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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 7">steam sale day 7







We've now been living and breathing the Steam Summer Sale for a week, losing sleep for every flash sale, antsy with anticipation every time the new deals tick over. We're feverish from the savings, but it would be madness to stop saving now. Today's deals fuel our appetite for strategy, shooting, and launching valiant little green men into space on absurdly oversized rockets.



Don t forget to check out GOG s summer deals, too.



Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal.

5 - The Banner Saga

50% off: $12.49 / 9.49 - Steam store page

One of the biggest artistic achievements in gaming this year. We love The Banner Saga s hand-drawn characters and how they animate on the battlefield, but we especially enjoy the way its detailed, Nordic landscapes parallax as your caravan of warriors and survivors march on. The Austin Wintory score is a cherry on the top.

4 - Kerbal Space Program

40% off: $16.19 / 11.99 - Steam store page

We ve murdered a lot of aliens in games, but only in KSP have we stranded little green guys in planetary orbit due to our grossly incompetent management of a budding space program. The Early Access rocket physics simulator is one of the best games still under development, and already has a large community of engineers sharing stories of harrowing space missions, ship designs, and mods. KSP has even made its way into classrooms.



Read Ian s five-part Kerbal Space Program chronicle to see how he learned rocket-building basics and launched a mission to the M n.

3 - Counter-Strike: Global Offensive

50% off: $7.49 / 5.99 - Steam store page

The best competitive FPS on PC owes a lot to its skill-based matchmaking format. At any skill level, five-on-five Counter-Strike narrows the range of tactical choices available to you and the time you have to make them, creating a wonderfully concentrated competitive mode. Otherwise, CS:GO is mainly a vehicle for microtransactions: beware the allure of $400 virtual knives.

2 - Tomb Raider

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Lara Croft returns in a gorgeous action game heavily inspired by Naughty Dog's Uncharted series. This younger, rebooted Lara doesn't have her predecessor's confidence or predilection for interesting puzzles the only tombs in this game are disappointingly short and simple but the shooting is by far the best in the series. Exploring Tomb Raider's island and crafting survival gear is also fun, as Lara is a nimble climber and each area is packed with interesting treasures to hunt down. For a challenge, forgo the assault rifle and grenade launcher for Lara's incredibly satisfying (and silent!) bow.

1 - BioShock Triple Pack

83% off: $10.19 / 6.79 - Steam store page

If you haven t explored the ruins of Rapture, you re in for a treat. BioShock s world is a revelation, an under-the-sea society that s crumbled under its own weight, and exploring what remains of it and shooting its crazy inhabitants in the face with fireballs is a delight. BioShock 2 goes even further, changing your perspective and adding a surprising amount of depth with its own story. Irrational s swansong, BioShock Infinite, may still be polarizing, but Columbia is just as beautiful and terrifying as Rapture, and well worth exploring. All three are included here in a bundle that s too cheap to pass up.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further later in the sale.



Bastion (40% off) $8.99 / 6.59

Killing Floor (50% off) $9.99 / 7.49

Mirror's Edge (75% off) $4.99 / 2.49

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition (66% off) $6.79 / 5.09
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The best Steam Summer Sale deals: Day 4">Steam Summer Sale day 4







Just when you thought you were out of the Steam sale racket, they pull you back in - today's crop boasting some delectable bargains across a variety of genres, including the pork-bunniest game of recent years.



Reminder: if a game isn't a daily deal or a flash sale, it could pop up later in the sale for an even lower price. If you want to be safe, wait until June 30 to pick up a sale-long deal. Also, GOG.com are having their own, equally terrific summer sale at the moment, so be sure to check that out too.



5 - Lone Survivor

75% off: $3.74 / 2.74 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

One of the best Silent Hill games you'll play - and a better Silent Hill game than Konami have published in the last ten or so years. The story is dreamlike and ambiguous in the best possible way, while the chunky pixel art and atmospheric soundtrack envelop you as soon as you switch the game on. If you're brave enough to face it - and you remembered to bring an energy drink - Lone Survivor is easily worth the price of a large cappuccino. Head here for the full PCG verdict.



