So, Tomb Raider is getting a sequel. I loved the game by its gameplay, as it was fun and good looking, tough its story left a bit to desire. I like the new Lara, and I am cautious optimistic with the sequel. So, my friend Tommy (@teh_tommy) and I discussed what we would love to see in the sequel this week, and here is what we want for Lara’s next raid.
First, we want to see Sam and Lara as partners and a couple. It makes sense story wise, as Lara took great risks to save her, more than it would if Sam was just a friend. Lara even ignored the other survivors safety to save Sam, so it would not be a stretch. Sam is very important to Lara, so it would be nice to see this character development. Of course, this can’t be just a way to use a lesbian romance for titillation to work.
Sam and Lara are both survivors from the last adventure ["A Survivor Is Born" might not have referred to just Lara - Tommy], so they would become more united than before. Of course, Sam wouldn’t want to be just a hassle to the more combat savvy Lara, and would likely train to be on par with her partner/girlfriend, tough in a different way. Sam would be more of a range fighter, or use more stealth approach than Lara.
This could be a nice way to enter a duo dynamic to gameplay, alternating GTAV style between the more fight prone Lara and the more tactical Sam. Sam could have an ability that allows her to create items for both her and Lara, like first aid kits and smoke bombs. Also, she would be more acquainted with ancient mechanisms, making her approach to puzzles different.
For the setting, I would love them to explore a famous myth, like Atlantis. You could have the underwater being inside an air cushion on a sea cave, so you could have an open world city for Lara and Sam to venture. They would need to combine their abilities to open paths on the city (Lara more proficient on the languages and Sam on the mechanisms). You would alternate both characters to solve puzzles [that would also be a good excuse to add co-op if the publisher insisted on having a multiplayer component - Tommy].
Atlantis also lends itself for anachronistic technology, like the Baghdad Batteries powering artificial lights and mechanisms, and several anachronistic machines to be used by Lara and Sam. Of course, some of those mechanisms could be mistaken as supernatural, which could make a nice ‘what is supernatural and what is not’ story.
Atlantis would not be unpopulated, of course. Descendants of its people would leave there, tough in a more feral state, but no ‘hard to kill almost monsters’ type. Lara and Sam would need to deal with them, and they would be mindful of how, as there would not be modern weapons and ammo all around. They would have to rely in more primitive weapons like bows and spears for most of time, saving the ammo they already started for more daring situations.
Weapons, by the way, would be severely limited. Lara would have her dual pistols, Sam could have a sniper rifle, but both would have limited ammo. Sam, as the tech expert, could make some weapons using the ancient tech as basis (think the Gorn cannon from Star Trek) or primitive grenades.
One thing: no damn zombies/monsters/the like. No hard to kill supernatural enemies. They suck, break gameplay and shouldn’t be there. Of course, you could have an apparently supernatural boss that is actually using some old technology.
Lara and Sam, of course, should have some evil adversary. Badman McEvil could be a rival tomb raider that is working for some evil group, but the number of modern enemies should be minimal and the encounters dangerous and meaningful. [And please keep the headshots lethal - Tommy]
An interesting mechanic could be some kind of stress level, but with no UI bar. Lara and Sam could be affected by stress of a hard encounter, or some weird, scary event on Atlantis. The stress would be visible through hands shaking, speaking to self, getting paranoid, and to combat it the player would need to make Sam and Lara interact, through speak (voice commands would fit nice here) and physical interaction, like hugs, hand grabs and kisses, making their relationship not only a story device, but a gameplay device too.
Survival is another element that needs to be explored. Sam and Lara would need food and water, and finding those resources would be part of gameplay. Lara and Sam would find some old agricultural fields and maybe some fishing ponds they could use. Finding safe places to rest would be needed too, and failing to do so will cause stress and making the characters hard to control.
I think there is a lot of potential to Tomb Raider as a franchise if done right, and would love to see Eidos improving upon the foundation of the reboot. Hopefully, we will get a great game, but I would love to see some ideas Tommy and I discussed there.
[actually, all of them - Tommy]
PS: NO GODAMN QTES! THEY ALWAYS SUCKS!