- The game will include more physics-based puzzles with multiple solutions, including puzzles based on fire, water, gravity and explosives.
- The transitions between gameplay and cinematic cut scenes will be more seamless.
- Lara will collect useful equipment as the game progresses—perhaps including her trademark dual pistols.
- Tense emotions like pain and fear will be amplified by the use of close-up camera shots based on motion capture of real actors.
- This Tomb Raider will have a much more realistic, cinematic feel in its camera work, character models, voice acting and environments.
- Lara will still have some of the acrobatic ability she displayed in past games, but here those moves will be more flexible, more grounded in reality.
- The game will include a hint system called "survival instinct," in which players can highlight clues and interactive elements in the game world by pressing a button.
- Buddha statues are visible throughout the game. These may function as save points but their actual purpose has not yet been revealed.
Several big secrets remain, including the name of the actress who will voice Lara Croft. (Keeley Hawes will not be returning this time.) Nor has a release date been officially announced. Although several game retailers' sites are speculating December 2011, the PlayStation Magazine feature says the game won't be out until next year.
Some of these publications aren't available in New York, where I live, so if I've missed anything interesting, I hope you'll post a comment below to let me know.
*If you missed the January Game Informer article, back issues are available on Amazon.com, and my TR9 page includes links and a list of bullet points.