Unless you were living in a cave for the past 20 years there is a chance that you might never heard of Lara Croft, the beautiful, intelligent, and athletic English archaeologist-adventuress, and the Tomb raider franchise, which since its release in 1996 has sold millions of copies worldwide, gaining a valuable place in Hall of Gamers, World Guinness records and most importantly in every gamers heart.
Originally, the Tomb Raider games were developed by Core Design, and a game was released annually. However with Core Design struggling to keep up with Lara’s present, let alone her future it wasn’t long before development of a new Tomb Raider game was taken off of their hands and given to Crystal Dynamics which Eidos saw fit to give power of Lara Croft to.
After a run of successful Crystal Dynamics produced Tomb Raider titles, (Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Legend, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: Anniversary Tomb Raider: Underworld Croft and the Guardian of Light”) a reboot of the franchise was officially announced On 6 December 2010, where Square Enix revealed that Tomb Raider had been in production for nearly 2 years. Studio head Darrell Gallagher said at that time, “Forget everything you knew about Tomb Raider, this is an origins story that creates Lara Croft and takes her on a character defining journey like no other”.
This 10th Tomb Raider game overall is a major shift in the series in both scenario and gameplay. Tomb Raider transports up in Lara’s early years, and more specifically in her first wild adventure, the one that will turn her from a “standard” female archaeologist to the most wild and powerful woman in video gaming.
Sound and Vision
Visually this new version of Tomb Raider is one of the most beautiful games we have seen to date. Powered by the Crystal engine the game delivers detailed graphics, with incredible level of realism. Especially the island the game takes place is so naturally designed that you think that it is for real. Adding to all the above the perfect use of the lighting, the fog, and the changing weather conditions make up for a world that manages to suck you into its claustrophobic atmosphere.
Equally impressive and realistic are the game’s animations, in both movement and face expressions. Especially the PC version of Tomb Raider, features a technology called “TressFX Hair.” This technology is the result of months of close collaboration between software engineers at AMD and Tomb Raider’s developer, Crystal Dynamics and adds on a new amazing level realism to how hair is rendered in real time.
In terms of audio Crystal Dynamics was very interested in starting from scratch and creating a new musical universe for Lara to exist in so they gave composer Jason Graves free reign to experiment and create a modern soundtrack for a modern audience. As a result music is mostly industrial orchestral in style especially during the chasing scenes when Lara is under high stress and fear. Lara’s most emotional moments (pain, worry, remorse, etc.)are musically delivere with a more piano-led music, resulting in one of the most interesting and diverse soundracks of recent memory, remind you of the work Nine Inch Nails created for their instrumental Ghosts IV album.