December 6, 2011
Square Enix is bringing Laura Croft back but its unlikely anyone will recognize her at first glance. Her look along with the traditional shoot the bad guy, solve the puzzle have been entirely re-done. And its looking fantastic! By far my favorite Tomb Raider title was the first for the original Play Station, after that they all kind of melded together and never really felt all that original past the second or third installment, not to mention that I always felt the game mechanics never really got updated like they should have. This time Square Enix has gone back to the drawing board and pulled up Laura’s roots.
The next Tomb Raider, simply titled TOMB RAIDER, will take you back to a 21yr old Laura just out of school (the academy) and ready for some adventure. The game will start much like any other with Laura setting off to unearth some lost artifacts and/or treasure. Where things get interesting is when the game takes a turn for the worst and Laura finds herself shipwrecked on an island where she must gather any and all resources to survive and advance as she has been left with nothing. Rather than the usual shoot, climb, jump, shoot rhythm of past Tomb Raider games this title will explore a younger more vulnerable Laura that still has much to learn. Survival looks to be a big focus and players will find themselves much more challenged then in previous installments of the game.
The vibe Im getting from the info out there is that this Tomb Raider will be similar to the Uncharted series, not a rip off of it, but similar in style. Laura will have a skill system that will need to be accomplished throughout the game in order to access parts of the island and the game play will be much more precise in relation to controls and AI. No more jumping 5ft from your ledge and getting sucked onto it anyway, you miss the ledge you die. Also the gun play should be much more fluid with a free aim system, some will enjoy this others not so much as aim assist has been removed. The puzzles will also be more complex and involve things like the elements, friction and environmental strategy. The mechanics will lead to a challenging skill focused style of game play, not to worry though, I doubt the learning curve will be terribly high as that’s just not good business.
Aside from the renewed game mechanics Laura will also look very different. No more Double D signature hour glass Laura. She will be more proportionate with an athletic figure instead of her previous curvy stature. Not that anyone found the previous Laura an eyesore, but this time there will be more realism and depth to the story line and to Laura as a whole. Personally Im looking forward to this and cant wait to see how this new story line will go and to see Laura’s dark fight for survival, and of course the goodies she will uncover along the way. Its slated for release in Q3 2012, there is no official release date yet.
Will be available on PC, X360, PS3