by Mia M.
Even though it started more than 25-years ago, the Tomb Raider franchise continues to find new mediums to branch into. With the Tomb Raider: The Live Experience set to open in London in 2022 and a Netflix anime adaptation, starring Hayley Atwell, in the works, the series has never been stronger. There is also a sequel to the 2018 live-action film in the works, due out in 2022, so expect to see more of Lara Croft in the next year.
With so many different adaptations around the character, it can be difficult to get to the core of who Lara Croft really is. The original character debuted in 1996’s Tomb Raider for the PlayStation and almost immediately became a video game icon. Developer Eidos quickly got to work on a series of games based on the character, expanding on Croft’s backstory. These games established her as the scion of a wealthy English family who survived an accident that left her stranded in a remote wilderness. The experience made her crave the excitement and adventure that had been missing from her privileged upbringing.
Tomb Raider premiered at a time when female game leads were rare. For many young women, seeing Lara Croft on the cover of PlayStation magazine and celebrated for being strong, daring, and intelligent was the first time they would feel represented in the gaming industry. The character of Lara Croft became central to the game series and the film series it would inspire. She was beautiful but never the damsel in distress, which was something women in video games rarely had achieved before.
Lara Croft is the star of a sprawling media empire today, with video games, movies, comics, and animation all featuring the character. Her most recent outing, Shadow of the Tomb Raider capped off a trilogy of games that focused on Croft’s updated backstory and brought her gameplay into the modern console generation. Lara isn’t confined to the tombs and dungeons of your console, either; there’s a game on Gala Bingo inspired by Tomb Raider, namely the online slot Lara Croft Temples and Tombs. It doesn’t put you in control of the heroine, but it does lean heavily on her influence to appeal to gamers. There’s also the upcoming free-to-play action arcade game Tomb Raider Reloaded in the works that will bring Lara’s signature action and adventure to mobile devices in 2022.
With more than two decades of games featuring the character, it is hard to deny Lara Croft’s influence on the gaming industry. While many have criticized her sexualised design, the character herself has never been defined by her physical appearance. If you ask fans to describe Croft in a few words, they are likely to focus on her intelligence and physical toughness as well as her enduring will to survive in the most difficult of situations. Whether she is in a game or on film, there is no denying the influence that Lara Croft has had on the world of gaming and popular culture in general. With her new movie due out next year, we can surely expect more from the character going forward.
If you’re a fan and want to make your own decorations for the house inspired by the series, check out our article ‘4 Fabulous Things to Make with Air Dry Clay’ and perhaps make your own Tomb Raider-inspired objects for around the house.
About Mia M.
I'm going through a bit of an existential crisis right now, I'll tell you about myself when I figure out if I'm real or not.
tattoo lover, plant hoarder, DIY addict and overall stoner grandma