10 Things I’d Like to See in the ‘Tomb Raider’ Sequel

It’s been a couple of weeks since Square Enix confirmed that a sequel to this year’s Tomb Raider reboot was in the works. Many other bloggers have already put forward their wish lists for the upcoming game but I thought I’d add my two cents.

Update: There have been a few announcements about the upcoming sequel, The Rise of the Tomb Raider, since I wrote this article. Click here to read more about this highly-anticipated game!

Here are 10 things I’d like to see in the Tomb Raider sequel:

1) More puzzles – Puzzles are part of what made the Tomb Raider franchise great and there’s nothing less rewarding than finally solving a complex puzzle or figuring out how to reach a hidden relic. While there were some puzzles in Tomb Raider 2013 (hereafter abbreviated as TR 2013), these were relatively simple and overshadowed by the seemingly endless gun battles and irritating QTEs.

2) Fewer gun battles – I know that Lara was stuck behind enemy lines in TR 2013 and survival was the key theme of the game…but did we really need so many gun battles? There were times when it felt like I was playing Gears of War or some other third-person shooter instead of playing a Tomb Raider game. The number of enemies Lara came across on that island verged on ridiculous. Perhaps future games should focus less on gun battles and maybe force Lara to either bypass her enemies by stealth or outsmart them. She could always set a few traps if she just wanted to get people out of her way without killing them. Give players the option to either engage the enemy or avoid confrontation. That would be more satisfying than simply gunning down enemy after enemy.

3) Bring back the globetrotting and exotic locations – Fair enough, Lara was stuck on an island in TR 2013 with little hope of escaping it alive so it made sense to base the entire game in one location. However, for future games, I’d like to see a return to the globe-trotting quests of the older games and explore places that haven’t already been visited in previous games. You could have Lara seek out the lost tomb of Genghis Khan in the vast wilderness of Mongolia, seek out clues about the Argonauts’ adventures on the shores of the Black Sea, explore the ruins of forgotten Babylonian settlements, or have her look for the lost Ark of the Covenant in Ethiopia. There’s still so much out there for her to explore.

4) Bring back the ability to swim – Swimming has always been part of Lara’s skill set in previous Tomb Raider games (with the exception of TR 2013) so it seems fitting that the new Lara should be able to explore underwater areas for clues or treasure or to find alternative routes. Just imagine how awesome it would be to explore underwater caves and passages with the aid of scuba gear…

5) Make the game less linear – One major complaint I had about TR 2013 was the fact that despite its promise of a more “open world” Tomb Raider game, it was actually quite linear. There were times when you weren’t given the option to explore an area because the building were standing in would suddenly start collapsing around you or you inadvertently managed to trigger another QTE. It would be great if they could design a game that would allow players to take on the dual roles of explorers and detectives, scavenging for clues and information that could point them towards a different, less obvious path, lead the way to a hidden tomb, or reveal a valuable plot point. Give us an actual reason to get to those hard-to-reach areas.

6) Greater freedom to save games – I’m perfectly happy if they choose to keep the base camp system for future games but I’d also love the option  to save my game whenever I want rather than rely on checkpoints. I’m quite a lousy gamer so I prefer to save my game whenever and wherever I can.

7) Bring back the vehicles – What’s a Tomb Raider game without at least one vehicle to drive and/or destroy? Just for the fun of it, why not have Lara pilot a small seaplane or helicopter? We’ve only ever seen her do this in cutscenes and FMVs but never in-game.

8) Get rid of the multi-player mode – Tomb Raider doesn’t need a multi-player mode. Its presence in TR 2013 added nothing to the game and I feel that they should have invested this time and effort in creating more tombs for us to explore. There are plenty of multi-player shooters out there already so just focus on keeping the tombs in Tomb Raider.

9) Less focus on secondary characters – We can argue that secondary characters were a necessary evil in TR 2013 as they helped to flesh out Lara’s character and gave her a sense of purpose. But now that Lara’s new origin story has been established, let’s keep Sam and the others out of the new game and bring back our “lone wolf” Lara, the one who didn’t need anyone to tell her what to do or how to get things done. Lara’s relationship with Sam was certainly a hot topic within the Tomb Raider community and while I think that having a gay protagonist would be a positive move for the gaming world, romantic relationships are an unnecessary distraction in a Tomb Raider game. Leave these for the comics. I just want to raid some tombs and steal ancient artefacts, not deal with group politics and drama.

