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For other Tomb Raider games, see Tomb Raider disambiguation page.

Tomb Raider (often referred to as Tomb Raider: A Survivor is Born) is the tenth game in the Tomb Raider series and the first game in the Crystal Dynamics' second reboot of the franchise.


A new intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a frightened young woman to a hardened survivor. Armed only with raw instincts and the ability to push beyond the limits of human endurance, Lara must fight to unravel the dark history of a forgotten island to escape its relentless hold.


The game begins with Lara setting out on her first expedition aboard the ship Endurance, with the intention of finding the lost kingdom of Yamatai. By her suggestion and against James Whitman's advice, the expedition ventures into the Dragon's Triangle, east of Japan. The ship is struck by a violent storm and split in two, leaving the survivors stranded on an isolated island. Lara is separated from the others when she is captured by a scavenger and trapped in his cave home. She manages to escape while her captor is killed as the cave collapses around them. As Lara tries to locate the other survivors, she finds more evidence that the island is inhabited, complete with strange carvings, dead bodies, and ritual sacrifices of animals. She eventually finds her friend Sam and a man called Mathias, who claims to be one of the passengers. As Sam tells Mathias the legends of Himiko, Lara passes out; when she wakes, Mathias and Sam are nowhere in sight.

When Lara finally reunites with the other survivors, she and Whitman decide to break off from the main party and search for Roth, who is still missing, while the rest of the group (Reyes, Jonah, Alex, and Grim) set out to find Sam and Mathias. As Lara and Whitman explore, they discover that the island's inhabitants are worshiping Himiko, confirming that the island is, in fact, Yamatai. Upon discovering a shrine erected in Himiko's name, they are captured by the islanders and taken to a settlement along with several other survivors of the Endurance wreck. When the survivors attempt an escape, the captors turn on them, hunting them down and killing them. Lara is separated from Whitman and tries to hide, but is found by Vladimir, one of the leaders of the inhabitants. Vladimir attacks Lara, but she fights back and is forced to kill him to save her own life. She fights off the remainder of the inhabitants as she desperately works her way up the mountainside to meet up with Roth. Eventually, she locates an injured Roth in a nearby abandoned village. Using Roth's equipment, Lara sets off for a communications relay at the very top of the mountain, in hopes of contacting the outside world and calling for aid.

After successfully hailing a plane that was searching for the Endurance and setting a signal fire for them to follow, Lara witnesses a fierce storm materialize out of the clear sky and strike the plane down, accompanied by a mysterious voice saying "No one leaves" in Japanese. Feeling responsible for the fate of the pilots, Lara is powerless to stop the island's inhabitants from killing them. Lara is contacted by Alex and Reyes, who reveal that Sam has been kidnapped by the island's inhabitants, a violent cult known as the Solarii Brotherhood. Lara, who is closest to Sam's position, tries to rescue her, but is foiled by Mathias, who orders her killed. Lara is saved by the intervention of strange samurai-like creatures—referred to by the islanders as 'Oni', demons in Japanese folklore—and taken to an ancient monastery in the mountains. Escaping again, Lara stumbles into a ritual chamber, where she learns that a "fire ritual" was used to choose the Sun Queen's successor as part of a ceremony called the "Ascension". A terrified Sam manages to contact Lara and informs her that the Solarii intend to put her through the fire ritual, which will burn her to death if unsuccessful. Lara makes her way to the Solarii fortress, meeting up with Grim, only to be stopped when the Solarii threaten Grim's life if she proceeds. Grim overpowers them, killing himself in the process. Lara is almost killed herself, until Roth intervenes; with his support Lara is able to infiltrate the palace, where she witnesses Mathias putting Sam through the fire ritual. Lara interrupts the ritual in an attempt to save Sam, but she is overpowered by Mathias and his men. The ritual continues, but Sam is not harmed by the flames, which are extinguished by a great gust of wind, marking her as the rightful successor to the Sun Queen's throne.

