Lara Croft Survives! A New Beginning For Tomb Raider

Posted by Grey Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lara Croft is a survivor! Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics reveal their latest vision for the jaded gaming icon.

It is certain that Christopher Nolan's reinvigorated take on the Dark Knight mythos in Batman Begins ((along with its bigger, badder sequel, The Dark Knight) is now a more-than-certified successful model that is seeing more emulation than one might have thought. Everyone from everywhere, be it Damon Lindelof on the sequel to 2009' Star Trek, the much-berated Buffy reboot, and now, gaming's very own Lara Croft.

While 2010 saw the release of "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" on the PC, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Arcade, it is certainly not the proper platform sequel one would have expected from the iconic character that arguably defined gaming era of the 90s. And that is an direct result of the receding qualities of the series proper in recent times, from 2006's Tomb Raider: Legend, to 2008's Tomb Raider: Underworld.

A invigorating shot in the arm is definitely in due for the British archaeologist-adventurer. So it comes as nobody's surprise that Crystal Dynamics, the developer of the upcoming "Tomb Raider" (simply that) are announcing an all-new take on the eponymous Tomb Raider with an origin story meant to be Lara Croft's first-ever adventure.

'After a brutal storm destroys the boat she was travelling on, a frightened young woman is left washed ashore on an unknown beach. On her own but not alone she has only one goal, to survive'

Here begins the first adventure for a young and inexperienced Lara Croft in a story which charts the journey of an ordinary woman who finds out just how far she must go in order to stay alive.

"Forget everything you knew about TOMB RAIDER, we are exploring things that have never been done before in this game," said Darrell Gallagher, Head of Studio, Crystal Dynamics. "This is an origins story that creates Lara Croft and takes her on a character defining journey like no other."

And here's your first look into the face of a young Lara Croft, courtesy of Game Informer in the cover of their January issue.

In our world-exclusive cover story, we uncover a brand-new Lara Croft. Rebooting the Tomb Raider franchise through an origin story wasn’t so much a choice as an act of necessity, according to Crystal Dynamics. Drastic measures were needed. To build an entirely fresh Lara – a culturally relevant hero worth of the attention that once came so effortlessly – they must break her first. In this new adventure – simply titled Tomb Raider – a younger and inexperienced Lara Croft must endure both physical and emotional trauma to survive.

An alternate cover to the issue.
The image waiting to be unveiled at Game Informer's page.

The official logo.

For those who can't wait for the issue to arrive in newsstands on the 11th of December, some of the keen-eyed folks at NeoGAF have reportedly skimped through the article and have the below to share:

- Lara is 21 in this game
- It's not only a reboot of the franchise but a reboot of the entire brand. As a result there will be no "real" Lara model this time.

- They're doing performance capturing with this game

- There are brutal deaths in the game this time. One is described as a deranged man stabbing Lara in the chest and then closing her eyes after she's dead. Another includes a boulder falling on her leg to trap her before another falls and crushes her head.

- CD won't talk specifics on weapons but concept art shows a bow, shotgun and pistol
- The lock on targeting system is gone and it now has a free aim system. CD says that it can compete with any of their competitors.

- "I think that the major difference between this game and the old is the concept of smoke and mirrors," begins Darrell Gallagher, the studio head at Crystal Dynamics. "There was an illusion of freedom because of streaming and loading that would pop you out in a different location, but this is absolutely real. You can literally go any direction that you see and carve your own way to the finish line instead of being guide."

- "It was important in the game to not only deliver the character arc of Lara Croft emotionally, but to deliver it in gameplay as well so the player gets to grow into a hardened survivor," says experienced director Noah Hughes. As the game unfolds, Lara will scavenge new tools and gear that augment her abilities. Lara's athletic prowess will also evolve. Some areas begin inaccessible due to physical limitations or scarce supplies. With the right skills and gear, however, the island is Lara's for the taking.

- There are base camps in the game. Here you can combine items to create something new and access a skill system to upgrade Lara's abilities. You'll also be able to use base camps to fast travel to different locations to minimize backtracking.

- You'll need to gather food and water in order to survive

- There are humans in the game, including some of the crew members from the shipwreck off the coast of the island.

That's about it. It seems like CD is still be fairly secretive about the gameplay details. There are some nice in-game screenshots. One features Lara hanging upside down in what looks to be a cocoon. Also several screenshots showing her bloodied and with bandages on.

Source: PR Newswire and NeoGAF


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