4 - Metro Last Light

66% off: $6.79 / 6.79 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

Some odd exchange-rating aside, this is still a good price for the mostly great Metro Last Light, which managed the heroic feat of rescuing the first game's abysmal stealth and turning it into something that works. In addition to being a solid shooter and stealth-'em-up, this is a pretty good atmospheric horror and action game too, although the plot is something that will largely pass you by (if you're lucky). You might want to wait for the remastered 'Redux' version of this and its predecessor, however - although there is a discount system in place should you want to upgrade at a later date.



3 - Sleeping Dogs

80% off: $3.99 / 2.99 - Steam store page | Flash sale: Buy it before 8 p.m. EST

If Watch Dogs left you cold, you could always give the relatively silly (but still a bit nasty) Sleeping Dogs a try, which puts you in the role of an undercover cop in Hong Kong. Brawl with bad guys, eat pork buns by the truckload, and solve police cases on the side in a scrappy open world game that's never too ambitious, but manages to be a lot of fun anyway. We didn't think much of the "messy story and horrible characters" in our review, but we had time for the game's "scintillating open world city". 2.99 seems like a very fair price.



2 - Tomb Raider

75% off: $4.99 / 3.74 - Steam store page

Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot isn't without its problems - most of the cast are forgettable, and it's a more linear and shallow game than fans of the originals might have been expecting - but as fairground rides go, this is meticulously and gorgeously staged. Play it to prepare yourself for the recently announced Rise of the Tomb Raider, in which Lara's hopefully brought along a coat, as well as a flannel for all that blood she finds herself swimming through.



1 - The Wolf Among Us

66% off: $8.49 / 6.45 - Steam store page

Creaking engine aside, Telltale have come a long way since the days of their pretty good Sam and Max series, so it's a relief to see that their good work on The Walking Dead wasn't a one-off. The Wolf Among us, based on the Fables comics, is overall just as deftly written as the tale of Clementine and co, although Telltale have been a fair bit slower in putting them out. You probably shouldn't read our reviews if you want to remain unspoiled, but know that we've given the series a (very gruff) thumbs-up.



Other great deals today

Remember that games not categorized as Daily Deals or Flash Sales may be reduced further.



State of Decay (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74

Monaco (67% off) $4.94 / 3.95

To The Moon (70% off) $2.99 / 2.09

E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy (75% off) $2.49 / 1.74

Year Walk (50% off) $2.99 / 2.39

Deadly Premonition (75% off) $6.24 / 4.99

Legend of Grimrock (66% off) $5.09 / 4.07

Betrayer (80% off) $3.99 / 2.99

Outlast (75% off) $4.99 / 3.74
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to 4K Screenshot Showcase: Tomb Raider">tomb raider







Every week, keen screen-grabber Ben Griffin brings you a sumptuous 4K resolution gallery to celebrate PC gaming's prettiest places.



Tomb Raider's fictional island of Yamatai, set like a scab off the Japanese mainland, was a place of inhospitable beauty. Storms and shipwrecks plague its coastline, while towards the interior lay violent cults and ancient ruins. I braved the wilds and returned to civilized society to bring you these 4K screenshots.







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PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Tomb Raider screenshots: running the classic at 2400×1800 on LPC">lpc-tombraider-teaser





The Lara Croft of 2014 may have fancy TressFX hair and a killer bow, but we still have fond memories of the original Lara, who fearlessly explored mysterious and oppressive tombs way back in '96. The rebooted Tomb Raider's Definitive Edition is a console exclusive, but we say the real definitive Tomb Raider has been on PC for 18 years.

To prove that the sunglass-wearing Lara looks as sharp as ever, we grabbed Tomb Raider 1+2+3 from GOG and installed the games on the Large Pixel Collider. The LPC deemed Tomb Raider's original resolution unworthy, however, and opted to run the game at 2400x1800 about 3.5 million more pixels than the Voodoo graphics cards of the '90s were used to pushing. We left everything else about the game pure and unmodified. No mods. No texture packs. Original 4:3 aspect ratio.

