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Square Enix has announced that a new Tomb Raider game is in the works, and that it will be revealed in a "major event" set to take place sometime in 2018. And that is literally all I can tell you about it.
I'm not kidding.
Announcements of announcements aren't my favorite thing in the world, especially when they're for not-exactly-a-surprise news that a popular videogame series is getting a another sequel. I also find it amusing that a message telling fans that they'll have to wait ends with, "we simply can't wait."
And yet, there's something odd about it—something in the wording that makes me think that maybe there's more going on here than meets the eye. What if... What if there's a secret hidden in the message? What if the first letter of the first word in each sentence combined to form a word?
That little Easter egg still doesn't tell us anything new about the game, but it does appear to confirm the Shadow of the Tomb Raider title that leaked in October of last year, a rumor that solidified (although it remained unconfirmed) this past June. So at least we're not going away completely empty-handed.
(And I cannot tell a lie: Rachel Weber of Gamesradar gets credit for noticing the Shadow secret—although I'm sure I would've figured it out on my own eventually.)
It was always inevitable that Rise of the Tomb Raider would get a follow-up, and almost as inevitable that it'd be called "Shadow of the Tomb Raider" (games with "shadow" in the title are popular, you see). So it's hardly a surprise that a new leak can be added to those which seem to confirm that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is in development.
The first emerged in October, when someone noticed a fellow commuter flicking through Shadow of the Tomb Raider marketing guff on a laptop. Eight months later, and marketing guff has struck again, because this time a California-based company called Take Off appears to have jumped the gun uploading stuff onto their website, resulting in this being found:
The top line is a collection of logo options (note the image on the far right features art used to promote Rise Of..., in other words, it's placeholder). The bottom section shows a handful of key art proposals, illustrations which may serve as inspiration for the main marketing art for this third instalment.
The art has been removed from the website now, which only serves to raise my suspicions that the game definitely exists. I was surprised Shadow of the Tomb Raider didn't appear at E3 last week, but in any case, I think it's safe to say it'll come eventually.
Inspired by the work-in-progress open source OpenTomb project, Tomb Raider modder XProger has spent the past several months working on their own browser-based version of the '96 original Tomb Raider named OpenLara. It's now playable in both third and first person view.
As an engine remake, OpenLara does not recreate the entire game however its City of Vilcabamba level (level two) can be played right now—complete with bloodthirsty wolfpacks, underwater tunnel systems, and ferocious bears. A "browse level" function does however let you load the game's other levels, but I've spent all of my time with OpenLara attempting to relearn its stop/start running-jumping-ledge-catching mechanics which seem entirely archaic today.
Nonetheless, touring Lara Croft around familiar levels at higher than ever framerates—the original was locked at 30 FPS—is great fun, particularly when you can do so instantly from your browser. The ability to switch to first-person is also a nice touch and makes grizzly encounters and acrobatic leaps that little bit scarier.
The best moment in cinematic history is, of course, any time a character says the title of the movie they’re in. This is the main reason I am excited for a Tomb Raider movie. At some point, surely someone will say in reverent tones “You’re… the Tomb Raider”.
Myself, I’m hoping Lara will rebuff accusations of grave robbery with “Please, my father was the Grave Robber. Call me the Tomb Raider.”
Oh, right, yes, the ‘news’: Warner Bros. have shared the first snaps of their movie based loosely on the gritty 2013 reboot, along with a blurb hinting at a “tomb raider” shoutout. … [visit site to read more]
If this supposed leak/over-the-shoulder peek at a commuter's laptop is to be believed, the next Tomb Raider game is to be named Shadow of the Tomb Raider (minus contributions from Rhianna Pratchett). Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation HD, on the other hand, marks the work of several TR enthusiasts who plan to reimagine Lara's fourth main series outing—now over 17 years old—with "sharper textures, higher quality objects, brand new effects and additional gameplay features."
The Last Revelation was arguably the most realised Tomb Raider of the PlayStation One era, and its HD remaster promises modern effects such as dynamic fogs, smoother shadows and high quality sprites. It's in its early stages of development, however its team, who form the collective Raiding the Globe, have already compiled a few 'before and after' shots which can be found below.
Here's the blurb as per the Raiding the Globe site:
"Tomb Raider 4: The Last Revelation HD allows players to experience Core Design's original and unparalleled classic game remastered with sharper textures, higher quality objects, brand new effects additional gameplay features and much more. Experience Egypt like never before, walking (and running) through ancient tombs populated with fierce traps and deadly foes. More information to be revealed. Happy Raiding!"
Crystal Dynamics has announced that Rhianna Pratchett, the lead writer of the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot and the 2015 sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider, has moved on to "new adventures separate from the Tomb Raider franchise."
"Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara's voice in the 2013 origin story, and through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today," developer Crystal Dynamics wrote. "The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games. Please join us in wishing Rhianna the absolute best in her next adventure."
Pratchett tweeted similarly good vibes, writing, "I want to thank the @CrystalDynamics team for their dedication esp. @jstafford @josefkstories & @noahmhughes. Guys, it's been emotional. But, I like to think we did some good things. Maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit. And that feels damn good."
It sounds like an amicable parting of ways, but still has to represent a loss for the series. The reboot was strongly praised for turning Lara Croft into a real character, and Rise of the Tomb Raider was selected as the winner of the 2016 Videogame Writing Award. It wasn't a solo win—lead narrative designer John Stafford, narrative designer Cameron Suey, and additional writer Philip Gelatt also got their names engraved on the trophy—but as the lead writer, her voice was far and away the one heard the loudest. Those are some big shoes to fill.
It's been 20 years since Tomb Raider turned Lara Croft into videogaming's most famous gun-toting spelunker, and to mark the moment Crystal Dynamics has released a new "20 Year Celebration" DLC pack for the most recent game in the series, Rise of the Tomb Raider. For a tenner, it will let you poke around inside Lara Croft's childhood home. defend it from hordes of the undead (and a dickish-sounding uncle), and most important of all wrap her up in a new skin that's very much "Old Lara."
"Blood Ties," in which Lara must explore Croft Manor "to reclaim her legacy and uncover a family mystery that will change her life forever," will add more than an hour of single-player story, while "Lara's Nightmare" is a scoreboard-based defense against zombies set on tearing the place up. The pack will also add a new "Extreme Survivor" difficulty, an outfit and weapon inspired by Tomb Raider 3, and five "classic Lara Croft skins," including the sharply-angled work of art seen above.
(The more I look at it, the creepier it gets.)
The DLC comes alongside a new Rise of the Tomb Raider patch that makes a number of relatively minor adjustments to the game that you can read about here. Do be aware that you'll need to have this update installed if you want to take proper advantage of the 20 Year Celebration Pack, so if you're currently in a beta stream you'll need to switch that back.
Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration is included with the season pass, and is also available separately for $10/ 7 or as part of the $60/ 40 Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration Edition.
Crystal Dynamics recently welcomed Ian Milham to their team. While no new Tomb Raider game is announced yet, he’ll be assuming the role of game director for the series. Don’t worry, he’s got the experience to back it up. Milham has been in the business for twenty years, including time as an environment artist, the art director for the Dead Space games, and the creative director of Battlefields 4 and Hardline.