TODAY marks the 20th Birthday of the Tomb Raider franchise. Here we celebrate the good and the great of the long-loved franchise.

So whether your fondest memories include the sexy Jolie kicking butt and taking names or simply locking Jeeves in a freezer to pass some time, here is a trip down memory lane for you.

You’ve been a Lara Croft super-fan, you’ve played every game and collected every figurine. Or you might have just watched one film, had a go at one game, regardless, everyone knows who Lara is.

The biggest changes we have seen throughout the Tomb Raider franchise is the drastic change in graphics, only notable due to the fact that our protagonist has been the same character throughout the whole series. There have been multiple speculations from many publications comparing the 8-bit, cube like complexion to the fully fledged HD woman Croft has become today.

tomb raider 3
Image from Tomb Raider 3 credit to maskedlion3

Not only is their greater detail, but we see how her representation has changed, from the initial focus being her large (triangular) cleavage stuffed in a green tank top with a matching pair of short-shorts, we now see her fully clad in environment appropriate gear in Rise of the Tomb Raider. The original Tomb Raider itself was incredibly advanced for its time, the movement was not as mechanic as other 1996 releases and it did not contain as many glitches as expected from any other release in the 90s. Obviously the newer releases in the franchise allow for a smother and more realistic style of movement now that most of the games use the ‘Horizon’ games engine. The gameplay has also become far more realistic now that ammo conservation is introduced along with realistic wound healing, leaning very much towards a Farcy style of play when you find your yanking a shard of glass out of your stomach.

One thing that can be agreed has never and hopefully will never change is the storyline, even back in 8-bit the story managed to be high octane and gripping. So gripping in fact, that two films came from it, and soon to be a third if the rumors prove true. Despite this though, the games have taken on a lot more violence, which is very common in modern games, this is either to appeal to a larger audience or simply because they can now that the graphics allow it.

The greatest thing about  the new release is that it brings all the players back to her childhood, taking a step back in time and getting to know our much loved character at a whole new level. We have watched the life and growth of Croft through these 20 years of games and we can see it all again in The Rise of Tomb Raider.

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