Kotaku

The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the ColoussusPlenty of game developers profess their love for Team Ico's beautiful PlayStation 2 games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. But few of them have made games that bear the traits of those quiet, lovely adventures.


The folks behind the new Tomb Raider tried to do that. And then shifted course. That's revealed in a new making-of app that is out today on the eve of a long-awaited reboot of the adventures of Lara Croft.


The new iPad and Steam app that chronicles this is called The Final Hours of Tomb Raider and was crafted by a team led by friend-of-Kotaku and GTTV host Geoff Keighley. (The app was made with the cooperation of the game's publisher and is being bundled with special editions of the game.) In the main magazine-style article that forms the spine of The Final Hours, Keighley reveals the surprisingly difficult time the development studio Crystal Dynamics had restarting the Tomb Raider series.


As Keighley puts it, this reboot was itself rebooted. Some of the earliest ideas for Lara Croft's return were the wildest and riffed heavily on those quiet, majestic Team Ico PS2 arthouse classics.


The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the Coloussus"In early design meetings he steam started thinking about other games that could inspire a new approach," Keighley writes. "The emotionally rich role-playing game Ico, the survival horror of Resident Evil, and the towering mythical creatures of Shadows [sic] of the Colossus all served as early inspiration."


In the app, Keighley shows off a bounty of sketches and video prototypes of these earlier reboot concepts (We're showing just three glimpses of that material in this article). You can see Lara, on horseback, flee a giant. You can see her leaping a chasm with a child on her back, a child that was going to be an emotionally-sympathetic helper. This two-character design was a callback to the sweet co-operative duo of Yorda and Ico in the game bearing the latter's name. Lara's child helper was later pitched as a monkey but then scrapped.


All this rebooting took several years. Keighley explains how the team at Crystal Dynamics tested a horror concept, something that leaked four years ago. Focus groups thought the horror angle was a stretch.


Tomb Raider's developers eventually settled on the game that officially comes out tomorrow. Not a Shadow of the Colossus riff. Not a horror game. But a game of a young woman surviving on an island full of bad guys, a journey from regular girl to hero.


This new game appears to be very good.


But the one that Keighley shows glimpses of...


The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the Coloussus


...that would have been something else!


I've read through The Final Hours and recommend it. It's stuffed with interviews and more exclusive visuals like this. It's a superb behind-the-scenes look. You can get it on iTunes for $2.99 at this link. It's coming to Steam in the next day or too as well.


Kotaku

The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the ColossusPlenty of game developers profess their love for Team Ico's beautiful PlayStation 2 games Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. But few of them have made games that bear the traits of those quiet, lovely adventures.


The folks behind the new Tomb Raider tried to do that. And then shifted course. That's revealed in a new making-of app that is out today on the eve of a long-awaited reboot of the adventures of Lara Croft.


The new iPad and Steam app that chronicles this is called The Final Hours of Tomb Raider and was crafted by a team led by friend-of-Kotaku and GTTV host Geoff Keighley. (The app was made with the cooperation of the game's publisher and is being bundled with special editions of the game.) In the main magazine-style article that forms the spine of The Final Hours, Keighley reveals the surprisingly difficult time the development studio Crystal Dynamics had restarting the Tomb Raider series.


As Keighley puts it, this reboot was itself rebooted. Some of the earliest ideas for Lara Croft's return were the wildest and riffed heavily on those quiet, majestic Team Ico PS2 arthouse classics.


The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the Colossus"In early design meetings the team started thinking about other games that could inspire a new approach," Keighley writes. "The emotionally rich role-playing game Ico, the survival horror of Resident Evil, and the towering mythical creatures of Shadows [sic] of the Colossus all served as early inspiration."


In the app, Keighley shows off a bounty of sketches and video prototypes of these earlier reboot concepts (We're showing just three glimpses of that material in this article). You can see Lara, on horseback, flee a giant. You can see her leaping a chasm with a child on her back, a child that was going to be an emotionally-sympathetic helper. This two-character design was a callback to the sweet co-operative duo of Yorda and Ico in the game bearing the latter's name. Lara's child helper was later pitched as a monkey but then scrapped.


All this rebooting took several years. Keighley explains how the team at Crystal Dynamics tested a horror concept, something that leaked four years ago. Focus groups thought the horror angle was a stretch.


Tomb Raider's developers eventually settled on the game that officially comes out tomorrow. Not a Shadow of the Colossus riff. Not a horror game. But a game of a young woman surviving on an island full of bad guys, a journey from regular girl to hero.


This new game appears to be very good.


But the one that Keighley shows glimpses of...


The Tomb Raider Reboot Was Going To Be A Lot More Like Shadow of the Colossus


...that would have been something else!


I've read through The Final Hours and recommend it. It's stuffed with interviews and more exclusive visuals like this. It's a superb behind-the-scenes look. You can get it on iTunes for $2.99 at this link. It's coming to Steam in the next day or too as well.


