The new Tomb Raider game comes out in a few weeks and it looks like it will be a good game. However, the game looks like it is missing some of the things that made the older games so distinctive. The new game features a young Lara Croft as she goes on her first adventure, compared to the older games where Lara was an established treasure hunter, and the player guided her on her next quest. The combat also looks very different from the previous games, with cover being an essential piece. The biggest change with this game is most likely going to be the new skill inclusions. While these changes are simply observations, if done right, they may lead to a rebirth of a great franchise.
The character that is Lara Croft has always been a confident person who shows no weakness. In the videos that have been released showing her new character, it shows a girl who is scared. Being scared was one thing that the Lara of old never was. I think that by starting Lara at square one has something to do with her fear. Throughout the game, the player will probably see Lara mature, and it will portray a satisfying transformation from this little girl, to the bad ass that we all came to love.
The combat looks like it will be vastly different from the other games in the series. Stealth and cover seem to be a large part of the combat, which is very different from the other games, which also had a more run and gun type combat style. The other major change to the combat is the emphasis that is put on the bow that looks to be Lara’s weapon of choice. In the other games, Lara always had a pair of pistols. The problem that I have with this is that Lara is only given one pistol to use. The player does not even have the option to wield her signature weapons.
The largest change that I see to the Tomb Raider game is the inclusion of a skill system. The Tomb Raider franchise has always been an about action and platforming, with very little if any role-playing aspects to the games. By including experience and a skill system they are allowing the player to decide how Lara is going to evolve as the story progresses. With an action game, the story is about the character not the player; the player is simply along for the ride. By including role-playing aspects, the game becomes about the players choices. While I may not completely agree with including skills into the game, it may end up being my favorite part of it.
The Tomb Raider game is diverging from the normal Tomb Raider franchise. The combat system is more based on cover and stealth, and the player can’t even reach for Lara’s signature duel pistols to fight. The story is no longer about a fearless confident woman; it is about a scared girl. The combat may be different, but hopefully it will be fun, and while Lara starts out scared, hopefully we get to see her transform into the heroine that we have come to love. With the addition of a skill system, the game may changed from an action game to more of a role-playing game. All these additions may have breathed new life into a franchise that was once very good.