Games of E3

The Escapist Staff | 10 Jun 2011 18:00
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Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider is a venerable series, but from time to time things need to be shaken up and reinvented to stay relevant. Crystal Dynamics, developers of the new game titled simply Tomb Raider, aim to do just that with this reboot of the series. It will completely retell Lara Croft's background and redefine her, casting her as a more relatable, vulnerable character forced to become the hardened explorer she is.

Read Susan's full preview of Tomb Raider here. The game is due for release September 2012 on the PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.

Susan Arendt:
After she's shipwrecked, Lara wakes to find herself held captive on a mysterious island surrounded by a veritable ship's graveyard. Decaying vessels of all kinds dot the shore, and the natives are most definitely not friendly. During the course of the game, Lara will not only learn more about why she's on the island - it's not just dumb luck - but also more about herself as a person.

The opening scene is Lara's escape from a cave where she's been bound and strung upside down. The escape itself is quite exciting, involving kicking natives in the face as they grab at you, a slide down a slick tunnel, and even Lara setting herself on fire, but the controls on display were disappointing. Tapping the triggers Track and Field style and waggling the left stick to shake off a native's grasp feels like goofy busywork and robs the action of some of its immediacy. That said, the game isn't due to come out until September of next year, so many aspects of it could change.

We did get to see a few of what used to be called puzzles, but in this new Tomb Raider are called "Survival Escapes." Lara uses her Survival Instinct to help her figure out what aspects of the environment can be used to her advantage. It's a lot like going into Detective Mode in Arkham Asylum, as most of the environment drops into black and white and items of interest glow.

There are several ways through each part of the hub worlds, though not all paths may be accessible to you at a given time. You might need an ice axe to reach a higher path, for example, or need a higher strength skill in order to make a particularly athletic jump.

If you can see it, we're told, you can go to it, a claim that becomes more interesting when you can see mountains far off in the distance.

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