E3 2015: Rise of the Tomb Raider is Looking to Break Unprecedented Ground

The claims coming out of Crystal Dynamics regarding its upcoming blockbuster Rise of the Tomb Raider are starting to cause a fair amount of hype. To sum it up, the developer is looking to make its protagonist, Lara Croft, the single most believable character in the history of video games. That’s no small feat considering that The Last of Us‘ Joel has set the stage for what video game characters can become, as his ambiguous morality set a new standard for how video game characters can be humanized. If Crystal Dynamics is able to pull of what they say they want to, not only does it mean that Rise of the Tomb Raider has the ability to be in the running for Game of the Year, but it could mean that the Xbox One officially has its ultimate 2015 trump card.

Of course, no character can be considered to be the most realistic character without an insane level of visual prowess. From the snowflakes that accumulate on her eyelashes to the amount of pores in her face, there’s no doubt that Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s Lara Croft is one of the best character models the industry has ever seen, but that’s only half of the battle in Crystal Dynamics’ quest. What makes Joel such a special characters is the sheer force of his human elements coming into play at all times. Lara will have to behave like a real person rather than some sort of fictional demigod like so many other video game characters seem to personify themselves as.

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Granted, 2013’s Tomb Raider was such an exceptional game because of Lara’s emotional growth and vulnerability, but for Rise of the Tomb Raider to succeed as a sequel, this will have to be taken further. After all, even though so many of us grew to love Lara as a character (and, let’s face it, our connections with her were stengthened through our need to protect her from the gruesome death animations the previous title featured), you can’t put a character hoping to be completely human out there a second time without the first experience having some real consequences on her.

For Rise of the Tomb Raider to become the tallest pillar of Microsoft’s comeback after its disastrous reveal, Lara Croft has to show even more emotional intelligence than any character has ever shown before. Crystal Dynamics is hoping that players will be on the edges of their seats constantly during the campaign, and for that to occur, Lara needs to feel believable. Of course, if Lara is the only believable character in an otherwise unbelievable world, then the entire experience will feel cheap, but here’s to hoping that the development team prevents this from happening. After all, if you’re going to claim that your character is the most believable video game character of all time, then delivering on that promise will make for an absolutely breathtaking experience.