The Many Faces of Lara Croft
Lara Croft is one of those video game characters that has become cultural phenomenon world wide. It is no surprise when you consider the franchise of Tomb Raider has sold almost 50 million copies since its debut. The face and body of Lara Croft had changed so much over the course of almost 20 years. With the newest 2016 addition to the Tomb Raider franchise, today’s Lara looks nothing like it looked before. So, let’s go through history of evolution and see how much she really changed. First game was released back in 1996, and Tomb Raider is to this day still very popular. The graphics were very clunky but I think this is one of the best games of 90’s. Lara Croft we see in this particular game was made out from only 540 polygons, but I don’t know if you are aware that this Tomb Raider was made by only 6 guys in the span of 3 years period so I think it’s a great success.
The second Tomb Raider was released year later for Mac, PC and Playstation One platforms. This particular game is on the second place when it comes to best selling games in franchise. Lara was equipped with the new set of moves and weapons but story was continued from the first game. In terms of graphics, second game had some improvements when it comes to character of Lara but nothing too big. Following the first and second game, third game was also released a year later. It was released for computer and Playstation 1. The main theme of the game was search for 4 scattered pieces of meteorite across the world. Lara was still looking practically the same and on the cover of the game she was featured with dark and small sunglasses but the whole outfit was not changed at all.
Next game was called Tomb Raider Revelation and this was huge improvement in the 90’s. The Last Revelation has sold more then 5 million copies. Lara got new animations and moves, but now she could also grab ropes and swing as well as climbing down and up on them. She also had much more refined and smoother appearance which meant flexible joints allowing her to bend knees or elbows. Next Tomb Raider was released in 2000, but not received too much success as it sold just about 1,5 million copies released for Mac, PC, Playstation and Dreamcast. The animation was almost the same like in The Last Revelation but new thing was that she had snowsuit from time to time.
Next Lara Croft game came 3 years later with the name Angel Of Darkness. This time Tomb Raider was released on Playstation 2 so Lara got even more refined and better graphics. This game was actually delayed 2 times and when it was finally released it sold almost 3 million copies even though many players criticized it for poor controls and bugs. One of my favorite games of Tomb Raider was released back in 2006 and it was called Legend. I think this time Lara got the biggest makeover. This was also first Tomb Raider game released for next generation of consoles meaning Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. It was really totally other world from any of the last games before this one. The body of Lara was completely refined in a new way and even her curves were more enhanced. What was next was probably the one game that was most forgotten in all the franchise, and it was also the game with less sold copies. The name was Tomb Raider Anniversary but it was actually remake of original Tomb Raider from 1996. The game was completely the same only with new moves and improved graphics.
Tomb Raider Underworld was released in 2008 and Lara Croft saw huge step forward. She was much more interacting with environment. For example we could see leftovers of footsteps in mud and weather played a big part because if it was raining it would be harder for Lara to climb something and there was possibility she could slip and fall down. It took 5 years for Lara to come back. And this time she came completely reshaped. Lara looked much realistic and crisp as it was suited for next generation consoles. This game ended up being the best Tomb Raider till date selling more then a million copies in first 48 hours of its release.
Last year the latest addition to the Tomb Raider franchise was released called Rise Of The Tomb Raider. Combat mode is completely redesigned as well as new animations and options for Lara to use stealth mode and sneaking. Players can now scavenge materials from both animals and plants which will enable them to create some items for getting through the game more easily. Lara finally has a realistic body with the shape that looks normal, paired up with long hair and nice facial features. Lara Croft from Tomb Raider has evolved so much from those 540 polygons from first game.