PS3 Preview Tomb Raider
Our last look at Lara Croft’s origin story/reboot shelved her buxom, fortune-and-glory hunter persona in favor of a more relatable portrayal. Sporting sharp survival instincts and realistic proportions Tomb Raider’s protagonist is afraid and fighting for her life. Our latest look reveals more of this scared, stranded girl, but also gives us a glimpse at the brave heroine she becomes.
The preview picks up shortly after the events of the previous presentation, in which Lara escaped a cocoon-like prison, outran a cave-dwelling madman, and savagely slew a wolf. Still displaying the emotional and physical scars of those encounters, Lara’s looking for fellow survivors of her shipwreck. Clutching a wound, she peers over a cliff to spot a lifeboat along the island’s coast. Hopeful it’s a sign her friends aren’t splayed on the jagged rocks below, she continues searching.
Recalling Lara’s agility of old, she crosses a precarious log, then scales a crashed plane that’s pinned vertically against a waterfall. As the craft begins breaking apart, Lara barely drops to safety. Discovering a backpack belonging to her friend Sam convinces her to push onward, but her path’s broken by a gaping chasm; her resulting leap of faith ends in a nasty fall to the forest below.
Spark of Life
Injured, hungry, and shivering from the soaking rain, Lara attempts to build a fire with a single match from the pack. Despite the absence of any Nathan Drake-style dramatics, the scene packs plenty of emotional intensity we actually exhale in relief when she succeeds in lighting the fire.
Things resume the next morning, with Lara somewhat refreshed and ready to carry on. Walking through the wilder ness, she stumbles upon the unsettling sight of a hanging corpse. It’s not all swarming flies and rotting flesh, however, as she spies a bow on the victim. After acquiring the weapon, she uses it to hunt a deer; as she gruesomely guts the stag with an arrow, she mutters ’’sorry” to the animal, and we’re again moved by the character’s humanity.
Preparing her venison feast back at camp, Lara hears a friend’s voice on a radio she finds in the backpack. Reacting to the terrified voice, she resumes her search. Before long, Lara happens on a small hut housing a hidden passage beneath its floor. Learning the hard way that this subterranean secret holds little more than waist-deep water, skull-laden shrines, and slabs of rotting meat, she grabs a pickaxe and runs.
Upon exiting the tunnel of terror, Lara finds Sam, who’s just chillin’ in the woods, chatting up a stranger. The seemingly friendly chap invites both girls to follow him, but pulls a blade on Sam and drags her into the woods when his offer’s declined. Lara gives chase, but is thwarted by the jaws of a bear trap; as if things couldn’t get worse, a pack of wolves takes advantage of her predica¬ment. Grabbing her bow, she manages to down the beasts.
Kill or Be Killed
Lara’s luck finally turns as some of her fellow survivors happen upon her and shoot off the trap. She stays with one member of the group while the rest track Sam. On their way to camp, the pair discover an ornately decorated temple door. Breaching the passage introduces a puzzle familiar to the franchise, requiring both Lara and her A.I. partner to simultaneously turn cranks to raise the obstruction.
They enter the scary structure, but are quickly captured by thugs who look like close acquaintances of the jungle hobo that took Sam. Turns out these island crazies have also secured Lara’s other mates. Following a “Kill them all!” command from the enemy’s leader, all hell breaks loose. Lara and her fellow abductees flee, and shots are fired. A bound Lara finds a hiding place, but her safety’s short-lived.
She’s discovered by one of the creepy kidnappers, shifting the game into a QTE. During a desperate struggle, Lara knees and bites her captor, before blowing his brains out with his own pistol. A shot of a visibly shaken Lara closes the demo.
PlayStation The Official Magazine