Eidos-Montréal Explains Why Making Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Co-op Mode Was a Challenge

Co-op and Tomb Raider don’t appear as though they should go hand-in-hand. However, Eidos-Montréal seems to have discovered a balance between the two worthy of exploration. Evidently, it wasn’t an easy task. In a new dev diary, the team at Eidos discussed a few of the challenges that came up when developing the co-op mode for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and explained what makes this mode stand out when compared to cooperative play in other games.

Here is the Shadow of the Tomb Raider dev diary video.

According to Senior Producer Mario Chabtini, the most complicated aspect was handling two players existing in the same space. “You need to account for that in terms of the level art, the level design, the VFX, the sounds,” he noted, so the other player can keep track of what’s happening on and off screen.

Gameplay Director Vincent Monnier added that the team felt “intimidated.” Because Tomb Raider games typically depict emotionally heavy narratives with a single protagonist, Eidos had to weigh how that experience translated into co-op. Consequently, it became critical to ensure both players were useful.

With puzzles, timing is critical and allows players to work in two separate spaces, while simultaneously accomplishing similar goals. Co-op tombs, then, were built with cooperation and choice in mind. Chabtini elaborated on the significance of choice, saying, “By playing with another person, you’ll be able to access other places in the level. So in terms of traversal, you’ll benefit [from] having another player helping [you] gain access to these places.”

Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s co-op mode offers a different take on cooperative play. You’re not shooting enemies or overcoming combat encounters, noted Producer Fleur Marty. Rather, the focus centers on strategizing together. It’s reminiscent of Portal 2, but with ancient artifacts hundreds of feet below ground.

Co-op isn’t the only new addition worth anticipating in Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s post-launch offerings. The Forge DLC will come chock-full of new adventurous paths for Lara Croft.

Players can try co-op, explore new areas, and more when The Forge releases on November 13, 2018.