Does Lara Croft Owe Nathan Drake A Big Debt Of Gratitude?
From the start, Uncharted was called "Tomb Raider with a male lead" (or something to that effect).
And of course, it's easy to see the similarities between the two franchises. The only difference is that when Naughty Dog was winning awards, Lara Croft was sitting idly by, waiting for a chance to prove that she wasn't obsolete, that Crystal Dynamics could still deliver a top-quality AAA production.
And lo and behold, we got the excellent Tomb Raider reboot, one of my favorite games from 2013. And as Uncharted easily ranks as one of my favorite franchises in game history, one might assume I like them both for the same reasons. That isn't true, though; they do have distinct differences, especially in regards to game design and structure. But is it true that Lara owes a debt of gratitude to Drake, as opposed to the other way 'round?
Actually, I think yes, but not simply for gameplay reasons. Look at the picture here: Drake looks about right but based on the reboot and the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider, that Lara pic isn't correctly proportioned. That looks like the old Lara; the brainless Barbie that bounced around and shot dinosaurs. The new Lara has a brain, is relatively well-developed, and doesn't have the same absurdly unrealistic body type. In truth, her revamped body is much like Drake's: Athletic and energetic but not ridiculous, and not as given to the exaggerated and overly sexualized trends of years past.
Drake isn't Duke Nukem and Lara isn't a DoA girl. On top of which, perhaps we should acknowledge that with Uncharted's rise to immense popularity, it prepped the gaming world for a return to Tomb Raider. I think both IPs owe a little something to each other but at least in one way, I say Lara needs to buy Drake a beer or something.
10/11/2015 9:52:34 PM Ben Dutka