June 13, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Closes Out E3 with Performer and Creative Team Panels

Tomb Raider developers Eidos-Montréal and Crystal Dynamics closed out their E3 appearances with two developer Q&A sessions. If you missed the livestreamed events earlier, you can catch both below. Special thanks to Camilla L News for sharing these videos. Be sure to subscribe to their channel for more Camilla/TR coverage.

Square Enix Presents: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Q&A with Camilla Luddington and Earl Baylon. Senior Community Manager Meagan Marie talks with Camilla Luddington and Earl Baylon, voice and performance artists for Lara Croft and her best friend, Jonah Maiava, about working together on the game. Camilla and Earl then answer fans' questions and play a round of "Would you Rather?" focusing on jungle survival.


E3 Coliseum Panel: Camilla Luddington and the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Creative Team. Lead Writer Jill Murray and Performance Director Darryl Purdy join Camilla and Earl for a panel discussion moderated by Meagan Marie.


E3 is officially over now, but I will do my best to bring you more Shadow of the Tomb Raider news as it breaks. The game will be released on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One September 14, 2018. Follow this link for details about the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Editions, Pre-Order Bonuses & Season Pass, and peruse my main Shadow of the Tomb Raider page for game info and a detailed walkthrough when the time comes.

June 12, 2018

Square Enix Presents: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Developer Q&A

Today at E3, Rich Briggs from Crystal Dynamics and Daniel Chayer-Bisson from Eidos-Montréal chatted with Crystal's Senior Community Manager Meagan Marie and answered fans' questions about Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The TR segment runs approximately 30 minutes. I apologize for the quality. There were some technical difficulties, so the archived video is split in the middle of the stream. If I can find a better version later, I will substitute it for the two parts below.

If you don't have time to watch the whole thing, the main piece of new information is that, according to Briggs, there will be separate difficulty sliders for puzzles (e.g., verbal hints on/off), navigation (white ledges, beacons, etc., on/off), and combat (auto-aim, healing, enemy toughness,etc.). This is excellent news and something fans have clamored for since the reboot.

The TR segment begins at about 02:27. The embedded video should start there if you click 'play'.



Tomorrow's E3 events include another Square Enix Presents Q&A, this time featuring Camilla Luddington (Lara) and Earl Baylon (Jonah) at 1:30 PM PDT. Then, at 3:30 PM, Camilla and Earl will join Lead Writer Jill Murray and Performance Director Darryl Purdy for a panel discussion. Check this post for livestream links and time zone conversion.

Video: Shadow of the Tomb Raider's First Tomb

Here's another video from yesterday's E3 coverage, in which Senior Game Director Daniel Chayer-Bisson and Senior Brand Director Rich Briggs show off the game to IGN's Alanah Pierce. This segment takes Lara farther into the tomb that was teased in the second video I posted yesterday. It shows the complete puzzle solution, and the developers talk about Lara's character development and key events that happen early in the game, so you may want to skip this one if you're trying to avoid spoilers.


Tune in today at 1 PM PDT for Square Enix Presents: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Developer Q&A with Briggs and Chayer-Bisson, broadcast live on Square Enix's Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.

For more E3 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider news, check out these recent posts and my main Shadow of the Tomb Raider page.

June 11, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Combat and Traversal Highlighted Today at E3

Just a quick update this evening. I had a long workday and wasn't able to watch any of the E3 coverage live, but a few friends were kind enough to send me these video links. The first, shown during the Square Enix Showcase, features an action-packed cutscene from early in the game followed by a bit of gameplay, mostly focused on the new stealth combat mechanics.


The video below, from NVIDIA, offers a first look at 4K PC gameplay, with an emphasis on scenery, traversal using the improved grapple, Lara entering one of the tombs, and a tiny taste of underwater action.


Tomorrow's schedule includes a Shadow of the Tomb Raider Developer Q&A at 1pm PDT. Check this post for the full Shadow of the Tomb Raider E3 lineup.

June 10, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider 'Louder Than Words' Trailer Premiere

The first Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay trailer debuted earlier today as part of the Xbox E3 Briefing, giving fans a taste of the action, atmosphere, and dramatic tension in the upcoming game. Watch below and let me know what you think in the comments.

For localized versions in French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, and German, visit the official Tomb Raider YouTube channel, and be sure to check out yesterday's Shadow of the Tomb Raider at E3 post for the dates and times of all the major Tomb Raider E3 events.



