Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Richard Moss)

It’s hard to believe that Lara Croft’s been cavorting around stealing priceless artefacts and killing endangered animals for nearly 20 years. But rather more amazing is that she’s been doing it in fan-made levels since November 2000’s Tomb Raider Chronicles PC release, which gave anyone with the inclination the tools in the form of an official level editor required to send her on new adventures.

The dedicated ladies and gents of the Tomb Raider fan community have been squeezing life out of that decrepit old blocky Tomb Raider engine for 14 years, and while they’ve slowed down a bit in recent times, they’re showing no signs of stopping.

Dutch schoolteacher Titia “Titak” Drenth has been there from the beginning. “I thought it would be fabulous to be able to make my own worlds for Lara to run around in,” she says of her initial motivations. Fabulous indeed. Titak’s levels take Lara to the Himalayas, American Wild West, the world of Stargate, and the jungles of Cambodia, among other places, with rave reception from the community at the Tomb Raider Forums and trle.net on nearly all of them.

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer

Welcome, dear reader, to the dumbest thing that has happened this week—in gaming news terms, at least.

A Microsoft marketing executive reaffirmed, on Twitter, that the enormo-corp will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider. It's almost as if Capcom's recent announcement that Street Fighter V would be exclusive to PC and PS4 caused the makers of the Xbox One to reiterate their own anticipated acquisitions. The console "wars" are nothing if not childish.

This tweet lead to fans, forums and news sites questioning whether this could harm RotTR's chances of a PC (and PS4, I guess) release. This is despite the fact that both Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome were published by Microsoft, and had timed Xbox One exclusivity. Both eventually crossed over to PC after the deal expired, and were self-published by their respective developers on Steam. This is also despite the fact that Microsoft previously admitted that the deal had a duration.

Despite this, people spent actual time chasing Square Enix and Microsoft for comment. Square Enix then told GameInformer the following:

"Our partnership with Microsoft on Rise of the Tomb Raider does have a duration, but we aren t discussing those details at this time and are focused on collaborating to deliver a great game on Xbox One and Xbox 360."

Like, yeah, obviously. If Microsoft had a full Xbone-only (Xbonly?) exclusivity deal with Rise of the Tomb Raider, they would state it unambiguously. That they never have is a sign that RotTR will probably spend around 6-12 months exclusively on that system before filtering its way on to PC at the very least, and possibly the PS4 as well.

Fun fact: the gaming industry is kind of ridiculous sometimes.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

Four years after the surprise twist in the Tomb Raider franchise that was Lara Croft And The Guardian Of The Light, Crystal Dynamics have punctuated the releases of their reinvented Lara with its sequel, Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris. The review code we received did not yet have multiplayer switched on, so here’s wot I thought of playing it through on my own.>

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Alec wrote about some of his favourite gaming moments last week and I was inspired to put together something similar. Ever the structuralist, I decided that I’d string my favourite moments across a fictional interpretation of an actual day. Here is one of many days in my life, from a breakfast of champions to the blurred bottles at the heart of Saturday night.>

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
For the next six days, take advantage of huge savings throughout the Steam store on thousands of titles. Plus, discover new and recommended games on your personalized Exploration Sale page here. Check back each day for new Daily Deals.

Today’s Featured Deals Include:


The Steam Exploration Sale runs from now until 10AM Pacific Time, December 2nd. Complete information on Daily Deals and other special offers can be found on Steam.

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Philippa Warr)

Nice shooting, Tex!

Valve’s Team Fortress 2 team are running a competition whereby the entire Tomb Raider franchise is fair game for TF2 Workshop content creation. Their official blog post on the matter goes straight for “the heavy in short shorts” at their first example of the contest’s potential*. But why on earth would you want to help Valve and Square promote a game for free? Let’s take a look at the rules.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (John Walker)

A rather strange addition to Steam’s Early Access list popped up over the weekend – the Eidos Anthology. Eidos, which sort of exists inside the maw of Square Enix, is no slouch when it comes to noteworthy games, and Eidos Montreal recently picked up a Golden Joystick for Best Hair or similar. An anthology of their games is quite the thing.

In a collection of quite enormous proportions, Square are selling 34 games (including all the Tomb Raiders, all the Thiefs, all the Deus Exes) and about forty-nine billion DLC packs at just over half the price of buying them individually. That price, however, is 160. Cor.

… [visit site to read more]

Announcement - Valve
Today's Deal: Save 75% on the Eidos Anthology!*

Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Sunday at 10AM Pacific Time
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Whatcha looking for, Lara?

When Square Enix announced Rise of the Tomb Raider at E3, they were careful not to mention platforms. The natural assumption was that they were wooing Microsoft and Sony over rights to call it “exclusive” to their console for a few months, but a PC release was a given, right? So I shrugged today at talk during Microsoft’s big Gamescom press event that Tomb Raider 11 is coming “exclusively on Xbox”, thinking that simply meant MS had given Squeenix an invitation to its birthday party, 2, and a Sherbet Dip Dab to ignore Sony at school for a term.

No, they really do mean Rise of the Tomb Raider won’t be released on PC. Or so they say. Hmm!

… [visit site to read more]

PC Gamer
Rise of the Tomb Raider


The big bombshell of Microsoft's Gamescom presser was the announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider the follow up to the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot will be available "Holiday 2015, Exclusively on Xbox".

There's a reason I'm putting that line in quotes: I don't entirely know what it means. Microsoft spent the entire conference twisting the meaning of language itself to make its platform look more desirable. During an ID@Xbox section, they showed games like Space Engineers and Smite games already available on PC and used the misleading refrain "coming first to consoles on Xbox".* Admittedly, "exclusively on Xbox" is a more solid statement, but companies have long since stretched the word beyond understanding. Will it be a timed exclusive? A full exclusive? An exclusive exclusively for 'Holiday 2015'? We don't know, and neither the conference nor Crystal Dynamics follow-up statement make it particularly clear.

"As you may have seen, we ve just announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, coming Holiday 2015, is exclusively on Xbox," writes Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher. "We consider all of you to be the lifeblood of Tomb Raider and the work we do at Crystal. I d like to give you some insight into this decision, and why we feel this is the very best thing for the Tomb Raider sequel we re creating at the studio.

"Tomb Raider in 2013 was a success due in large part to your continued support. Our goal has always been to deliver something truly special with Rise of the Tomb Raider. Today s announcement with Microsoft is one step to help us put Tomb Raider on top of action adventure gaming. Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011. We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

"This doesn t mean that we re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4."

What Gallagher seems to be saying is that Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics think the way you put Tomb Raider "on top of action adventure gaming" is to prevent the majority of its fan base from playing it. However you try to spin it, exclusivity is not a positive. It doesn't help the people who own that console they would still be able to play the game if it was multi-platform and it definitely, obviously doesn't help those who now can't play a series they previously had access to. It is a move that goes directly against their fans, and one almost certainly motivated by Square Enix's financial issues over the last few years.

Hopefully, then, this will be one of those woolly, meaningless exclusives, and six months down the line we'll see Rise of the Tomb Raider arrive on PC. The alternative possibility that the true third-party platform exclusive is back as a viable option would be a big step back for gaming as a whole.

*"Coming first to consoles on Xbox" would appear to mean "of the consoles, it will be on Xbox first". But that's not what's being said. Including the phrase "first to consoles" is a deliberate attempt to nest the idea of exclusivity within an admission of none. It means the exact opposite of what the actual sentence is saying. This is the point we've reached in this increasingly desperate battle.
...

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