The majority of this article contains spoilers and crucial plot details from Tomb Raider (2013).
Read the article at your own risk.
Tomb Raider
PS3 Cover
Developer(s) Crystal Dynamics
Eidos Montreal (multiplayer)
Publisher(s) Square Enix
Distributor(s) Noah Hughes
Cory Barlog
Designer(s) Darrell Gallagher
Writer(s) Rhianna Pratchett[1]
Artist(s) Visual Works (CGI)
Composer(s) Jason Graves
Engine Modified Crystal Engine[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
Release date(s) WW 5 March 2013
JP 25 April 2013
Genre(s) Action-adventure, platform
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Media Optical disc, download

Tomb Raider is an action-adventure video game. Published by Square Enix, Tomb Raider is the fifth title developed by Crystal Dynamics in the Tomb Raider franchise. As the first entry in a new Tomb Raider continuity, the game is a reboot that emphasises the reconstructed origins of the culturally influential lead character Lara Croft.[3][4] Tomb Raider was released on 5 March 2013 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

After the release of Tomb Raider: Underworld in 2008, Crystal Dynamics began development of Tomb Raider soon after. Rather than a sequel, the team decided to completely reboot the series, establishing the origins of Lara Croft for the second time, following Tomb Raider: Legend. Tomb Raider is set on Yamatai, an island from which Lara Croft must save her friends and escape, while being hunted down by a malevolent cult. Gameplay elements focus more on survival, although exploration is used within the game when exploring the island and various optional tombs. It is also the first game in the series to have multiplayer and the first game to be published by Square Enix, after the latter's acquisition of Eidos Interactive in 2009. Camilla Luddington was announced to voice and perform as Lara Croft in 2010, replacing Keeley Hawes.

After a delayed release from late 2012 to March 2013, the game received much anticipation and hype.[5] Tomb Raider received critical acclaim upon release, with critics praising the graphics, the gameplay, Camilla Luddington's performance as Lara and Lara's characterization and development with many agreeing that the game is a solid and much needed reboot of the franchise. Much criticism went to the addition of the multiplayer which many felt was unnecessary. Tomb Raider went on to sell one million copies within forty-eight hours of its release. It has since sold more than 4 million copies, as of 22 August 2013.

Plot Edit

Characters Edit

The player takes on the role of Lara Croft, a young and ambitious archaeology graduate whose theories on the location of the lost kingdom of Yamatai have convinced the Nishimura family—descendants from the people of Yamatai themselves—to fund an expedition in search of the kingdom. The expedition is led by Dr. James Whitman, a celebrity archaeologist who has fallen on hard times and is desperate to avoid bankruptcy, and is accompanied by Conrad Roth, a Royal Marine turned adventurer and close friend of the Croft family who serves as mentor to Lara; Samantha "Sam" Nishimura, Lara's friend and a representative of the Nishimura family who films the expedition for a documentary; Joslin Reyes, a skeptical and temperamental mechanic and single mother; Jonah Maiava, an imposing and placid fisherman who is willing to believe in the existence of the paranormal and esoteric; Angus "Grim" Grimaldi, the gruff Glasweigan helmsman of the Endurance; and Alex Weiss, a goofy and bespectacled electronics specialist.

Setting Edit

The game is set on Yamatai, an island in the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. The island—and the kingdom that once existed there—is shrouded in mystery, given its reputation for fearsome storms and shipwrecks that litter its coastline. Yamatai was once ruled by a queen named Himiko, known by her honorific title of "Sun Queen", who according to legend was blessed with shamanistic powers that enabled her to control the weather. Very little is known about Yamatai's history in the time since Himiko's death, other than that the island's infamy was established shortly thereafter. In exploring the island, the player may find evidence that—among others—Portuguese traders, United States Marines and a Japanese military project were all stranded on Yamatai at various points throughout history.

At the start of the game, the island is populated exclusively by the Solarii Brotherhood, a violent cult of criminals, mercenaries and shipwreck survivors. The Solarii Brotherhood has established its own society based on the worship of Himiko, complete with a social structure and laws, with their exact purpose and intentions being explored over the course of the story.

Story Edit

The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition about the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against Whitman's advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon's Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and split in two, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others when she is captured by a strange, savage man and trapped in his cave home. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses around them. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, complete with strange carvings, dead bodies, and ritual sacrifices of animals. She eventually finds her friend Sam and a man called Mathias, who claims to be one of the passengers. As Sam tells Mathias the legends of Himiko, Lara passes out; when she wakes, Mathias and Sam are nowhere in sight.

