Thank you to PositivelyAmazonian for this confession! 

Full Confession: 

I think I was 13 when my father brought me my first TR, Tomb Raider II, so I could entertain myself because I was very ill and couldn’t almost move from my bed. I’d never played a videogame before. I’m a compulsive reader, but after half month in bed you get tired even of that. So I make an effort to sit before my PC and started to play. Wow. Just WOW.

“Look, Ana, she’s a girl like you”, Dad told me. And that was my motivation. She was a girl like me, and God, she did awesome things. She moved liked a ballerina, she was so graceful and flawless, with those amazing jumps and flips in the air… the weapons, the witty dialogues, the booby traps… but the best so far was the exploring. The beautiful scenarios, the rich historical and mythological background totally amazed me. It was blow-minding.

I’m still a reader, of course. Not that Tomb Raider make me lose my interest on books, travels and History. In fact, it was a reinforcement. She made me feel alive. She made me feel stronger. She was a powerful inspiration, for her independence, her cleverness, and her sarcasm. Classic and TRAOD Lara has been, and it’s still, my role model. I’m a History teacher and I had no shame in attending university lectures with Lara Croft images on my portfolios. I was proud of her, because she was a part of me. Every time I felt -and still feeling- down or weak before life challenges, I remember Lara Croft and what she taught me: to deal with everything and face challenges with self-esteem and pride.

Damn, I miss her so much.

Tell the World what Lara Croft and Tomb Raider Mean to You!

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#TombRaider20 Top Tombs aired at E3 yesterday. It didn’t exactly go down a storm.

There was a lot of buzz about it on Twitter - but after a while, a lot of this noise was nonplussed fans shrugging. I missed the show, and watched it this morning, only to come online and find I wasn’t alone in feeling “meh” about the whole thing.

The TR community manager, accompanied by two fans, went through one area per main game and talked about it. This was targeting nostalgia, to celebrate the franchise, and was a part of Square/Crystal’s ongoing #TombRaider20 project.

But many fans were left wanting more.

“So what?” was the general feeling fans online were left with.

Why was this? Why does the current feeling online seem to be that #TombRaider20 isn’t living up to its potential?

E3 is a massive deal. It’s like Christmas for gaming. A celebration of games and technology, to make us excited about the future. Tomb Raider 20 is a massive deal to fans. It should celebrate Lara’s twenty year reign.

Yes, Tomb Raider 20 is about looking back. But 25 minutes? One area per game?

Tomb Raider, as a community, is so focused on nostalgia. There’s been so much change and development during the series’ history that fans are always in a state of nostalgia. Nostalgia for the classics. Nostalgia for Core. Nostalgia for the ‘Legend era’. Nostalgia for a different Lara. For an older look. For an older attitude. For older moves, older music, atmosphere, level design.

These things are not new. Go on Twitter, tumblr, YouTube, or any TR fan-site or forum, and every day you’ll see people talking about these things, thinking these things, living these things.

It’s not just TR communities who acknowledge this. Other games share a similar mindset. Look at Resident Evil. Look at Final Fantasy.

The past of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft is so fresh in fans minds that I’m not surprised there’s been such a “meh” reaction to ‘Top Tombs’.

The fanbase are being wonderfully reminiscent all the time.

3D renders. Artwork. Videos on Youtube. Cosplay. Fan fiction. A whole fan remake of TR2. Fan projects like the upcoming ‘20th Anniversary Project’ are bringing many many many people together from the fans, and the games’ past. Voice actors, developers, writers, publishers have been reported to be contributing to this fan project.

These are fun things for us, the community, to take part in. This would’ve been a great time to showcase some of these fan projects. Perhaps set up some all inclusive, international fan project or competition that everyone can be a part of.

‘Top Tombs’ was effectively a glorified ‘Let’s Play, when it could’ve - and should’ve - been so much more. We are the community. We already know what the community thinks and feels. Maybe it would’ve felt more significant if they had longer to talk, and much more fan input than they had.  

How about hearing from the actual developers? Even the publishers! Voice actors from some of the games? Bring them on. Get some inside chit-chat happening. How much more interesting would it have been to hear from the people who have power over the franchise? Tomb Raider’s presence at this event, this ‘celebration’, with the missed potential in mind, felt at best dull, and at worse like they didn’t really care about it.

A massive portion of the fanbase is still alienated by the timed exclusivity deal.

Would this celebration of Tomb Raider not have been the perfect place to mention something about the future? A PS4 ‘Rise’ release date perhaps?

How about Lara’s place on Playstation Neo? Virtual Reality? Even just a hint of what’s to come for TR while they had the spotlight would’ve been good. But nothing was said.

Thankfully we have the TR20 book to look forwards to, and Nathan McCree’s concert in (for the time being) London. But to fit with the rest of my point here: we knew these things already.

So what have we taken away from E3’s Tomb Raider celebration segment?

Nothing new.

A sense of nostalgia that we’ve carried with us for years.

That’s why I don’t think ‘Top Tombs’ got the resounding cheers that a 20th celebration should have. The potential was missed. 

Well meaning, but missed.