider, I instantly grew frustrated and questioned the logic behind having a feature like this in the game to begin with. I also teamed up with Senior Editor David Jagneaux to write a collaborative piece on Five 2013 Games Ruined By Multiplayer.
I still stand by my beliefs in that article today and will never support a game that is shoehorned with multiplayer modes just for the hell of it. Crystal Dynamics should do us all a favor and drop multiplayer altogether in the next Tomb Raider game.
This concludes our list on 5 things that we want from Tomb Raider 2. What would you all like to see improved upon or added to Lara’s next adventure? Please feel free to let us know your thoughts on this and more in the comments section below.