December 13, 2011

Bridging the Gap Between New and Old Tomb Raider Fans

In an interview with Xbox UK, Crystal Dynamics' Community Manager Meagan Marie discusses the upcoming TOMB RAIDER and its mysterious island setting. She also acknowledges some of the rumblings heard among the series' long-time fans.

Now you may notice a subtle shift in the message coming out of the developer's offices recently. I think they've sensed that many of us are concerned about the games' straying too far from the traditional Tomb Raider model we've come to know and love. In this interview, as well as in the more recent Crystal Habit Podcasts, they've been stressing that the new game will still comprise what they're calling the core "pillars" of Tomb Raider: exploration/traversal, puzzle solving and combat, but that all this will take place within the context of a survival story.

Some of the fans who watched the exciting game trailers released this past summer came away with the impression that this was going to be a survival-horror game starring Lara Croft. (I'll admit I was among them.) After all, this will be the first M-rated Tomb Raider, and the action in the gameplay trailer looks damned scary. But lately Crystal has been carefully re-shaping their message to existing fans.

As Global Brand Manager Karl Stewart said in the fourth podcast, this will not be a Condemned, Resident Evil or Silent Hill type game. There will definitely be some scary situations, but the game will be more "survival-adventure" than "survival-horror". Meagan also stresses in the interview above that anyone who plays the new game is "going to feel the Tomb Raider in it."

What do you think? Is the upcoming game grabbing your interest so far? Are you OK with the new direction the series is taking and where would you like to see it go in the future? Please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page.

December 10, 2011

Tomb Raider Collectibles Silent Auction

My dear friend Katie Fleming is auctioning off part of her Tomb Raider memorabilia collection to help raise money so she can attend the Game Developers Conference next March. This will be an amazing career networking opportunity, but traveling from her home in Canada to San Francisco for the 5-day event will be expensive. When she told me about her idea for the auction, I was sorry to hear she'd be letting go of some of her cherished possessions, but I couldn't think of a better way to raise money while doing something fun for the fan community.

Katie's auction runs through January 13, 2012. I encourage all Tomb Raider collectors to check it out. There are some great items up for sale, including Tomb Raider books, Lara Croft action figures, a Sideshow Lara figure, a Tonner doll, a PSP bundle with accessories and games, and lots more.

Please visit Katie's site for details. Along with this video (below), she's posted photos and descriptions for all the items and guidelines for bidding.

Good luck and thanks to everyone who participates!