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History of Tomb Raider (1996 - 2018)

History of Tomb Raider (1996 - 2018)
welcome back everybody my name is Nick 930 and to celebrate the upcoming release of shadow of the

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Raider

I thought it'd be interesting to look back at the complete

history

of

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- mater is an action-adventure video game series that lets players explore

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s solve puzzles and fight enemies as the iconic Lara Croft the series has been around for multiple decades now and is one of the most recognizable action-adventure series of all time and despite some missteps in the early 2000s Lara Croft still managed to resurface bigger than ever so how did - mater managed to stay relevant after all of these years well to answer that we need to go way back to the franchise's first entry

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in

1996

gaming publisher I DOS Interactive acquired the small six man English development studio called core design core design had been hard at work since 1993 on a new action-adventure title that aimed to let players explore a full 3d environment the game would borrows several elements from the popular Indiana Jones films including a male character they used a whip as a weapon and tool after being advised to change the character to avoid copyright concerns Toby Gard and the rest of core eventually landed on the concept of Barcroft a decision that would help to build

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s legendary status among classic gaming franchises the next obstacle for the core team to overcome were the graphical limitations of the hardware at the time struggling to make the 3d world and...
history of tomb raider 1996   2018
player interaction come to life the team eventually discovered that they could create levels using a grid design with every surface from the wall sealing in for being a series of identically sized squares textures could then be added to each individual grid plane and a thick black fog would help to hide distant rendering to maximise performance on the hardware in fact because of the hardware limitations the outdoor sky and 2 meter is non-existent with areas like The Lost Valley featuring nothing but a black sky despite that scene taking place during the day not only did these decisions make it easier to build the worlds of two mater but it also became a core part of the gameplay design Lara Croft's animations would be tied to the grid design and things like story would soon follow in the original

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Lara Croft has offered a job by jacqueline natla to hunt down pieces of an ancient artifact called the ski on her adventure takes her across the world as she explores ancient

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s in Peru Greece Egypt and the mythical lost city of Atlantis the story isn't necessarily the most creative by today's standards but back in 96 this type of storytelling in a video game was unprecedented the original

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Manor and the many sequels that followed it are often criticized now for their updated control scheme but back in

1996

an adventure game of this scale was unheard of and once you get a feel for how the game engine was designed and how animations function everything...
history of tomb raider 1996   2018
becomes very straightforward and simple Lara's movement was designed to function very consistently as I mentioned before every platform was built on a grid unit with animations time to trigger based on specific numbers of grid units traveled this fundamental concept is the backbone for the entire first five entries to the series and all other animations like side jumps rolls and dies would be based around the same consistent formula churning feels stiffed by today's standards with Lara able to turn in place when standing still or turned slowly when running forward requiring players to line up their jumps carefully to ensure Lara goes where they want them to first could also draw various weapons from their inventory to fight enemies which is probably the most outdated part of the game's control scheme Laura will automatically lock onto the nearest target after drawing her weapons and there's no way to freely aim or easily switch targets since most enemies will make a beeline for Lara when they're triggered the most effective tactic for fighting is to perform continuous side jumps and back flips to minimize damage as you attempt to kill the enemy it takes some getting used to but if the player uses the right weapon against the right enemy combat never really is that difficult the original

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featured very few weapons to use there are the signature duel 45s with infinite ammo the pump-action shotgun duel magnums and the duel Izzie's which are the...
history of tomb raider 1996   2018
most powerful weapons in the game all these weapons would be crucial and making it to the end credits as the original tumor was filled with a ton of different enemies from wolves bats and bears to mummies dinosaurs and mutants each stage featured unique enemy types that would offer an increased challenge to players and would also help to mix up the experience and contrary to what you might see in the more recent two meter games Lara very rarely fought human enemies in fact there's only five human enemies throughout the entire game one of the best parts of the original

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was its excellent level design despite its obvious aging visuals the levels and 2-meter are excellently crafted with unique puzzles challenging traps and memorable scenery buzzes often involve finding a key to open a door which required the player to perform some tricky platforming and fight enemies along the way environments also feature plenty of items to collect like health kits and ammunition with the most difficult to find secrets triggering a special musical cue as a reward overall the original to mater is a brutally difficult game that often requires a bit of trial and error chaps are very lethal killing Lara instantly with these slightest misstep enemies can drop a player's help to zero with a few well-timed attacks and it's easy to get lost in the maze like level designs but that's part of the charm of this game and why it remains a classic to this day becoming an expert in...
each level and being able to acrobatically navigate through difficult challenges is incredibly rewarding and the awkward silence the second after you accidentally fall off a high structure and hear all your bones crack is more comical than frustrating one of the reasons the original to mater still holds up so well today is its excellent atmosphere the game perfectly delivers the isolation and silence you'd expect from exploring dark uncharted

