Franchise Friday: The Journey of a Tomb Raider

My earliest memory of the Tomb Raider franchise has to be when my Dad used to play Tomb Raider II on PC and I use to sit and watch him play. I was still fairly young so I didn’t fully understand what was happening in the game. One memory that I do have is how I use to get scared when the tiger would attack you and you had to defend your self before escaping. It wasn’t until a few years later when I was a bit older than I actually tried the game for myself, except I had a very different approach.

My approach was focused more around exploring Lara’s House. Completing the obstacle course in the quickest time possible, finding the secret room and running frantically back  from the maze to get there before the timer closed the door and of course trapping the Butler in the refrigerator. I did give the main game a go on a few occasions but it has been a good few years since I played it.

It was a little while before I picked up my next Tomb Raider game and it happened to be Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. This was actually a game I played alongside a friend during the school holidays one year with us both taking turns to play a little bit more of the story. I honestly don’t remember too much about the game but I remember that between the two of us we did somehow manage to complete the game.

After playing Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness I did forget about the franchise for a little while other than seeing both of the Angelina Jolie movies. When I discovered that Crystal Dynamics would be releasing a new Tomb Raider game I was honestly super excited to play it. I followed the development of the game, pre-ordered it and jumped in on launch day.

I was captivated by the game and drawn into wanting to play more and more but at the same time not let the game be over. I loved the storyline, the graphics style and Lara’s refreshed look. The 2013 Tomb Raider game has been one of my favourite games to replay every now and then.

However, with Rise of the Tomb Raider, I had more of a love-hate relationship with the game. I spent months after purchasing the game trying to get into the game and progress through it. There was just something stopping me from enjoying it like I had done with the previous Tomb Raider game. Maybe I was hoping to have the same experience as before. I really don’t know. I did, however, manage to complete the game. It took an incredibly long time to complete the game but I got there. After how I felt when I first played Rise of the Tomb Raider, I did decide to pick up the game again and play through it again. This time my playthrough was totally different and I actually enjoyed playing through the story. I guess sometimes it takes a couple of attempts to truly enjoy a game.

Fast forward to RTX London last year and it had appeared I had been living under a rock for a little while. I’d heard about Shadow of the Tomb Raider being released but really hadn’t been paying attention to when it was being released. RTX London was lucky to have the GAME bus there where you were able to play a demo of the new Tomb Raider game. I knew very little about the new game so being able to play the demo was great. I absolutely loved it and grabbed the game once I had gotten back from London. I have really been enjoying Shadow of the Tomb Raider that I’m now on my second playthrough of the game except this time I’m trying to complete all the side quests and extras throughout the game.

The latest instalment has really reignited my love for the franchise as a whole. The gameplay, the storyline, characters, everything has made me thoroughly enjoy the game even more. While there were several moments where I wanted to give up and even rage quit the game I think that just really added to my overall experience of the game.

The Tomb Raider franchise has really pulled me back in with the latest three games and I really do hope to see Crystal Dynamics continue to evolve Lara’s journey in the future in some way. The earlier games, however, hold some special memories for me while growing up and I do hope to try and experience some of the earlier games at some point in the future.

I can’t say I would be able to choose a favourite Tomb Raider game as each of the ones that I have played brings something different to the table. I enjoy each game for various different reasons and I think that will always be the same for each Tomb Raider game I hope to play as well.

That’s it for another Franchise Friday. I hope you’ve enjoyed taking a read through this one. Let me know what your favourite Tomb Raider games are or even if you have any memories from playing through the games over the years.

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