December 21, 2013

Lara Croft: Reflections Card Battle Game Launching Soon

It's official. Lara Croft: Reflections is a thing.

Back in March, Siliconera broke the news that Square Enix had trademarked the "Reflections" name. Many fans guessed it might be the name of the upcoming TOMB RAIDER sequel, but this turned out not to be so.

According to Crystal Dynamics Community Manager Meagan Marie, Lara Croft: Reflections is actually a turn-based card battle game for mobile platforms, currently in development by Square Enix Japan (Smile Lab) and RenRen Games. The game is now being tested in New Zealand and Australia prior to an anticipated release in the first quarter of 2014. According to the iTunes info page, the app itself will be free, but players will be able to purchase items in-game.

Explore ancient myths, collect powerful weapons, and fight epic bosses! More Lara Croft: Reflections images in LCR's Facebook photo gallery.

According to Meagan, the adventure doesn't take place in the core Tomb Raider universe or timeline; it's more of a nostalgic Lara Croft experience. She promised more details as the game gets closer to launch. Meanwhile, fans can track the game's progress on the Lara Croft: Reflections Facebook Page and check out the gameplay preview video below.

UPDATE 1/18/14: Added video.

December 17, 2013

Original Tomb Raider Now Available on iPhone and iPad

It's a blast from the past! The original Tomb Raider is now available for iPhone and iPad. The app requires iOS 7.0 or later. It's compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch and is optimized for iPhone 5.

I don't own any sort of iThingy, so I haven't had a chance to try it myself, but according to reports from other fans, it's a straight port of the original game with slightly enhanced graphics and touchscreen controls. From what I've seen, it looks great, though apparently the controls are a bit wonky. I'm told the iPad version is a bit easier to handle, what with the larger screen and all, but the iPhone and iPod Touch controls can be frustrating. I suppose if you're willing to shell out the money, a controller like the Logitech PowerShellwould help.

Unlike other TR1 downloads (I'm talking to you Steam and GOG!) this one includes the four Unfinished Business bonus levels. Just tap the icon with the little gray squares to switch between the main game and the add-on.

Tomb Raider for iOs

In this short video, James from AppSpy takes the game for a spin on the iPhone 5 and gets mauled by bats while sorting the controls. ;) Looks like fun!

At £0.99/€0.89/$0.99 you really can't go wrong. Visit the App Store for details. If you have a chance to play it, please leave a comment letting me know what you think.

December 8, 2013

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Sadly this weekend's VGX Awards didn't bring a Tomb Raider sequel announcement—or the pile of accolades many of us were hoping for—but there's still some great news and a spiffy video trailer to go with it. TR 2013 is being completely rebuilt for next-gen consoles and will be released as the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition at the end of January.

According to the Official Tomb Raider Blog, "The team didn't simply up-rez the game, they pulled it apart and rebuilt it with obsessive detail and new technology."

The core action and story of Tomb Raider remain intact. Along with vastly improved graphics, Kinect support for the Xbox One version, and Vita play for the PS4 game, the Definitive Edition also includes all available DLC, plus a few bonuses. Here's what's in the box:

  • The fully rebuilt game for next-generation consoles
  • The Tomb of the Lost Adventurer DLC
  • Eight DLC multiplayer maps
  • Six DLC multiplayer weapons
  • Four DLC multiplayer characters
  • Six alternate outfits for Lara
  • Dark Horse digital comic book Tomb Raider: The Beginning
  • Brady Games digital art book Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival
  • The Final Hours of Tomb Raider documentary series

For additional details about the specific improvements, the development partners involved, and other game features, download this Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition FAQ (PDF document).

The Definitive Edition is available for pre-order from Amazon.comand other game retailers. It will be released January 28, 2014, in North America and January 31 in Europe. The price will be around $60 US.

Check out the TRDE screenshots in this album on my G+ page.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition render
Lara Croft newly remodeled for the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.
Click for high-res version.

Tomb Raider: Defnititive Edition

December 7, 2013

Platform Interview with Tomb Raider Composer Nathan McCree

Nottingham University student Daryl Baxter recently interviewed Nathan McCree for Platform Magazine. In a wide-ranging conversation, McCree discussed his work on the first three Tomb Raider games, as well as his process, influences, and more recent projects.

Fans of the classic games might be surprised to learn about the frantic pace of the early games' development.

"Every tune was written once, and that version went in the game. I wrote the entire score for TR1 in 4 weeks.... I didn't really see the levels in an "early state." If I was lucky I got to see the area where we needed some music, or some screen shot or something, but most of the time I was working from minimal word descriptions like, 'Under water,' 'T-Rex,' 'Caves,' etc."

It's also especially exciting to hear that McCree has plans for the classic soundtracks. When Baxter asked him about Peter Connelly's recent TR4, 5, and Angel of Darkness SoundCloud releases, McCree responded,

"Well yes I am working on it. There is some 'red tape' to get through first. In fact I have much bigger plans for the music which I hope to finalise soon so watch this space."

Read the full interview at Platform Magazine.

Tomb Raider composer Nathan McCree in his studio in 1996
Nathan McCree in his studio back in 1996.