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s then there's that iconic music designed by Nathan McCree from the games intense action music that plays when a bear jumps out at you - the main theme song that remains one of the most iconic video game themes of all time the original - mater is still an absolute masterpiece and if you can get past the aged visuals stiff controls and cliches story it still offers a rewarding adventure experience

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released for the Sega Saturn and PC platform in addition to the PlayStation 1 which would become its exclusive home for several years to come the original game received glowing reviews from almost every gaming journalist at the time and I doze quickly greenlit future entries to the series prior to the release of the original game work had already begun on the sequel with unused ideas and concepts piling up and needing their own game to be showcased soon after the success of the original game Lara Croft's creator Toby Gard left core after seeing his character exploited by various unapproved marketing companies this...
moment is key to understanding why the Lara Croft character would eventually devolve into more of a sex sales gimmick rather than the strong female hero she was originally intended to be this would only get worse after Toby's departure and Lara's character at least in how it appeared in marketing would shift to being more sexually provocative despite the several years of time dedicated to designing the original game to mate or to was given a significantly shorter time frame for development regarding the small team at court to work much longer hours to mate or two we utilized the exact same engine as before but would feature more unique environments vehicles to interact with and a ton more action Lara caught would return as the hero for 2 meter 2 only this time her adventure takes her to China to find the dagger of xi'an at the warning aviv rival italian mafia hunting for the same artifact she's forced to race across the world to find clues on the daggers final resting place the story is about as good as the first one though the antagonist isn't as memorable and the game's overall vibe had shifted from isolation and exploration to a violent action adventure this is even more evident with the game's new gameplay direction all the game's core gameplay mechanics remain identical to the original

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with some nice additions like the ability to turn around in midair and climb ladders but to mate or to also put way too much emphasis on its...
combat especially against human enemies Warwick kills hundreds of Italian mobsters into mate or two and instead of exploring

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s in every level like the original game players are now given opportunities to explore more modern locations like the canals in Venice or a sunken luxury ship in the ocean the level design is still excellent despite this shift in focus and features plenty of challenging puzzles obstacles in action new - 2 meter - were drivable vehicles you can now drive a speedboat and a snowmobile and a few of the game's levels which are required to pass through certain obstacles the vehicles controlled decently enough though the snowmobile had a tendency to bounce when near cliff edges and often resulted in an instant death but again back in 1997 being able to get on and off your own personal vehicle as you sport the mountainside was the coolest thing ever and it really helped to sell the experience to meter - also features some new weapons including the grenade launcher the m16 assault rifle and a harpoon gun which could be used underwater other changes include a redesigned inventory screen an enhanced Croft Manor tutorial level with fully playable outdoor section and a significantly more difficult overall experience with a ton more traps and more trial and error than ever before visually to meter - did very little different the game had more texture variety and featured a skybox this time around the are cops character model also saw some nice improvements...
including an increased polygon count level specific outfits and a dynamic ponytail that would realistically move based on Lara's actions two men are to have received good reviews but was not as well received as the original game many complained about the excessive amount of action and violence in addition to the lack of innovation after the moderate success of - mater - and the still overwhelming success of the original entry Aida's pushed for a sequel to be made within a short time frame again a requirement that the leadcore designers behind the first two games refused to meet the original designers wanted at least two years to develop a truly next generation

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experience I disagreed and hired a separate team to work on 1998 to mate or three trillion or three would deliver the same gameplay experience as before but with a few new weapons new locations new vehicles and some notable improvements to the overall visual direction to mérida three story tasks Lara with hunting down a series of artifacts from a meteorite crash in Antarctica which takes her around the world from the rooftops of London to the jungles of an uncharted island in the South Pacific unlike past entries to Mira 3 allowed players to choose which level they want to explore after completing the introductory India level this didn't necessarily do much to change the gameplay though as the players choice was only limited to three locations and you're required to play through all three to...
complete the game anyway despite having a similar storyline to the original game the story Anas antagonists are forgettable and don't necessarily do anything to build on the ark offs character the gameplay remains the same as before but with the few new additions like the ability to crawl into small spaces and to climb on monkey bars new vehicles were also added like the ATV the kayak and a minecart lares arsenal of weapons has also been improved with new weapons like the desert eagle mp5 SMG and rocket launcher two men are three has a few nice visual improvements over its predecessors the biggest change is the game's lighting and fire effects previously fire effects were poorly rendered sprites that would attach to lard if she ran through it two men to three features actual fire effects with illumination effects to make it look more realistic this extended tip varies up of things like the flares and weapon muzzle flashes smoke would now emit from the barrel end of your guns after firing and shooting a wall now featured a new spark impact that featured a bunch of colored square sprites instead of just a small low resolution impact sprite job distances were increased and terrain complexity has been increased substantially with objects looking more natural did in the original boxy designs the overall grid based backbone remains intact and is still a fundamental part of the gameplay but two meter three does a better job of hiding this Lara Croft and various other...
character models also saw some minor improvements from improved texture designs on Lara Croft's clothing to more details in the face Laura's overall character model also features significantly more polygons than ever before and plenty of jokes were made about the changes to her scaling which would only continue to be exaggerated with each new entry 2 min or 3 was met with decent reviews but many complained about the games even steeper difficulty curve and its outdated visual and control design and many critics were beginning to know a repetitive pattern in the franchise core tired of non-stop work being put into 2 meter video games decided at the fourth entry to the series to mater the last revelation would be the end for Lara Croft the entire game was designed to finally kill off the character in hopes that they'd be allowed to work on something different and as a result revelations features the very best the series has ever had to offer in the last revelation we get a far more realized story with an actual look back at Laura Kaas early years with her mentor Vaughn coy in his flashback sequence Lara and Croix Huntford a mystical artifact called the iris entervan croix attempts to steal the artifact despite Lara's mourning Vaughn Corey gets injured and Lara escapes after this initial tutorial level the game gives players control of an adult Lara several years later as she hunts for a different artifact the amulet of Horus after taking this artifact a curse is...
released on the land of Egypt forcing Lara to explore a ton of

