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(This new article series “Games that need to be made” is where I pitch 5 games that need to be made in a particular franchise, company, genre etc... If you enjoy and want more of these lists let me know in the comments on social media! Tell us which of these 5 was your favorite, and what franchise or theme you want to see next!)

Tomb Raider is an absolute favorite game universe for me and also my friend and GiFriends Mod ScionJay. He helps run and established Tomb Raider Infinite for this reason as we bring the latest news and entertainment content in the beloved universe that is the adventures of Lara Croft. Lara Croft is one of the most bad ass adventurers and protagonists in gaming, and modern gaming wouldn't be where it is with out the Tomb Raider franchise. This year celebrates the 25th anniversary of the franchise, and what could be more fitting for us to celebrate than with a Tomb Raider themed installment of "5 Games" than with 5 games we would love to see in the Tomb Raider universe. Lara Croft is such an incredibly versatile character and the world is so overrun with potential for stories, that I think there is more than enough room for 10 more Tomb Raider games, let alone 5. We have three very mature, 3D action adventure games recently, but the room for more is great.

We also want to thank Lili Din, one of the many many amazing and talented Lara content creators who partner with us, who we leveraged her likeness to help us bring to life some of these pitches! Her face and cosplay is used with permission.

5. Tomb Raider Adventures

Platforms: Mobile, PC, Nintendo Switch

Tomb Raider Adventures is inspired by none other than the 8-bit art created for the cross over with Final Fantasy Brave Exvius. I don't play that game or know much about it. I'm also not even a big fan of "modern retro" games made intentionally to look and feel like games long ago. However, I can't get the idea of Adventures out of my head as I think it could be fantastic. It is a side scrolling platformer set in the Tomb Raider universe, with a very classic Lara in this 8 bit form. It could really capture the magic of the old Tomb Raider feel and as long as it is excited beautifully could be a really fun game. I just want to run and jump on platforms as I shoot dinosaurs and other creatures and collect loot. I think Lara would be perfect for a 2D platformer.

4. Lara Croft Go 2

Platforms: Mobile, PC, Nintendo Switch

I really enjoyed Lara Croft GO. I think it was a unique and gorgeous experience. I know that Square Enix has been lukewarm to the idea of making any more Go games, as finding space in the premium mobile market was difficult. However, while back when their Go series games were releasing, premium apps had limited options. Now the success of Nintendo Switch, the success of free to play mobile success stories options like battle passes or cosmetics thanks to hits like Fortnite, PUBG, and Genshin Impact, all prove that there are options. The rise of subscription services like Arcade or GamePass also could work too. Either way, I think they have more and better monetization options that could make a sequel work financially.

Honestly, if they just kept the gameplay and just continued the story/more levels, I would be happy. However, I think they could take this up a notch. I only want to preserve the beautiful flat art style. I think that mobile technology has progressed that this game could be a beautiful real time combat, twin-stick shooter game. I want full control of Lara and her weapons as I move freely about. I think the gameplay could mirror the top down aspect of the Lara Croft "temple" series, but with the Go art style. Eliminating the turn based / puzzle focus could widen it's appeal. Either way, I want a new quality mobile friendly Lara Croft game and I think the art of Go alone is enough to warrant a reimagined sequel.

3. Lara Croft: Vampire Hunter

Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X, PS5

The modern reboot trilogy gave us a more grounded, and believable universe. Yes there were mystical elements for sure, Lara Croft Vampire Hunter is completely the dialed up to 11 version of that. It takes place in a different time period, with a very different Lara, fighting a the most mystical fight than ever before.

Lara Croft Vampire Hunter is a very lovecraftian, supernatural, gaslight, steampunk feel. It takes place in Victorian Londan in the 1800's. Lara Croft is now blond, and wears a much more victorian outfit. She sports a "Tesla-eqsue" pistol, and crossbow. The entire game takes place in London, but not without tombs. Instead, players explore underground catacombs and tombs in the Victorian London setting. Most of the game takes place at night, with enemy types being far more supernatural. She fights Vampires and other unholy enemies in search for some artifact hidden beneath the city. I admit this game would venture the farthest from any previous Tomb Raider game to date. I think the differences would help it feel different and unique and fresh, but be able to still cling to enough of what Tomb Raider feels like Tomb Raider to appeal to fans. I think if other characters, like taking inspiration from Batman a character even more modern/tech based, can visit Victorian London and work, I think the setting works for Lara.

