The Weekly Geek: Lara Croft goes downloadable


Does the name Lara Croft ring a bell? She’s one of the most badass female characters in all of pop culture, so it probably should.

She came onto the scene in 1996 with Tomb Raider for the PlayStation, guns blazing and massive polygonal “assets” heaving. Like a younger, prettier Indiana Jones, Lara quickly became one of the most iconic characters in all of gaming, with a massively successful game franchise and two big-budget Hollywood films. At the peak of her popularity, she was even featured in Playboy (sort of).

The character has always been synonymous with massive productions — the Tomb Raider games and films have all been about big-budgets large creative teams, with Angelina Jolie filling in the boots (and bra) of the titular character for the movies and thus cementing her own action-star status. So it’s interesting — and perhaps a bit odd — that the latest game to feature the buxom brunette is a smaller, downloadable Xbox Live Arcade game, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light.

It just released yesterday, and it’s quite good. Instead of being a “classic” Tomb Raider style adventure game, it’s more of an action/puzzle affair, with plenty of brawling and platforming thrown in for good measure. The real joy is in the co-op play — it really is designed for two people, sitting on a couch together, bonding over ancient temple exploration and evil minion skewering.

The other big geek news of the week is in the blast of casting decisions for the hotly anticipated next chapter (er, first chapter?) in the X-Men film series, X-Men First Class. Mad Men’s January Jones has signed up to play telepath Emma Frost.

Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoe Kravitz is on board to play Angel — or possibly Storm. It’s a little unclear at this point.

Geek Files explains:

“We saw the male, bird-winged version of Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand; this Angel has to refer to the comic book character Angel Salvadore, who has insect wings and other creepy-crawly characteristics including a highly acidic saliva.

“Angel Salvadore also uses the codename Tempest, leading fans to suspect the announcement is a cover for casting Kravitz as a young version of Storm. I’ve been unable to get any further clues or clarification on this.”

No word on whether the young Mystique will actually be true to the original vision of the character (she is bisexual in the comics) this time around, but a girl can hope.

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