UPDATE: The kick-ass song in the trailer is "Speak Louder" by TRILLS. Listen to the full track on YouTube, iTunes or Apple Music.

Speak Louder single art

June 9, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider at E3 2018

It's that time of year again. E3 is about to start and Shadow of the Tomb Raider is finally visible on the horizon! If you've been watching the official Tomb Raider social media accounts, you've probably seen these 30-second teaser spots featuring some of the game's developers offering glimpses of the story, mocap, level and puzzle design, lighting, sound, user interface, and more. Each video ends with a promise that more will be revealed at E3.


The expo officially begins Tuesday, June 12, but there are several Tomb Raider presentations planned before that. The dates and times listed below are for Los Angeles (Pacific Daylight Time). Click the time links to convert to your local date and time.

Sunday, June 10
1 PM PDTXbox E3 Briefing. This will include the first public look at Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay, streamed live on Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube, as well as on Xbox One.

Monday, June 11
10 AM PDTSquare Enix Showcase. This presentation will be streamed live on Square Enix's Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube. The official TR social media have not included it in their lineup, so it's not clear how much Tomb Raider coverage will be shown.

Tuesday, June 12
1 PM PDTSquare Enix Presents: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Developer Q&A. This interview with Crystal Dynamics' Rich Briggs and Eidos Montreal's Daniel Chayer-Bisson will be broadcast live on Square Enix's Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.

Wednesday, June 13
11 AM PDTCamilla Luddington Appearance, Lara's voice and performance artist, will be at the Tomb Raider booth. As far as I know, there are no plans to livestream this appearance, but check the official social media for details.

1:30 PM PDTSquare Enix Presents: Shadow of the Tomb Raider Q&A with Camilla Luddington and Earl Baylon. Camilla joins Earl Baylon, voice and performance artist for Jonah Maiava, to answer fans' questions and play a round of survival "Would you Rather?" Tune in via Square Enix's Facebook, Mixer, Twitch, Twitter, and YouTube.

3:30 PM PDTE3 Coliseum Panel: Camilla Luddington and the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Creative Team. Join the creative team and cast as they share new details about the game. Lead Writer Jill Murray and Performance Director Darryl Purdy join Camilla Luddington and Earl Baylon in a panel discussion moderated by Senior Community Manager Meagan Marie. Tune in via E3 Live.

Also be sure to follow the official Tomb Raider and Eidos-Montréal social accounts for E3 coverage and updates.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released September 14, 2018, with 48-hour early access available with select pre-orders.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider key art with logo

April 29, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Editions, Pre-Order Bonuses & Season Pass

Following Friday's big Shadow of the Tomb Raider reveal, covered in a separate post, Square Enix has announced details about the various editions, pre-order bonuses, and downloadable content. The list below applies to NORTH AMERICA. Please visit the official Tomb Raider site for more links to local retailers if you live elsewhere.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider key art

Many online and brick-and-mortar retailers are taking pre-orders. Some, like Green Man Gaming, are offering nice discounts on digital versions to those who sign on early. However, a few special editions are available exclusively through the the Square Enix store.

As far as I know, all of the Windows PC versions sold in the US will be digital downloads and will require a Steam account. I am not sure if a PC edition with a physical disk will be available in other countries.

The STANDARD EDITION ($59.99 US) Includes the full game with a skills booster pack if you pre-order.*

The LIMITED STEELBOOK EDITION ($59.99 US, PS4 and Xbox One only) is a pre-order exclusive from the Square Enix store and select retailers. It includes the following:
  • Full game
  • Three collectible art cards
  • Steelbook packaging
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Croft Steelbook Edition details

The DIGITAL DELUXE EDITION ($69.99 US) includes the following:
  • Full game
  • PS4 dynamic Theme, Xbox Live avatar outfit, or Steam wallpaper
  • An exclusive weapon, outfit, and digital soundtrack
  • Additional skills booster pack*
  • 48-hour early access**

The CROFT EDITION ($89.99 US, PC only) includes the following:
  • Full game
  • Steam wallpaper
  • Season Pass (details below), three exclusive weapons, three exclusive outfits, and digital soundtrack
  • Additional skills booster pack*
  • 48-hour early access**

