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News 06-05-12 01:20 PM

Lara Croft shows her vulnerability in new Tomb Raider
Ars at E3

"I'm a fan of comic books," Tomb Raider Executive Producer Ron Rosenberg tells the gathered press. "For me, especially as a kid growing up, there was something that was really important about the origin stories: how did Peter Parker become Spider-man, or what's the origin of the Batman? I hope in the demo we show you tonight, you get a little bit of that same feeling as when you were reading those stories for the first time in the comics."

Indeed, after so many Tomb Raider games, it seems like a fine time to see the manner in which Lara Croft was forged into the archaeological femme fatale who has become a household name. And after watching a short demo of the upcoming prequel at a pre-E3 event, Lara's origin comes across as much more intense and stressful than I would have previously imagined.

The demo, which comes at a point near the beginning of the game, follows Croft as a 21-year-old college graduate, separated from the rest of an exploring party after crashing on an island. This is a story of survival as much as one of exploration, and fending off threats from the harsh environment seems to be as important as fighting off the mysterious advances of the gang-like "others" that seem to dominate the island (I saw more than a few shades of Lost in the latter threat). Before Lara can start deciphering native wall writings and shooting guys in the face, she has to find food, shelter, and warmth in a quickly darkening forest.

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