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s and cities to find a way to stop it along the way she encounters von krogh an and is forced to fight off his many mercenaries throughout the adventure the story ends with Lara attempting to escape from a collapsing pyramid and getting trapped inside with von Croix attempted to save her this ending was written in without anyone really knowing as a sneaky way to force itis to allow the designers at court to move on to a new project this obviously wouldn't pan out as fans and the higher-ups at itis were furious and Lara Croft would find her way out of that

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soon after - made a revelation despite the controversial storyline has some of the best gameplay in the entire series character control and gameplay remains the same for the most part with the engine still utilizing the same grid-based design as before but there were a few new additions to the move set including the ability to swing from ropes and climb up and down polls there were also some nice improvements to the existing game mechanics including a speed up for Lara's looting animation while the core gameplay aspect remains intact revelations does a lot different from the previous entries first the game's environments all take place strictly in Egyptian

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s and towns a ton of the levels are connected allowing players to travel back and forth between them which made for a much larger and cohesive experience just like the original game...
last revelation focuses more on

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s and being isolated inside of them with nothing but puzzles and traps for hours revelations still featured plenty of combat even human enemies on top of a moving train for the sake of tweezing fans of the action elements but a bulk of the game is grounded within dark pyramids in ancient temples new features include a completely reworked inventory screen with options to combine various key items in the game world including weapon attachments because of this new combined feature the game is significantly more confusing as players are never told what objects can be combined with each other resulting in some puzzles taking hours to solve our player is supposed to know you need to use a crowbar to pry a broken hook out of the wall and then combine that hook with a pull to reach a key through the bars things like this were far too complex but thankfully these types of puzzles were rare and far between enemies have a bit more variety this time around despite these singular Egyptian setting bars are forced to fight ninjas crocodiles scare beetles and various mythical ancient Egyptian monsters as they attempt to seal setback in his

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and unlike other entries the final boss en

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ed in a revelation didn't require you to just film full of lead but instead you need to dodge his projectiles as you attempt to seal him back into his

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it was a creative ending but also a bit anti-climatic especially considering the number of weapons you'll...
be finding throughout the experience visually two major revelations look significally better than the first three games the environments were heavily detailed with more 3d objects than before and a lot more terrain variety Lara's character model has also been smoothed out with West's blocky joints and a more mature appearance bolt impacts were once again reworked with spark particle effects added in place of the blocky ones into Miller 3 and overall lighting has been improved significantly the last revelation was received much better than the past two entries earning scores in the 80% range with journalists applauding the game's improvements to visual quality especially on the superior PC version of the game but many fans were displeased with the ending and were distraught to find their favorite new video game character had been killed off in such a disappointing way in response to the overwhelming fan backlash in corporate demand tomato chronicles would release a year later and would tease bringing Lara back to life tremendo chronicles story unlike past games would be a series of flashback adventures giving players insight into Lara's various expeditions prior to her demise Bears characters like Lara's Butler and von Croix recount several stories after Lara's funeral service players are given opportunities to experience these adventures firsthand unfortunately chronicles is one of the most uninspired entries to the series with short simple level...
designs needless new moves and inconsistent pacing the first level features some classic

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game play with

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s Lara signature outfit and a healthy mix of action and exploration but the following levels take a turn into - mater - territory with more of a focus on fighting human enemies in a series of boring warehouse buildings in a large submarine the island level mixes up the experience even more with a much younger Lara Croft complete with pigtails that has no access to weapons and is required to solve puzzles to survive against some creepy haunted Horrors in the woods the final level at the VCI headquarters is the worst though as it puts Lara into a sort of Mission Impossible situation where she needs to sneak around an office building typing guards or knocking them out with chloroform little did fans know that this level would be a hint at the direction core Interactive wanted to take Lara as she stepped out of the

