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  1. Crystal Dynamic's much anticipated sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider might be another year away from release but, thankfully for fans, their follow-up to 2010's Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has just gone gold and is being primed for release soon. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, like the predecessor, will be more puzzle-oriented than the action-heavy main Tomb Raider series, and again feature such elements as mirrors, time bombs, twisting gears, falling platforms and more as you navigate the temple by yourself or with a friend. To celebrate the announcement of the game going gold, the development team has released a developer diary that details the puzzles that you'll encounter in the game; you can check it out below. Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris will release on Dec. 9 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Source: Press Release Are you looking forward to Lara Croft's return to a more puzzle-oriented game?
  2. Big news coming out of Microsoft's press conference at Gamescom 2014 in Cologne today, and perhaps the biggest piece yet is the revelation that the much-anticipated Tomb Raider sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, will in fact be exclusive to Xbox One. Crystal Dynamic's Darrell Gallagher spoke out on the announcement and what it means for the brand. "We believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft," Gallagher mentioned. "This doesn“t mean that we“re walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4." What isn't entirely clear is if Rise of the Tomb Raider will be exclusive for to Xbox One for life or if it's a timed exclusive. GTTV's Geoff Keighley has mentioned that the official line given to press is that the game is "exclusive to Xbox One for holiday 2015," giving possibly some hope to fans that they may eventually see it come to PC and PS4 sometime after that. For now, we'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, Rise of the Tomb Raider is set for release only on Xbox One this upcoming holiday season. Source: IGN, Twitter (Geoff Keighley) What are your thoughts on the news about Rise of the Tomb Raider being exclusive to Xbox One?
  3. Lara Croft is back but not without some baggage. Yesterday Microsoft announced Rise of the Tomb Raider during their E3 press conference. In the trailer, Lara is undergoing some psychiatric therapy to presumingly deal with the events that transpired in Yamatai. While Lara often struggled through the Tomb Raider reboot, it looks like she will begin to embrace who she is in Rise of the Tomb Raider. According to Microsoft, "In the next chapter of her journey, Lara must use her survival skills and wits, learn to trust new friends, and ultimately accept her destiny as the Tomb Raider." Tomb Raider hits next gen consoles holiday 2015. Is holiday 2015 too far away to get pumped for Lara's next adventure?
  4. Crystal Dynamics announced at VGX 2013 that their next release is a revamped version of this year's release, this time called Tomb Raider: Definitive Version. The game will contain enhanced visuals and all of the DLC released for Tomb Raider, and was co-developed by Crystal Dynamics, Nixxes, and United Front Games. Tomb Raider: Definitive Version will be released for Xbox One and PS4. Are you looking forward to a visually enhanced version of Tomb Raider?
  5. 2013's reboot of Tomb Raider caused a boatload of controversy before it was even out. Thanks to promotional videos showing Lara being abused, apparently assaulted, and more, many felt themselves unable to keep silent. Crystal Dynamics was accused of destroying the famous character, being an egregious affront to women as a whole, and overall was a very rough time for the game. After a while, it all calmed down and Tomb Raider was finally released. Surprise, surprise, it is still divisive as ever. Many now adore the game and hold it up as a shining example of gameplay and characterization. Others of course dislike it, but that is true of any much-hyped release. No matter how you feel about the game, though, it has come out and there“s no longer a way to feign innocence about it. The focus of this piece is about the protagonist Lara Croft and why gaming could learn a lot from her. Lara Croft is displayed as a competent, intelligent woman when Tomb Raider begins. Although she feels unprepared for being cast on an island to fend for herself, she soldiers on and becomes a powerhouse by the end. Although this implausible transition occurs, and is not new to video games, the way her growth of character is depicted is very much worth noting. It manages to make this inhuman shift human. Yes, Lara does not waste time from being saddened over killing a deer out of necessity to wasting countless enemies via her bow and guns, but she does so without feeling overpowered. This is due to the narrative being weaved on the battlefield. For about half the game, enemies taunt each other and Lara through dialog quips that they don“t need to worry about one lost woman. To them it is just eventual that a single person without their weapons and armor is going to get caught eventually. Of course, with players taking control of Lara, she will not get caught. If the player wishes to keep going, they are going to win every single firefight. Instead of other games where enemies don“t take much note of a character“s uncanny skill, these enemies are very much aware of it. At around halfway through the game, we see a distinct shift in Lara“s character. Enemies scream in fear that Lara is coming - that she“s still living. She retorts with an excited “yes, still alive!” as she mows them down with new-found ease. This strange pleasure Lara now gets from succeeding against all odds is played on in many future fights. From then on, it“s not rare to hear enemies fearful of her approach. They express disbelief at her killing everyone and only want to run when they know she now has her sights set on them. Still, they fight, as enemy soldiers in games