Kotaku

The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb RaiderTombs! Puzzles! Guns! Jumping! More guns! The setpieces are all there, but does Tomb Raider manage to scratch that treasure-plundering-and-adventuring itch? Reviewers say it does.


Survival horror-esque hiding and sniping goes hand in hand with mountain climbing and cover shooting in the franchise reboot. But what was it, in particular, that sent critics over the edge? Here's what they have to say.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


Machinima

When you're not fighting against Tomb Raider's design, you feel like you're just going through familiar third-person adventure motions. As you may expect, combat encounters are broken up by largely straightforward environmental puzzles. These usually involve figuring out how to apply the set of upgraded weapons or items that Lara has acquired through the game. On top of this, Tomb Raider is overblown with quicktime events. They are often used to pull you up from a ledge or open a door. They aren't inherently bad but I often felt removed from the on screen action when all I was required to do was a single button press to perform a death-defying maneuver.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


Eurogamer

There aren't many mandatory puzzles and they aren't too tricky. They involve a lot of ropes. For the first few hours of play, it feels like this core element of the series has been sidelined and dumbed down to a disappointing degree. But again, things look up as the game goes on. The puzzles crop up more regularly and get more challenging. It's just like old times as the game shuts up, calms down and gives Lara the breathing space to quietly work out the answers.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


Destructoid

Battle is as big a part of Tomb Raider as navigation, and that's a surprisingly good thing, because Crystal Dynamics has been able to create a most elegant combat system. When enemies are near, Lara transitions into a crouching stance, and will automatically take cover near convenient walls and boxes. While most game characters take cover with obtrusive—and often unwanted—snaps, Croft manages to flow naturally and simply from cover to combat to regular movement, in a way that never seems obnoxious or unnecessary. The game's contextual animation is superb, and seems know exactly the correct thing to do in any given situation.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


Polygon

Few action games come close to the level of control that Tomb Raider provides. For example, after Lara makes a deliberate jump in one direction, you maintain the ability to change where she's falling in mid-air. This air control sits at odds with the emphasis on realism found in Tomb Raider's presentation, but it makes the platforming less linear and demands more from the player. Likewise, you can leap between locations—say from sliding down a rope to climbing up a rock wall with your pickaxe. The speed of these changes makes Lara's animations look awkward and unnatural, but it feels right.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


IGN

Tomb Raider has definitely taken inspiration from the other great action games of this generation. There's an escaping-from-a-burning-building scenario, and more than one sequence where you're skidding at speed down a waterfall. But even when Tomb Raider falls back on action-game cliché, it does so with such confidence and aplomb that you don't mind—in fact, that burning-building sequence is one of the game's most breathlessly exciting moments. Once it gets going, Tomb Raider is high-octane and squeezes your adrenaline gland dry, but it's also got great variety and pacing. There are quiet, tense moments inbetween the combat-heavy setpieces, and you're never in the same place doing the same thing twice.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


The Escapist

Even the tombs themselves have been simplified. They're not big huge sprawling things filled with massive statues, hidden switches and deadly traps. They're petite puzzle rooms with a very simple goal: Figure out how to get from the entrance to the treasure box using ordinary objects like gas cans, buoys, and cargo haulers. If you find yourself stumped, Lara's Survivor Instinct ability helps highlight items of interest in the room, and occasionally Lara herself will mutter a hint. It's a great compromise, offering a helpful nudge to those who want it without forcing it on those who don't.



The Critics Mostly Love The New Tomb Raider


Kotaku

Ominous dread replaces intrepid sauciness in this reboot, and there's little of the breathless wonder that distinguished the first Tomb Raider games. You will see beautiful vistas, yes, but not much joy accompanies those moments. A tight claustrophobic camera zooms in on Lara when she squeezes through tight crevices and, even in the game's more open environments, a tense anxiety is never too far off. But that dread makes the play of the game feel deeply satisfying.


PC Gamer
Sad Lara does not actually know if the PC version looks this good yet.
Sad Lara does not know if she'll be able to alter the FOV.

Lara Croft's traumatic gap-year adventure has been well received by our counterparts on console, and we were hoping to be able to start providing you with our impressions of the PC version today. Unfortunately, we've been told by Square Enix that code for the PC version won't be issued until Tuesday, when the game goes on sale - so expect our verdict to fall in the latter half of next week.

Crystal Dynamics are reportedly unwilling to let the game out into the wild until it's ready. Perhaps they're worried about Lara's PC-exclusive hair going haywire - we don't know. Delays like this don't always indicate a problem with the product, but they do prevent us from telling you one way or another before you lay down your hard-earned cash.

If your fingers are hovering over the pre-order button for Tomb Raider then we advise holding off until we've had a chance to check it out. One way or another, we'll have some first impressions of the PC version up by midday GMT on Tuesday.
Announcement - Valve
Pre-load Tomb Raider now and be ready to play when it releases!