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s and started to follow in the footsteps of Metal Gear Solid 2 mater chronicles received mixed reviews with many critics noting that core had finally reached the limit in terms of what they could do with the franchise both from a gameplay perspective and a visual standpoint while Lara Croft had technically been resurrected she never truly felt like she had returned as the

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franchise went further down the stealth-action rabbit hole in 2003 core design released their final

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game called Angel of Darkness and it was such a...
disaster of a game that it almost killed the entire franchise many fans point fingers at I doze for rushing the development of the game to coincide with a

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film release but based on a few old articles from edge the game was suffering from serious technical issues from the beginning during the development of

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chronicles a separate team began work on the first truly next generation to murder experience after work for chronicles wrapped up in a bulk of the core team began helping with the next gen project they were greeted to a complete disaster of a game after delaying the project of full-year Angel of Darkness finally released and it was still in a barely playable state the game's controls were horrendous the story was unfinished and the overall vibe of the game didn't even feel like to mater anymore angel darkness takes place after the events of - mater 4 at the last revelation with Lara seeking out Varner Vaughn croix after he reaches out to her for help Crowe explains that he's being stalked by a sort of shadow corporation over an ancient series of artifacts called the obscura paintings after Lara is knocked unconscious an assassin kills Vaughn Kroy and Lara's left wondering if she was the one that killed him most of the game has Lara seeking out answers and fallen Eastern Clues across Paris and Prague eventually learning the truth about the obscure paintings and a bunch of biological experiments gone wrong in some secret underground...
labs the storyline is actually one of the better ones in the series but the overall tone felt out of place for a 2-meter title with the directional shift towards being more of an RPG stealth action adventure replacing the solitary exploration of undiscovered

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s the odd romantic interest thrown in also felt completely out of place and seemed like an unnecessary addition for a character that had previously never needed companionship the worst part about Angel of Darkness was the terrible control scheme instead of utilizing the tried and true controls from the first five games Court decided to rework the controls to fit in with the more realistic environmental designs Lara's movement capabilities were reduced and she was made to be less acrobatic than in the past Lara would now automatically climb objects if the player pushed her towards it and the ability to press and hold the action button to grab ledges was removed instead requiring the player to manually jump and hold the grab button turning Lara felt cumbersome and frustrating making it chor just a liner up in front of a door to open Laura could still do a somersault to turn around but she could no longer do this mid-jump hopping backwards was also removed making it difficult to set up a running jump and the game's combat was also reworked with Lara no longer sporting her signature dual pistols unless players installed a mod to add them in Emma was also reworked to be more realistic with players need to actually...
load in magazines to the weapon instead of just shooting from a finite pool of ammunition players can now perform melee attacks stunning enemies and giving her an opportunity to fight back when low on ammo burst could also initiate a stealth mode allowing Lara to sneak up behind unaware enemies to avoid combat but even if these controls had functioned properly angel's darkness just feels out of place in the series the more grounded control scheme darker tone and more urban environments make the experience feel less like a two-minute game and more like a Resident Evil game in fact playing to this game reminded me a lot of Resident Evil there's fixed camera angles zombie like enemies and even a segment of the game Reese which from Lara to some guy named Curtis on the plus side Angel of Darkness featured a significant leap forward in terms of visuals for the series Nora's character model still looks pretty decent by today's standards outside of her low polygon face at least the environments were also more detailed than anything in previous

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games the game world was smaller and later stages felt less detailed due to the rushed development time but there's still some nice improvements throughout unfortunately these new visuals were also accompanied by some serious graphical glitches making it nearly unplayable without a ton of modifications on the PC Angel of Darkness was a complete disaster of a game and while I think Lee wasn't the end of 2...
meter it was the final game in the series to be worked on by the original core design team several years had passed after the colossal failure that was angel of darkness and with core no longer working on the franchise I just hired Crystal Dynamics to take over and reboot the once iconic to mater series Crystal Dynamics decided to scrap all the efforts made in the last few entries and returned to the series roots with 2006 is

