Firstly I’d like to take you back to Spring of 2009, a long time back. Some interesting news circling the games industry had been going around and sure enough the rumours that Square Enix buying Edios Interactive bring the Tomb Raider Series in the hands of the ever capable Square Enix publishing company.
In the Summer of 2009 documents and initial concept art of a venture between Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics suggesting that a fresh revival reboot of the legendary series that had just come into their hands. None other than Tomb Raider and Lara Croft, the sex symbol of the games industry if there ever was one.
The documents leaked gave more an insight to the reboot of the Tomb Raider series than the concept art and only some information was coped until the savvy lawyers over at Square Enix ‘suggested’ the post was taken down on the respected web page. The document held a description of the new concept of the Tomb Raider reboot and the ideas held for what type of game it would be. The document and concept art can be seen bellow.
The Next Tomb Raider Video Game Concept for PS3, Xbox 360 and PCs:
When a sudden storm destroys her research vessel, a young and inexperienced Lara Croft finds herself stranded on a mysterious and remote island hidden off the shores of Japan. Despite several signs of various inhabitants the island is oddly deserted, and an uneasy feeling settles in as strange sounds emerge from the shadows. With only her determination, inner strength and resourcefulness to help her, Lara must overcome the challenges of a harsh and unforgiving journey that will take her across a vast island wilderness and deep into the claustrophobic and menacing underground tombs from the island’s past. As she struggles to prevail through brutal combat encounters and treacherous exploration, Lara will be pushed to her limited and forced to adapt to her situation in order to survive and escape from the lethal predators that stalk her every move.
- Hunt or be Hunted: Evade, outsmart, track and kill the mysterious enemies that hunt you as prey.
- Survival Action: Brutally attack and defend yourself as you fight to survive the visceral one-on-one melee combat.
- Strategic Weapons: Gain an advantage in combat by finding an array of different melee and ranged weapons including a variety of guns and the hunter’s ultimate weapon, the bow.
- Creative Survival: React and adapt to the island by using only that which you can salvage from the environment like climbing axes, rope, and machetes that can be used to unlock new traversal and combat gameplay options.
- Free Movement: Scramble up a vertical cliff wall, sprint and leap across a huge chasm, steer mid-air to land a misdirected jump. There is no one right way to traverse, survive, and explore the harsh environment of the island.
- One Cohesive World: the diverse multi-region island is an open playground alive with creatures, weather, and natural events.
- Origin Story: This new Tomb Raider concept reboots the franchise by exploring the origin of Lara Croft’s transformation into a hardened adventurer as you unravel the story behind the island’s mysterious past.
This document gave me many ideas to what Crystal Dynamics where concepting the ideas for a reboot of one of the most well known series in gaming history. Although at this time I was just entering college and starting my adventure towards me becoming a future game designer so I only recognised this leak since late 2010.
The ideas they have for an origins story are inspiring and imaginative to say the least. By just looking at the description and the bullet pointed plots and gameplay they might include you can see routes that Crystal Dynamics will or will not take. This got me thinking that this new Tomb Raider game will become its own; unique and revolutionary, like nothing we have seen and re-imagine the image we have of Tomb Raider herself.
After that everything went quite although Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics did not intend to show their concepts to the world, it made a lot of hype for a new remake to the Tomb Raider series. Since the seires itself has been on the narrow cliff road it has had in the past years Edios Interactive have held the title.
Then coming up to E32011, 3 years after the leak of the documents and concept art Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics along with the help from Visual Works. They had created a Tomb Raider debut trailer stressing that this E3 in 2011 Tomb Raider will be back, with a raw innocent core diving into a brutal adventure not for the feint hatred.
The debut trailer titled ‘Turning Point’ shows stunning CGI graphics from Visual Works and the imaginings of Crystal Dynamics concepts that they have held hidden at best for the past 3 years until this point. The heavy story and deep connection felt the trailer gives to the viewer is fantastic and worthy to be proud of been apart of.
The attention to detail that was made, as well as the sound and visual representation blew me away completely, just out of sheer awe of how amazing Crystal Dynamics and Visual Works have made this new game. It made me fall in love with the Tomb Raider franchise all over again, since the original quadrilogy of the Tomb Raider games. The ‘Turning Point’ debut trailer can be seen bellow along with a making of the trailer.
As everyone was marvelling at the new unique Tomb Raider game, simple dubbed ‘Tomb Raider’ as signalling the revival and the reboot of this awe-inspiring series. E32011 rolled around the corner and everyone looked on with anticipation to the new game trailers to be announced and publisher press conferences of the up coming year.
With everything at E32011 in full swing Crystal Dynamics took to the stage at Microsoft’s E32011 Press Conference to show off their highly anticipated new game reboot, Tomb Raider. The gameplay demo itself showed a dark sinister new environment and play style of survival as a young Lara Croft tries to survive somewhere off the cost of Japan.
The gameplay demo brought everything to the table that it needed to show and showed a stunning new game along with innovative new unique play style that gave me chills. I do think that Tomb Raider has gotten a new hope of being that game that we all remember in our youth or in the past as a great legendary game.
The gameplay demo went through the paces that any fan of the series would want a gave everything it needed to giving off new found restored faith in the Tomb Raider games. If you want to see this epic gameplay demo then it is bellow for your enjoyment.
A year passed since the hype of the new reboot of Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise, E32011 being extremely successful for both Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics in the coverage of the game they presented to the world. Everything going fine and development by now in full swing E32012 quickly came around and yet again Crystal Dynamics had planned for showing off more of Lara Croft’s new dark survival game.
Just before E32012 another debut gameplay trailer was release titled ‘Crossraods’ along with a stable release date of the new Tomb Raider game, 5th March, 2013. The gameplay trailer yet again set the mark that Crystal Dynamics was aiming for giving this new Lara Croft a innocent, darker, more primitive edge to the battle hardened heroine we are used to.
The concept of the origin story that the new Tomb Raider had, along with a younger Lara Croft than seen ever before become the precedent of how successful the game will set to be in the future when it is released. I for one enjoyed to the fullest the debut gameplay demo as it showed more of the play style and deep story that I have come to enjoy, everything was how it needed to be to slide the past away and present the new future of Tomb Raider. The debut gameplay demo can be seen bellow.
Within the excitement of E32012 while the ball was rolling out of the Microsoft Press Conference, Crystal Dynamic came onto stage to yet again show off their new Tomb Raider game and show the horrors of survival that the young Lara Croft will face on this perilous island.
The demo they showed gave everything and more yet again, the gameplay was simple, dynamic and fluid giving the most of the new play style adapted to this game. The story became and adventure with an even darker and shocking mind set.
This gave me more interest in the game and only made me want the game more simply because how clean cut and unique the game had become since its original concept and just what I look for in an upcoming game. The gameplay demo can be seen bellow.
In this article I have probably repeated myself and used the same terminology again throughout, I apologise if that is the case. I still am trying to get a grip of giving my personal opinion and writing style so it will take a while to prove my writing is concise and makes some sort of sense.
I trust that you enjoy the article on Tomb Raider and are as much interested in the game as I am and are anticipating its release in March of 2013. If you are you may also be interested in a journalist video that Crystal Dynamics has let into their studios for their final hours in the creation of the actual game. That video can be seen below along with a mass amount of concept art of the Tomb Raider game, Lara Croft and the environmental art.
Thanks for reading and I plan to make Tuesday the Article segment of DailyLifeOfAGamer which shall prove interesting I’m sure. And with that I say.
Live Long, Game Hard.