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Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.>
It’s probably the case that most people’s favourite Tomb Raider is the first one they played. Unless it was Angel Of Darkness. Mine was Tomb Raider II, so it’s always the one I think of the most fondly.
Crystal Dynamics have released an alternate playthrough of Rise of the Tomb Raider‘s [official site] ‘Advancing Storm’ demo to showcase Lara’s stealth possibilities. This is probably because even though they said stealth was entirely possible that bit got lost when the main message of the original video turned into “GUNS and then THROAT SLITTING and then EXPLODING BARRELS and then SHOTGUN YOU IN THE FACE”.
Or perhaps the stealth message went astray during the bit where they explained [at 3.13 in this video] that you could set up a poison bomb in someone’s corpse and the beeping would lure an AI over and then the poisonbombcorpse would explode. Who knows.
Once a week most weeks, team RPS gathers, eyes itself warily across the table then debates. Sometimes it’s about SCANDAL, like slow-motion Batman or No Man’s Sky hype, other times it’s about perennials, like best levels ever or if Early Access means the end times.
This week, we’re discussing the pitfalls and merits of platform exclusives, in the wake of Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture being PS4-only, despite its devs making their name with the PC-only Dear Esther. In recent months similar has happened with Tomb Raider, and of course there’s a long history of this sort of thing, from your Marios to your Halos. Is this right? Is it sensible? And what about the other side of the coin, with XCOM 2 being PC-only? Not so grumbly then, are we? Let’s see if we can figure this one out, eh? … [visit site to read more]
Just as Dark Knight Rises was mostly a tale of falling down in order to get back up again, Rise of the Tomb Raider [official site] will require Lara Croft to hit the ground hard before she even considers doing any sort of upward movement. A new 13 minute video from Gamescom sees her Jonesing around, talking about her dad’s research, stumbling, crashing, dodging bullets and – SHOCK OF SHOCKS – raiding a tomb.
Remember how Square Enix were fannying about with Rise of the Tomb Raider [official site], playing tedious word games and falling silent to pretend that their neck-impaling sequel would be an Xbox exclusive when clearly it wouldn’t? You’ll never guess what: it is coming to PC after all!
Well, the word games aren’t quite over – it may or may not be exclusive to Windows 10 (more below). But yes, “early 2016″ is when it’ll come our way. As I’ve been dutifully ignoring the game until Squeenix stopped playing around, I suppose now’s the time for me to flood you with details and gameplay trailers.
Remember a couple years back, when Square Enix said it expected to suffer "an extraordinary loss" on the fiscal year because various games in its lineup, including the Tomb Raider reboot, sold far fewer copies than expected? It was bad enough to force the resignation of CEO Yoichi Wada and prompt a major restructuring of "development policy, organizational structure, [and] some business models." If you do happen to recall that particular uproar, you may be surprised to hear that developer Crystal Dynamics announced today that the 2013 edition of Tomb Raider is actually the best-selling game in the history of the franchise.
Tomb Raider went over well with critics and shifted 3.4 million copies in its first month of release, which sounds pretty good to me. But Square Enix said in this March 2013 financial results briefing (via Eurogamer) that it expected to sell between five and six million units and was "very disappointed to see that the high [Metacritic] scores did not translate into actual sales performance." That resulted in "substantial variance in operation profit/loss against the forecast"—business-speak for, "We made a lot less money than we thought we would."
Yet from there, we end up here: The reboot sold more than than 8.5 million units, a franchise record. It also set a Tomb Raider record for launch day sales, and first-month sales. "Tomb Raider ignited and expanded the fan base, pushing the series to a new level. The game s incredible sales success reflects the passionate response of players, Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher said in a statement. "Our studio is proud of what we accomplished with the game."
It was also enough of a success to earn a sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, which was announced last year as a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. After the appropriate "duration" has expired, we're betting it will be released for other platforms, including the PC, and so we took a closer look at where Lara's headed next right here.
Everything is so bloody stupid. In a world where major publishers like THQ can fold, and even something of the scale of Activision-Blizzard couldn’t find a buyer other than itself, you’d imagine Square Enix wouldn’t be doing absolutely >everything> in their power to reach as few customers as possible. But the company that recently suffered financial woes, and complained the first Tomb Raider didn’t sell enough copies, are doing exactly that. Rise Of The Tomb Raider is the sequel to the morbidly overrated Tomb Raider reboot and was previously revealed as an Xbox “exclusive” release, ensuring the vast majority of its potential sales are instantly removed. And now they’re tying up their marketing with in-store promotional brochure, Game Informer.>
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.
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.