How to play Tomb Raider at high resolution

Want to play Tomb Raider at 1080p, or 1440p, or even 1800p like us? It's surprisingly easy. First, grab the game from GOG or Steam. Install the game, and download a free program called nGlide. This handy utility allowed us to run Tomb Raider at the highest resolution we could muster. Now let's go step by step.



Install nGlide. Nothing fancy; stick to the defaults.

Run the nGlide Configurator (nGlide should create an entry in your start menu, or you can run nglide_config.exe). Set your resolution to your preferred res, or leave it as "desktop" to run at your desktop's native res. This is what we did, since the configurator doesn't have an 1800p option!

Navigate to Tomb Raider's install directory and find the file glide2x.dll. Rename it to glide2x_backup.dll. This will allow nGlide's settings to take over controlling Tomb Raider's resolution.

Within Tomb Raider's directory, there should also be a DOSBox folder. Open that folder. There should be another glide2x.dll file inside. Rename it to glide2x_backup.dll as well.

Run Tomb Raider. If nGlide does its job, it should run in glorious high resolution, though the old FMVs will still be low-res and stretched.



Now ready for a dose of early 3D nostalgia? Then grab your dual pistols and check out our screenshots of Tomb Raider, released on October 25, 1996 in the UK and November 14 in the US.

Make sure to click the screens below to download the full-res 2400x1800 images.

Return to the Caves











The Lost Valley: dinosaurs are still scary











Qualopec's Tomb, still lookin' good



Remember Larson?







St. Francis' Folly: being eaten by lions





PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition not in the works for PC “at this time”">TombRaider-image







The how and why of game updates sometimes seems like a strange bit of alchemy. Last year's Tomb Raider reboot is getting a re-release this month in what's being called its "Definitive Edition," but only if you happen to own one of the latest-generation consoles. A recent FAQ with the developer reveals the latest iteration of Lara Croft's adventures likely won't be appearing on PC.



Since it's being billed by developer Crystal Dynamics as the "ultimate expression of our original vision for Tomb Raider," it's only natural that PC owners might be interested in the new version of the game. Set to include all the DLC released since launch as well as improved graphical features and a new Lara Croft character model, it sounds at the very least like a better way to jump into the game for the first time.



"The team didn t just up-rez the game," reports the developer. "They pulled it apart and rebuilt it with new technology, finally allowing us to reach the vision for Tomb Raider that we always wanted."



We learn from Crystal Dynamics that because "Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not a port of the PC game," it appears players not on a latest consoles won't be seeing the new physics and particle effects for the time being. But the developer's answer to a question about whether or not the original PC version would allow for an update to the new Lara Croft character model remains somewhat cagey: "At this time a PC update is not planned."



For more on what we thought of Tomb Raider at its release, check out our review.



Hat tip, PCGamesN.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Game of the year awards 2013: personal picks">Saints Row 4 1







Welcome to the PC Gamer Game of the Year Awards 2013. For an explanation of how the awards were decided, a round-up of all the awards and the list of judges, check here.



There are always nominees that mean a lot to just one or two judges. In past years these might have been included as runners up, but this year we wanted to recognise them in a more substantial way. In addition to the main awards, we've each taken a personal pick, and written about why that game made such a great impression in 2013.



Tony Ellis - Total War: Rome 2







So Rome 2 didn t fix the flaws of the Total War series. Here s the thing: it didn t have to. The original Rome was so damn good, all they ever had to do was give it prettier graphics and not break it. I m still madly tackling armies twice my size, because I know that if I can just massacre this unit and this one before they join up, I have a chance. I m still dry-mouthed at the sight of a wavering company of Hastati, because I know everything is lost if they rout. When Rome 3 comes out, that ll probably be my game of the year too.



Andy Kelly - Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs







I could never enjoy The Dark Descent because of the sanity system. For me, it got in the way of the story. So I was happy to discover that not only would the sequel not have it, but it was also being developed and written by Dear Esther creators The Chinese Room. As someone who plays games for atmosphere and storytelling, Machine for Pigs is ideal. It spins a strange, compelling yarn, and the increasingly terrifying depths of that awful factory will stay with me forever. I haven t been able to look at bacon since.