(Background Image not original, for entertainment under fair use)

2. Tomb Raider Nightmare

(Permission/Collaboration) Cosplay Credit: Lili Din

Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X, PS5, VR

If fighting Vampires in the dark of Victorian London wasn't scary enough for you, I present to you Tomb Raider Nightmare, a full blown horror game. I remember when playing through parts of the first the third of the reboot trilogy, thinking just how well Lara Croft could work in a full blown horror game. The reboot certainly has elements of horror, such as Lara hanging upside down, trapped in a horror inducing tomb, or sneaking through creepy dark tombs filled with "zombies but not zombies"? Lara Croft is literally a protagonist who's franchise is centered around creeping around TOMBS. I think the better question is Why is there NOT an actual Horror game yet? Nightmare is just that. Unlike, Vampire Hunter, Nightmare has a more traditional Lara Croft, a mix between the reboot and the classic Lara's. However, this game is far less about exploration, traversal, or even being a cover shooter. It is all about slowly sneaking around a creepy and terrifying world. I take inspirations from games like the modern Resident Evil 7/8, or other critically beloved games such as Outlast. There could also be an asymmetrical "big bad" that gives the added dread of an unkillable bad guy, something like Alien Isolation, Outlast, or Resident Evil.

It would be the most photo realistic Tomb Raider's to date, with a focus on smaller, claustrophobic, hyper realistic environments. You can see the sweat rolling down Lara's cheek, her breath in the cold air, and even at times hear her heart race in tense moments.

In Nightmare, Lara is trapped on a small island. She finds an abandoned mansion, filled with monsters and other horrors. The Island is populated with several dark, haunted caves. This game takes the difficulty of survival and horror and dials it up to the max. In other games, Lara dives head first into tombs, but in this one you won't want to. In this game, weapons are scarce, and ammo scarcer still. More often than not, Lara's only option is to run, and hide, and often she will fail. When she fails, players will be punished as she will be captured and have to escape dark, fear instilling dungeons. Nightmare won't just be the most scary and dark Tomb Raider to date, it will be one of the best horror games of all time.

Honorable Mentions:

Untitled Reboot Trilogy Sequel - "Tomb Raider 4"

Tomb Raider Odyssey

I think it is obvious to say I want a direct sequel to the modern reboot trilogy with some 4th installment. If the story is right, and Square Enix thinks it can be a financially and creatively successful then I want them to do it. I would just love to see Camilla Luddington reprise her role as she did a phenomenal job as my favorite Lara. I hope they decide to make Tomb Raider 4 happen, but Square and Crystal Dynamics have been a little hush on it.

I also originally was going to add a game that I titled "Tomb Raider Odyssey" which is an open world RPG but with a style and art similar to that of Breath of the Wild, Immortals Fenyx Rising, and Genshin Impact. We have seen the rise of these cartoonish, open world, "breath" games, and I think it would be just amazing for Lara. I've included games like these in other pitches and upcoming pitches for 5 games, but just had 5 better ideas I felt for Tomb Raider. However, It would beautifully bridge the gap between modern games and the classics of old.

1. Tomb Raider LAU Remake

(Permission/Collaboration) Cosplay Credit: Lili Din

Platforms: PC, Xbox Series X, PS5

When fans of the Tomb Raider universe think about games we want to see, I think most of us would agree that we want to see a remaster of the LAU trilogy. That would be the Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld games. This is the classic Lara, the Lara before the the reboot trilogy. Now, don't get me wrong; I love the reboot trilogy. That is the trilogy that really introduced me to Tomb Raider as a late comer to the fandom. However, the trilogy before has amazing stories, amazing environments, and a very different Lara. I think most fans would be happy with a high quality remaster of the LAU games. Go through and modernize the controls, overhaul the resolution to 4K, use some machine learning to upgrade the textures, and maybe take advantage of SSD on next gen to eliminate load times. That would be amazing and really make a lot of fans happy. I played the fan remake of Tomb Raider DOX and it really shows how the classic Lara works in the modern engines both in art style and gameplay. It is gorgeous. I think if they gave us a really high quality remaster, or even called it a remake if they put that level of effort into it, maybe even using a really modern new engine like Unreal 4 or even 5!

However, my pitch for LAU Remake is even more involved and thorough. It doesn't just upgrade the existing game, this is a full ground up remake. This is remake lies much farther on the spectrum more like the modern Resident Evil remake games or even Final Fantasy 7 remake. This has a modern, more cinematic camera and controls, with fully realized cinematic cut scenes. The most important and potentially controversial difference in a remaster or high quality overhaul, is in my version the cartoon art style is replaced with photo realism. Lara maintains her outfit and personality of the LAU games, but in this she is a photorealistic person. She looks more real than even the reboot Lara. I think fans may be hesistant at the idea, but seeing one of the most beloved versions of Lara in a modern 3D motion captured version would go over really well. She has the attititdue and personality of classic Lara, but with visuals of today. Not to mention, being a remake, they could more easily adapt the stories of the three games into one long game.


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