July 12, 2009

Tomb Raider 9: Revamped Origin Story?

The rumor mill is in overdrive today as a story broken by Four Player Co-op reveals possible details of the next Tomb Raider game. 

Let me start off by saying that none of this has been confirmed by official sources, so please don't take any of it as gospel truth. That said, here's what happened: 

Fish, one of the staffers at Four Player Co-op, got an email around 2 a.m. yesterday with rough images of what looked like concept art from a new Tomb Raider game. Apparently the acquaintance who sent the email had taken part in a consumer survey about a future Tomb Raider game. The survey was supposed to be confidential, but he snapped some pics of his computer monitor with a digital camera anyway and sent them to Fish.

Fish posted the pictures on fourplayercoop.com along with a hastily written blurb. Then he sent out a Twitter alert about the piece and went to bed. He didn't even realize he'd landed a major scoop until the next morning when the Four-Player crew noticed they were being credited for breaking the story on major gaming news sites like joystiq.com and kotaku.com. [Edit: This according to Four Player's Bullshot! podcast.]

Eidos's lawyers weren't far behind, though. Four Player Co-op soon received a cease-and-desist letter and opted to take the leaked info down or risk a lawsuit.

I won't risk invoking the wrath of the suits by including the photos here, but a quick Google search for "leaked Tomb Raider photos" should turn them up. As for the potential new content, I'll take a chance and post the proposed backstory and game features.

Again, none of this is official, but it certainly raises some interesting possibilities. Discuss. :D

When a sudden storm destroys her research vessel, a young and inexperienced Lara Croft finds herself stranded on a mysterious and remote island hidden of the shores of Japan. Despite several signs of various inhabitants the island is oddly deserted, and an uneasy feeling settles in as strange sounds emerge from the shadows. With only her determination, inner strength, and resourcefulness to help her, Lara must overcome the challenges of a harsh and unforgiving journey that will take her across a vast island wilderness and deep into the claustrophobic and menacing underground tombs from the island's past. As she struggles to prevail through brutal combat encounters and treacherous exploration, Lara will be pushed to her limits and forced to adapt to her situation in order to survive and escape from the lethal predators that stalk her every move.

  • Hunt or be hunted - Evade outsmart, track and kill the mysterious enemies that hunt you as prey.
  • Survival Action - Brutally attack and defend as you fight to survive through visceral one-on-one melee combat.
  • Strategic Weapons - Gain an advantage in combat by finding an array of different melee and ranged weapons including a variety of guns and the hunter's ultimate weapon, the bow.
  • Creative Survival - React and adapt to the island by using only that which you can salvage from the environment like climbing axes, rope, and machetes that can be used to unlock new traversal and combat gameplay options.
  • Free Movement - Scramble up a vertical cliff wall, sprint and leap across a huge chasm, steer mid-air to land a misdirected jump. There is no one right way to traverse, survive, and explore the harsh environment of the island.
  • One Cohesive World - The diverse multi-region island is an open playground alive with creatures, weather and natural events.
  • Origin Story - This new Tomb Raider concept reboots the franchise by exploring the origins of Lara Croft's transformation into a hardened adventurer as you unravel the story behind the island's mysterious past.

Available for: $59.99 PlayStation 3, Xbox 360.  $39.99 PC.  Expected age rating: ESRB M for Mature.

14 comments:

  1. It looks and sounds like all that will be left of Lara the adventurer will be her name.

    Also, an Open World environment implies a world, not just an island, no matter its size.

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  2. When I first read this I thought "Ughh, Japan again!?" But then I began to imagine it and I must say it's growing on me. Although for some reason I picture most of the game taking place of a night time...

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  3. Oh no... :( I will need to buy a PS3? That sux but I love Lara SO I WILL :D

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  4. I like the concept, backstory, and mysterious location. I have always liked playing in a jungle setting, however I want a variety of environs. to rummage around in. The melee combat sounds like an improvement. Hopefully other aspects/weapons of combat get a face lift.

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  5. I hope the story is true because this game sounds better than AoD, Legend, and Underworld! :)

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  6. Sounds great to me. I don't really care if the island is hidden 'Off Japan' or not.

    What I really like about the proposal is the "Free movement". I've always found the restriction to specific ledges or areas very restricting.

    Bring it on - I'll be buying it the first day it appears ;-)

    PS - Stella, can we still buy stuff from vendors and ensure you get a slice?

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  7. I think that most of these things could be great or terrible depending on how they're handled. Many have already appeared in various incarnations in previous games (e.g., found weapons, melee, stealth, etc.).

    My biggest complaint about the more recent games is how linear they've been, Legend being the worst in that respect. So I'd welcome a chance to wander a bit more, as long as there are still clear goals and a good, annotatable map.

    An open world will certainly add extra challenge for us walkthrough writers. ;)

    I'm a little wary of the survival-horror aspects since I'm easily creeped out. But there have been plenty of scary, supernatural creatures in previous games, and they've been fun and challenging adversaries. Also, survival tactics would be right up Lara's alley, again, provided the mechanics are implemented well.

    Birchyboy: Yes, I still have Amazon links on my site, as well as various other ads. I get a small percentage of any purchase a visitor makes on Amazon.com after clicking through one of my links. Same with GameStop and Direct2Drive. The other ads pay a few cents per click, but it does add up. It’s important that visitors not go click crazy, though. Only click ads you’re actually interested in. If a visitor clicks too many times, those clicks are discounted and can even result in trouble for the site running the ads. Thanks for asking. :)

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  8. i am a MASSIVE tomb raider fanatic....... and it sounds sooooo perfect.... i honestly cant wait i dont really care on how much it is and will buy it in a heartbeat..... :D

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  9. m for mature???? come on! seriously?! wt about us teens that wanna play?! lol but really stella is this still valid????

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  10. Hi, Anonymous. Not sure what you mean by "still valid". It was an unsubstantiated rumor a year ago, so I don't think it was valid even when the news first broke. I tried to make that clear in the post.

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  11. i'm anxious for this new game :) ... cos i missed all game releases until now. ;(
    It's gonna be a great game (i hope). I think Tomb Raider Series deserve it!

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  12. OMGosh, Lara actualy might be using a bow? That would be so sweet. I still love the dual guns, no matter what I hope they don't give up her trade mark pistals. Just not "Tomb Raider" w/o them.

    Some idea's a little off subject about the "Tomb Raider" games...I personally would love to see a re-make of the original games so they are playable on Vista os, it would be so nice. Also, with all the problems AOD had,it'd be nice if they would re-make it too w/o all the glitches & word tags (so original Indy gaming follow the word clues). lol I loved AOD's dark/gothness of Lara, game play was just horrible though.

    Just thought I'd put it out there incase someone from the "Tomb Raider" franchise catches this.

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  13. aww ps3? xbox360? what about us wii people? or even us people who want to buy a ps3 but parents wont allow? glad that stuff isent locked in :) id never be able to play a M game anyway.

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  14. wtf.........i have ps2 and i have completed all tomb raider parts and was waitin for next part............but tht is nt available for ps2........wt should i do now

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