The Best Character Overhaul Award Goes To Lara Croft
Reworked characters are always iffy, especially when it comes to established heroes and heroines.
Frankly, I haven't been the biggest fan of some of the character changes this generation. Although I believe Ninja Theory can produce a great Devil May Cry reboot, the new heroin-addict Dante just isn't doing it for me, and I still can't understand why they had to change Cole (inFamous) at all. But you know, although I'm not convinced Eidos can deliver a top-tier action/adventure game in the Tomb Raider reboot, I have to say: I dig the new Lara.
For the record, I have never been a fan of the Tomb Raider series. Honestly, I never saw the fascination in this franchise when it first arrived; I mean, let's face it, the only reason the gaming world went nuts for it is because of Lara's chest size. That's a pretty sad commentary on the state of male-dominated gaming back in the '90s but it's true. The games were always flawed and I never finished one. And although the gameplay in the new reboot looks promising, I'm not expecting an "Uncharted-killer" or anything like that.
For Lara, I'm speaking strictly from an artistic and realistic standpoint. As seen clearly in that slick CG trailer, she's no longer a cartoon. She's no longer a silly top-heavy caricature of a strong, independent female adventurer. In the trailer, we see a modern woman, still pretty but actually vulnerable, and both frightened and intrepid. The cockiness appears to be tempered (and it should be; this is the start of Lara's career as a daredevil) and she's finally a believable, sympathetic main character.
In short, maybe this time we'll actually care about her. So regardless of how the game turns out, I say bravo on this character alteration. In fact, it's an upgrade.
6/14/2011 9:11:30 PM Ben Dutka