Preview: Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider has been a series that of late has been hit and miss and has struggled to evolve alongside the consoles it appears on. Recently announced to be receiving a large reboot, Tomb Raider is the game that Square Enix has said will give us this generation's (or is it next's, even?) Lara Croft. At the EB Expo, the Stevivor team had the opportunity to go hands-on with the latest demonstration build of Lara’s new adventure.
A playable version of the experience Steve was treated to at E3, the demo begins with Lara stranded on a landmass in Japanese waters. Clearly worn out and weary, Lara is forced into survival mode. Navigating her way through the local waterfalls, cliffs and dense jungle, she locates a campfire and takes to finding food to help recover her strength.
The control scheme used for the title appears to be very much similar to the Uncharted series created by PlayStation 3 Developer Naughty Dog. Players of the aforementioned series will feel right at home, though to be perfectly honest a lot of the demo feels derivative of Uncharted. That being said, is that a bad thing?
As Lara explores the local area, she finds notices a corpse hanging from the trees due to a trap. Upon further investigation she notices that the corpse also has a weapon - a makeshift bow, that could be used to protect herself as well as hunt the local fauna for food. After retrieving the Bow, Lara is required to hunt the local deer, which proves to be no easy task. The ranged combat mechanics aren’t anything necessarily new -- in fact, they're relatively standard nowadays -- but they are efficient. As multiple arrows are used to bring down the deer, the mental toll wears down on Lara as she apologizes to her prey. Regardless of the means the solution though results in Lara living to see the next day, which also sees to the conclusion our hands on opportunity.
As a new entry into Tomb Raider series, Lara Crofts latest adventure looks like it’s going to be promising narrative adventure. While the gameplay mechanics we’ve seen so far aren’t new or necessarily groundbreaking, there is still plenty to be revealed.
Tomb Raider is due for release in the first Quarter of 2013 for both PS3 and Xbox 360.