Plus, all Steam Pre-Purchasers receive a free copy of "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, "Tomb of the Lost Adventurer" DLC, and the Shanty Town Multiplayer Map!

Check out the game page for more details.

PC Gamer
Yes, this is dog.


The scores for Squeenix's reboot of Tomb Raider are pouring in like live snakes into an overly-elaborate trap set by a long-dead civilisation. Generally, people seem to be quite upbeat about this beat-up new Lara. But how does the young adventuress perform on PC? We can't tell you alas, nor give you our opinion of the game at large, as we've not yet been issued PC code. Sob.

Hopefully, we'll be getting code later today as promised and have someone ready to raid tombs in all their graphically-enhanced glory the moment the opportunity presents itself. Square Enix have had excellent form with their PC ports of late, so we'll be sure to let you know if their latest effort matches the standards set by Sleeping Dogs' lustrous PC-specific sheen.
PC Gamer
Tomb Raider splat


The spry Lara Croft tumbles onto PCs on March 5, but Square Enix is taking a machete to the wait with another look at Tomb Raider's combat, which apparently involves the good Ms. Croft's natural skill at wanton slaughter. Stealth takedowns, melee slug-outs, and shooting sprees all show up, though the common result throws a lot of blood everywhere and turns the young adventurer into a rather brutal killer.

You're also shown how upgrading at campfires and discovering tombs to raid improves your arsenal and unlocks secondary combat abilities such as a rather messy pickaxe backstab and the option to stab bandits in the face with an arrow. In fact, there's lots of stabbing going on in this trailer. Also, exploding barrels! Even a desolate tropical island is the perfect home for those classic, illogical game cylinders.

Square Enix says you'll encounter "rare opportunities to cause larger explosions," a fine plus for bloodthirsty survivalists but also another way of saying, "Prepare to run into the scripted-event monster." Still, Tomb Raider's various scraps look interesting enough, if only diluted somewhat by the linear impression of it all. I'm still hopeful for an engaging action-platformer on March 5.
PC Gamer
Tomb Raider featured


The usual rule of thumb for news writing is that any headline that ends with a question mark can be answered with a no. Here, though, it's an emphatic yes. Looking over the announced system specifications for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, your PC will almost certainly be fine. That is, unless your PC is a cardboard box with some string and wire stuffed inside it. You do realise that isn't a PC, right?

Here's what budding survivalists will need:

Minimum system requirements for PC

Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista,7,8 (32bit/64bit)
DirectX 9 graphics card with 512Mb Video RAM:
- AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT
- nVidia 8600

Dual core CPU:
- AMD Athlon64 X2 2.1 Ghz (4050+)
- Intel Core2 Duo 1.86 Ghz (E6300)

1GB Memory (2GB on Vista)

Recommended system requirements for PC

Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM:
- AMD Radeon HD 4870
- nVidia GTX 480

Quad core CPU:
- AMD Phenom II X2 565
- Intel Core i5-750

4GB Memory


Let's see what you'll get with those affordable mid-range components:

Very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data
Detail Tessellation to enhance the detail on many surfaces in the game
Higher quality shadows
High quality bokeh depth of field with near-blur
Tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry
Improved cloth, SSAO, quality wetness effects, and post-filter effects.
LOD quality is adjustable for better quality on higher-end machines.

Tomb Raider also launches with Steamworks integration, so expect cloud saving, Steam server matchmaking and full Big Picture support. Reasonable requirements aside, Square Enix's PC porting efforts have been relatively strong of late, so chances are there's no cause for concern here. All that remains to be seen is whether the game is any good. Rich's hands-on preview will give you an idea of what to expect.
PC Gamer
Tomb Raider


Tomb Raider's less than a month away (out on March 5, to be precise). In case you're not sold on the idea of a youthful Lara making a rough-and-tumble entrance into the hard world of adventuring, Square Enix have put out 11 minutes of narrated in-game footage showing her killing her way out of a crumbling monastery complex.

I'm a bit worried. Most of the footage they've put out has funneled Lara down a continuous narrow corridor broken up by scripted tumbles, wobbly AI moments, a persistent smattering of quick-time events and stretches of non-interactivity. There may yet be surprises beyond the small sections that have been shown so far, or so I hope. The island is structured around hubs, and is populated by bonus tombs that Lara can, y'know, raid, for shiny bits. That'll be the subject of the next video, apparently. Take a look at the latest one below.

Announcement - Valve
Day 1 of the Square-Enix Publisher Weekend has kicked off today. The Daily Deal for today is the Tomb Raider Series at 75% off! Be sure to check back each day for new deals.

During the weekend, titles in the *Square-Enix catalog are on sale for 50%. In addition, pre-purchase the new Tomb-Raider and receive 25% off of the Square-Enix Hit Collection!

Hitman Absolution is 33% off (discount does not apply to all territories)

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