In response to a few recent games that appear to be lacking in the criteria. This is a short list and thoughts on some stand out game mechanics that developers seem to be ignoring and need to build upon.
Where Could Tomb Raider Go Next?
Sure, they’re mere rumblings at this point, but with an impressive number of copies sold, it’s no secret that an eventual sequel is forthcoming.
And since she’s already settled into her hardened survivalist persona, the next chapter of Tomb Raider is likely to be one that both mixes up the formula and shows Lara in her more familiar role as a treasure hunter/archaeology enthusiast.
But in any good action/adventure game, setting is key. It sets the mood, helps the player establish the environment, and helps us stay engaged in the game’s narrative and design. And with environments just as unique as Lara herself, it’s no secret that Tomb Raider will need to create a great setting early on in order to be successful.
So where could Lara go in her sophomore debut? Here’s my wishlist:
Tomb Raider isn’t necessarily a game that goes after cliched mysteries and treasures, but I’d still love to see them make the trek to discover the lost city of Atlantis.
There’s a lot of mythical lore and legend to Atlantis that would fit in well with Tomb Raider’s overall tone. Her journey could be tied to an ancient artifact, or could simply be to find the city itself. She already mentioned it to one of her crew members in the game when comparing Yamatai to Atlantis, but said that Yamatai was “real”. This suggests that Lara is doubtful of Atlantis’ existence, and an interesting narrative composed of Lara’s initial doubt growing into realization of its reality could really be something compelling. Plus, any sort of imagining of Atlantis has the potential to be fascinating, and I’m confident in Crystal Dynamic’s abilities to tell a good tale here.
Lara’s no stranger to South America. She’s been there on numerous occasions, raiding many of its tombs and encountering the craziest of enemies there.
But considering all the mystery and splendor of the Amazon, there’s still much for Lara to see and do, and plenty of room for creators to craft an all new narrative. She could encounter locals, go up against raiders and dangerous foes, and there’s an endless supply of ruins, tombs, and legends to be seen and explored. On top of that, the rainforest has strikingly beautiful environments that would look nothing short of amazing on Tomb Raider’s engine.
Much like South America, there’s a lot of history and mythology surrounding ancient African culture that could be fascinating to behold.
Specifically in Egypt, where pharaohs were buried with secrets and curses have been laid on the tombs of the dead. Being that she’s a rational and logical girl, Lara’s not one to cave to superstition and ideas of the supernatural playing a real role in her life. But as we saw with Himiko and Yamatai, she’ll eventually cave and give in to the notion if she’s given a compelling enough reason to. Put her in Egypt in search of an artifact and create a story that is part historical fiction, part supernatural, and I’ll be a happy woman.
Being that it was a favorite hangout spot for pirates back in the day, there’s some room for a great Tomb Raider narrative to be told in the Caribbean islands as well. Hidden treasure, curses, black magic, haunted ships, the high seas…hell, even throw in some undead a la Pirates of the Caribbean, and you’d have a recipe for a great Tomb Raider game. Or maybe I’m just really itching for another pirate themed game. Either or.
Hear me out on this one…I know we’re not a country filled with ruins, but a National Treasure-like adventure could be really great (that is, as long as it doesn’t involve Nick Cage). There is a lot of legend and mystery surrounding some of the actions and affiliations of the founding fathers, and if writers could successfully create a story that is DaVinci Code-ish in its ability to both teach history and spin an epic yarn, there’s potential for a great story to be told. Plus, the idea of both a modern and ancient setting clashing together seems really compelling, even if it is a bit hokey.
THE MIDDLE EAST
Being that the birthplace of civilization took place in the modern-day middle east, there’s plenty of stories to be told by sending Lara in search of ancient artifacts in places like Syria and Iran. Early Mesopotamian items, ancient ruins and stories, and old legends and myths could all be explored in amazing detail with a new Tomb Raider installment. Of course, you’d have to be careful about how you approach the modern-day middle east due to sensitive political subjects present in our society today, but when done right, it could really prove to be a great setting for Lara to tackle in the eventual Tomb Raider 2. Or, maybe I just need to go watch Raiders of the Lost Ark again.
Where would you want to see the next Tomb Raider go? Tell me in the comments below!