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Gameplay first, not Lara: Tomb Raider producer

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Eidos is focussing on Tomb Raider's gameplay first and foremost, and not gaming's first lady, Tomb Raider Underworld senior producer Sarah Van Rompaey said in this interview.

"We have to keep gameplay fresh as opposed to Lara," she said. "Being able to utilise the power of next gen hardware means that we can do a lot more than previously possible, this extends to what you as a player are able to do with Lara in terms of movement and your interactivity with the environment. The environments can also be built in a much grander scale."

But Lara, obviously, hasn't gone without a make-over since Legend.

"Lara also looks different," Van Rompaey added. "The goal was to make Lara feel three dimensional in the way that she looks, behaves and also how she looks within the world she's operating in. She's got new facial expressions, cloth movement, hair movement and superfine detail on clothing, expressions. Her fluid movement set has also been expanded significantly."

Shots of Underworld released today are absolutely gobsmacking. Journalists who saw the game in London last week were seriously knocked out by it, so keep a very close eye on this.

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