10) Bring back the bow! – It would be hard to envision a reason to bring it back but I’d really, really love it if they could add the bow to Lara’s regular arsenal of weapons. It was by far my favourite weapon in TR 2013 and I’d be sad to see it go.

Bring on the next adventure! (Image credit: Lara Croft Wiki)
Bring on the next adventure! (Image credit: Lara Croft Wiki)

What would you like to see in the new game? Feel free to share your thoughts below!

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About Kelly M

Kelly McGuire is a translator, editor, writer, and gamer with a passion for archaeology, foreign languages, cultural heritage, and wildlife conservation. She tweets under the username @TRHorizons and is the admin and chief content creator for Tomb Raider Horizons.

View all posts by Kelly M →

34 Comments on “10 Things I’d Like to See in the ‘Tomb Raider’ Sequel”

  1. I’m a huge Tomb Raider fan and I know the last game was supposed to be very different, but I didn’t gel with it. Instead I went back and played Tomb Raider 2 from the MAC store which thrilled me all over again.

    I feel Tomb Raider 13 took away from what made Tomb Raider, Tomb Raider. I would have much preferred them to still have done the whole (young, vulnerable) thing and had the previous sort of format as the rest of the playstation games. It kind of felt like a whole new game and possible trying to be a bit too violent, gory and call of duty.

    Like said, just incorporate some new locations, new weaponry and shake things up a bit. It all starts to go wrong when you change what people love because you’re “trying to keep up”.

    Also I know this is somewhat unrelated but has anybody else though WWF Lita could have played Lara Croft? She looked PERFECT for the role in the films. http://www.canoe.ca/SlamWrestlingBiosL/lita_01feb14-can.html

  2. I haven’t finished the game yet–the most recent thing I’ve done plot-wise is the first main errand on Shipwreck Island. And I’ve only played about an hour of one of the original games, when I was ten, so I can’t really make a comparison. But I agree, it could definitely be more about puzzles and archaeology. Though shooting can be fun (and often it is in TR 2013), compelling non-shooting puzzle-based games do exist (I’m mainly thinking about Portal). Combine puzzle-heavy gameplay in ruin settings with something like Gone Home–in which you piece together stories based entirely on the objects and papers people have left behind–and I think something very, very awesome would come out. Something very awesome in which special artefacts are NOT conveniently stored in identical small metal boxes, of course.

    1. Exactly. It’s be nice to work out where to go or piece together the story as you explore the surroundings. And yes, they need to remember that we can use our brains and not point out where certain things are. The “secret” tombs were not very hard to find. 😉

  3. I loved the article and agree with most of these points.

    I want vehicles too but I also dread having to play them. I still remember the Jeep in Last Revelation and how I wanted to place a curse on the developers for the wonky controls.

    Personally don’t mind the secondary characters as they added a bit of colour to Lara’s world. In previous games you mostly dealt with the lone wolf and her antagonists. By knowing the people close to Lara, you also get to know her as her actions and decisions reflect on them. Though I do agree that having them just to tell Lara where to go or for drama’s sake would take away from the experience. If instead they became active participants and not just voices in Lara’s ear (which was the main problem with the Legend, Anniversary and Underworld sidekicks), they would complement the storytelling rather well.

    And god yes more puzzles!!!

    And you missed one point: No More QTEs 🙂

  4. Completely agree on every single point you mentioned.
    Secondary characters aren’t interesting that much – it’s Lara Croft we’re talking about.
    Devs need to get it together and bring back her wits and DOUBLE GUNS!!! Where were these?!?! Bow ?? What’s next a shield and a sword maybe?!
    Also where did that braid go ?!?! They’ve ripped Lara of her top 3 characteristics that made her an iconic heroine – her braid, her guns and her wits…
    I also agree that QTEs should be banned. And I want gigantic puzzles that will have to make me dig up in encyclopedia and google in order to solve them… That’s what I loved about TR when I was a kid and really changed my way of finding information.
    I’m just afraid that the corporate world we live in will not ‘please’ the fan base, because of money. Still I have hope and that’s something.. And I do hope that this blog post will get to the ‘masterminds’ at Crystal (or however is developing the game – I lost track).
    Sorry for the long babble 😉

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