VGX 2013 | TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION ANNOUNCED

Crystal Dynamics have announced that Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, is coming to the Xbox One & PlayStation 4 on 28th January 2014.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is the character defining action-adventure where a young and inexperienced Lara Croft transforms into a hardened survivor. This fully re-built version for PlayStation®4 system and Xbox One features an obsessively detailed Lara and a fully realized lifelike world.

Lara Croft presented in unprecedented high definition detail:
–       An all new Lara model created to take advantage of the power of next-gen consoles
–       TRESS FX technology that delivers realistic hair simulation and motion with every strand being physically active
–       Shader and lighting reworked to showcase the raw physicality of Lara’s journey through sweat, mud, and blood materials and effects

A physical world put in motion thanks to brand new hardware architecture:
–       The world has been dynamically brought to life using complex physical world simulation on trees, foliage, cloth, weather, lighting and effects
–       All texture resolutions have been created at 4x resolution for maximum resolution and detail
–       In-game characters, enemies and destructability have been enhanced for added depth and realism
–       Subsurface scattering technology implemented to capture the most physically accurate lighting simulation and deliver a great sense of believability
–       Native 1080p gameplay gives outstanding visual fidelity and showcases the beauty of Yamatai in all its high definition glory

Tomb Raider Xbox One PS4

The Definitive Edition of the award-winning action-adventure includes all of the original downloadable content, plus digital versions of the Dark Horse comic, Brady Games mini-art book and the Final Hours developer videos. Customers who pre-order will receive special art book packaging featuring never-before-seen concept art.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition’ is so named as it’s exactly what we’ve custom built for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 system consoles.  The new hardware let us finally express the original vision in all of its glory. This was a continued labor of love. We pulled the game apart and rebuilt it with painstaking detail to add enhanced visual storytelling but without changing the award winning tale. The end result is a cinematic living world. We can’t wait for fans and newcomers alike to experience this rebuilt epic adventure.”

Crystal Dynamics Executive Producer, Scot Amos.

Eurogamer Expo 2012 Hands-On Preview | Tomb Raider

At this year’s Eurogamer Expo in London, infinite robots got the chance to sit down with upcoming reboot to the Tomb Raider franchise. Does it feel like a true Lara Croft adventure or have developer Crystal Dynamics taken one risk too many to bring Lady Croft back to the top of the gaming pile…

Let’s get something out of the way shall we? The new Tomb Raider game (entitled simply Tomb Raider, just to make it confusing for all you older gamers) is nothing like Uncharted. The adventures of Nathan Drake have bagged awards & acclaim over the last few years but the new Tomb Raider manages to doff its cap to its tomb raiding rival whilst striving for something entirely its own.

Tomb Raider
The Tomb Raider story will be a truly dark tale

Tomb Raider, which is set for release in March of next year, will tell a new take on the origins of the iconic Lara Croft. Gone are the reality-defying assets & tennis style grunting, instead Crystal Dynamics are aiming for a brutal tale of survival that will shape the adventuress we all know and love. Don’t expect jet skis & bike chases in this TR, this one’s all about guiding a teenage Lara from a child with dreams of adventures to a hardened survivor.

We tested out some pre-beta code set at the very beginning of the game. Our playthrough began on the cliffs of a tropical island. The wrecks of ships from across the ages lie shattered on the rocks below, jutting from the waves like forgotten carcasses. The lighting is stunning, the setting sun bathing this violent setting in an amber glow that’s eerily calming. At this stage Lara grips her side in pain, blood staining her clothes as she struggles along the cliff-side to safety.

Tomb Raider
Some girls will go to any lengths for a decent bow…

As you move away from the cliffs you get a chance to guide Lara over a few short jumps & a climb up a rusted bomber that hangs by a waterfall. Lara interacts with the environment in a way that makes her feel truly weighted. As you stagger over rocks you’ll see Lara grip nearby walls to catch herself or cover her eyes from the glare of the setting sun. Triggered cut-scenes share the same character movements & traits so the shift between these scenes & gameplay never seems clunky.

It’s hard to say how much of the game will focus on action set pieces, but when you do get to scale a cavern, tomb or wreck the climbing mechanics feel tight & true to the influences Assassin’s Creed & Uncharted have had on third-person games of this type. The climbing feels like a natural successor to previous current gen Tomb Raider adventures, so those fans of Tomb Raider: Underworld won’t be left out in the cold by this new outing.

Tomb Raider
The hunting aspect fits oddly well into the overall gameplay

After a few brief climbing sections you’ll also get your hands on one of the games signature weapons, the bow. The bow controls are nothing revolutionary but the environment of the island demands you use it your advantage. Using the lush forest for cover will allow you to take down nearby grazing deer with a well-placed shot. The animal AI is razor sharp so blundering in firing arrow will no doubt send your dinner into a distant sprint. If you do bring down a critter you can take the meat back to your basecamp & use it to purchase upgrades for your Lara. From retrieving arrows from fallen foes to identifying targets from afar, the use of XP feels natural when most games simply shoehorn it in for good measure.

The sections we played were certainly far from a sandbox environment, but at the same time each section feels open enough to distance itself from Uncharted’ rigid linear pathways.  A lot of care & attention has gone into crafting an environment that looks & sounds wild that is littered with paths & nooks for you to explore. The inclusion of a handy ‘hunter vision’ (which turns everything black & white & highlights objectives in gold) is Batman Arkham Asylum to a tee, but its inclusion will no doubt help players determine how to approach a group of enemies or rich a distant objective.

Tomb Raider
Can Lara Croft be humanised & remain a videogame icon?

Overall, Tomb Raider has proven to be one of Eurogamer Expo 2012’s true surprises. Surrounded by titles like Hitman: Absolution & Assassin’s Creed 3, Tomb Raider doesn’t feel like another carbon-copy addition to an already over-saturated genre. With six months till its global release there’s plenty of time for Crystal Dynamics to make this a triumphant return for one of gaming’s forgotten icons.

   

Has the new Tomb Raider been on your radar? Here at infinite robots we can’t wait to pick up the full code on March, so let us know what you think & keep it infinite!

Top Five Wish List: The Tomb Raider Reboot

So, with Crystal Dynamics new reboot of the iconic video game franchise now delayed until early 2013, what can we expect from the new title? It will be almost four and a half years since the last Tomb Raider, so we at infinite robots have a few things on our wish list for the ninth true instalment in the once great series.

Continue reading Top Five Wish List: The Tomb Raider Reboot