We’ve seen Lara Croft in many forms over the years, from busty action-heroine to Atlantean explorer to wise-cracking aristocrat. But we’ve never seen her like this before. Crystal Dynamics' new Tomb Raidersees a young Lara on her first expedition, shipwrecked and stranded on an island bristling with danger, pushed to the limits of her ingenuity and will to survive. Over the course of the game we see this intelligent, resourceful young woman become something closer to the Lara Croft we know, fearless in the face of danger. It is a greatly successful origin story, a series reboot that feels both authentic and hugely exciting.
The path of the super soldier has been well-worn by gamers, especially given that the vast majority of video games are specifically designed to make you feel like a gun-toting god. It’s not like there’s an abundance of first-person accounting games, or massively multiplayer online shelf-stocking simulators (MMOSSSs). Game makers know that there’s an overwhelming majority of gamers out there who play video games for one reason and one reason alone: to forget about their lousy day at the office and step out in the oversized shoes of an almighty bad-arse for the evening.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance tries not to waste a moment of your time. In the 4-6 hours required to complete its campaign, you’ll cross the globe, have sword-fights with skyscraper-sized mechs, team up with an A.I. dog, explore a science facility with a remote-controlled robot, leap over missiles to chop up helicopters, and fight a metaphor for American evil. Rising is as silly as it sounds, and it knows it.
I’m low on ammo and health when the attack comes but I’m not alone. Backed into a corner, my partner and I improvise. Every second counts as we systematically dismember the Necromorph front line, using our Jedi-like kinesis to impale enemies with their own torn off limbs. We stomp their corpses, loot the precious resources, and quickly reload in preparation for the next wave.
Consider this: there hasn’t been a new Sly Cooper game since 2005. A year before PlayStation 3 hit the market, developer Sucker Punch released Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves on PS2, and then the studio moved on to the Infamous series, was purchased outright by Sony and seemed to have left its old mascot behind. But that didn’t stop a green, eager developer from attempting what, to many, would be completely unthinkable.