- For other Tomb Raider games, see Tomb Raider disambiguation page.
Tomb Raider is the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise from developer Crystal Dynamics and publisher Square Enix. It is the tenth Tomb Raider game, in the series and the first in the Survivor Timeline, featuring a brand new Lara Croft.
A new intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance,
Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.
The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition about the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against Whitman's advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon's Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and split in two, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others when she is captured by a strange, savage man and trapped in his cave home. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses around them. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, complete with strange carvings, dead bodies, and ritual sacrifices of animals. She eventually finds her friend Sam and a man called Mathias, who claims to be one of the passengers. As Sam tells Mathias the legends of Himiko, Lara passes out; when she wakes, Mathias and Sam are nowhere in sight.
When Lara finally reunites with the other survivors, she and Whitman decide to break off from the main party and search for Roth, who is still missing, while the rest of the group (Reyes, Jonah, Alex and Grim) set out to find Sam and Mathias. As Lara and Whitman explore, they discover that the island's inhabitants are worshiping Himiko, confirming that the island is, in fact, Yamatai. Upon discovering a shrine erected in Himiko's name, they are captured by the islanders and taken to a settlement along with several other survivors of the Endurance wreck. When the survivors attempt an escape, the captors turn on them, hunting them down and killing them. Lara is separated from Whitman and tries to hide, but is found by Vladimir, one of the leaders of the inhabitants. Vladimir attacks Lara, but she fights back and is forced to kill him to save her own life. She fights off the remainder of the inhabitants as she desperately works her way up the mountainside to meet up with Roth. Eventually, she locates an injured Roth in a nearby abandoned village. Using Roth's equipment, Lara sets off for a communications relay at the very top of the mountain, in hopes of contacting the outside world and calling for aid.
After successfully hailing a plane that was searching for the Endurance and setting a signal fire for them to follow, Lara witnesses a fierce storm materialise out of a clear sky and strike the plane down, accompanied by a mysterious voice saying "No one leaves" in Japanese. Feeling responsible for the fate of the pilots, Lara is powerless to stop the island's inhabitants from killing them. Lara is contacted by Alex and Reyes, who reveal that Sam has been kidnapped by the island's inhabitants, a violent cult known as the Solarii Brotherhood. Lara, who is closest to Sam's position, tries to rescue her, but is foiled by Mathias, who orders her killed. Lara is saved by the intervention of strange samurai-like creatures—referred to by the islanders as 'Oni', demons in Japanese folklore—and taken to an ancient monastery in the mountains. Escaping again, Lara stumbles onto a ritual chamber, where she learns that a "fire ritual" was used to choose the Sun Queen's successor as part of a ceremony called the "Ascension". A terrified Sam manages to contact Lara and informs her that the Solarii intend to put her through the fire ritual, which will burn her to death if it is unsuccessful. Lara makes for the Solarii fortress, meeting up with Grim, but the Solarii capture the latter and threaten to murder him unless she surrenders. Grim attempts to overpower them, but is killed in the process. Lara is almost killed herself, until Roth intervenes; with his support Lara is able to infiltrate the palace, where she witnesses Mathias putting Sam through the fire ritual. Lara interrupts the ritual by trying to save Sam, but she is overpowered by Mathias and his men. The ritual continues, but Sam is not harmed by the flames, which are extinguished by a great gust of wind, marking her as the rightful successor to the Sun Queen's throne.
