Take that, spiritual growth.

Square Enix pulled a crafty bait-and-switch on video game fans today with its trailer for Rise Of The Tomb Raider, the follow-up to last year’s generally well-received Tomb Raider reboot. At first, it seems that this sequel will take place in a session with a fusty central-casting therapist. Mysteries abound: Does the psychoanalyst tend toward a hybrid Jung-Winnicott approach, or is this more of a solutions-oriented cognitive-behavioral therapy? Is Lara Croft keeping a dream journal? Will the shrink accept Blue Cross?

Then, about a minute in, Lara shoots a dude in the head, and we wake up to realize that it was all just a framing device. Of course Lara Croft doesn’t have time to be traumatized by all the people she has killed, as she’s too busy killing more people. Still, there must be some personal growth in the offing, as Rise Of The Tomb Raider is billed the game in which Lara Croft will “become the person she was meant to be.” Then again, that was also the premise of last year’s game. Apparently, the process of becoming who you were meant to be is a voyage that lasts forever, especially if your journey keeps getting interrupted by big skulls that are just asking to have an arrow driven into them.


Rise Of The Tomb Raider is slated for release in “holiday 2015,” a game industry term for spring 2016.