Crystal Dynamics is placing the 'tomb' again in 'Tomb Raider'

Crystal Dynamics is putting the 'tomb' back in 'Tomb Raider'

2013’s Tomb Raider was a reboot of a recreation that outlined the third-individual journey style. It represented a change in course for the collection, one which took cues from profitable titles like Uncharted to breathe recent life into what had develop into a drained franchise. However whereas critics rightfully praised the sport’s many strengths, the core of the unique’s gameplay — tomb raiding — was pushed to at least one aspect, with a lot of the recreation consisting of stealth, fight, and survival. For the timed Xbox unique Rise of the Tomb Raider, developer Crystal Dynamics is bringing again tombs in an enormous approach, and making some clever design selections to replace the previous gameplay for the fashionable period.

At Gamescom this yr, Microsoft provided us a quick demo that showcases what tomb raiding will really feel like in Rise. Because the “Siberia” demo proven at E3, Lara has made her approach over to the Syrian desert on the path of a hidden treasure. We start with a reduce scene the place, in fact, issues shortly go awry, and are left on a cliff face by the doorway to a mysterious cave. By a wonderful coincidence, that cave simply so occurs to be the doorway to the hidden tomb Lara’s been in search of. So we enter.

“We need to have fun that nostalgic really feel of a tomb raid by means of a contemporary lens,” says Crystal Dynamics’ Model Director Wealthy Briggs. What does that imply? It signifies that previous Tomb Raider tropes, like puzzles that contain pulling a lever or placing plates into partitions in an effort to progress to new areas, will not be current in Rise. “We’re making them environmental puzzles, physics-based mostly puzzles, in order that they really feel like a contemporary interpretation.”

The present demo confirmed an instance of how it will work: As Lara, you are standing on the fringe of a shallow pool of water, needing to progress to a ledge too excessive to succeed in. Water is trickling by means of a shoddy-wanting wall, so that you break it together with your decide axe, flooding the world additional, and enabling you to succeed in the ledge. The puzzles will get extra complicated, in fact, however that is one of many ways in which the builders are changing previous gameplay mechanics with a brisker take. Functionally, the motion is identical as earlier than: you stroll as much as a wall and press a button. It is simply transferring the previous dynamics of the collection into a brand new wrapper. However it makes much more sense that whoever laid out this labyrinthine tomb would not merely put a lever on the wall to permit a would-be raider progress.

“We need to rejoice that nostalgic really feel of a tomb raid by way of a contemporary lens.”

– Wealthy Briggs, Crystal Dynamics

Traps are additionally making a return to the collection. “Tombs are supposed to really feel harmful,” Briggs explains. “We would like you to really feel like there’s hazard round each flip.” Within the temporary demo, I encountered platforms collapsing, spike pits, and the great ol’ swinging-spikey-stick-from-the-ceiling lure. It provides lots to the expertise.

The third piece of the puzzle, Briggs says, is exploration and discovery. “We would like you to really feel such as you’re the primary individual to be there in a whole lot or hundreds of years.” Within the demo, that “wow” second got here as we broke via a wall into an enormous open area. There are many artifacts and collectable gadgets to seek out, and discoveries to be made. The sport even has you leveling up your language expertise so as to translate historic texts that’ll paved the way to treasures.

Rise will nonetheless incorporate most of the parts that made the reboot widespread, in fact, however Crystal Dynamics is basically aiming for a broader expertise right here. Whereas 2013’s Tomb Raider had you exploring a single island, the scope of Lara’s world is clearly totally different in Rise. Between the E3 displaying and this Gamescom demo, we have already seen Lara battle by means of icy Siberia and treasure-hunt in scorching Syria. The emphasis is shifting again in the direction of the collection’ roots, and Lara Croft is not simply the reboot’s survivor — she’s the tomb raider.

[Picture credit score: La Boca / Microsoft / Crystal Dynamics]

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