Lara narrowly escapes captivity once again and doubles back to help her friends, whose attempts to reach Sam have resulted in their capture. Aided by Whitman—who has managed to negotiate some degree of freedom with the Solarii—Lara returns to the palace to rescue Sam as Roth commandeers a helicopter to get them out. Having witnessed the storm that forced the search plane to crash, Lara sends Sam to escape by land and tries to force the pilot to land as a second storm brews up, striking the helicopter and forcing them to crash. Lara is nearly killed in the accident and is revived by Roth. However, Mathias and the Solarii arrive, and Roth is killed by a tomahawk meant for Lara. While mourning over Roth, Lara accepts that the storms are not natural, but are somehow connected to the Sun Queen and intended to prevent anyone from leaving the island. She meets up with the other survivors, who have evaded the Solarii long enough to secure a boat for escaping the island, provided that it can be repaired. They are joined by Whitman, who claims to have escaped, though Lara begins to suspect him of working with the cultists. Lara heads for the wreck of the Endurance to meet up with Alex, who had previously gone there to salvage the tools needed for Reyes to repair the boat. She finds him trapped under wreckage and, as she attempts to free him, they come under attack by the Solarii. Alex triggers an explosion and sacrifices himself so that Lara can escape with the tools.

Finding an account of a World War II era Japanese military expedition to the island that sought a way to harness the power of the storms as a weapon, Lara decides to explore an ancient tomb on the coast, where she finds the remains of a high-ranking samurai who had committed seppuku. It is revealed, in a message he left, that he was the general of the queen's Stormguard, the Oni that defend the monastery. The Queen's intended successor had taken her own life to prevent herself from receiving the Sun Queen's power, leaving the Queen trapped in her body after death, her rage manifested into the island storms. Lara realizes that the Ascension is not a ceremony to crown a new queen, but rather a ritual that transfers the original Sun Queen's soul into a new body, and that the process destroys the host's soul. Himiko's spirit wants to escape its current body, and Mathias plans to offer Sam as a new host. Lara returns to the survivors on the beach to find that Whitman has betrayed them, abducting Sam and handing her over to Mathias.

Lara, Jonah and Reyes give chase, heading up a river to the monastery, with Lara arriving just in time to see Whitman killed by the Oni. After fighting her way through the queen's guards, Lara arrives at the top of the monastery in time to see Mathias start the Ascension ritual. She works her way to Mathias, confronting Solarii and guards alike. Lara kills Mathias when she shoots him from the roof of the monastery using two pistols, sending him plunging into the abyss below, before destroying Himiko's remains to save Sam. With the storms dispersed, Lara, Sam, Reyes and Jonah leave the island and are picked up by a cargo ship. As she and her friends sail home, Lara decides that there are many more myths to be found and resolves to uncover them, stating that she isn't returning home just yet.


  • Lara Croft - Fresh out of university, the 21-year-old Lara joined the expedition to find Yamatai to start her career as an archaeologist. After being stranded, Lara is forced to adapt and overcome a series of perilous situations, molding her into a hardened survivor.


  • Conrad Roth - The Captain of the Endurance. It was hinted throughout the game he was a long-time friend of Lara's parents, and acted as her mentor. He was killed by a tomahawk meant for Lara.
  • Samantha Nishimura - A Japanese/Portuguese documentary filmmaker & Lara's best friend. She is a descendant of the Sun Queen, Himiko. In the game, she is kidnapped by Mathias, a long-time inhabitant of the island driven to insanity, who believes the only way to escape is by transferring Himiko's soul to a new vessel.
  • Alex Weiss - The Endurance's ship technician and friend of Lara. It is hinted in his document that he may have a liking towards Lara, an interest that is further evident when he sacrifices himself on the Endurance after triggering an explosion to prevent the Solarii from pursuing Lara.
  • Joslin Reyes - Mechanic of the Endurance. She is called Reyes by the Endurance crew. She has a 14 year old daughter named Alisha, who is later revealed to be Roth's, the evidence being in one of her documents. She cares deeply for Roth and generally likes Lara but feels she is too "Green" and is worried that her theories could get them hurt, as evidenced by few of her "documents" found on the island.
  • Jonah Maiava - The cook of the Endurance. He is good friends with Lara, as seen by his fondness of calling her "Little Bird". Along with Sam, he believes Lara's claim about Himiko's curse on the island, preventing anyone from escaping.
  • Angus "Grim" Grimaldi - The helmsman of the Endurance. He had worked alongside Roth and Lara's father for many years. He was killed in the Shantytown after aiding Lara in the defeat of a group of Solarii.


