CEO of Square Enix in Americas and Europe recently confirmed the existence of a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel, stating that it is “well into development.” Crystal Dynamics released their Tomb Raider reboot earlier this year, accumulating critical acclaim and strong sales that continue to place Lara on video games sales charts, on a weekly basis. In short, many, including ourselves, love Tomb Raider.
So with these new revelations of a Tomb Raider sequel, we thought it would be best to compile our ideas for locations for Lara Croft to explore on her next journey.
Eric Pepper: I’d love to see Tomb Raider take us into South America with this gritty new style. Perhaps go after some ancient Mayan treasure or chase after something belonging to the Incas. While it may not be the most original, given that the series has been reborn, it would be great to see what they can do with more lush jungle environments. If it also meant we got to traverse some of those incredible Mayan temples, that would be even better. The crisp textures of the previous Tomb Raider game made it a visual treat, so hopefully that same visual quality could be applied to these ancient structures and the jungles surrounding them.
Vlad Pintea: Having Lara trapped on an island in the reboot is totally fine, but I don’t see a single location as a viable option going forward. The only reason Lara was trapped on Yamatai in the first place was because she was a rookie when it came to discovery and survival, but now that she’s more “grown up,” she definitely needs to be seen traveling to multiple places for the game to feature a bigger diversity in cultures, environments, enemies, puzzles, platforming segments, and so on.
In terms of the setting, I think it’s safe to say that Lara will focus on her father’s studies. After all, that’s exactly what she says in the reboot’s ending. Maybe she’ll start an adventure for some lost relic? A lost city, perhaps (Atlantis)? It might not sound so exciting on paper, but creating a good storyline (and characters; we need BETTER side-characters) around it could make the entire difference.
Now in terms of the locations, Crystal Dynamics should take a look at their 2nd best Tomb Raider to date: Tomb Raider: Legend. That game features trips to the desert, tropical forests, military bases high up in the mountains, a trip to Japan, and snow-covered isolated mountains. It’s the diversity that’s important. An adventure across the globe might sound like a cliché, but it’s way better than playing the entire game in a single location. This can also lead to multiple outfits for gamers to try. Oh, and we need the mansion to return! I absolutely loved solving the puzzles in the mansions of Tomb Raider: Legend and Tomb Raider: Anniversary.
Jamie Briggs: The Lost City of Atlantis. Wait, a game underwater? How does that work? It works perfectly; let me explain.
Atlantis is one of those great legends that some still believe is true to this day, in-which an entire city sunk into the ocean “in a single day and night of misfortune.” What makes this idea so fascinating is the fact nobody knows where Atlantis sunk, some believe Antarctica was the site of Atlantis, others think the Bermuda Triangle and others the coast of India. The journey to find the location of the hidden city could be as interesting as our time spent in the city itself, not only would it seriously dive into history. It could incorporate real-world speculation into the Tomb Raider mythology, whilst also spinning its own unique take on the city and how it became to sink.
The island of Yamatai allowed for a variety of environments and that diversity would be included in this journey, travelling from the icy lands of Antarctica, to dormant volcanoes, all the way to the tropical islands in the Bahamas. It could also incorporate Lara’s interest to follow her father’s studies, maybe he knew the location of Atlantis? But perhaps hid this information for Lara to find.
There are even rumoured connections that tie El Dorado: The City of Gold to The City of Atlantis, could Lara be the one to find the true connection between these cities? Could they even be the same place? The options are endless.
I am no expert in weaving a cohesive narrative, but the options presented in finding the Lost City seem abundant. Leaving me excited to see what Crystal Dynamics could do with such an interesting fabled tale.
Ryan Livingstone: I’d love to see Lara Croft follow the legacy of Hannibal and his triumphs starting in Carthage, all the way leading up to his defeat in Italy. Lara could start the search in the city he started, Carthage. The story could then follow in the footsteps of his battles left as he achieved great victories over the Roman Empire. The environments would range from desert of North Africa, to the snowy Alps of Pyrenees through to the Lake of Trasimene. Adjustments would have to be made to create a more game-friendly environment, as most of the areas would need some digital reconstruction.
The next Tomb Raider should move away from being stuck in one area. While it worked for the most recent Tomb Raider, as Vlad mentioned it worked because she was a rookie in certain aspects. Following the tale of Hannibal would allow a huge range of environments and locations to delve into. Hannibal was also the son of the great military leader of Carthage, Hamilcar Barca, so there are plenty of options to develop a form of relic for Lara to chase.
From North Africa, to Spain, to Italy and Turkey, there are plenty of areas and a plethora of history knowledge for Crystal Dynamics to work with. Following the tale of such a historic figure of Hannibal through all these areas would be an absolute joy to explore. It was also satisfy my admiration of the Roman Era in a more personal tale.
These are just a few samples of the many locations Tomb Raider 2 could visit, but we want to hear your ideas. Our community had a few suggestions regarding possible locations in the upcoming sequel.
Valeo Bee: Maybe a revisit to one of the older games but not so obvious. And give it the same treatment as the reboot.
Stand Out: My first answer would be Bioshock’s Columbia, but Colombia in South America is actually quite awesome too. We had Asia before, now it’s time for South America, a nice change of scenery. They did the whole stranded on an island thing already. This time Lara should be able to travel between different locations in South America.
There’s a lost golden city in Columbia called El Dorado which Lara can find. There’s Machu Picchu in Peru, which I’m sure we’d all love to explore. The City of the Ceasars is at the southernmost tip of South America, which has legends of ghosts and 10 foot giants: perfect myths for the Tomb Raider franchise. The Lost City of Z resides in the jungles of Brazil, which will offer some diversity in the environment. All very intriguing locations, which I’m sure the writers of the game can easily tie together.
So, these are our options, but what about yours? Do you have any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.
Follow Ryan Livingstone on Twitter, or send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Jamie Briggs’ his daily life on Twitter @JamieAA or his personal blog. You can contact Vlad Pintea at email@example.com or Facebook. Eric Pepper would love you if you ‘Like’ Analog Addiction on Facebook to receive all of the updates as they’re posted.