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legends to ensure they did this right they even hired Toby Gard to return to the series who assisted in various smaller details like Lara Croft's character redesign Legends was a massive step forward for the series and a fresh start for our hero Lara Croft legend featured a far more immersive narrative driven experience state-of-the-art graphics and significantly improved controls these changes helped make the game more accessible to a new audience and isolated older fans as the game took on a more action-oriented approach to mater legends features a soft reboot to the story with Lara now desperately searching for clues to her mother's whereabouts after an incident during Lara's childhood cost her mother's to disappear into a mysterious ancient portal unlike past games this story would be extended to at a trilogy of games so it ends on a slight cliffhanger tomato legends features a return of the sidekick tech expert zip it was featured in the final level of - mater chronicles Alister and annoying historian that's...
constantly complaining in your ear and Laura's childhood friend Amanda who becomes the antagonist after Lara is forced to leave her for dead compared to past entries to major legends features a significantly better storyline but unfortunately this also hurts the gameplay experience slightly rather than being given free rein of large levels filled with puzzles and traps - mater Legends takes on a more scripted and linear approach puzzles were often physics based and while they were more creative than past puzzles they were also far easier to solve the combat encounters are repetitive and boring with less enemy variety he basically were stuck fighting a couple different soldier types and the occasional Jaguar which was reskin to appear different in each unique locale despite the weaker level design tomato legends does feature much better controls than past titles jumping from platform to platform is more streamlined thanks to the auto grab function and things like the grappling hook and physics based objects made the experience feel more fluid combat saw the biggest improvement with players now capable of performing a huge collection of moves when dealing with enemy soldiers you could backflip off of enemies in slow motion dive to the side throw grenades grapple enemies kick and even slide like me to help tie the game more closely to the action featured in the past two films but despite the more streamlined action the game itself felt less edgy than its predecessors the...
game's blood effects were removed entirely along with the gruesome deaths in favor of a ragdoll death animation that would also fade to black before he even hit the ground enemies took on a more cartoony appearance and the game was significantly easier before with complex systems like the inventory system and manual saves being replaced with hot key health packs and checkpoint saves legends also threw in some needless QuickTime events a curse at the times unfortunately despite these shortcomings too many legends received high critical acclaim with most critics praising the game's improved controls and more dramatic story sure it's no revelations but two men are legends save the tomato franchise from its untimely demise and brought Laura back at least partially to the

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s where she belongs that is until tomato anniversary released only a year later and literally brought Laura back to the original

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s to murder anniversary was a complete remake of the original

1996

classic with brand new level designs and the enhanced engine used to create two major legends anniversary once again featured Lara's search for the Atlantean ski on only were given a more in-depth look at Lara's character as she deals with becoming the to matter she is today it's a bit cheesy by today's standards but it's the most human we've ever seen the character up to this point and would likely be the foundation in which the more recent games are built off of unlike the...
original game 2 meter anniversary establishes all of its characters more with natla story being fleshed out and explained in greater detail they even set it up so that natla could make a return in the future as Lara's ultimate arch-nemesis staying faithful to the original game every location is rebuilt from the ground up with brand new platforming segments a few surprise enemy encounters and a more polished and cohesive experience new moves included the ability to climb vertical columns and bounce on top of them hopping from point to point players can also swing from a rope and run along the walls an extension of the grappling abilities introduced in two major legends not only were the gameplay mechanics and visuals reworked but the music was also redone with updated themes for every enemy encounter and some nice cinematic background music cues playing when reaching a new area one of the things I really appreciated about this game was its understanding that the silence present in the original games is a major part of what built up the game's excellent atmosphere I never liked how in two major legends there's always some musical score playing in the background as it feels like it's brushing you through platforming segments so that you can progress the track by relying only on ambient sound effects and pure dead silence you make the player feel more isolated and give them plenty of opportunity to explore at their own pace something that is key to an...
action-adventure game revolving around exploring supposedly abandoned

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s Chamara anniversary is still one of my absolute favorite entries to this franchise as it's the last time Crystal Dynamics really seemed to understand where the series came from and what made it special in the first place that being said anniversary wasn't perfect while mostly an improvement over legends anniversary didn't feature the special next-generation features like enhanced water effects there were also some unfortunate design choices like quick time events and scripted boss fights that weren't as enjoyable as the original game the brutal death animations featured in the original also didn't make a return Lara would just ragdoll around when she died as the screen faded to black which made the game feel a bit less mature than its original design and the game's combat while tightened easy to use did feel outdated for 2007 and relied a bit too heavily on the new adrenaline dodge which slowed down time and gave players an opportunity to fire a single bullet to kill an enemy instantly still two minor anniversary did a lot of things right and it's a shame we never saw any official remix of other classic - Mainers using the same engine it's also worth noting that in 2007 Lara Croft would finally be faced with an actual competition in the market with Uncharted debuting exclusively for the PlayStation platform a year later

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underworld would release and would...
conclude the newer Crystal Dynamics trilogy of two major games by combining the storyline of legends with a bit of a throwback - to mate or anniversary underworld storyline takes place soon after the events of

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legends with Lara seeking out a way to access Valhalla the mythical land of the dead in Norse mythology in hopes that she'll be able to finally rescue her mother eventually Lara learns that natla did not die in Atlantis all those years ago and once again becomes the main antagonist other returning characters include Amanda zip Alastair and even the doppelganger enemy from the very first game for some reason unfortunately underworld was a step back after the excellent

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anniversary it once again put its over-the-top action as top priority rather than quiet exploration and enemy variety was once again lacking there's some cool enemies like giant lizard spiders and this huge Kraken but something about the game just felt too easy compared to the past entries the inventory system felt different and players were given the maximum ammunition for each weapon at the start of each level the environments also felt very linear and the final levels in the game were just not fun to explore at all due to complaints about the lack of underwater segments and two major legends underworld provided a few massive underwater levels that remind me a lot of what was featured in - mater - but again they removed the requirement to hold your breath and gave Lara a...
rebreather making these moments more for eye candy than the challenge presented in the past new features include the ability to lock on multiple targets when holding two weapons and the ability to pick up large key objects to use in puzzles Laura can now balance along narrow platforms much like the tightrope ability - Mara chronicles the climbing mechanics remained the same as the past two games but now Lara could actually climb freely on handholds a feature that is often attributed to the Uncharted series Lara also had access to Thor's gauntlet and hammer which attributes to some of the most ridiculous final levels in the