Chris Thursten - Saints Row 4







I m easily won over by a good music cue, and SRIV makes phenomenal use of them. Its best bits made me happier than any other game released this year, and it is way funnier, more adventurous and transgressive than a game about gangsters has any right to be. The series has climbed from a GTA alsoran to gaming s answer to Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker comedies like Airplane! and Hot Shots!, and the fourth game in the series was my favourite mainstream game released in 2013.



Ben Griffin - Sim City







OK, let me explain. Look beyond the conga line traffic, broken leaderboards, idiot citizens, shrunken plots, saved game corruption and what might be the most catastrophic launch in gaming history, and you ll find SimCity is quite good. I love the tilt-shift aesthetic. I love how tactile it is. I love watching streams of tourists gamble at my garish casinos. Most of all I love how Maxis made the insane complexity of running a city beautifully simple. There s a brilliant game here it s just really well hidden.



Evan Lahti - Papers, Please







It hands you power and helplessness. As an impoverished checkpoint border officer in a pseudo-Soviet state, if you perform poorly at your miserable, taxing job, you won t be able to keep your family alive. But despite this low position, you re granted enormous influence over the lives of others. With one stamp, you can separate spouses, quash a conspiracy, liberate a killer, or save victims. The way the game stacks these moral quandaries atop your own instincts as caretaker is a big part of what make it worth playing.



Cory Banks - Tomb Raider







More than a reboot, this is simply a better take on Lara Croft. Previously, she was little more than an avatar, climbing poorly rendered cliffs in short shorts with a polygonal smile. Here, Crystal Dynamics turn her an actual person, a 21-year-old with faith in her convictions but fears that she s making the wrong calls. We see her struggle and suffer in the game, an aspect that made many uncomfortable, but we also see her become a hero. She s a Lara Croft I want to follow into future adventures.



Tom Senior - Assassin's Creed 4







Open-world games are benefiting hugely from new technology. Black Flag s tropical paradise is a technical marvel, a bustling archipelago bound together by dynamic oceans full of storms, colonial fleets and vulnerable trade schooners. Whether freerunning through jungles or sailing the high seas, mere traversal feels dramatic, while those islands have a knack for drawing you away from the prescribed path to hunt animals, capture forts and commit piracy. It s 2013 s most vibrant adventure.



Phil Savage - The Stanley Parable







I d played the original mod, so I thought I knew what to expect. Sure enough, I was led across the abandoned office, past the doors, through an underground complex and on to the canonical end. That was the last time across the many different branches and endings that I could confi dently predict what would happen. Nothing else I ve played this year had the same feeling of weird, hilarious and surprising discovery. The beauty of The Stanley Parable is that anything can be on the other side of a door.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to The PC Gamer Games of the Year 2013 award nominees">goty







PC Gamer editors are prohibited from celebrating Christmas. For the team, the end of the year is marked by an event known as GOTY Sleepover, a time where we somewhat-voluntarily sequester ourselves away from our families and loved ones in the interest of a greater good: selecting the best PC games of the year. We gather in a room with a very heavy door and very little ventilation and stay there until we ve reached a unanimous decision on every award category. It s a lot like the Papal conclave, but with more Cheetos.



So far, this is what we ve got. These are games nominated for awards in general, not just our single Game of the Year. Consider this a short-list of the games our team loved in 2013, one we ll whittle down into proper, named awards in the coming days.





