The recent Tomb Raider reboot was pretty well-loved around here, and most other places, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. You can listen to our Spoilercast to hear some of our opinions, but suffice to say, it’s not like we had a laundry list of complaints. The game is great, so these are really more like “pleasant suggestions” as opposed to “things you need to make your game fun and/or technically playable”. That said, here are four things that we think could push the next Tomb Raider over the top.
More, You Know, Tomb Raiding
I loved the overall gameflow of the recent reboot, but one are that felt flat to me was the optional tombs. During the course of the story, Lara got to do a little tomb-traversing and puzzle solving, but the majority of her time was spent in the open world, which, by the way, I loved. However, the “secret” tombs left something to be desired. Most involved just a single puzzle, and not a single one of them stumped me for any period of time. I’m not saying we should go back to Lara’s lever-pulling days, but a little complexity wouldn’t hurt. I’d like a chance to really dig into some involved tombs, and they don’t all have to be optional. I hope they keep the open world flavor, but ease up on the simplicity just a bit. It’s called Tomb Raider for a reason after all, although there is a chance they could drop that moniker for the next title. Personally, I hope not. Not all changes are for the best.
An Expanded Crafting System
I enjoyed upgrading my gear and skill in Tomb Raider, but found myself wishing there was more to it. I envision the sequel taking a page out of Far Cry 3′s book. In the recent Tomb Raider, all found salvage was just that, generic salvage. For a game that featured so many different plants to find and animals to kill, I was disappointed that there weren’t specific pieces of salvage you need to find. This would be beneficial twofold: it would give us an incentive to search every nook and cranny for that last rare flower, and it would make the secondary objectives something you actually want to do, instead of it just being there to check off a box on your way to 100%. But, I have to be honest, I don’t need much more motivation to shoot a bear than I already had.
A Better Story
This one is probably the least universal, and if you enjoyed the story of the recent Tomb Raider, then good for you. I, on the other hand, felt it was the weakest portion of the game. I loved Lara’s voicework and character arc, even if I found it completely ridiculous that she went from frightened girl to mass-murderer in about fifteen minutes. I know she was fighting for her life, but I simply couldn’t buy into her “I got this, I got this” uncertain mentality after I just spent the last hour headshotting dozens of people off a zipline. Hopefully, they will present a Lara that has matured appropriately since the last game. While we’re at it, her supporting cast could use some work because, with the exception of Roth and the crazy boat captain, I hated every one of them.
A Better Secondary Mode
Let’s be honest: Tomb Raider’s multiplayer was underwhelming. Maybe that’s not being…honest enough. While not completely terrible, it was certainly forgettable and featured its fair share of problems. I think its safe to say we won’t see competitive multiplayer the next time around, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some kind of extraneous mode. A cooperative Horde-type mode would be a perfect way to extend replayability while letting players experiment with the key functions of the game. I don’t think I would like to see coop infiltrate the main story mode, Lara works bets alone after all, but an alternate mode with its own progression, maps and enemies could be a great alternative.
Do you agree with some of these suggestions, or do you have some very choice words disagreeing with me? What changes, if any, would you make to the next Tomb Raider?