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series with Lara literally moving gigantic structures with her bare hands and destroying zombies with a magical hammer visually underworld was a massive step up from both legends and anniversary Lara behaved more naturally and wood even pushed things like leaves out of the way unfortunately the game's animation transitions feel a bit rough and aren't as smoothly executed as they were in the past two titles making for some uncomfortable controls especially the camera during combat sequences the character model was reworked and textures were improved Lara Croft herself also wears some absolutely ridiculous outfits in this game and might be one of the series low points in terms of exploiting her sexuality but despite all these issues underworld was still a classic

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game at its core it received generally positive reviews with...
many appreciate its unique puzzle design and improvements to the combat mechanics it also removed the annoying QuickTime events that played anniversary and legends and made for a more immersive action experience but even with these generally favorable reviews the new

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trilogy had come to an end a new action-adventure series had begun to take the spotlight with uncharted 2 becoming game of the year in 2009 and taking over the crown for the best action-adventure game series because of this and the past few entries not capturing a large enough audience it would be a long time before a new official to meter game would be revealed in early 2009 Square Enix purchased controlling shares of idose interactive and would now be in charge of overseeing production of titles like - mater following the disappointing sales of

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underworld the studio Crystal Dynamics split into two separate teams with one working on a spin-off arcade style Lara Croft adventure and the other working on a truly revolutionary concept for the main series the spin-off title was 2010's Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light Guardian of Light was an isometric puzzle adventure game that challenged the players with excellent puzzle designs and twin-stick shooter action segments the game used similar animations to the legends trilogy and would feature Lara sporting her classic outfit raiding

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s and fighting various creatures despite it not having to mater in the name guardians of light was the...
closest Crystal Dynamics has ever gotten - creating a true to Manor game on par with what was offered in the original core design games parts could also play alongside a friend in a drop in cooperative mode that allowed players to take control of a time-traveling Mayan warrior named Totec the story wasn't anything truly groundbreaking as players simply explored

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s in Central America and solve puzzles while trying to stop an apocalyptic plot by an ancient dark force but the gameplay was excellent with some truly creative puzzles and tight controls Guardian of Light was a surprisingly well-made to major game despite it not being part of the main series meanwhile the other half of Crystal Dynamics would continue to be hard at work on the next big installment promising to change everything gamers thought they knew about

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in 2013 the brand-new 2 meter game finally hits store shelves and would be a complete reinvention of the franchise the game simply called to mater would be an origin story for Lara Croft and feature her prior to becoming the hero we know her as today this new origin story doesn't fit in with the previous Canon established with

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legends or even - mater chronicles as Lara's first adventure apparently takes place on this small uncharted island off the coast of Japan while on an expedition to find the lost city of Yamatai a mysterious storm causes the ship to crash Lara only a young woman in this game is separated early on and...
almost immediately kidnapped by a group of unstable locals and this is where the player is given control and are given a front-row seat to some of the most brutal and disturbing sequences ever put into two meter game as Lara is forced to undergo complete torture just to survive the game's maturity levels spiked through the roof with this latest entry leaving behind the Arkady

history

of the legends titles and harking back to the original series more brutal reality only Lara getting impaled in 2013 actually looks like a human getting impaled and her many trials can be difficult to watch when compared to the comical deaths of the 90s games after the opening our Lara eventually establishes contact with her friends who have also survived on the island and the story shifts from one about survival to an adventure that takes Lara across the island to save her friends from a murderous and desperate cult led by father Mathias this new

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game also establishes the Lara's first kill something that was previously established in to murder anniversary only further ignoring the Canon this reimagined moment is brought to life thanks to the excellent performance by a brand new voice actress camilla ludington who introduced gamers to a much more tangible and relatable lara croft as opposed to the previously cocky and larger-than-life character she had been represented as for so long unfortunately this incredibly dramatic moment is quickly undone when Lara is immediately forced...
to kill scores more human enemies as if she's already over it as Lara discovers the secret of Yamatai she kills hundreds of men more than any other title in the franchise after several twists and turns along the way Lara finally puts an end to Mathias his plot and defeats him effectively establishing her as the

