As a huge fan of the Tomb Raider franchise, I lost my cool when I saw a tweet from Kotaku’s Jason Schreier talking about the long-rumored Shadow of the Tomb Raider. His tweet read the following:
“Safe to say this one won’t be an Xbox One timed exclusive.”
Safe to say this one won't be an Xbox One timed exclusive https://t.co/EYbjk0xcsf
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) March 14, 2018
Regardless of what your feelings are regarding the timed exclusivity of 2014’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, there is no denying that the game is an excellent installment in Lara Croft’s new origin story. I’ve been waiting for her next adventure for a few years, and the thought of Shadow of the Tomb Raider getting revealed was very exciting. After reading the Kotaku article that Schreier tweeted, my anticipation grew because knowing a firm release date made the game a reality after three years of thinking about stepping back into the shoes of one of my favorite video game characters. September 14th, 2018, suddenly became one of my most anticipated dates of the year. As a bonus, the article also said that the game would be revealed the following day.
After so much anticipation, the “reveal” proved to be a massive let down. It was 20 seconds of Lara running through the jungle, being hunted by a militarized group, and scaling some mountains. That was it. I sat at my computer screen annoyed that Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s reveal wasn’t really one at all. The end of the trailer indicates that the game “will be revealed April 27th.”
Experience Lara Croft’s defining moment as she becomes the Tomb Raider. Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be revealed April 27th. Available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on September 14th, 2018. pic.twitter.com/jujMf47kJH
— Tomb Raider (@tombraider) March 15, 2018
This has become the norm for the entertainment industry. Teasers for reveals is an annoying practice that I want to stop. I don’t mind teaser trailers, but to “reveal” a game only to say that the full reveal is coming more than a month away is just absurd. Anybody who is familiar with the video game industry, and keeps up with the latest news already knows that Shadow of the Tomb Raider exists, thanks to that accidental blunder on a train in 2016. At this point, it was just a waiting game for Square Enix to just show fans the latest Lara Croft adventure. What the company did is nothing short of frustrating. Instead of showing this very short clip, Square Enix should have revealed everything this past Wednesday or left us in the dark until April 27th.
Movies do this all the time, and I can’t stand when it happens. Last year’s Mother! starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem had a short teaser with a message saying that the trailer would come the following week. What good does that do? Watching a short 20 clip does nothing to fuel the anticipation. Teasers for upcoming reveals, whether, for films, TV shows or video games are pointless. Studios feel like they’re doing fans a service by showing a short video hyping up their video game, but are they actually doing that? At E3, gamers are so used to reveal trailers. Most are 90 seconds to around three minutes long, and often leave fans ecstatic, or in some cases, their minds are completely blown away by a trailer. The difference between those reveals and Shadow of the Tomb Raider‘s announcement comes down to the length of the video.
20 seconds. I feel like I’m ranting about the short teaser, but it did nothing to reveal the game when most people who follow gaming news were aware of its existence. In reality, what was actually revealed to the public? There were short bursts of clips, with no dialogue explaining anything. It does a disservice, not only for the game, but for the studio and fans that have been supporting the franchise since the 2013 reboot. It’s clear that Square Enix is not ready to debut Shadow of the Tomb Raider, so the question is, why even show that teaser? What does that accomplish? I think the studio dropped the ball, and while we will see Lara once again on April 27th, maybe they should’ve just shelved the reveal until it was ready. For now, we’re left with a lackluster “tease” that does absolutely nothing to get people excited.