Shadow of the Tomb Raider will show a more wild side of Lara, reminding us all of the reboot’s roots in the 2006 film The Descent.
The Descent and the reboot video game Tomb Raider series have always fit hand in hand, so much as to have Lara mimicking Sarah’s blood pool scene.
As the Tomb Raider games progress, the killer within Lara is finding her way as she struggles with the monster she is becoming.
From the trailer for Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara asks the following:
“I’ve come so far. I’m not turning back. After all I’ve sacrificed, I have to wonder: what will I become?”
Lara’s descent into madness is similar to Sarah’s in The Descent. In the original UK ending to The Descent, Sarah smiles as her light source goes out, destined to fade into darkness as her sanity wanes.
This loss of human thought for Sarah comes after the incredible and traumatic losses of both her husband an daughter. Lara faces similar circumstances, having lost many friends and family members, thus further descending down into the darkness of her heart.
Aesthetically, the Tomb Raider reboot and The Descent feel very similar, even past obvious homages to pools of blood.
In the trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Lara emerges silently from the darkness to best her enemies with a pickaxe. Much like Lara, Sarah and Juno take down countless Crawlers in both The Descent movies, and even have to use said pickaxes for their given purpose of wall scaling.
The strongest theme in both the Tomb Raider series and The Descent is that of a woman coming to terms with her rebirth into a violent and dark world. In the first Tomb Raider game, Lara has a rebar run through her side, and as she barely escapes, she climbs out of a crumbling cavern to reach the daylight.
Similarly, in either hallucination or reality, depending on which ending of The Descent you subscribe to, Sarah climbs atop the mounds of bones to the exit, and gasps for the fresh air as her limbs desperately claw to escape the labyrinth.
Stealth kills, mental damage, and the cavern exploring female protagonist are all consistent threads in both series. On top of these similarities, some of the most intense battles for both women are those against another female, both mentally and physically.
In a dramatic struggle in the pool of blood, Sarah fends off and kills one of the only female Crawlers that we see in the series. The female Crawler at first is seen as being slightly less vicious, with near calming grunts and a slightly less sharp figurine. However, the Crawler’s illusion as being softer was quickly dashed out when the violent struggle with Sarah began.
Lara’s fight with Ana is neverending. Even with Ana being sniped during a surprise ending to Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara’s mental struggle with the damage Ana caused is nowhere near over. Lara’s struggle with Ana can be compared to both Sarah’s fight with the adept female Crawler, and Juno’s betrayal of Sarah with the “Love Each Day” necklace.
The reboot Tomb Raider games have been great so far, carrying moving themes of a breaking psyche and the lengths someone will go to survive. While the sequel to The Descent left a lot to be desired, the original holds its ground as the inspiration for countless horror sequences and plot arcs in many movies, books, and video games.
The Descent is currently on Netflix, as is its sequel, The Descent 2. Shadow of the Tomb Raider releases on September 14 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.