25 Years Of Tomb Raider & Lara Croft Is Still One Of Gaming’s Most Influential Icons- Header

25 Years Of Tomb Raider & Lara Croft Is Still One Of Gaming’s Most Influential Icons

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It has been twenty five years since the first Tomb Raider title released and Lara Croft still remains one of the most recognizable characters from the world of gaming. And she is here to stay on and on.

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Lara Croft arrived in the world of video games in the year 1996. At a time, when there were very few female characters in video games. And in fact, as IGN had once put it, she is undoubtedly the “first lady of gaming” that still continues influencing so many, all across the world. And have no doubt about it, we absolutely love her.

Fearless, independent, fierce and intelligent, British archaeologist Lara Croft had since the late nineties, paved for herself an unforgettable path for herself. And somewhere along the path she made her way towards pop culture superstardom.

She is smart. She is strong. She is highly intelligent. She is adventurous. She does not shy away from challenges or a difficult quest. And regardless of what people may or may not have said about her appearance and her physique, she is one video gaming icon, that has been here for two and a half decades now and she is here to stay. And secretly, we have all, at one point of time or another, wanted to be her.

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Created initially by British studio Core Design, American developers took over the development Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise after 2003. Ever since the release of the first game, Lara Croft has earned a very strong fan following, a place in the Strong Museum’s “World Video Game Hall Of Fame”, and last but not the least, quite a few Guinness World Records.

So Here Is Celebrating The 25 Years Of Lara Croft, The Video Gaming World’s Most Famous Female Icon

Over the past two and a half decades Lara Croft has undergone many changes, both physically as well as emotionally. However, while the movies starring Angelina Jolie brought her in to greater public prominence, it was the games, that eventually shot Lara to video gaming superstardom.

Portrayed on the screen by not one but two Oscar award winners, namely, Angelina Jolie (2001 to 2003) and Alicia Vikander (2018 to now), Lara Croft remains as one of the first ever video game character that was successfully adapted to the films.

Speaking about what made the British archaeologist so relatable and loved, the executive producer of the franchise at Crystal Dynamics, Dallas Dickinson says that, “She was iconic from the jump because we hadn’t seen a lot of female heroes in video games”. Adding that, “She happened to be right there at the forefront of when 3D graphics came in”.

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The latest three games in the franchise, namely, Tomb Raider, Rise Of The Tomb Raider and Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, that came out in 2013, 2015 and 2018, respectively, could be called the turning point for the series. These titles explore the origins and the back story of a younger and more inexperienced Lara, making her more relatable.

Speaking about these games and their significance to the series, Dallas Dickinson explains that, “The superhero version may not have been as accessible to certain people and so when she became more real – with that persistence at her core – I think she resonated with an entirely new generation of gamers”.

However, it was not all roses and sunshine for the franchise. As Aaron Greenberg, the Microsoft Studio’s marketing group’s General Manager had remarked, about the release of Rise Of The Tomb Raider, back in 2015, “The challenge with Tomb Raider is if you go a week later you’re against Star Wars Battlefront, if you go a week earlier you’re against Call of Duty Black Ops III; you go two weeks earlier you’re against Halo 5. And then you go late and then you’re like well, ‘Does the consumer have money left to buy the game?’ So there wasn’t a better scenario for us except that was the week it wasn’t going head-to-head against Call of Duty or Star Wars Battlefront”.

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It has been twenty five years since the first game in the Tomb Raider series came out. And since then, the variety of characters that we have encountered in the video games too have greatly varied. However, despite it all, Lara Croft still remains one of the most iconic characters, a pioneer, if you will, for many of us, who have grown up with her games. And talking about “Women In Gaming“, Lara still remains one of the most recognizable and one of the most formidable characters, female and otherwise.

Growing up, it has been a slightly different Lara that we have encountered, over the years, however, one thing that remains true is that, her story remains real. And while there have been changes to her appearance as well as personality, genre fatigue isn’t something her fans will be encountering, any time soon.

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