Dota 2

Arma 3

Spelunky

Battlefield 4

Gone Home

Tomb Raider

Rising Storm

Saints Row IV

Papers, Please

BioShock Infinite

Total War: Rome II

The Stanley Parable

XCOM: Enemy Within



Check in each day over the holiday break to see who's victorious. In the meantime, here's our 2012 winners and some lively year-end video conversations about our best PC gaming experiences in 2013.
Oct 25, 2013
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Nvidia Shield review">Nvidia Shield Featured







Everybody knows that if you try to get a cat to do what you want—sit up, fetch a stick, search for explosives—it will do nothing more than stare at you with contempt. That’s why console pitches to PC gamers tend to fall flat: we’re generally not as interested in hearing how a bunch of suits want us to play our games. Nvidia took a much different approach with the Shield, on the other hand, that seems to account for what PC gamers have in common with cats: give us great hardware and the freedom to do whatever we feel like doing, and we’ll show ourselves a great time.



And oh, what hardware! Closed, the Shield looks like a largish Xbox 360 controller, with a handsomely textured plastic chassis and contrasting magnetically-attached silver plate on top (called a “tag”) that can be swapped for glossy or carbon fiber tags (available separately at $20 each). The top flips upward on a firm hinge to expose the 5-inch, 1280x720 glossy LCD touchscreen display and controller surface. The layout of the controller combines the best of the Xbox 360 and PS3 controllers with dual analog thumbsticks, a D-pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, left and right analog triggers and bumpers on the shoulders, as well as five buttons in the center for system controls.







At 1.3 pounds the Shield isn’t lightweight, but the ergonomics are nearly perfect—including a smoothly contoured undercarriage that allows your ring fingers to rest beneath the device—so I was able to play well over an hour before any fatigue set in (and over ten hours on a single battery charge, although that included a half-hour sandwich break and finger yoga). Only the slightly recessed thumbsticks felt a bit awkward at first, but the slight arch in my thumbs necessary to work them actually made depressing them easier.



On the Engineering deck you’ll find the brawniest Android hardware you can fit in a jacket pocket, centered around Nvidia’s own 1.9GHz Tegra 4 processor (with a 5-core CPU and a 72-core GPU) and 2GB RAM. The Shield also includes 802.11n dual band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS, an internal gyroscope and accelerometer as well as 16GB of internal flash-based storage and a MicroSD slot where I’m currently storing 32GB of movies, music, emulators, and disc images I ripped from vintage games (more on that in a moment).



But the real stroke of genius is the Shield’s unmolested Android 4.1 (“Jelly Bean”) operating system, by far the most popular mobile operating system in the world. All you have to do is pop open the Shield, hop onto your wireless network, and help yourself to any of the hundreds of thousands of Android games available through the Google Play store. The Shield wisely highlights Android games with controls and visual enhancements customized for the device and its Tegra 4 proc, as not all Android games support game controllers or control remapping, and not all the ones that do aren’t guaranteed to work well with the Shield. And you’ll want to be very wary of games designed specifically for touchscreens: while some are a pleasure, such as the enigmatic puzzle game The Room, there’s simply no way to comfortably play others, such as the Android port of the classic adventure game The Last Express which bizarrely only supports portrait orientation.







The games tailored for the Shield, on the other hand, play beautifully, with super-crisp detail and unflappable smoothness—especially first- and third-person action games such as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, zombie abatement shooter Dead Trigger, and Max Payne.



The Shield’s most unique feature—no, make that its most downright bitchin' feature—is PC streaming. You can launch any supported game from your PC—via the Shield interface or Steam’s Big Picture mode—and play, oh, let’s say Dishonored, in the bathtub. Which I did. Or Tomb Raider on the couch. I did that, too. I won’t tell you where I played BioShock Infinite, but the main idea is that your PC does the heavy lifting and squirts the results to your Shield with—under ideal conditions—negligible latency. But Nvidia was right to label this a “beta” feature, because getting it to work is something of an adventure in itself. Non-Steam games need to be manually added to your Steam library in order to work, and the hardware requirements are extremely steep: You need at least an Nvidia GeForce GTX 650 (laptop GPUs aren’t supported yet), and your results will depend on the speed and sophistication of your router and the strength of your wireless signal. I used a $180 Asus RT-N66U provided by Nvidia, and even then, in the labyrinth of dead spots that is my home, it took a great deal of experimentation to figure out where to put it—and how far away I could move away from it—so that I could stream without excessive lag or hiccups.







