The first few scraps of information about the new Tomb Raider, officially revealed yesterday, are beginning to appear. NeoGAF have been plundering the unreleased Game Informer article by their own nefarious methods, and we learn a few interesting morsels. Like, for instance, Lara is to be 21 in the new game. Keys to the tomb. And deaths are to be brutal. Erk. It's sounding like this is going to be part Tomb Raider, part Survivor, and I'm very intrigued. More bits and pieces below.
I think the area in which most queries are going to lie is combat. The previous Tomb Raider series, either in the hands of CORE or Crystal Dynamics, never managed to get it right. Mostly by including it at all. However, it looks like it will still be a part of things here, albeit with some hefty changes. Auto-locking is gone, and while there's little information about weapons, the concept art shows simple arms: a bow, a shotgun, and a pistol. So it seems there will be combat, in a game series that's previously only ever been encumbered by it. But then, this is a hefty reboot. CD says that players will be able to run in any direction, creating their own paths to the level's goals. The "smoke and mirrors" creating the illusion that this was the case previously are gone.
There's also a greater emphasis on the story, or at least more care going into it. CD's Noah Hughes apparently tells Game Informer,
"It was important in the game to not only deliver the character arc of Lara Croft emotionally, but to deliver it in gameplay as well so the player gets to grow into a hardened survivor."
This survivor theme sounds like it could be a large part of things. In what sounds a little like a Metroid Prime approach, Lara will gain abilities as she progresses, so some areas of the island on which she's stranded will be inaccessible to her early on. As her athletic skills improve, or she finds the right tools, she'll be able to explore further. And even more than that, Lara will need to find food and water if she's to survive. Base camps will provide temporary homes, and also allow for fast-travel.
And she's going to get hurt. Clearly one of the most defining aspects of Tomb Raiders past is the frequency with which our heroine dies. It seems she'll still be shedding mortal coil after coil, with the NeoGAF post explaining one death sees her stabbed in the chest by a deranged man, who then creepily closes her eyes once she's gone.
Scans are beginning to appear, and I'll let you go find those for yourselves. Or if you're a real life American, you could buy a copy of Game Informer.
So far, this is sounding a smart reboot.