The how and why of game updates sometimes seems like a strange bit of alchemy. Last year's Tomb Raider reboot is getting a re-release this month in what's being called its "Definitive Edition," but only if you happen to own one of the latest-generation consoles. A recent FAQ with the developer reveals the latest iteration of Lara Croft's adventures likely won't be appearing on PC.
This year’s VGX (which, in case you’re confused, is a rebranding of Spike’s Video Game awards) should be even more exciting than usual. Oh, sure, there are the new consoles and the unveiling of new brands and sequels designed for them, but there will also be some brand new trailers for us PC gamers.
Lara Croft's last outing didn't fare too badly. The fledgling badass was more likeable than ever in her origin story—but the Tomb Raider series reboot was having some trouble outside of the jungle island's confines, too. Earlier this year, publisher Square Enix's CEO stepped down after the company was reported to have suffered massive losses. Now, despite confirmation that a sequel is in the works, twelve layoffs have been reported at Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics.
If you've shot all the men, hunted all the animals, and plundered all the tombs in Tomb Raider, you may well have been hoping for a little more. A few extra sepulchres perhaps, or maybe even the odd mausoleum. Your hopes die now, I'm afraid, with the news that all future downloadable content will be focused on the game's multiplayer mode - you know, that multiplayer mode you probably haven't even tried yet. The game's global brand director Karl Stewart revealed as much in a recent Reddit AMA, stating that "All of our DLC is based around the Multiplayer experience for now."
Games go through countless changes before the developers settle on a particular style, setting and feature-set - for instance, BioShock was initially a game about a cult deprogrammer, while Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 was originally a knockabout karting game starring Jack Nicklaus and Rory McIlroy and Donkey Kong. The recent Tomb Raider reboot is no exception. In an alternate universe, we're playing a game featuring horse-riding, a child companion, oh and giant colossi that burst out of the Earth. Yep - Tomb Raider was originally Shadow of the Colossus 2, as revealed in the game's Making Of thing.
Think of this latest Tomb Raider patch as the conditioner for AMD's fancy hair tech TressFX. Owners of Nvidia cards had been experiencing extreme optimisation issues when choosing to let Lara's hair wave free and loose. The update should smooth out those issues, bringing specific stability fixes for Nvidia and Intel cards, as well as "small" improvements to TressFX rendering.
Nvidia released a new beta version of their GeForce driver this week, once again squeezing more incremental improvements from a bunch of games, both new and old. But one prominent release was missing from the list of tweaks: Tomb Raider. Lara's latest outing may continue Square Enix's quality porting form, but, as Chris notes in his settings overview, GeForce cards attempting to use AMD's new fancy hair tech TressFX suffer a drastic performance hit.
Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider reboot tuck-rolled today into a well-received reception (on the console side, at least—our review is still forthcoming), but the silver-screen restart of the action-adventure franchise has been planned since 2011. Tinseltown bills it as a retelling of Lara Croft's origins, a convenient mirroring of the just-released Raider's narrative. Speaking to Variety, Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher says the team is working closely with studio GK films to model film's heroine after her younger, more rugged virtual counterpart.
Good news, everyone. Having played a couple of hours of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot following its release last night, it looks like the PC version lives up to the standards set by Nixxes’ successful work porting Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Sleeping Dogs. It’s a really good looking game, and it caters to PC gamers who want to tinker.
Lara Croft's traumatic gap-year adventure has been well received by our counterparts on console, and we were hoping to be able to start providing you with our impressions of the PC version today. Unfortunately, we've been told by Square Enix that code for the PC version won't be issued until Tuesday, when the game goes on sale - so expect our verdict to fall in the latter half of next week.
The spry Lara Croft tumbles onto PCs on March 5, but Square Enix is taking a machete to the wait with another look at Tomb Raider's combat, which apparently involves the good Ms. Croft's natural skill at wanton slaughter. Stealth takedowns, melee slug-outs, and shooting sprees all show up, though the common result throws a lot of blood everywhere and turns the young adventurer into a rather brutal killer.
The usual rule of thumb for news writing is that any headline that ends with a question mark can be answered with a no. Here, though, it's an emphatic yes. Looking over the announced system specifications for the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, your PC will almost certainly be fine. That is, unless your PC is a cardboard box with some string and wire stuffed inside it. You do realise that isn't a PC, right?
Tomb Raider's less than a month away (out on March 5, to be precise). In case you're not sold on the idea of a youthful Lara making a rough-and-tumble entrance into the hard world of adventuring, Square Enix have put out 11 minutes of narrated in-game footage showing her killing her way out of a crumbling monastery complex.
I'm a bit worried. Most of the footage they've put out has funneled Lara down a continuous narrow corridor broken up by scripted tumbles, wobbly AI moments, a persistent smattering of quick-time events and stretches of non-interactivity. There may yet be surprises beyond the small sections that have been shown so far, or so I hope. The island is structured around hubs, and is populated by bonus tombs that Lara can, y'know, raid, for shiny bits. That'll be the subject of the next video, apparently. Take a look at the latest one below.
Interweb supersleuth Superannuation notes that a domain registrar associated with Square Enix picked up the warfornosgoth.com domain late last week, prompting speculation that somewhere, somehow, a new Legacy of Kain game is in the works (Nosgoth is the setting for the series). OXM noted an entry for a "Legacy of Kain videogame animation pitch" on artist Richard Buxton's LinkedIn profile listed back in 2011, and picked out some vampiric storyboard artwork from his online portfolio. A game, a film, a HD rerelease of all the Legacy of Kain games? All hands to the rumour mill.
The reaction to news that the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot would feature multiplayer may not have been high on the Square-Enix patented Marketing Facepalm-o-Meter, but it wasn't received with particular enthusiasm either. The decision to shift its development to Human Revolution devs Eidos Montreal was interesting, however - suggesting a plan beyond generic me-too box ticking.
Now, in the latest episode of The Final Hours of Tomb Raider video diary, we get a first glimpse of how that multiplayer mode will work.
The teaser for the latest issue of OXM has revealed the presence of a multiplayer component to Crystal Dynamic's upcoming Tomb Raider reboot. The announcement was confirmed by the developer's community manager Meagan Marie, who writes "Tomb Raider will include a multiplayer offering thanks to the hard work of our sister-studio, the hugely talented Eidos Montreal."
Lara Croft's woman-versus-wild adventure in the Tomb Raider reboot seems a little clumsy at first glance. Still, someone who can fall down a mountain, hit every rock and branch on the way down, and still be alive is probably a good person to ask about survival. In the first of a video series, developer Crystal Dynamics explains how players can rest and recharge at Base Camps and solve puzzles using upgradeable tools.
Up to now, Tomb Raider's promotional trailers have been brutal, harrowing and even controversial. With the latest we're demonstrably moving into the next phase of the Lara's struggle for survival, which I'm colloquially calling "Lara kills all of the people".