Lara narrowly escapes captivity once again and doubles back to help her friends, whose attempts to reach Sam have resulted in their capture. Aided by Whitman—who has managed to negotiate some degree of freedom with the Solarii—Lara returns to the palace to rescue Sam as Roth commandeers a helicopter to get them out. Having witnessed the storm that forced the search plane to crash, Lara sends Sam to escape by land and tries to force the pilot to land as a second storm brews up, striking the helicopter and forcing them to crash. Lara is nearly killed in the accident and is revived by Roth. However, Mathias and the Solarii arrive, and Roth is killed by a tomahawk meant for Lara. While mourning over Roth, Lara accepts that the storms are not natural, but are somehow connected to the Sun Queen and designed to prevent anyone from leaving the island. She meets up with the other survivors, who have evaded the Solarii long enough to secure a boat for escaping the island, provided that it can be repaired. They are joined by Whitman, who claims to have escaped, though Lara begins to suspect him of working with the cultists. Lara heads for the wreck of the Endurance to meet up with Alex, who had previously gone there to salvage the tools needed for Reyes to repair the boat. She finds him trapped under wreckage and, as she attempts to free him, they come under attack by the Solarii. Alex decides to trigger an explosion and sacrifice himself so that Lara can escape with the tools.
Finding an account of a World War II era Japanese military expedition to the island that sought a way to harness the power of the storms as a weapon, Lara decides to explore an ancient tomb on the coast, where she finds the remains of a high-ranking samurai who had committed seppuku. It is revealed, in a message he left, that he was the general of the queen's Stormguard, the Oni that defend the monastery, and that the Queen's successor took her own life rather than receive the Sun Queen's power, leaving the Sun Queen trapped in her body after death, and her rage has manifested in the form of the storms. Lara realizes that the Ascension is not a ceremony to crown a new queen, but rather a ritual that transfers the original Sun Queen's soul into a new body, and that the process will destroy the host's soul. Himiko's spirit wants to escape its current body, and Mathias plans to offer Sam as a new host. Lara returns to the survivors on the beach to find that Whitman has betrayed them, abducting Sam and handing her over to Mathias.
Lara, Jonah and Reyes give chase, heading up a river to the monastery, with Lara arriving just in time to see Whitman killed by the Oni. After fighting her way through the queen's guards, Lara arrives at the top of the monastery in time to see Mathias start the Ascension ritual. She works her way to Mathias, confronting Solarii and guards alike. Lara kills Mathias when she shoots him from the roof of the monastery using two pistols, sending him plunging into the abyss below, before destroying Himiko's remains to save Sam. With the storms dispersed, Lara, Sam, Reyes and Jonah leave the island and are picked up by a cargo ship. As she and her friends sail home, Lara decides that there are many more myths to be found and resolves to uncover them, stating that she isn't returning home just yet.
- Lara Croft - 21 years old, in search of lost relics. In the beginning, she is portrayed as a naive, vulnerable girl, but as the game progresses, Lara evolves from a victim of the island to being a hardened survivor.
- Conrad Roth - The Captain of the Endurance. It was hinted throughout the game he was a long-time friend of Lara's parents, and acted as her mentor. He was killed by a tomahawk meant for Lara.
- Samantha Nishimura - A budding documentary filmmaker & Lara's best friend. She is a descendant of the Sun Queen, Himiko. In the game, she is kidnapped by Mathias, a long time inhabitant of the island driven by insanity, who believes the only way to escape is by transferring Himiko's soul to a new vessel.
- Dr. James Whitman - A television host of his own show called "Whitman's World", an archaeology show. He would do anything to get fame and fortune. He was once looked up upon by Lara, but throughout the game, her admiration slowly evolves to suspicion and distrust when she figured out his betrayal. He is killed after being tricked into approaching a pair of Stormguard by Mathias.
- Alex Weiss - The Endurance's Ship Technician and friend of Lara. It is hinted in his document that he may have a liking towards Lara, and is further evident when he sacrificed himself on the Endurance after triggering an explosion that prevented the Solarii from pursuing Lara.
- Joslin Reyes - Mechanic of the Endurance. She is called Reyes by the Endurance crew. She has a 14 year old daughter named Alisha. She cares deeply for Roth & generally likes Lara but feels she is to "Green" & is worried that her theories could get them hurt, as evidenced by few of her "documents" found on the island.
- Jonah Maiava - The cook of the Endurance. He is good friends with Lara, as seen by his fondness of calling her "Little Bird". Along with Sam, he believes Lara's claim about Himiko's curse on the island, preventing anyone from escaping.