are required to do. It feels weird to hear characters react with human emotion because that“s something not often seen aside from boss fights or really specific scenes in other games. Through an attainment of power, Lara should become just another heroic power fantasy. While she is incredibly powerful, she is still never so much so to become unrelatable or relegated to pure fantasy. For example, her form becomes quite dirtied from blood and dirt. Although her death scenes feel as if they are a bit much, the changes to physical appearance do keep her struggles in mind at all times. You can recall her long journey through the wear and determination on her face. She is immediately more real than characters who meander through a game without ever appearing different. Thankfully, she is able to avoid becoming like games which reduce women“s clothing to tiny ribbons or else this visual evolution would prove a very different point. Lara is presented to us as a real being. She still does the unbelievable, but with an air of authenticity. Beyond bringing gameplay into her narrative, the actual story also revolves around her strength and how she grows into the woman that gamers know she will become. Lara initially is an unwilling participant in the events around her, which is an incredibly human response. Rejection of her call to action is short-lived, however, as gamers and the story need to progress onward to meet up with, and eventually save her partners. Although hopefully none of us can relate to fighting for our lives on an island of cultists, we can empathize with a feeling of powerlessness. Lara goes through trial after trial, only to be pushed back further than before. Frustration builds within ourselves as well as Lara, and we can embody this into playing increasingly intense firefights. Because Lara does not begin as a bulging steroid abuser with snide sense of humor, we are able to relate and live vicariously through her adventure. The question is now why is this such a rare thing to see in games? There have been many critical of characters such as Nathan Drake who, while goofy and adorable, still manage to decimate thousands in one game. Sure, Lara may be as much as a psychopath as him, she manages to be far more relatable and likeable without ever having to crack inane jokes or flash a dashing smile. It“s a weird dynamic which only becomes more obvious when playing both games back to back. It appears that Crystal Dynamics felt okay with humanizing their character because she is a woman. Men are certainly allowed moments of weakness or ineptness, but much less so in the world of gaming. This could become an editorial in its own, but stands in this piece to simply provoke new thoughts. Nathan Drake does not get to become as human as Lara because Naughty Dog is not prepared to write a male lead in such a way. Perhaps they will do so with The Last of Us, but it seems so far that most worry and inability will be channeled through Ellie, with Joel simply gritting his teeth and moving perpetually onwards. Whether or not everyone enjoys the rebirth of Tomb Raider is not how the game will be remembered. It should stand as a piece of interactive narrative that treats a game character as something other than a moving tank. Despite Lara“s lead role in a third person shooter, she maintains her humanity and that is something more developers should study. In making characters more “real” they can begin to create truly interesting stories to wrap their games around instead of just more of the same. Creating engaging stories (even around the framework of a shooter) would please everyone involved - both developers and gamers.
  6. This is a pretty good price...if you can get past the fact that it's on Origin: http://store.origin.com/store/ea/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/productID.273547900 Just throwing it out there for anyone interested, since I know some people were waiting for it to be in the $20-$30 range before buying it.
  7. The developers of the Tomb Raider reboot - Crystal Dynamics - will be releasing their game for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. But wait...no Wii U? Sadly, it seems Lara Croft's new guardians have decided against making a port of the game for Nintendo's new home console, and with valid reason. Were Crystal Dynamics to bring Tomb Raider to Wii U, they would want to make it much more than a simple port. Considering the console's unique interface. In a recent interview with the Arabic website True Gaming, the game's creative director Noah Hughes shed some light on this very matter: "I'm always a fan of the Nintendo systems," Hughes said. "in particular they really push interface design, and from a game design perspective it's fun to play with new interfaces. Having said that it's something that I think we would want to tailor the experience to if we were going to do it." That's all well and good, but why not just release a different version of the game for Wii U like other third-party developers have been doing? Hughes covered that by explaining that Crystal Dynamics has been working to give players the same experience on PS3, 360, and PC versions of the game. By bringing Tomb Raider to Wii U, the developer would be too inclined to do more than simply port the game, changing up the control scheme and whatnot to accommodate the console's unique GamePad. And by doing so, they'd be giving one console a different version of the game, which would be going against their plans on making each version equal. In the same interview with True Gaming, Hughes said that "all three [other console versions] are really trying to deliver roughly the same experience but delivered best on each platform, and I think something like the Wii U often asks you to do something unique based on a unique interface." Hughes went on to say, "that's something as a gamer I love but it's something you don't want to do half-heartedly as a developer." You can check out the full interview in the video below: Would you have liked a Wii U version of Tomb Raider? How do you feel about the game in general?
