What I remember from playing Tomb Raider as a kid was not the cinematic sequences that we're bombarded with today. It wasn't the slick action moments that consisted of Lara dodging tigers and stabbing sharks. It was the difficulty of puzzles and the wonder of exploration. Let's face it, the old games were terrible when it came to action - animals and enemies were just bullet sponges.
The real reward lay inside the tombs. The exploration elements and the difficulty of the original Tomb Raider games is what I remember and love. While Tomb Raider in 2013 was a hell of a lot of fun, we all unanimously agreed that there needed to be a much greater focus on actual raiding of tombs. The surprising thing, is that Lara Croft GO is probably the closest to the originals I've played in a long time.
Rise of the Tomb Raider & What it Needs to learn From Lara Croft GO!
Lara Croft GO is a turn-based puzzle game that shines on any device out there. The animation is beautiful, the design of the levels and puzzles is so clever and it somehow manages to tap into what made the originals so compelling. What I really love about Lara Croft GO though, is the sense of isolation. In recent Tomb Raider adventures, Lara has always had so many people around her - even co-op partners. But the originals always left us alone in these dark and difficult places. We had to persevere by ourselves and it was almost eerie and claustrophobic. With so many characters around Lara in recent games, this sensation is a thing of the past. Except of course in Lara Croft GO.
There are plenty of familiar aspects in this mobile game for Tomb Raider fans; pressure plates, buzz-saws, levers that move platforms about. All of these eventually culminate into really intricate and satisfying puzzles. Obviously Tomb Raider GO isn't the full experience, but it has the elements of the originals that the series has been lacking for so long. Square Enix have stated that the team wish to focus on tombs once more for Rise of the Tomb Raider, but I wonder whether the same sensations can be conjured up.
Lara Croft GO represents the best of mobile games. It's a pleasure to play on the way to work and still satisfying when focusing on for a few hours. It's beautiful to look at, clever in its execution and exemplifies some of Tomb Raider's original values. Rise of the Tomb Raider can learn a lot from the nostalgic sensations that this mobile game evokes. Be sure to check it out on iPhone, iPad and Android!