E3 2015: Rise of the Tomb Raider Puts the tomb back in Tomb Raider

Despite a largely positive reception, Tomb Raider fans had plenty of feedback to offer to the developers of the 2013 reboot. Judging by what we've seen of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics has had its ear to the ground, listening.

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It’s not easy to reboot an entire series, and in 2013 Crystal Dynamics flew over that hurtle with flying colors. That doesn’t mean everything was perfect, and Tomb Raider fans everywhere had plenty of feedback to offer to the developers. Judging by what we've seen of Rise of the Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics has had its ear to the ground, listening.

Don’t get me wrong. There was nothing fundamentally wrong with the Tomb Raider reboot of 2013, but many fans argued that there just weren't enough actual tombs, and that the game focused far too much on the action sequences and explosions. At a closed-door demo, Shacknews was given a first-hand glimpse at the new improved Lara Croft.

Gone are the days of mindless shooting and sprinting. Instead, the developers have worked hard to completely revamp the crafting system, allowing on the fly crafting of ammo and other items. The crafting isn’t the only thing that has improved, however, as the Lara Croft of this era is more nimble, and stealthy, foregoing the run’n’gun routes of yesteryear for better, more advanced flanking.

At one point in the demo we watched as Lara climbed into a tree to avoid detection, later dropping from a branch to take out an enemy in a devastating attack. Along with these improvements Franchise Director Noah Hughes assured us that Rise of the Tomb Raider would feature several main-story tombs. What followed was a gorgeous, crumbling mess of ruins and vistas. Hughes went on to share that this tomb, the Tomb of the Immortal Prophet, was just the beginning. That many other story tombs waited, as well as dozens of hidden Challenge Tombs for fans to explore.

Along with Lara’s new combat skills we were also given a glimpse of her calmer, more civilized side. Lara Croft has always been a smart one, and this iteration of her delves heavily into her archaeology work. During the demo of the Tomb of the Immortal Prophet, Hughes pointed out that the languages written on the stones in the tomb were unreadable because Laura hadn’t learned them yet. But, he hinted that she could learn to speak and decode these messages by finding other pieces tied to that language in the environment. We haven't seen it entirely in practice, but that could mean an entirely different and more intellectual side of Lara that fans have never really seen in the games.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is set to release November 10, 2015 on Xbox One.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    June 17, 2015 7:30 AM

    Josh Hawkins posted a new article, E3 2015: Rise of the Tomb Raider Puts the tomb back in Tomb Raider

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      June 17, 2015 8:43 AM

      Still no word on PS4 release? :(

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        June 17, 2015 9:23 AM

        6-12 months after xbone, if not sooner. Every time MS said "exclusive" they immediately hedged it with "holiday 2015!". There's no way this isn't coming to PC and PS4.

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      June 17, 2015 9:21 AM

      Looks good!

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      June 17, 2015 9:24 AM

      Release window + timed exclusive sunk this game, calling it now. Such a shame because I loved the re-imaging. You don't release your game next to FO4 and Battlefront on only a single platform, that is literally insane. Even someone who absolutely wants to play this, I'm just going to wait for PC now.

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        June 17, 2015 9:44 AM

        TR is too big of a franchise to get lost in the shuffle. Even being platform exclusive, I wouldn't be surprised if it pushes 3M units over the holidays.

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        June 17, 2015 9:48 AM

        This game wouldn't exist without MS funding part of its development. Square Enix weren't impressed with the first games sales and weren't going to make a sequel. So now we get to have this game come out first in Xbox One then the other platforms.

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          June 17, 2015 10:06 AM

          Where did you read this garbage? They green-lit the sequel mere months after the first game launched. It sold over 8 million copies last I heard and it's easily the best-selling Tomb Raider game by far. If anything Square had unreasonable expectations. Publishers always do.

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        June 17, 2015 9:51 AM

        I'm pretty sure it'll do great and help to sell more Xbox Ones this holiday.

        I want it on PC bay but the exclusivity window seems to be pretty big

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          June 17, 2015 10:56 AM

          TR2 is also on the 360. Its an old platform but there are a LOT still out there.

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        June 17, 2015 9:58 AM

        I don't think it's going to completely flop, and I imagine it's going to be a critical success, but I think you're right about it weathering a perfect storm. It's got stiff competition from not only the two you mentioned, but Call of Duty as well; just a very busy Christmas season all around. Combined with being a console exclusive (regardless of MS funding part of its development), things aren't going to look good from a commercial perspective.

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        June 17, 2015 11:15 AM

        It's going to sell very well and be a large success. To think otherwise is almost insanity.

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      June 17, 2015 9:28 AM

      Still no word on PC release? :[

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        June 17, 2015 11:05 AM

        None. Only thing I heard at E3 from someone who knows someone is that is that the exclusivity window is of a decent length. I want it on PC badly but I might have to get the XB1 version instead. We'll see!

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      June 17, 2015 9:37 AM

      I'm definitely in the camp that would have preferred a lot more tombs/problem solving than just gunning down enemies or walking from one ice/rope/tower climb to the next.

      Good to hear they're going to address that. Now I just need to know when it's coming to PC. Really wish they'd have launched on all platforms at once.

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        June 17, 2015 9:56 AM

        Absolutely. Tomb Raider 2013 was solid, but a lot of the levels just didn't suit the theme, and even though the gun game-play was good, there was so much that it felt like Call of Duty. I'd rather have more exploration, more puzzles, and less guns-blazing action.

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          June 17, 2015 11:06 AM

          Yeah, it was weird that its gunplay was way better than Uncharted but its tomb puzzles were way worse.

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      June 17, 2015 9:50 AM

      Looks awesome but waiting on PC release.

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      June 17, 2015 9:55 AM

      I wonder if, technically, this game will be on par with typical PS4 1080p output + performance. If so, I may jump on this. Was going to wait otherwise.

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        June 17, 2015 10:16 AM

        I thought the TR and Uncharted demos looked virtually the same in terms of graphics although I'm not sure whether the TR demo was running off a PC or XB1

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          June 17, 2015 11:46 AM

          Uncharted games have always been the pinnacle (or near to it) of console graphics when released. I don't think the newest TR game wowed me all that much graphically, but it was released at the tail end of last-gen.

          That said, XB1 exclusives have looked damned good.

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            June 17, 2015 12:38 PM

            agreed, UC4 looked beautiful but I don't think it had quite the leap over what else was shown that previous Uncharted games have had (which isn't all that surprising, the graphics champs are often caught up to after a few games).

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      June 17, 2015 11:00 AM

      Going to wait for the OC version but man it looks really awesome, can not wait another one on the list.

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      June 17, 2015 11:18 AM

      Well...Guess I'll have to wait. I want it for the PS4 over the One.

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      June 17, 2015 12:31 PM

      Yes but pc please