Seldom do reboots actually reinvigorate a franchise. Sure, Star Trek wasn’t too bad but when you consider the likes of Point Break and The Amazing Spider-Man and Conan The Barbarian and Godzilla (twice), you find yourself scared away from reboots. Gaming isn’t immune to that with the likes of Sim City, Medal of Honor and Sonic the Hedgehog as failed attempts to reinvigorate franchises.
One of the more successful reboots in history is 2013’s Tomb Raider which is the series best-selling and among its most critically acclaimed. It came as a shock that Microsoft had to pay the way for this sequel to 2013’s hit. Rise of the Tomb Raider recently hit PC after an exclusivity period on Xbox One and will come to PS4 this fall (despite being the platform that Tomb Raider sold best on).
So how does the sequel to the reboot standup? Well, it’s not all sunshine and lollipops.
I want you to flashback to March 2013. I know it seems like forever ago. I didn’t have any grey hair then so it’s longer for me.
In an investor call at the end of the month, Square Enix effectively called the Tomb Raider reboot that had been out for all of three weeks a failure. They said that they had expected the game to ship between five and six million copies and only it moved 3.4 million. Square Enix made it sound like the Tomb Raider franchise was dead on re-arrival.
Over the following 24 months, Tomb Raider and the current-gen (PS4 and XB1) Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition sold another 5.1 million copies to bring the total units sold to a franchise record of 8.5 million copies sold. They’re touting the success of the Tomb Raider reboot in the run up to this fall’s release of The Rise of the Tomb Raider (a timed exclusive on Xbox One and Xbox 360).
So what happened for Square Enix to change their tune?
As I finished up writing this review, I had to change the posting date of it. It read February 25th, 2015. I’ve had this review waiting to be written for a month-and-a-half. It’s hard to motivate yourself to write a review for a game that does so little to motivate you to play it. Basically, this game is the game that nearly ended et geekera. I had to overcome the challenge and finish the review but I couldn’t will myself to do it.
There are great games. There are terrible games. The worst thing that a game could be is perfectly average. Nothing particularly good. Nothing particularly bad. The only thing that it’s great at is making you go “That was a game.”
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is the “sequel” to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, a game that is very well-regarded by gamers and critics. LCTOO is just a game. Nothing more, nothing less.