Survival instinct: Mass of new Tomb Raider details revealed

Saturday, 30th April 2011 09:15 GMT By Debabrata Nath

Crystal Dynamics’ next Tomb Raider title has covered several magazines this month, revealing a ton of new details.

Obviously, SPOILERS.

Spanish magazine Hobby Consolas cover story has dropped the following:

  • If you walk into this game expecting Lara Croft from the previous Tomb Raider games, you’ll be disappointed. This Lara is human; she bleeds and suffers and will have to fight for her survival.
  • You’ll have to get used to seeing fear and pain in Lara’s face. Her expressions and even the camera movements have been generated using motion capture.
  • The new game, titled just Tomb Raider, will be a complete reboot. The developers decided to re-imagine Lara Croft, who’ll have very little in common with the woman from earlier titles, who had an enviable body and could perform super-human acrobatics at will. The main story, development, and even the main character will re-start from scratch in this game.
  • The story revolves around a young Lara Croft, who’s shown as a teenager just out of university. A rational and analytical young lady, she goes on a expedition in a ship called Endurance, which sinks next to an island close to the coast of Japan. She’s the sole survivor of the shipwreck.
  • Helping hands and UI will be kept to a minimum, even though the game will show things like what can be burnt, or which buttons to press in Quicktime events.
  • The island’s central area will serve as the main headquarters. In the main camp, you’ll be able to “buy” abilities, make new tools or get back to missions you’ve already finished. The remaining area will be used to climb or search for new missions.
  • Lara has a “Survival Instinct”. By pressing a button you can activate a special view which will put a different colour to “interesting” elements in the environment: the background and non relevant objects will be shown in shades of grey and the clues in yellow. That way you’ll be able to follow traces normally invisible to the eye. For example, wolf footprints could lead you to a med-kit. When you reach it, one of those animals might attack you.
  • Puzzles will be more complex than in previous installments. They won’t be just about observing the environment, but about thinking about how water and fire interact, the importance of gravity, explosives, and so on.
  • The camera will use innovative framings to add to sensations of anguish or claustrophobia. The game has a renewed graphics engine known as Crystal Engine.

Many games have influenced the new Tomb Raider:

  • Physics from Half Life 2 – The usage of gravity or water currents was already explored in this classic game. Here such concepts will be put to use with boxes and barrels.
  • Atmosphere of Uncharted – Nathan’s soliloquies will be “limited” by Lara, as well as the extreme situations for the main character.
  • The “vision” of Assassin’s Creed – Ezio’s Eagle Sight isolates different objectives using colours. Lara will be able to do something similar using her Survival Instinct.
  • The origin story of Batman Begins – The first act in the film showed Bruce Wayne’s hard path to become Batman. That “hero’s journey” will guide Lara’s first steps.
  • The suffering of 127 Hours – In that movie, the main character has to punish his body to survive. The most famous scene in the film inspired the guys at Crystal Dynamics to force Lara’s resistance to the limit.
  • The mysteries of Lost - Strange wrecked ships? An remote island full of mysteries? Lost’s plot has been acknowledged by Crystal Dynamics.

Another magazine, this time a French one named Consoles, has revealed some additional details:

  • The adventure is divided into three big “episodes”, each one corresponding to a part of Lara’s transformation into an adventurer: survive, rescue and escape.
  • The laws of gravity and centrifugal force allow Lara to go through her obstacles.
  • The transition between cinematics and game is almost invisible.
  • Lara’s grief is accentuated by effects like close-to-face cameras, on-screen blur.
  • Lara changes throughout the game. She will evolve from a young, inexperienced woman to an adventurer. It will be apparent from her equipment (the article says that it might be possible to see her double pistols), for example.
  • Lara can only use Survival Instinct when she’s standing still.
  • There are many ways to solve puzzles, and sometimes you’ll have to try multiple times thanks to the use of physics.
  • Buddha statues are visible throughout the game. Although it’s speculated these are save points, their exact role is unknown for now.
  • Some elements of the world fall when Lara stands on them for too long.

Tomb Raider is in development for PS3 and Xbox 360. There’s no date yet.



  1. rrw

    Crystal Engine? is that something to do with FF

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Hunam

    To be honest, the most obvious influence seems like Arkham Asylum.

    @1 No, that engine is called Crystal Tools.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Debabrata Nath

    @rrw: It’s an upgraded version of the engine used for Tomb Raider: Legend.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. Edo

    No PC I guess?

    #4 4 years ago
  5. onefivefive

    That all sounds pretty good but I’ll need to see a trailer before I really get any idea of how it’s going to play.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. Hunam

    @4 There as been a PC version of every other Tomb Raider game so I don’t see why they’d skip it this time.

