More Games Need 'Tomb Raider Underworld''s Flashback Sequence

As stories become more important in video games, so does knowledge of the universe, characters and existing plots when entering a game sequel.

Too often, however, game companies leave this narrative homework to their player. There's almost nowhere to go -- officially -- to discover what happened in a previous game.

It's been a while since I played "Tomb Raider: Legend," the most recent story-based "Tomb Raider," which is why I'm applauding the decision to include a "Previously…" video segment summarizing what already happened in "Tomb Raider: Underworld."

Is it particularly well edited? No. Does it properly introduce the character nuances and narrative set pieces that defined "Legend"? Not really. It's clear this was a last minute, low-priority video. But, at least it tells you -- minor spoiler warning -- someone from Lara's past has come back to haunt her and has knowledge of the whereabouts of Lara's mother, who was presumed dead.

That last line defines the basic setup for "Underworld." It's just too bad the summary doesn't play when the game starts. Instead, I found out about it because it's mentioned in one of the tips that appears on a loading screen.

This is a step in the right direction, though. Am I the only one that wants to see developers take a more proactive approach in catching us up on story?

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