The CROFT STEELBOOK EDITION ($89.99 US, PS4 and Xbox One only) includes the following:
  • Full game
  • Steelbook packaging, three art cards, and O-ring
  • PS4 dynamic Theme or Xbox Live avatar outfit
  • Season Pass (details below), three exclusive weapons, three exclusive outfits, and digital soundtrack
  • Additional skills booster pack*
  • 48-hour early access**

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Croft Steelbook Edition details

The ULTIMATE EDITION ($199.99 US, PS4 and Xbox only) is a Square Enix Store exclusive. It includes the following:
  • Full game
  • Steelbook packaging, three art cards, and O-ring
  • Lara Croft statue, Tomb Raider flashlight, and climbing axe bottle opener
  • PS4 dynamic Theme, Xbox Live avatar outfit, or Steam wallpaper
  • Season Pass (details below), three exclusive weapons, three exclusive outfits, and digital soundtrack
  • Additional skills booster pack*
  • 48-hour early access**

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Ultimate Edition details
*Pre-order any digital edition and receive a bonus skills booster pack. I'm not sure if the Ultimate Edition includes this. The infographic below says it does not, but the Official TR Blog says it does.
**Pre-order the Digital Deluxe, Croft, or Ultimate edition for 48-hour early access.

DLC PACKS & SEASON PASS

The Season Pass is priced at $29.99 US. Seven separate DLC packs are planned, to be released each month from October 2018 to April 2019. The first of these will introduce co-op play (details to be announced). Each will include a challenge tomb, weapon, outfit, skill, and story-based side mission. One of each of the above will be exclusive to the Season Pass.

OTHER SPECIAL EDITIONS

If you live outside North America, watch out for other editions and bonuses. For example, an "Artifact Edition" available in The Netherlands includes a Lara Croft Totaku figurine. (Thanks to RaiderDaze and The Archaeology of Tomb Raider for this info.) If you have info about special offers or exclusive swag in your country, please share them in the comments below.

Maya calendar graphic detailing the different editions of Shadow of the Tomb Raider
Infographic detailing the different Shadow of the Tomb Raider editions and pre-order options. Click to enlarge.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Details Revealed

This past Thursday Shadow of the Tomb Raider reveal events took place in London, Los Angeles, and Montréal. A new CGI trailer, "The End of the Beginning," also dropped, along with the first screenshots and concept art. Fans who attended the reveal parties got hands-on time with a playable demo, but so far gameplay footage has not been shown publicly.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider party at the Mayan Theater
One of the Shadow of the Tomb Raider reveal events was held at the Mayan Theater in Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of the official Tomb Raider Twitter account.

On Friday, a panel discussion featuring Camilla Luddington, the performance artist for Lara Croft, and several of the developers was held as part of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The live audience was treated to a sample of gameplay, but this was not included in the event livestream. The short but informative panel discussion is archived on the TribecaGames Twitch channel.

I'll be updating my main Shadow of the Tomb Raider page as new information emerges. Today I added the 15 newly released screenshots and concept art pieces, and I plan to add game details gleaned from friends who've played the demo very soon.



The official infographic below gives a tentative schedule for upcoming promotional events and content drops. For those using screen readers or online translators, here's a recap:
  • April – Shadow of the Tomb Raider revealed!
  • May – Meet the development team
  • June – E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo, Los Angeles) First gameplay revealed
  • July – SDCC (San Diego Comic Con) Experience and Woman Masters Wild series
  • August – Gamescom (Cologne, Germany) New Gameplay Trailer
  • September – Shadow of the Tomb Raider launches on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC
  • October 2018 through April 2019 – Seven separate DLC Packs will be released, one each month. Each will include a challenge tomb, weapon, outfit, skill, and narrative side mission. The first of these will introduce co-op play.
A disclaimer is included stating, "DLC content and launch dates subject to change."

Maya calendar graphic detailing development milestones and DLC drop dates

I'd love to hear what you think. Are you excited for the new game? Waiting to see gameplay or, better yet, try the demo at a future event before you decide? Let me know in the comments.

March 15, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Teaser Confirms September 14 Release Date

The first trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider, released this morning, shows Lara Croft running through a Central American jungle and viewing a solar eclipse from the ruins of a step pyramid surrounded by what could be hordes of enemies. According to developer Crystal Dynamics, we can expect a full reveal April 27th, and the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on September 14, 2018. The official site, tombraider.com, has also been updated with new info and a countdown clock.

