Having made my peace with the unsatisfying end of that-game-that-shall-not-be-named-until-they-fix-it I have spend some time investigating the other hopeful candidates of entertainment that I have on the horizon for this year. Among all of the potentially awesome games around, I have to say that for me, Tomb Raider stands out. I realize that this is a purely personal matter. There are a lot of other ‘big hitters’ out there that will no doubt change the face of gaming forever.
But, for me – Tomb Raider is the star I’m waiting for.
Crystal Dynamic’s studio head, Darrell Gallagher promises that they will be exploring concepts that had not been covered before in the previous franchises. It will be the origin story that will show how our Lady Croft becomes the explorer and legend that she is. Having always been a fan of the franchise, I can say with all honestly I’m really looking forward to it. According to Tomb Raider’s official Fan Site called Croft Generation, we can look forward to the following characteristics of gameplay:
- It will be rated M for Mature.
- Lara will be 21 in this game. (yet, still more deadly than Justin Bieber…)
- This will be a reboot of the brand, not only the series. There’s no real life model for Lara this time.
- The game uses motion capture. (whopee!)
- There are very brutal deaths this time. One is described as Lara being stabbed in the chest by a deranged man and the other as a boulder falling on Lara’s leg and pinning it in place before another crushes her skull. (charming)
- Weapons that we can look forward to using will include a bow, shotgun and a pair of pistols. (What will Lara be without THOSE?)
- The lock on target system has been replaced with free aim. (Err… what?! No!)
- There are base camps in the terrain where you can combine items to create something new and access a skill system to upgrade Lara’s abilities. The player can fast travel to these different locations to save back tracking. (RPG, Fallout3 New Vegas anyone?)
- The player will have to gather food and water to survive. (Definitively Fallout3 New Vegas Hardcore mode. Yeah baby.)
- There are humans in the game, including other survivors from the ship. (Hey, other people need to die too…)
All and all, this makes for a pretty impressive list of attributes which to look forward to. I get the sense that the game designers are moving more towards and system that’s almost more RPG based than the previous linear action gaming. I’m not sure how I feel about the free aiming, but that’s my personal opinion as my PS3′s controller had fallen so many times it’s made aiming a tricky, near impossible task. But, I love the survival aspect of it.
The only thing that I do find a bit of a let down is that they have changed voice actresses for this game. Keeley Hawes, who enjoyed playing Lara Croft for four years, won’t be returning and so far, Crystal Dynamics have not yet released the name of the candidate (Jennifer Hale anybody?).
Tomb Raider will be released to Xbox, PS3 and PC towards the end of 2012.