When Lara finally reunites with the other survivors, Whitman decides to break off from the main party with Lara and search for Roth, who is still missing, while the rest of the group (Reyes, Jonah, Alex and Grim) set out to find Sam and Mathias. As Lara and Whitman explore, they discover that the island's inhabitants are worshipping Himiko, confirming that the island is Yamatai. Upon discovering a shrine erected in Himiko's name, they are captured by the islanders and taken to a settlement along with several other survivors from the Endurance. When the survivors attempt an escape, the captors turn on them. Lara is separated from Whitman and tries to hide, but is found by Vladimir, one of the leaders of the inhabitants. Vladimir attacks Lara, but she fights back and is forced to kill him to save her own life. She fights off the remainder of the inhabitants as she desperately works her way up the mountainside to meet up with Roth. Eventually, Lara locates an injured Roth, and using his equipment, she sets off for a communications relay at the very top of the mountain, in hopes of contacting the outside world and calling for aid.

After successfully hailing a plane that was searching for the Endurance and setting a signal fire for them to follow, Lara witnesses a fierce storm materialise out of a clear sky and strike the plane down, accompanied by a mysterious voice saying "No one leaves" in Japanese. Feeling responsible for the fate of the pilots, Lara is powerless to stop the island's inhabitants from killing them. Lara is contacted by Alex and Reyes, who reveal that Sam has been kidnapped by the island's inhabitants, a violent cult known as the Solarii Brotherhood. Lara, who is closest to Sam's position, tries to rescue her, but is foiled by Mathias - now revealed to be the leader of the Solarii - who orders her killed. Lara is saved by the intervention of strange samurai-like creatures—referred to by the islanders as 'Oni', demons in Japanese folklore—and taken to an ancient monastery in the mountains. Escaping again, Lara stumbles onto a ritual chamber, where she learns that a "fire ritual" was used to choose the Sun Queen's successor as part of a ceremony called the "Ascension". A terrified Sam manages to contact Lara and informs her that the Solarii intend to put her through the fire ritual, which will burn her to death if it is unsuccessful. Lara makes for the Solarii fortress, meeting up with Grim, but the Solarii capture the latter and threaten to murder him unless she surrenders. Grim attempts to overpower them, but is killed in the process. Roth then arrives, and with his support, Lara is able to infiltrate the palace, where she witnesses Mathias putting Sam through the fire ritual. Lara tries to save Sam, but she is overpowered by Mathias and his men. The ritual continues, but Sam is not harmed by the flames, which are extinguished by a great gust of wind, marking her as the rightful successor to the Sun Queen's throne.

Lara narrowly escapes captivity once again and doubles back to help her friends, whose attempts to reach Sam have resulted in their capture. Aided by Whitman—who has managed to negotiate some degree of freedom with the Solarii—Lara returns to the palace to rescue Sam as Roth commandeers a helicopter to get them out. Having witnessed the storm that forced the search plane to crash, Lara sends Sam to escape by land and tries to force the pilot to land as a second storm brews up, striking the helicopter and forcing them to crash. Lara is nearly killed in the accident and is revived by Roth. However, Mathias and the Solarii arrive, and Roth takes a fatal blow meant for Lara. While mourning over Roth, Lara accepts that the storms are not natural, but are somehow connected to the Sun Queen and designed to prevent anyone from leaving the island. She meets up with the other survivors, who have evaded the Solarii long enough to secure a boat for escaping the island, provided that it can be repaired. They are joined by Whitman, who claims to have escaped, though Lara begins to suspect him of working with the cultists. Lara heads for the wreck of the Endurance to meet up with Alex, who had previously gone there to salvage the tools needed to repair the boat. She finds him trapped under wreckage and, as she attempts to free him, they come under attack by the Solarii. Alex decides to trigger an explosion and sacrifice himself so that Lara can escape with the tools.

