Friday, July 24, 2015

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC and PlayStation Release Dates Announced

As we've known for some time, Rise of the Tomb Raider will initially be released November 10, 2015, as an Xbox exclusive. In a recent blog post, Crystal Dynamics at last anounced projected release dates for PC and PS4 versions.

"Rise of the Tomb Raider, will be available for Steam and Windows 10 PC in early 2016. The game will be a console exclusive to Xbox One and Xbox 360 for one year after its initial launch, coming to PlayStation 4 Holiday 2016."

It's still unclear whether there will be a Macintosh release or a PS3 version comparable to the Xbox 360 game.

Once again, I offer my heartfelt condolences to loyal PlayStation fans.

The first two of these Rise of the Tomb Raider concept art pieces were released in conjunction with E3 in June. The rest were originally part of a feature by Entertainment Weekly.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dark Horse Announces New "Classic" Tomb Raider Comic

Tomb Raider fans will once again find themselves straddling parallel universes later this year when Dark Horse Comics launches a new series featuring "classic" Lara Croft. The five-issue miniseries, titled Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen, will debut October 7, just a month before Rise of the Tomb Raider, the newest game in the rebooted series, releases on Xbox consoles.

I've put "classic" in quotes here, since Frozen Omen is not actually set in the original Tomb Raider timeline created by Core Design, but rather in the same world as the Crystal Dynamics games Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. So fans can expect the same kind of action-packed adventure featured in those games. Our heroine once again teams up with Osiris sidekick Carter Bell in a race to recover a set of ancient ivory artifacts. Needless to say, there's also an evil doomsday cult bent on using the artifacts to unleash global devastation.

Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1. Cover by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach.
Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen #1 cover by Jean-Sébastien Rossbach.
Pre-order issue #1 at Things From Another World

In a recent interview with Polygon, series writer Corinna Bechko expressed enthusiasm for the project and its main character. "Lara is incredibly fun to write. She doesn't suffer fools, she's smart, and she's talented. She's always ready for action, but she's not afraid to think through a problem either. And she doesn't ever wait around for someone else to save her. There's a lot of satisfaction in writing a character like that."

Illustrator Randy Green also has a direct line to the spirit of classic Croft, having previously worked on several issues in the original Top Cow Tomb Raider series.

Tomb Raider #21 from Top Cow Productions
Randy Green's exclusive cover variant for Tomb Raider issue #21 produced for Pittsburgh Comic Con 2002.

Despite focusing most of their efforts these days on Rise of the Tomb Raider, the game developers still seem committed to bringing fans more old-school raiding. "We're excited to continue our partnership with Dark Horse on a new Lara Croft comic," said Rich Briggs, Brand Director at Crystal Dynamics. "This globe-trotting series is filled with the dual gun-wielding action and confident flair that nostalgic Lara Croft fans will love. It's a great companion to the existing Tomb Raider comics, and offers fans another way to go on a high-octane adventure with Lara."

Expect to see more Lara Croft and the Frozen Omen news from San Deigo Comic Con this coming week.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

How to Play Lara Croft Relic Run on a Windows PC or Mac Using BlueStacks

Since the mobile adventure-runner Lara Croft Relic Run was released about a month ago, it's become quite an obsession for a lot of Tomb Raider fans. Perhaps you've seen the fan videos and ragdoll-death screenshots on social media or heard friends talking about cursing each other through the Facebook link in the game. But if your phone or tablet won't run the game, you're probably feeling left out. Fear not, thanks to the awesome Android emulator, BlueStacks, you too can enter the world of Lara Croft Relic Run and say goodbye to your free time!

Installing Relic Run on a Windows PC or Macintosh using BlueStacks is not complicated, but in case you need a little hand-holding, the video below includes step-by-step instructions. It covers the Windows version. The Mac installation is very similar.

BlueStacks legal to use (for free apps like Relic Run or apps you have legally purchased) and allows for in-app purchases through the Play Store; however, it is not officially supported, so there may be some bugs or compatibility issues when playing. I have not personally experienced any issues.

Note that BlueStacks will ask you to create or log into an existing Google account in order to download the game from the Play Store. This step was not included in the video because I already happend to be logged in. You may also need to add Bluestacks to the exclusions list in your anti-virus/malware program in order to log in to Google through Bluestacks.

Good luck and good running!

UPDATE 7/4/15: If you want to try playing Lara Croft Relic Run in widescreen mode, check out this helpful video from Laraider.