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complete with her signature dual pistols the game's story is excellent and is by far the best storyline in the entire franchise so far making older entries just feel completely outdated by comparison the game features significally more mature elements much better voice acting any more grounded storyline just like the plot to major 2013 also reworked the two made of game mechanics movement and abilities were significantly reduced to help keep Lara a bit more grounded than in the past gone or her cartwheel somersaults and backflips in favor of a more realistic form of traversal the game's platforming has been reworked to feature something more along the lines of uncharted with nearly indistinguishable environmental handholds like broken boards and crevices as opposed to large platforms jutting out of the wall like in the past - Manor also emphasized the use of unique tools and utilise a Metroidvania approach to its open-ended environments wares would find themselves backtracking through previously explored environment with newly found tools and upgrades which would open brand-new and more challenging paths to explore tools include the climbing axe...
ropes and torches all of which could be upgraded at various save point campfires assuming the player had collected enough resources in the world the game's combat mechanics were also completely redone with a third-person over-the-shoulder aim style introduced and an emphasis on using cover to avoid taking damage weapons included the trench shotgun and assault rifle and a singular handgun that's right for the first time in the entire series Lara would no longer have access to her signature dual pistols in fact this two meter does its hardest to establish a brand new signature weapon from Lara the bow and arrow many theorize that this was done to coincide with the popularity of The Hunger Games films at the time which is a realistic possibility but either way it seems to suit Lara's character well in this new situation stealth mechanics were now introduced more fluidly into the gameplay with wares given the opportunity to completely bypass some enemy engagements if they were careful enough furs could even shoot arrows to cost distractions and take down enemy stealthily without anyone knowing unfortunately all these improvements to the game's controls combat and overall feel also feel a bit out of place in a - maître experience in fact there's very few

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s to rate at all the

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s in this game almost feel like they're afterthoughts as they were called optional

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s and used more as a sort of bonus room that do nothing to advance the storyline aside...
from giving players useful resources to help them along these optional

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s feature some physics based puzzles often requiring Lara to use her tools to manipulate some sort of pulley system giving her access to some elevated platform with the chest on top and upon opening this chest the players are greeted with a cheesy

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rated txt as if that's all the game needed for the title to make any sense visually - Mayor Justin 13 still even to the state looks unbelievable everything about it looks light years ahead of what was featured in the legends trilogy with environments that aren't just patched together with a few decorations here and there but are fully realized and have actual character to them the island that the player spends the entire duration of the game on features a ton of wrecked ships planes and Brewin structures broken up by well scripted action set-pieces that put all the effects on full display Lara's character model looks like an actual person now especially on the PC with the enhanced tress-fx hair setting enabled throughout the adventure Lara gets completely torn to shreds and it shows realistically with bullet scrapes dirt and bruises all over her arms and face the Lara Croft character also doesn't feel like it's being cheaply exploited for the very first time in the series with Laura Waring practical clothing for once and also not sporting a d-cup overall two marriages and 13 was a huge step in the right direction for the franchise...
journalists and casual gamers everywhere praised this reboot for its dramatic story beautiful presentation and tight gameplay mechanics making it one of the most successful entries to the series in over a decade but oddly enough despite all of the success to me 2013 actually ended up costing Square Enix money due to the high development costs for this and hitman absolution because of this the sequel would have an unfortunate marketing choice that would inevitably hurt this excellent rebooted trilogy but before we begin to talk about that I want to briefly mention the sequel to the Lara Croft spin-off games titled temple of Osiris just like before this game featured top-down isometric gameplay with a heavy emphasis on puzzles in action and for fans at the original trilogy this would end up feeling more true to the

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brand than the recent reboot tempo of Osiris received mostly positive reviews albeit overall wasn't as well received as the original Lara Croft spin-off title two years after the excellent

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reboot the much-anticipated sequel was announced during a Microsoft III press conference with an awesome gameplay demo that showed Lara hiking a mountain alongside her friend Jonah a character introduced in the previous game but at the end of the demonstration it was revealed that the 2015 sequel rise of the

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would be an Xbox one exclusive title alienating both PlayStation and PC gamers despite that demographic beating the original adopters of...
the

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franchise my guess is that this deal was done to help justify the cost of production to avoid the losses experienced with the 2013 game but it's not very clear exactly why this decision was made this inevitably hurt initial sales for the title and the game would eventually find its way to both PC and PlayStation 4 a year later but thankfully rise of the two mayor itself was just as good as the last game with the same heavy emphasis on dramatic story character development tight gameplay mechanics and state-of-the-art graphics rise of the

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takes place several years after the events at Yama with Lara now display trying to complete her late father's research her father was searching for a fictional religious character called the Prophet who has a striking resemblance and backgrounds of writings in Christianity the

history

that 2-meter has often avoided talking about but as Lara learns more about the mysterious divine source that grants immortality she soon finds herself competing against a shadow corporation called Trinity her adventure in rise of the two mater takes her to an ancient hidden city in Siberia where she encounters a secret society tasked with protecting the divine source and its power the storyline isn't as strong as the 2013 game as the focus has shifted away from trying to establish Lara as the - mater and seems to revolve heavily on Lara learning the truth about what happened to her father a plot point that is all too...
familiar to fans of the series from a gameplay perspective rise of the - mater adds a few new features but doesn't really change the core experience the games movement combat and mechanics all remain pretty much the same but with a bit more depth to each mechanic the environment for example is much larger and features a ton more collectable sidequest activities to complete encouraging more exploration than before upgrade systems and crafting have been expanded upon significantly with things like AI stored to purchase valuable weapon attachments using ancient coins and even various outfits to choose from some of which have their own gameplay benefits the main storyline takes Lara through more

