The lights are on
Tomb Raider: LegendYear: 2006Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Eidos Interactive Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox, PlayStation 2, PSP, GameCube, PC
Despite the enterprising attitude, Angel of Darkness didn’t usher in a new and modern era for the Tomb Raider franchise. As such, U.S. developer Crystal Dynamics inherited the property, crafting a new title for a slew of platforms including the Xbox 360. Crystal waited three years before debuting a new Lara to the world, releasing Legend in 2006.
Lara’s direction under Crystal continued the trend of rooting her in reality – items were designed with purpose rather than for simple aesthetics. Her clothing, gear, and weapons appeared tailored to her outlandish lifestyle, and in that sense, were practical. Lara lost her archaic braid in favor of a simpler ponytail, and her reconstructed face boasted hints of makeup, more naturally shaped eyebrows, and softer lips – although Crystal opted to retain the classic M shape of her mouth.
Lara’s body was also refined. While still maintaining idealistic proportions, her silhouette was more in line with that of an athlete than a pin-up model. Lara’s default outfit highlighted improved muscle tone with large expanses of bare skin, still paying tribute to her hip-hugging legacy. The shorts and crop top were joined by other ensembles, such as a stylish motorbike jacket, practical winter attire, and an infamous cocktail dress.
Crystal maintained other important elements of Lara’s identity, including her holsters, twin pistols, backpack, and combat boots – all modified, however, to fit the new scope of the game. Lara boasted new equipment, too, such as a row of grenades along the small of her back, a flashlight, binoculars, and a rappel device. Lara was becoming increasingly utilitarian, without sacrificing her sex appeal.
Lara’s upgraded appearance didn’t go to waste. Crystal whipped up a slew of unlockable outfits for Lara to romp around in, including the ever-popular black bikini.
Tomb Raider: UnderworldYear: 2008Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Eidos InteractivePlatforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PC, Nintendo Wii
Developed for current generation hardware, Tomb Raider: Underworld offered Crystal Dynamics a chance to continue pushing Lara’s physical presentation. Having found solid footing with Legend (and Anniversary), nuance became key in Lara’s most recent adventure. Again embracing a more proportional build, Lara’s muscles became even more defined – especially in her arms, abdomen, and thighs. Lara’s face took a stronger appearance, too, more striking with defined cheekbones, thick black eyeliner, and glossed lips.
Lara’s outfit again gravitated toward athletic gear – comprised of a lycra-like fabric and breathable mesh housed in a design one wouldn’t be surprised to find at retail. Other Underworld ensembles such as Lara’s cheeky wetsuit may have been less practical, but generally speaking her outfits continued to trend toward believability. Until you checked out the unlockable roster, that is.
Underworld offered Crystal a chance to make Lara’s interactions with the environment even more involved. Lara would remain wet for a time after swimming, and become caked in mud as she explored. At 32,000 polygons, Lara looked pretty sharp, even when messy.
She gets hotter as she get older...
Great post meagan. tomb raider rules
LOL, fantasy fodder. Great post, this and the top 50 games of the year will make this an isue to remember.
The fact that it's been 15 years since Lara's debut makes me feel incredibly old. But I've been with her the whole way. I'm kind of sad that you mentioned Last Revelation as a point where attention started to wane - to be honest, TLR was probably my favorite of the original PlayStation titles. Maybe it was some of the cool stuff I got to do, or maybe it was the fact that my 8th grade history teacher gave me extra credit for bringing in a tape of all the Egypt stuff. Either way, love and still love it, even if it's harder to play now in the days of analog sticks.
Great look at the old gal.
I've never actually felt the need to buy a Tomb Raider game(I would normally barrow or rent). But with this most recent one in development and the completely new look...I might actually save up some cash for it.
I've never been much of a Tomb Raider fan, but this new one has my attention.
I liked the Tomb Raider: Legend Lara most of all.
No, I take that back. I like the Angelina Jolie Lara best. :)
maybe they'll make this one look realistic. i'll probably buy it anyway.
Lara Croft is evolving...(pokemon music plays)
Lara Croft evolved into Unknown Gaming Figure!
We've only seen her face, don't worry, they'll get controversial, just give it time.
The funny thing is, the farther it gets, the hotter she is. She went from weird 12 year old fantasy to a more realistic. Oh my god give me her like body.