Welcome to Art Examination! A video series that explores video games as an art form with MissBiankadonk, professional gameplay animator and part-time streamer.
In this installment she will be looking at Square Enix’s hit mobile game, Lara Croft GO and its isometric spin on the classic Tomb Raider series.
“Right from the outset, Lara Croft Go takes the concept of less is more and runs with it. The zoom through a darkened passage brings the player into a world they have never seen before, a bold new version of the Tomb Raider that employs a 2D isometric view.
The game’s visual composition is rich and enticing, making excellent use of cell shading to draw the player into the world. And while the gameplay encourages focus on Lara, it is those moments when the player takes a break from puzzle solving to take in the world around, that Lara Croft Go really shines. Darkened foregrounds accent the surrounding areas of the map and the backgrounds give a glimpse of what has passed. Or what is to come. Attention to detail; details that could often go missed as a result of the player’s focus on Lara.
The player is also taken through a journey of colours. Each area has its own palette that is distinct from the next. The neutral tones in the early levels turn to more dreary blues of the deep to ominous warm tones by the final chapter. Even the light or the lack thereof plays a major part in the atmosphere of each level.
Beyond the gorgeous visual aesthetic, gameplay and narrative intertwine. Players are introduced to the dangers the Tomb Raider will face in a simple but effective manner that belies the increasing complexity of the puzzles.
Lara Croft GO is striking in its simplicity, yet bold in its approach. The game shows its strengths through a stunning visual palette while maintaining the familiar elements that make Tomb Raider what it is. If you are looking for a different take on the adventures of Lara Croft, then this is as good a place to start.”