  • Mathias - Absolute leader of the Solarii Brotherhood. Has been stranded on the island for 31 years, leading to a loss of sanity. He desires to resurrect Yamatai's deceased leader, the Sun Queen, as a means of escaping the island. Responsible for the deaths of Conrad Roth and James Whitman. Killed by Lara at the game's climax.
  • Himiko - The ruler of Yamatai & the main antagonist of the game. While she does not appear physically until the very end of the game she is the cause of the storms & the reason the Endurance Crew is stranded on the island. Except for the Endurance Crew, every inhabitant on the island serves Himiko whether it is the Solarii Brotherhood, the Storm Guard or the weather itself & throughout the game Mathias claims that Himiko speaks through him and that he is her servant.
  • Dr. James Whitman - A television host of his own show called "Whitman's World", an archaeology show. He would do anything to get fame and fortune. He was once looked up upon by Lara, but throughout the game, her admiration slowly evolves to suspicion and distrust when he willingly surrenders to the Solarii.
  • Vladimir - A Russian member of the Solarii Brotherhood and the leader of the mount village round-up. He attacked Lara during the massacre of the survivors of the shipwrecked Endurance, but Lara fights back and, during an intense struggle, kills him with his own pistol. He was the first human Lara killed.
  • Nikolai - Another Russian member of the Solarii Brotherhood. He was Vladimir's, Boris's, and Dmitri's brother or cousin. When Lara stops the ritual in the caves, Nikolai and Dmitri beat her up, saying she killed Vladmir. He takes some of her weapons and leads Lara out of the cave towards the caverns with another soldier. She knees him in the groin and takes back her bow, jumping down into the blood pool. Nikolai states that she must be dead, but he sends down Solarii to make sure. Lara next encounters him at the fortress. He attempts to mow her down with a turret, but Lara slides down a zip-line and kicks him in the face. He knocks her off the building and Lara finds a grenade launcher, which she shoots at him, and he is blown up.
  • Dmitri - Dmitri is another Russian Solarii. He is one of the brothers or cousins of Nikolai, Vladimir, and Boris. Along with Nikolai, he beats Lara up in the caverns after she tries to stop the ritual and Dmitri takes her weapons. He is next seen at the palace, in the throne room. He is instructed to guard Sam with his life, but Lara shoots him in the back and he dies.
  • Boris - Boris is also a Russian member of the Solarii. He towers over the rest of his "brothers" and can kill with his bare hands. He is related to Vladimir, Dmitri, and Nikolai in some way. Boris is first seen when Lara goes out to find Alex. He moves the cargo around the ship with ease and Lara has to engage him a mini-boss fight to move on. She will sink her axe into his head and he will die. Lara then takes his rope ascender.





Like Tomb Raider: Underworld, levels are larger hub areas as opposed to more linear areas which need to be explored in specific ways.

As the game progresses, base camps become unlocked, giving Lara a place to craft new upgrades out of salvage items. Base camps also offer a place for Lara to learn new skills in the "skill system" to unlock new parts of the island to explore. Fast travel will be available between base camps.

The traditional aspect of locating keys to unlock certain areas, has been somewhat changed, as now obstacle blocking the path require specific gear to overcome them, such as explosives. Key items must be acquired and taken back to the characters who need them for the purposes of plot progression.


Puzzles take two forms, physics and elemental based, such as using fire to burn objects to clear obstacles, or using weight such as weighted cans or even Lara's own body weight, to weigh down objects to pass through them.

A new feature to the series will be something dubbed "Survival Instinct". When activated, items of importance will glow, helping out stuck players. Puzzles will also be much harder than in previous games. The developers say that the player will need the elements of water, wind, and fire as well as friction to solve puzzles.


Combat has been given a complete overhaul from earlier games in the series. Instead of the flamboyant and acrobatic approach to combat of older games, the game features a more traditional third person over the shoulder style of gun-play, as well as adding new features like the ability to stun enemies and perform executions.

Stealth has been reintroduced to the series for the first time since The Angel of Darkness, giving player the chance to silently eliminate foes, to even the odds before a firefight breaks out. There is also more in the line of environmental combat, including destroying ledges and cover, which will force enemies to fall or expose them.


There are a total of 5 weapon types available. Each weapon has specific strengths, and weaknesses. Using Weapon Parts at Base Camps will upgrade each weapon to a more powerful weapon of that type.


Main Article: Salvage

Salvage is introduced as a form of currency. It is used to purchase (craft) weapon modifications, which will not only augment the weapons stats, but will also alter it cosmetically.

Salvage can be found in crates, lock boxes, on dead enemies, and if the correct skill is acquired, dead animals.


Main Article: Skills

Tomb Raider Introduces an RPG-esque leveling system. When a sufficient amount of experience has been earned, a skill point will be gained which can be spent to buy (Master) a skill from one of three categories, Survivor, Hunter and Brawler.


Main Article: Gear

Lara acquires several pieces of gear that aid exploration and combat.