March 14, 2018

Shadow of the Tomb Raider Reveal Coming Tomorrow, Game in September

Hot on the heels of the Tomb Raider movie premiere comes the first major announcement about the next game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider. The official site, tombraider.com, just posted this image, promising a reveal tomorrow at 6 am PDT. A Twitter friend with mad skills teased the following info out of the page code:

"Shadow of The Tomb Raider is the climactic finale of Lara's origin story. Available September 14th 2018.... All pre-order incentives and SKUs will be revealed on April 27, 2018."

Can I get a WHOO HOO?!!!

Solar eclipse graphic with date - March 15th, 2018, 6:00 AM PDT

March 3, 2018

Tomb Raider Angel of Darkness Audiobook

Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness is arguably Core Design's most ambitious project but also its most flawed. Its complex plot and characters still engage fans nearly 15 years after the game was released, but it can be a challenge to play due to control issues, bugs, and a generally unfinished feeling. If you've never completed the game or just want to relive Core's swan song, I highly recommend J. R. Milward's Angel of Darkness audiobook.

This brilliant retelling fleshes out the game's story and includes many previously unreleased scenes. It includes 20 episodes, plus prologue, spanning nearly 13 hours. The audiobook was written, adapted, and narrated by J. R. Milward, based on an original story by Murti Schofield, the lead writer on the 2003 game. It includes music from the game, composed by Peter Connelly and Martin Iveson, and voices performed by the author herself and VO actor Adamm Khuevrr. It was produced by Stephen Milward.

Preview the audiobook here and listen to all 20 episodes on YouTube, iTunes, JRMilward.com or your favorite podcast software. I use Podcast Republic for Android.



Jenni Milward has been an active member of the Tomb Raider community for many years. In addition to writing fanfiction, including the AOD novelization on which this audiobook is based, she has provided voiceovers for dozens of fan-made animations, custom levels, and videos. She is also a graphic artist, blogger, and co-administrator for Survivor Reborn. In "real" life, Jenni works as a researcher, writer, and editor for a disability charity in the U.K. You can follow her on Twitter @JRMilward and Facebook, and read more of her fiction at jrmilward.com. She also makes gorgeous Tomb Raider-inspired accessories, which she sells through her Etsy store, The Croft Emporium.

February 17, 2018

Rise of the Tomb Raider Coming to Mac and Linux

Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration for macOS and Linux box art
Rise of the Tomb Raider will at last be available for macOS and Linux this spring! Feral Interactive, the developers responsible for porting the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, as well as Anniversary and Underworld, has just launched a Rise of the Tomb Raider 20 Year Celebration micro-site with loads of information about the upcoming release. An exact launch date has not yet been announced, but the game will be coming to Steam and the Mac App Store sometime in the next few months.

In this sequel to the 2013 game, Lara Croft sets out to discover the lost city of Kitezh, in order to recover the Divine Source, an ancient artifact with the power to grant immortality. When Lara's quest puts her in the crosshairs of Trinity, a secret global organization, she must use all her wits and daring to reach the Divine Source first. Lara's expedition takes her from Syria's sun-baked ruins to the vast wilderness of Siberia, where frozen forests, ancient crypts, a lush geothermal valley, and an abandoned Soviet military installation await. Players climb, swim, grapple, and zip-line their way through the beautiful but lethal environments as they outsmart deadly traps and solve huge, multi-layered puzzles hidden within stunning challenge tombs.


Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration bundles the base game with all DLC, which comprises:
  • Baba Yaga: The Temple of the Witch: An adventure in which Lara seeks the truth behind a mythic terror lurking within a new region of Siberia, the Wicked Vale.
  • Cold Darkness Awakened: When a biological weapon is unleashed in the Siberian wilderness, Lara is tasked with ending a viral outbreak as she fights off waves of infected adversaries.
  • Blood Ties: A standalone story in which Lara uncovers family secrets as she explores her childhood home, Croft Manor.
  • Lara's Nightmare: As undead hordes infiltrate Croft Manor, Lara must become the ultimate zombie slayer.
  • Endurance Mode: Two players team up to survive the dangerous forest while plundering crypts for relics.
  • Extreme Survivor Challenge: In the hardest difficulty setting for the main campaign, players overcome difficult limits of save points, resources, ammunition, and health.
  • 5 Classic Skins: Nostalgic skins from Tomb Raider history: Croft Manor, Tomb Raider II, Tomb Raider II Bomber Jacket, Chronicles Catsuit, and Angel of Darkness.
  • 12 Bonus Outfits: Ancient Vanguard (Byzantine-era chain mail), Apex Predator (bear fur, animal claws, and warpaint), Shadowrunner (tactical vest and watch cap), and the reimagined Antarctica outfit inspired by Tomb Raider III.
  • Expedition Cards: Players use cards in Expedition Mode to boost their score, modify their abilities, and apply cosmetic effects like Big Head Enemies.
For more information about the game, the various DLC packs, and of course a walkthrough should you need one, visit my Rise of the Tomb Raider page.
Crystal Dynamics Logo
Feral Interactive Logo

New Lara Croft Barbie and Funko POP!

Mattel and Funko have both announced Tomb Raider-inspired toys for 2018. Mattel's Lara Croft Barbie has not yet been officially unveiled, but according to Cheryl's Dolls & Collectibles, the new Barbie will be modeled on Alicia Vikander's depiction of the character in the upcoming Tomb Raider film. It is part of the Barbie Signature line and will be released February 20 at a $39.95 US price point. Oddly, there's no mention of the doll on Mattel's website yet, but more information should be forthcoming.

Also, this week at Toy Fair in New York City, Funko revealed a second Lara Croft POP! figure, this time based on reboot Lara. The new POP!, shown below and on the Funko website, will be released in March and cost $9.99 US. Funko had previously released POP! and Rock Candy figures modeled on classic/Anniversary Lara.

UPDATE: The Lara Croft Barbie has now been listed on the Mattel site and is available on Amazon.com and Amazon UK.

Lara Croft Barbie inspired by Alicia Vikander's portrayal in the Tomb Raider film
Lara Croft Signature Barbie by Mattel. Official photos courtesy of Raiding the Globe.

Lara Croft Barbie inspired by Alicia Vikander's portrayal in the Tomb Raider film
Lara Croft Barbie by Mattel. Detail with journal and map. Official photos courtesy of Raiding the Globe. Check out their site for more info.

Reboot Lara Croft POP! vinyl figurine from Funko
Lara Croft POP! by Funko

January 22, 2018

Official Tomb Raider Fansite Awards from 2016 - Thanks for the Memories

Last week I received these lovely enameled medallions from Crystal Dynamics, commemorating my participation in the Official Tomb Raider Fansite program and the three awards my site won in 2016. In the year since the awards were announced, I have left the program, but I am deeply honored to have been chosen by my peers as 2016 Community Ambassador and thrilled to see the Tomb Raider Community's Extra Life team recognized for Best Charity Initiative and Best Tomb Raider 20 Initiative. Even though I've decided to go my own way, at least for now, being part of the community is still a huge part of my life, and I will continue to do my best to bring the fans together for worthwhile causes like Extra Life.

Check out this post for a complete list of the 2016 award winners.

January 16, 2018

Tomb Raider Suite Website Relaunched and American Tour Planned

In case you missed the official announcement, tombraidersuite.com has just received a major revamp. In addition to details about the upcoming composer buffet receptions in London and San Francisco, fans who were not able to support the Kickstarter campaign can now pre-order the album on CD, vinyl, or digital download, along with other TR Suite swag.

Composer Nathan McCree announced the website relaunch in a recent Facebook post and noted that the highly anticipated American tour is, in fact, a go. "Details of the American tour will be posted on our Tomb Raider Live page as the venues are confirmed," McCree wrote, "and we are very excited about this!"

The new site also features prize draws, details about the recording sessions that took place in October at Abbey Road Studios, and a "Memoirs" section, featuring articles, images, and videos shared by fans. The first installment was submitted by David Carroll, one of the prize winners chosen to attend the Abbey Road sessions.

Check out the site and stay tuned for further developments. If there's an East Coast U/S. show, I'll see you there!

The Tomb Raider Suite
Tomb Raider Archives - Collecting all the classic Top Cow Comics
Tomb Raider Archives 4-volume set collects 50 issues of the best-selling Top Cow comic. Order from TFAW, Amazon, or Amazon UK.