Copyright 2003

[ November 1st 2003 ]

The future of Lara Croft Tomb Raider has never before been shrouded in so much secrecy than that which conceals the tentatively titled Tomb Raider 7, currently in development in Southern California by U.S. game-makers Crystal Dynamics. However, one clue on the future direction of Miss Croft could be the recent revelations that the next game could be influenced by Mango anime, a popular style of art developed in Japan.

Manga is the Japanese terminology for comic book or graphic novel, a serialisation predominately made up of pictures or illustrations characterized by stylized colourful art and futuristic settings. By definition, Manga is commonly confused with anime - both formats are closely related and frequently cross over. Expanding by including a by-product on definition, Manga is usually created first, and if it becomes popular then the market is deemed capable of supporting a much more costly animation based on it.

To immerse Lara Croft in a world with such provocative definition and starched characterisation would require immense engine power, requiring Crystal Dynamics to develop ground-breaking core code with the ability to crisply encapsulate and quickly entertain a wanton audience whose mindset would be very much precipitated by previous Tomb Raider episodes coupled with the development debacle that has dogged Eidos since July. It is this stigma attached to an ardently criticized transfer of the Tomb Raider franchise from UK based Core Design to U.S. based Crystal Dynamics that will also amplify a critical dissection of any future Lara Croft helmed adventure.

It would not be too prudent to hypothesize at this point where the Californian developers intend to take our very British export - Eidos maintains the essential hallmarks of an English rose and a potent franchise will remain intact - but a more Manga-in-orientation styled production would indeed be the marked departure from previous Tomb Raider games former Core Design Managing Director Jeremy Heath-Smith touted prior to the release of Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel Of Darkness. We'll have more information over the coming months on the future of the Tomb Raider adventure game series.

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