That’s frustrating, but in a sense, it’s also inspiring. Because PC gamers have always been tinkerers, and we’re used to adapting hardware to our needs; at the very least, we’d rather have the option than not. Nvidia cut no corners on the hardware, so I was able to watch my MKV rip of “The Brothers Bloom” Blu-ray without recoding (using VLC). I played my FLAC files of Tomáš Dvořák’s tasty soundtrack to Machinarium through the superb speakers (which are better than most laptop speakers, though light on the bass). And by pairing the Shield with a Bluetooth keyboard for experimenting with command-line instructions, I was able to play the gruesome DOS classic I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream (with the $3.50 DosBox Turbo utility) from a ripped ISO of my dusty CD-ROM. I plugged in the Shield to my PC, and as it charged over the USB connection, I transferred a rip of The Neverhood through Windows Explorer and ran it on the Shield using the free “Windows, Linux, Unix Emulator” on the Google Play store—and played it on my living room TV via the HDMI-out. I used a PlayStation emulator to play Fear Effect on a warm night on my fire escape. I even surveilled my backyard with the AR.Drone 2.0 from Parrot, with a live color video feed from the hovercraft streamed to my Shield.



That’s not to say these feats were easy—not all of them were. But they’re possible, and don’t require “rooting” or workarounds as a result of file system lockouts. You have the same freedom to improvise and experiment that you expect from your PC or laptop—and don’t ever get from console manufacturers. Instead, you get the benefits of an operating system with an open architecture in a handheld that’s several orders of magnitude more sophisticated in hardware and design than any handheld that came before it.



If you have the desire and patience to exploit the Shield’s whopping potential, it’s a must-have—if you tried to take this thing from me I’d tear your arm off and make you eat it. If you don’t, it’s a tougher sell without reliable PC streaming and iffy compatibility with many Android games. Either way, the Shield is a magnificent funmaker that’s worth every penny, and if Nvidia can bullet-proof the streaming and continues to promote compatibility and support among developers, it has an even more glorious future ahead of it.

PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Tomb Raider studio Crystal Dynamics faces some layoffs">Tomb Raider







Lara Croft's last outing didn't fare too badly. The fledgling badass was more likeable than ever in her origin story—but the Tomb Raider series reboot was having some trouble outside of the jungle island's confines, too. Earlier this year, publisher Square Enix's CEO stepped down after the company was reported to have suffered massive losses. Now, despite confirmation that a sequel is in the works, twelve layoffs have been reported at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics.



In a statement made to Kotaku, a spokesperson said, "We’ve made some decisions at Crystal Dynamics last week around the second project we’re working on, which has resulted in a small number of roles (roughly 12) becoming redundant as we re-scope the project...We're a close-knit team at Crystal and wouldn't be making these changes if we didn't feel it was absolutely necessary."



Reportedly, these employees were working on a different, unannounced game; the spokesperson says that development of the Tomb Raider sequel remains unaffected and on track. But with the recent financial troubles experienced by parent company Square Enix, we're still hoping that Lara can fight her way out of this.
PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Tomb Raider sequel “well into development,” says Square Enix CEO">Tomb-Raider-Windy-Ledge







Good news for those of you who are fans of Lara Croft—there's a Tomb Raider sequel and it's "well into development."



Phil Rogers, Square Enix CEO of Europe and the Americas, left a note on the company's blog wanting to set things straight with anyone who had their doubts after the rough patch they hit earlier this year. In the note, he confirms the Tomb Raider sequel and alludes to adding more choices and platforms for gamers in the future.



Along with saying that Square Enix is, "not abandoning core, triple-A console and PC games," he gave a small explanation on how the company has streamlined some of its studio development process.



"We’ve recently re-orientated our studio leadership to focus production expertise at the top, to allow us to ship the best quality games possible, faster and with better cost control," Rogers wrote. "We’ve taken away administrative duties from studio heads, so they get closer to the games, gameplay and gamers with fewer distractions."



He says that the company will share a "fuller title release plan" soon on upcoming games for PC, consoles, and tablets/mobile.
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