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s this time with optional side

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s also making a return but most of the game is still spent running around outside and fighting waves of human enemies whilst the two manner does thankfully feature the return of an old foe the grizzly bear which functions as a sort of optional small boss fight at a few predetermined locations Warren can also swim again though these segments still feel limited when compared to the older games as Laura can only dive under the water to hide from the enemy or move underneath them low opening

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s feature more traps than before with breakaway floors and spike pits making a welcome return but I didn't like how it basically tells you when to jump by making the screen glow and slowing down time slightly just like the last game rise of the

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holds your hand through most of the platforming segments and while it looks cinematic and incredibly realistic it also takes away a lot of the challenge featured in the older games the game's combat returns just as bombastic as before with even more weapons to choose from and a ton of weapon attachments to utilize first craft exposes on the fly like Molotov cocktails in addition to special ammunition like poison arrows other mechanics include an extension of the stealth take down allowing Lara to eliminate enemies from concealment and even from the water unlike 2013's two meter rise features a bit more environment variety with a huge focus on snowy environments the deserts of Syria and a bit of a more temperate forested area thrown in for good measure visually Raisa the two manner looks insanely good with an even more realistic character model from Lara and some unbelievably well done lighting effects new effects include snow tessellation and advanced character facial animations with some great subsurface scattering Waris face has been altered slightly from the previous design but she's still voiced by Ludington and still undergoes the same type of painful hardships players have come to expect from this rebooted series awfully enough though despite getting her signature dual pistols at the end of the previous game Lara once again is stuck with a singular pistol and rise and her bow and arrow once again seem to be pushed as her weapon of choice it's a...
bit disappointing as the series seems to be doing everything it can to distance itself from Lara's actual past but considering this is only part two of three stories explaining Lara's full origin it's safe to assume it'll all come together for the finale soon after rise of the 2 meter it was announced that shadow of the 2 meter would be the conclusion to be poplar origin story for Lara Croft unlike past entries shadow of the 2 meter would not be handled exclusively by Crystal Dynamics but instead would be handed off primarily to itis Montreal a team that had previously only served as secondary support shadow of the

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we'll be releasing in September

2018

and will feature the same style of gameplay as the past two entries with an even greater emphasis on stealth mechanics enhanced visuals and Lara Croft officially becoming the - Mater the story takes Lara to ancient temples in both Central and South America with Lara seeking out an ancient relic before the shadow corporation Trinity can get their hands on it her actions eventually lead to a sort of Mayan apocalypse that she's forced to try and stop similar to the events of - mater the last revelation according to the story director the game's finale would see Lara become the ultimate - mater but not necessarily transformed into the overly confident - mater from the 90s the focus of this game seems to be Lara learning that her actions have real consequences and that she needs to be more...
aware of who she's affecting when she runs into

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s steals ancient artifacts and then causes them to collapse it's an interesting premise that's not really been explored previously and making Lara more humble is a good idea in order to tie together her character with the past games even if that's not necessarily the goal the gameplay takes place in more jungle based environments as both a way to separate itself from the snowy setting in the last game and as a way to introduce new features like the ability to camouflage and attack enemy stealthily shadow also appears to be emphasizing puzzle design a feature that has been requested by fans for several years now and according to early play tests the game seems to feature significantly more puzzled than rise or 2013 did visually Shadow the - mater seems to be pushing the boundaries even further with brand new technologies like ray tracing being implemented that allow for a new level of realistic lighting and shadowing effects shadow of the

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releases September 20th and I'll have a ton of content related to that game alone when it releases so be sure to stay tuned for more on this game - mater is a legendary gaming icon that has lasted more than 20 years Lara Croft essentially jump-started the action-adventure game genre and some of the best video games today still take great inspiration from her original adventures while Lara might have stumped a bit as she matured with various developers...
struggling to really nail what made the originals so great she eventually emerged bigger than ever before with renewed faith in the franchise from a new generation of fans from a technical standpoint - mater was a technical marvel of its time and while it lost this aspect in the 2000s it has since become a benchmark tool for some of the most advanced Hardware today I grew up with to Manor it's one of the game series that really got me hooked and it's incredible to see that it's still going strong even after all these years baby guys enjoyed this look back at the

history

of the

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franchise unfortunately these videos typically don't seem to attract the same viewership numbers as some of the other content I post so if you want to see more videos like this in the future please consider being part of my patreon which you can find a link for in the description below also don't forget to Like and subscribe to stay up to date and all the latest on

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you