Endurance… an apt name for the research ship on which Lara Croft found herself, heading into the Dragon’s Triangle. Why? Because that’s exactly what the Tomb Raider franchise has done – endured. Throughout its 17 year run, the series has experienced its fair share of ups and downs, even managing to maintain financial success through the release of the poorly designed Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. Tomb Raider (2013) represented a significantly different approach; one steeped in survival-action as much as exploration. Grittier, darker and more mature, Tomb Raider may have lacked the elaborate, puzzle-heavy sections of its namesake, but it told a strong story of the origins of young Lara with stunning visuals and a complete synergy in controls and mechanics.
Clearly high on action, initial fears were that it would just be a Uncharted clone. However, what it ended up being was the true rebirth of the series; the most solid of foundations for the future of a revitalized IP. Being a start-from-scratch project, Crystal Dynamics admitted on focusing on the basics, looking to offer deeper exploration, tougher, more intricate puzzles and yes, swimming, in sequels to come. If the rest of Lara’s journey lives up to those promises, we’re in for one hell of an expedition. – Zac Elawar