- Angus "Grim" Grimaldi- The helmsman of the Endurance. He had worked alongside Roth and Lara's father for many years. He was killed in the Shantytown after blocking a Solarii from targeting Lara, but at the same time, as the Solarii fell, so did Grim.
- Mathias - Absolute leader of the Solarii Brotherhood. Has been stranded on the island for 31 years, leading to a loss of sanity. He desires to resurrect Yamatai's deceased leader, the Sun Queen, as a means of escaping the island. Responsible for the deaths of Conrad Roth and James Whitman. Killed by Lara at the game's climax.
- Himiko - The ruler of Yamatai & the main antagonist of the game. While she does not appear physically until the very end of the game she is the cause of the storms & the reason the Endurance Crew is stranded on the island. Except for the Endurance Crew, every inhabitant on the island serves Himiko whether it is the Solarii Brotherhood, the Storm Guard or the weather itself & throughout the game Mathias claims that Himiko speaks through him and that he is her servant.
- Vladimir - A Russian member of the Solarii Brotherhood and the leader of the mount village round-up. He attacked Lara during the massacre of the survivors of the shipwrecked Endurance, but Lara fights back and, during an intense struggle, kills him with his own pistol. He was the first human Lara killed.
- Nikolai - Another Russian member of the Solarii Brotherhood. He was Vladimir's, Boris's, and Dmitri's brother or cousin. When Lara stops the ritual in the caves, Nikolai and Dmitri beat her up, saying she killed Vladmir. He takes some of her weapons and leads Lara out of the cave towards the caverns with another soldier. She knees him in the groin and takes back her bow, jumping down into the blood pool. Nikolai states that she must be dead, but he sends down Solarii to make sure. Lara next encounters him at the fortress. He attempts to mow her down with a turret, but Lara slides down a zip-line and kicks him in the face. He knocks her off the building and Lara finds a grenade launcher, which she shoots at him, and he is blown up.
- Dmitri - Dimitri is another Russian Solarii. He is one of the brothers or cousins of Nikolai, Vladimir, and Boris. Along with Nikolai, he beats Lara up in the caverns after she tries to stop the ritual and Dimitri takes her weapons. He is next seen at the palace, in the throne room. He is instructed to guard Sam with his life, but Lara shoots him in the back and he dies.
- Boris - Boris is also a Russian member of the Solarii. He towers over the rest of his "brothers" and can kill with his bare hands. He is related to Vladimir, Dimitri, and Nikolai in some way. Boris is first seen when Lara goes out to find Alex. He moves the cargo around the ship with ease and Lara has to engage him a mini-boss fight to move on. She will sink her axe into his head and he will die. Lara then takes his rope ascender.
- Coastal Forest
- Mountain Temple
- Mountain Rendezvous
- Mountain Village
- Base Approach
- Mountain Base
- Base Exterior
- Cliffside Village
- Mountain Pass
- Chasm Monastery
- Shanty Town
- Cavern Entrance
- Geothermal Caverns
- Solarii Fortress
- Summit Forest
- Shipwreck Beach
- Cliffside Bunker
- Research Base
- Chasm Stronghold
- Chasm Shrine
- Chasm Ziggurat
The game will start out with Lara having no weapons, or tools. As the game progresses, base camps become unlocked, giving Lara a place to craft new upgrades out of salvage items. Base camps also offer a place for Lara to learn new skills in the "skill system" to unlock new parts of the island to explore. Fast travel will be available between base camps.
A new feature to the series will be something dubbed "Survival Instinct". When activated, items of importance will glow, helping out stuck players. Puzzles will also be much harder than in previous games. The developers say that the player will need the elements of water, wind, and fire as well as friction to solve puzzles.
Combat is also going to be heavily emphasized, with no lock-on system. Instead, the game is employing a "free-aim" approach, keeping the HUD minimized. The combat features a more traditional third person style of gunplay, as opposed to earlier games, flamboyant and acrobatic approach to combat.
Stealth has been reintroduced to the series for the first time since Angel of Darkness, giving player the chance to silently eliminate foes, to even the odds before a firefight breaks out. There is also more in the line of environmental combat, including destroying ledges and cover, which will force enemies to fall or expose them.
