Crystal Dynamics Talks Story, Gameplay and Terrain for Tomb Raider Reboot

January 20, 2012Written by Alex Osborn

Ever since Tomb Raider‘s claustrophobic on-stage demonstration back at E3 last year, we haven’t seen much of anything beyond Lara’s escape from that dark and haunting catacomb. Fortunately, Crystal Dynamics’ global brand manager Karl Stewart has a boatload of new information to share with gamers regarding the game’s premise.

In a Q&A session on the Eidos forums, Stewart explained that details have been few and far between because the team doesn’t want to spoil any surprises just yet. However, he did confirm that developer diaries are in the works and should give the public a behind-the-scenes look at the game in the near future.

Fortunately, Stewart did have a few nuggets of exciting information to share, including a few details on the game’s approach to open gameplay. From melee combat to ranged and stealth tactics, the game “has a variety of different play paths and playstyles.”

He revealed that the entire narrative hinges on a single “core discovery”.

There is a core discovery to be made, and that core discovery will unlock the mystery of the entire island and answer a lot of questions. There are items and artifacts that you have to pick up and find around the island, but everything points to this big discovery.

Lara will also meet a number of different people along her journey, but Stewart made a point to clarify that there will be no romance for Ms. Croft in this game.

I’ve read and fed into the script now on many, many occasions, and I can tell you that there is no love interest in this game. She is trying to survive. She is busy. Surviving the situation is all she can cope with right now; surviving a relationship would be a bit tough. In one of the next releases we could possibly see this ‘more human Lara’ meet someone, but that is way over the horizon.

With regard to terrain traversal, Crystal Dynamics is taking a much more “organic” approach. The emphasis here is to provide a very engrossing experience that feels as authentic as possible.

Like real life you can’t just walk up to a cliff and assume you can climb it. It may be too steep, or too rocky, or jagged. But then there will be other areas perfect for climbing. It will feel organic and natural. The path won’t be screaming at you – no white ledges.

Tomb Raider is currently set for an unspecified launch later this year.