Finding an account of a World War II-era Japanese military expedition to the island that sought a way to harness the power of the storms as a weapon, Lara decides to explore an ancient tomb on the coast, where she finds the remains of a high-ranking samurai who had committed seppuku. It is revealed, in a message he left, that he was the general of the queen's Stormguard, the Oni that defend the monastery, and that the Queen's successor took her own life rather than receive the Sun Queen's power, leaving the Sun Queen trapped in her body after death, and her rage has manifested as the storms. Lara realises that the Ascension is not a ceremony to crown a new queen, but rather a ritual that transfers the original Sun Queen's soul into a new body, and that the process will destroy the host's soul. Himiko's spirit wants to escape its current body, and Mathias plans to offer Sam as a new host. Lara returns to the survivors on the beach to find that Whitman has betrayed them, abducting Sam and handing her over to Mathias. Lara, Jonah and Reyes give chase, heading up a river to the monastery, with Lara arriving just in time to see Whitman killed by the Oni. After fighting her way through the queen's guards, Lara arrives at the top of the monastery in time to see Mathias start the Ascension ritual. She works her way to Mathias, confronting Solarii and guards alike. Lara kills Mathias when she shoots him from the roof of the monastery using two pistols, before destroying Himiko's remains to save Sam. With the storms dispersed, Lara, Sam, Reyes and Jonah leave the island and are picked up by a cargo ship. As she and her friends sail home, Lara decides that there are many more myths to be found and resolves to uncover them, stating that she isn't returning home just yet.


Although the game take places on a single and same island, Tomb Raider is made of different regions. It is however not a completely open world, Crystal Dynamics wants to be clear on this question. Levels are intentionally very broad and there are no longer the usual alternating between loading screens and levels. However, the studio insists that the map of the island has to be discovered gradually and in the right order by the needs of the narrative. Once discovered, the areas of the game require many trips and the places visited will change of appearance, especially depending on the weather. To travel more easily from one point to another of the island, the player can use the training camps that allow Lara to quickly teleport herself from one region to another. It's also in these training camps that Lara can buy new items and improve her inventory functionality via salvage, which is to reuse objects or parts of objects collected.

Crystal Dynamics has announced that there would be no Croft Manor level or water in this Tomb Raider.

Base Camp SystemEdit

A new feature of this new Tomb Raider is the Base Camp System, the base camp will be the backbone of the game. It's a customization tools which will also be the platform for the story, and supports the three main elements of the game: the resources and skills of Lara, exploration and survival combat.

  • Upgrading skills

Lara will need to learn new skills and upgrade her weapons to be able to cross the island and defeat her enemies. She can earn experiences by exploring the island, making missions and fighting. Once Lara earn enough experience. She will earn a skill point, which can be used to unlock new skills to the base camp. These will give her access to a large number of combat abilities and exploration.

Multiplayer ModesEdit


While this new game shares the same name as the original that came out in 1996, Crystal Dynamic's Tomb Raider is an altogether new game that focuses on Lara Croft's earlier, more naive years -- her origin story. The Lara Craft portrayed in this game is much more vulnerable to the idea of survival and wilderness. The beginning moments of the game immediately catapult Lara into the maw of danger; she finds herself marooned on an unfamiliar island, where she must now use whatever survival skills she picks up along the way to make it out alive.[6]

Sequel Edit

At San Diego Comic-Con 2013, it was announced that comic writer Gail Simone would be continuing the reboot's story in a line of comics published by Dark Horse Comics, and that the story of the comic would lead directly into a sequel.[7] Later, at the beginning of August, Square Enix's Western CEO Phil Rogers confirmed that a sequel to Tomb Raider was being developed for unspecified next-gen consoles.[8]


  • The reboot is the first game in the series to have a Mature 17+ rating in the United States.



  1. Yin, Wesley. Mirror's Edge writer Rhianna Pratchett announced as Tomb Raider lead writer • News •. Eurogamer.
  2. Stellalune (29 December 2011). New TOMB RAIDER 9 Announced for 2013!.
  3. Cullen, Johnny (6 December 2010). Square announces Tomb Raider. VG247. Videogaming 247. Retrieved on December 6, 2010.
  4. Makuch, Eddie (6 December 2010). "Next Tomb Raider to be origin story". GameSpot (CBS Interactive). Retrieved 6 December 2010.
  5. Marie, Meagan (14 May 2012). Tomb Raider release date shifts to 2013. Official Tomb Raider Blog. Retrieved on May 14, 2012.
  6. Tomb Raider Wiki Guide.
  7. Evan Narcisse (19 July 2013). A New Tomb Raider Comic Shows What's Next for Lara Croft After Hit Game. Kotaku.
  8. Tom Phillips (1 August 2013). Square Enix confirms next-gen Tomb Raider sequel. Eurogamer.