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  • Writer's pictureIndy Goodwin

25 years of Lara Croft

Tomb Raider hits its 25th anniversary this year. I have a particular love for Lara, she is the amazing heroine that made me into the gamer and woman I am today and, as cliche as it sounds, made me realise women could do anything. Sure, we’ve had some rough patches *cough recent reboot cough* but I still love Lara as much as I did that fateful day I got a Sega Saturn and Tomb Raider for my 10th birthday. The Sega Saturn was the native console for Tomb Raider, did you know?

The usual celebrations are in full swing and discussions about the next game have begun. If you were a fan of classic Lara then this will please you – the next instalment promises to blend the much loved older games with the newer format. Game director Will Kerslake had this to say:

"[Crystal Dynamics'] origin trilogy back in 2013 told the story of Lara's early days [...] while the classic games featured a seasoned and confident adventurer, travelling the world, unlocking its secrets, often standing alone against cataclysmic forces. We envision the future of Tomb Raider unfolding after these established adventures, telling stories that build upon the breadth of both Core Design and Crystal Dynamics' games, working to unify these timelines."

As someone who considered the modern reboot enjoyable but also disliked what they did to Lara I am cautiously optimistic about this new instalment. My favourite thing about Lara was how fearless she was, effortlessly foiling villains plans and laughing in the face of bumbling villains Lars and Pierre. She was absolutely unfazed by the often insurmountable challenges she faced and she did it with style.

You can imagine my dismay when they turned her into a frightened child, bumbling her way through the adventure. This wasn’t the brave, strong woman I had followed since I was a kid. I’m aware that giving her weaknesses was supposed to add to the narrative but if Beefcake Maleperson Mcgee can have a perfectly satisfactory story while being utterly unstoppable why can’t Lara? If they’re going to start putting these badass elements back into her character that can only be a good thing.

Cautiously optimistic seems to be the mood for 2021. All we can do now is wait and see what Crystal Dynamics come up with. Happy birthday, Lara. I don’t know who I’d be without you.

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