  8. Marcus Estrada

    Tomb Raider Collector's Edition Unearthed

    Lately, it is rare for popular games to not receive some form of special edition. Although we can question how "limited" they may be, they still exist to cater to an audience who wants more content (physical or digital) with their purchase. Toady, Square Enix has announced that the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot is getting a snazzy special edition. The Tomb Raider Collector's Edition is set to include both tangible goods as well as some DLC content. In regards to physical items, it includes a Lara Croft figure by Play Arts Kai which comes with three weapons. Then there is a double-sided map/poster, lithographic print, three iron-on badges, and a CD with 10 songs from the soundtrack. Downloadable content is comprised of a weapons pack. This will all come within a collectible case modeled after a survival tin. You'll be able to grab this edition of the game in either 360 or PS3 forms. Although a PC version is also coming, the details for what editions that may have are still pending. This version of the game will cost $100, which is a pretty fair price compared to some other special editions. Tomb Raider will be available on March 5, 2013. Does this edition interest you or is the plain game a better purchase?
  9. A lot has been said about Lara Croft“s upcoming reboot so far, with an onus placed on the recent events in the game where it is alluded to Lara being threatened with rape by one of the pirate lackeys before she is forced to kill him. Much has been said about this facet of the story around the web and for the most part, it has been treated with aversion and resistance. Personally, I think this segment of the story is part of the greater whole of the narrative and the role of the jungle itself is the real catalyst for Lara“s suffering and transformation to the badass we all know and love. Breaking it down from a literary sense, all stories fall into three forms of conflict: man vs. man, man vs. self, and man vs. nature. And in the Tomb Raider reboot, Lara faces all three, with the jungle itself carrying the charge as her main antagonist. The moment Lara sets foot on the jungle island, it“s as if everything is vying to take her life: packs of wolves, landslides, cave-ins, river rapids, etc. Nature itself serves her as her main assaulter and tormentor throughout. As Lara suffers, she slowly learns how to withstand nature and face the challenges that are constantly facing her. While this is a video game and as such has to be exciting, the jungle where Lara finds herself is a corrupted form of nature, the very elements twisting and clawing at her from every angle. I believe it is this corrupted darkness of nature that permeates the core of Tomb Raider, this darkness that strikes her and tortures her, also empowers her as she overcomes each level and tempts her to dive even deeper into that darkness through mixture of necessity and curiosity of exploration. In other fields, this darkness also seeps into the other facets of the game“s remaining two conflict scenes: Lara vs. the other invaders of the island and Lara herself. As we come back to the scene where the man attacks her, it returns to the main theme of darkness that circles the entire spirit of the island and its inhabitants. The men on the island that Lara constantly combats are also an agent of this corrupting darkness hitting the island. However, the main contrast between Lara and these men is that the men on this island have all fallen to the utter corruption of that darkness, that voracious temptation to regress to the baser instincts of human nature, which in the spirit of the island, is nothing remotely sensible or peaceful or tranquil as one is led to believe. In this regard, the threat of that man attempting to sexually assault Lara is another facet of the deep darkness that these men have succumbed to. With this in mind, we come to the final leg of Lara“s conflict – herself. From the outset of the game, Lara is brought to square one and has to rebuild herself into something stronger than she once was in order to survive. In order to survive in this heart of darkness, she“s forced to do and experience things far beyond what she is used to. In doing so, she runs smack into the many mental blocks that are set in place by a “proper” society and systems. In this world after she washes up on the island, killing is necessary not only as a means of survival but as a means of defense. In this world, she“s forced to push her body beyond the very limits of human understanding and persevere beyond pains no one can imagine. These trials are all part of a breakdown/rebuilding that is needed for her character to grow and become the strong icon that everyone knows her to be. So, in many ways the chaos of the island also acts as visual representation of what is going on within her mind. What do you all think about Lara's new trials and tribulations?