The Mommy Gamers

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David Chapman

    Character Profile: Lara Croft

    TheMommyGamersRiseoftheTombRaider20Year

    Here’s a riddle for you. What do you get if you combined the X chromosome from Indiana Jones (before Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, of course) with the X chromosome from Bruce Wayne, toss them in a blender with a just a dash of Annie Oakley, and finally pour the whole thing into the mold of a British supermodel? If you guessed Lara Croft, the star of Eidos Interactive’s insanely popular Tomb Raider franchise, you’d be absolutely right. For the past two decades, fans have joined Lara on her globetrotting adventures in video games, comic books, and even two major motion pictures, with a third on the way.

    From the heights of the Himalayas to the depths of Atlantis, facing off against deities and doppelgangers or tigers and T-Rexes, Lara Croft has “been there” and “done that”.  Gamers were first introduced to Croft’s world back in 1996, when video game publisher Eidos reached out to her with the tantalizing offer of bringing her various adventures to life as a video game, allowing gamers the opportunity to walk (and run and jump) miles in her shoes. The first Tomb Raider hit store shelves and, before long, fans couldn’t get enough of Lara Croft.  

    One game wasn’t enough to stave off gamers’ thirst for adventure and their craving for this new heroine. So Croft and Eidos expanded their deal, leading to the release of a second Tomb Raider game … and a third … and a fourth. Games started popping up everywhere,  from PC to Mac, Dreamcast to PlayStation, Game Boy to PSP, PS3 to Xbox 360, and even now on iOS to Android and PlayStation 4 to Xbox One … if there’s been a gaming platform within the past twenty years, Lara Croft probably been on it.

    So what’s a girl to do after she’s conquered the digital world? Why, go after the entertainment world, of course. Just a couple of years after the success of the first Tomb Raider game, Hollywood started to take an interest in Lara Croft and her international exploits.  Of course, with Croft keeping herself busy travelling the world in search of rare artifacts, it’s not like she could take time out of her busy agenda to work around a film’s shooting schedule.  So who would filmmakers pick to fill Lara’s … er … holsters?  

    None other than Angelina Jolie.  Jolie’s look and attitude brought Lara to life on the big screen, not once but twice, in Paramount’s Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in 2001 and the sequel, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life in 2003.  Fans seemed to enjoy the live action take on Lara Croft, as both movies earned sizeable box office receipts. Even now, Warner Bros. and MGM have green lit a new Tomb Raider feature film reboot for 2018, with Alicia Vikander taking over the role of the intrepid adventurer.

    After twenty years, Lara Croft still inspires people to overcome obstacles, to face their fears, to become better and stronger in the face of adversity, and to believe that they can accomplish anything. And Lara’s story is far from over.  With her new movie in the works, an upcoming PlayStation 4 release of The Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the ongoing comic book series from Dark Horse Comics, 2016 is definitely shaping up to be The Year of the Tomb Raider. And the most famous spelunker in video game history shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

     

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    Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Announced

    transformers_rise_of_the_dark_spark

    Activision is no stranger to hit game franchises, but one of its more recent surprises has been the High Moon Studios developed shooters based on the Hasbro’s hit Transformers toy line.  Both Transformers: War for Cybertron and Transformers: Fall of Cybertron were big hits with gamers.  Now the publisher is looking to score a trifecta with the announcement of Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark, currently in development for current consoles and PCs.

    For fans, there are a few unexpected twists and turns in the Autobots’ upcoming road trip.  First, Rise of the Dark Spark may carry on the legacy of the previous Transformers games, but it will be doing so without High Moon Studios at the helm.  Instead, Rise of the Dark Spark’s development is being spearheaded by Edge of Reality, the studio behind SEGA’s The Incredible Hulk and the recently released free-to-play shooter, Loadout

    Even more surprising, Activision has announced that the new game will somehow tie the Cybertron game universe into the Michael Bay movieverse.  No details have been released on exactly how this will happen.  The story could somehow lead up to the beginning events of Bay’s original Transformers movie and then pick up after or during the events of the upcoming Age of Extinction flick.  Another possibility (used more than once in the Transformers comic books) is that some sort of cosmic event will bring the two distinct universes together.  Activision’s wording in the press release announcing the new game could certainly be construed that way:

    “This third-person action adventure video game goes beyond the movie by uniting the universe of director Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS movies with the ever-popular Cybertron universe. Players will choose from over 40 playable characters from the two different universes as they battle to secure the Dark Spark.”

    Transformers

    Regardless of how Rise of the Dark Spark attempts to bring the two Transformers properties together, fans of Fall of Cybertron and War for Cybertron should still feel right at home, as the new title looks to follow the same formula as the previous entries.  Once again, players will switch between Autobots and Decepticons over the course of the single-player campaign. Rise of the Dark Spark will also feature the return of the fan-favorite multiplayer mode, Escalation, which pits teams of up to four players against wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemy forces in a brutal survival mode.

    Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark is currently slated for a June 2014 release on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, 3DS, and Windows-based PCs.

     

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    Games, Video Games
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