The traditional aspect of locating keys to unlock certain areas, has been changed somewhat changed, as now obstacle blocking the path require specific gear to overcome them. Key items must be acquired and taken back to the characters who need them for the purposes of plot progression.
There are a total of six weapon types available. Each weapon has specific strengths, and weaknesses. Using Weapon Parts at Base Camps will upgrade each weapon to a more powerful weapon of that type.
- Makeshift Bow, Recurve Bow, Compound Bow, Competition Bow
- Arrow Types: Rope, Fire/Napalm, Explosive, Armour Piercing
- Automatics (Listed as Rifles)
- Trench Gun, Pump-Action Shotgun, Combat Shotgun
- Pry Axe, Reinforced Axe, Climbing Axe
Main Article: Salvage
Salvage is introduced as a form of currency. It is used to purchase (craft) weapon modifications, which will not only augment the weapons stats, but will also alter it cosmetically.
Salvage can be found in crates, lock boxes, on dead enemies, and if the correct skill is acquired, dead animals.
Main Article: Skills
Tomb Raider Introduces an RPG-esque leveling system. When a sufficient amount of experience has been earned, a skill point will be gained which can be spent to buy (Master) as kill from one of three categories, Survivor, Hunter and Brawler.
Main Article: Gear
Lara acquires several pieces of gear that aid exploration and combat.
- Two Way Radio
- Climbing Axe
- Rope Ascender
Main Article: Multiplayer
For the first time in the series, Tomb Raider features a competitive multiplayer. There are four different game modes with different objectives. All of the characters in game can be used as the playable avatar.
It uses it's own "store" where players can spend earned salvage on weapons, upgrades and playable characters.
Crystal Dynamics has put an emphasis on music, wanting it to be of the highest quality. Sound designer Alex Wilmer stated that there would be different sound textures for all of the different areas of the game, and the music will react instantly to what is going on. The game's composer is Jason Graves.
A custom-made instrument of glass and different metals was specially made for this score in collaboration with McConnell Studios from Raleigh, North Carolina. This instrument provides most of the horror sounds for the running and escaping scenes.
Tomb Raider sold 1 million copies within 48 hours of it's initial release, and 3.4 million copies in it's first month. Despite it's high sales it did not meet the initial sales expecations of 6 million set by Square Enix.
In April 2015, Square Enix announced that the game has shipped over 8.5 million units, including the Definitive Edition, making it the best selling entry in the franchise.
Prior to the game's release, news of an attempted rape plot element drew ire and led to multiple op-ed pieces. A developer interview described an early cutscene as an attempted "rape" that proves formative in Croft's genesis story, but the developer later reiterated that sexual assault was not a theme of the game and that the executive producer had misspoken. Sexual assault and women had already been a volatile topic in games journalism. Tomb Raider's lead writer later reflected that the controversy was the result of misinformation.
The final scene does contain sexual harassment by a male character directed at Lara, though failing the quick time even will result in Lara being choked and killed, not raped. This scene was pivotal in the game, as it was the first time Lara killed a human being.
Next-Gen Port Edit
Main Article: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
Shortly after the games release, work began on creating a next generation version of the game, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems, with enhanced graphics and a new physics engine applied to Lara, which added movement to Lara's gear, even her arrows and necklace move, while she's walking/running.
- In the trailers and demo, specifically the "Turning Point" and "Crossroads" trailers, Lara mentions a crew mate named Steph. In the final game, however, she is not at all seen or mentioned, yet she is present in some concept art and the multiplayer mode.
- In the "Crossroads" trailer, it is seen that Mathias holds a knife to Sam's throat, immediately presenting as a threat, wherein Lara immediately retaliates with her bow; in the game, however, Mathias instead presents himself as a fellow survivor, attempting to garter the trust of the girls.
- The game is the first in the series that to receive a Mature rating from the ESRB. The game is also be built on Crystal Dynamics's game engine "Foundation Engine".