  • Two Way Radio
  • Torch
  • Climbing Axe
  • Rope
  • Firestriker
  • Lighter
  • Rope Ascender


  • Scavenger's Den
  • Coastal Forest

Camp Discovered[]

  1. Sheltered Ridge



Main Article: Multiplayer

For the first time in the series, Tomb Raider features a competitive multiplayer. There are four different game modes with different objectives. All of the characters in game can be used as the playable avatar.

It uses its own "store" where players can spend earned salvage on weapons, upgrades and playable characters.


Tomb Raider sold 1 million copies within 48 hours of its initial release, and 3.4 million copies in its first month. Despite its high sales, it did not meet the initial expectations of 6 million copies set by Square Enix.

In April 2015, Square Enix announced that the game has shipped over 8.5 million units, including the Definitive Edition, making it the best selling entry in the franchise.[4]

As of November 2017, the game has sold over 11 Million copies. [5]


Prior to the game's release, news of an attempted rape plot element drew ire and led to multiple op-ed pieces. A developer interview described an early cutscene as an attempted rape that proves formative in Croft's genesis story, but the developer later reiterated that sexual assault was not a theme of the game and that the executive producer had misspoken. Sexual assault and women had already been a volatile topic in games journalism. Tomb Raider's lead writer later reflected that the controversy was the result of misinformation.

The final scene does contain sexual harassment by a male character directed at Lara, Lara makes an escape attempt though failing the quick time event will result in Lara being choked and killed, not raped. This scene was pivotal in the game, as it was the first time Lara killed a human being.

In 2017, Rhianna Pratchett spoke out in defense of this scenes inclusion in the game, stating "This is an 18-rated game, and you could probably see worse in a soap opera." She also believed that this scene wouldn't have caused any controversy if it had been in any other medium, and that it had been taken "out of context." which was fairly typical of game journalism.[6]

Next-Gen Port[]

Main Article: Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

Shortly after the games release, work began on creating a next-generation version of the game, for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One systems, with enhanced graphics and a new physics engine applied to Lara, which added movement to Lara's gear, even her arrows and necklace move, while she's walking/running.

Comic Series[]

Main Article: Tomb Raider (Dark Horse Comics)

It was announced that Dark Horse comics were publishing a series of tie-in comics to bridge the gaps between games, showing Lara on smaller adventures. The comics also saw the introduction of the shadowy organization, Trinity, who would become a major antagonistic threat for the rest of the timeline.


Main Article: Rise of the Tomb Raider

A sequel titled Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced at E3 2014. Rise of the Tomb Raider focused on Lara's first solo expedition. After the disastrous expedition to Yamatai, Lara has realized that her father was right, and regrets how her relationship with her father ended before his death. She resumes her father's research in order to honor his memory, which sees her getting dragged into a fight with a shadowy organization, Trinity.

The sequel became the subject of controversy when it was revealed at Gamescom 2014, that it would be an Xbox exclusive, leading to massive backlash. It was later revealed that the exclusivity was timed and that it would release on other platforms later.

It was released on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in November 2015, Windows in January 2016, and PS4 in October 2016. It was later released on other PC platforms in 2017.


  • The games opening line: "The Extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are." - is not actually a real quote, however, it is likely a combination of two famous quotes.
    1. "People do not choose to become extraordinary, they choose to do extraordinary things." - Sir Edmund Hilary, who lead the first team to reach the summit of Mt Everest
    2. "A human act once set in motion flows on forever to the great account. Our deathlessness is in what we do, not in what we are." - George Meredith, Victorian Era novelist and poet.
  • In the trailers and demo, specifically the "Turning Point" and "Crossroads" trailers, Lara mentions a crew-mate named Steph. In the final game, however, she is not at all seen or mentioned, yet she is present in some concept art and the multiplayer mode.
  • This game features the youngest incarnation of Lara Croft to be focused on for the entirety of the game, with Lara being 21 for the duration of the game.
    • Lara has previously appeared at the age of 16 in The Last Revelations and Chronicles and 9 in Legend, though only briefly.
  • In the "Crossroads" trailer, it is seen that Mathias holds a knife to Sam's throat, immediately presenting as a threat, wherein Lara immediately retaliates with her bow; in the game, however, Mathias instead presents himself as a fellow survivor, attempting to garner the trust of the girls.
  • The game is the first in the series to have an M for Mature rating from the ESRB and 18 rating from the PEGI.
  • If you collect all the GPS caches, you will find two hidden messages collecting all the GPS caches revealed a hidden message revealing the existence of the organization Trinity, foreshadowing their significance later on.