    EDIT: The official website lists PCDVD at the bottom too.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    But is there going to be creature or monsters ?
    Edit: Silly question its not like humans are going to attack us on deserted island :D I love how they say ”The mysteries of Lost” because that is first thing that i thought when reading.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Debabrata Nath

    @Payne: You can certainly expect some surprises on the island, unpleasant might I add. ;)

    #8 4 years ago
  9. onefivefive

    @#7 I think when they say “deserted” they mean that it’s not colonised or something. The LOST island was “deserted” too and it had more co-stars than The Sopranos.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Maximum Payne

    ^^ nice :) Do we have to find food and water or that is just story wise ?

    #10 4 years ago
  11. onefivefive

    I have a feeling it’s going to have a Metal Gear Solid 3 vibe to it.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Kabby

    As long as she has big motion captured boobs I think Tomb Raider fans will be onboard with any changes.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Edo

    #6THNX!#12 Exactly!Years will pass,platforms will change,reboots will happen but she will always have a nice pair of…

    #13 4 years ago
  14. Ireland Michael

    Everything about this sounds quite interesting, except for the shitty “Survival Instinct” idea. No thanks.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Hunam

    Yeah, that just sounds like easy mode for thicko’s. Hopefully, like in AC, you’ll barely ever be forced to use it.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    @15 The only time I ever used Eagle Vision in AC was when I *had* to – I.E. the reveal the location of the hidden glyphs. Completely forgot about it on any other occasion.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. redder1111

    It will come to PC as well.It claerly added in the homepage of the game you fucking dickheads …
    hate the sites which like to create rumors about the PC versions of games. Fuck you all!

    #17 4 years ago
  18. OrbitMonkey

    Yeah survival mode sounds crap, I mean what’s the point if Lara can’t walk around with it on? *looks up/looks down* Not that I’d use it! Oh no, I’m a real gamer! *cough*

    #18 4 years ago
  19. freedoms_stain

    I think in general someone has to come up with something better than super vision modes. Batman, AC, Wolverine all had magic vision modes that gave the game away, it really takes away from the satisfaction of solving something if you’re lead by the hand.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. HauntaVirus

    I hope she has smaller breasts, she’s a teen for fuck’s sake.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. freedoms_stain

    @20, “a teenager just out of university” (which doesn’t really make sense since most people will be at least 20 if not 21 or 22 after finishing an undergrad unless she’s a wonderkid or dropped out) Ever been to university? Plenty of gigantic breasts in the fresher population I can assure you.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. lexph3re

    I was just about to say the same^. There are teenagers over here sportin c-cups to D-cups. So its not unlikely. I swear I will lock my daughter in a tower with no door and only a window if she starts developing to soon

    #22 4 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    Tomb Raider… its all about the titties!

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Ireland Michael

    This line of conversation makes me strangely uncomfortable…

    #24 4 years ago
  25. OrbitMonkey

    @24 hard-on in tight jeans uncomfortable, or sex scene on tv & mother in room uncomfortable?

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @25 Accidentally walking in on your son or daughter having sex with someone uncomfortable.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. Hunam

    To be honest, Lara was always portrayed as a child prodigy, it’s not unlikely to think she left Uni at 18 or 19. It happens in real life. Just not to girls who look like that though.

    Also, boobies. I think she looks great now, but by the time Underworld rolled around she’d gotten some bigger wangers again despite the toning down done to the girls in Legend, I can imagine in 3 games time she’ll be sporting backachers again.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. osric90

    Why in hell didn’t they make this a brand new IP…?

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Hunam

    Why would they? Lara fits this ideals of the game down to a tee.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. Karooo

    Lots of good info, thanks. I can’t wait to play this game. Lara looks ravishing.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. HauntaVirus

    LOL, true.

    #31 4 years ago
  32. Moonwalker1982

    I wonder how the gunplay will turn out and if it will have a cover system. Not sure if it needs it, but please at least make the gunplay fun and interesting this time around.

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Maximum Payne

    @32 Well if there are no humans enemies no need for cover system but i don’t know is there going to be humans enemy

    #33 4 years ago
  34. Hunam

    Probably, I think I remember reading about some locals. It one of the screens from Game Informer a few months back Lara’s hands were tied to the ceiling or something.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Moonwalker1982

    I wonder what kind of creatures we can expect if there won’t be many human enemies. Hopefully they keep it kinda realistic in that sense too.

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Kabby

    “..a few months back Lara’s hands were tied to the ceiling or something.”

    Let’s pray this game is Move compatible!

    #36 4 years ago
  37. DaMan

    I wonder if they put some considerable effort into platforming for the game, the guys seem to suggest that TR is going back to it’s roots. Well, it’s about time it gets non magnetizing jumps.

    #37 4 years ago

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