New Tomb Raider Game Revealed By Crystal Dynamics
Another icon of the video game world is set to come blasting their way onto next-gen consoles as a new Tomb Raider game is officially in the works. Despite accusations that Sony and Microsoft have been a little slow on the uptake by announcing next-gen games for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S, 2021 has got off to a flying start.
Alongside confirmation of an open-world Star Wars game from Ubisoft, there's Bethesda's Indiana Jones game, and an update on IO Interactive's James Bond outing. All of these are relics of the past being unearthed for a new era, however, few names carry as much as a legacy as Lara Croft.
Back in the '90s, our screens were filled with colourful cartoon mascots like Mario and Crash Bandicoot. In 1996, Core Designs' Tomb Raider took the PlayStation in a much more serious direction and brought Lara Croft to life. Since then, she's been in a whole series of games, a reboot trilogy, two movie franchises, and even Lucozade commercials. With Lara being an icon in her own right, it's no surprise a new Tomb Raider game is just over the horizon.
What do we know about the new Tomb Raider game?
We always knew 2021 was going to be a big year for Lara as Tomb Raider celebrates its 25th anniversary. However, with the announcement of the iOS and Android Tomb Raider Reloaded (complete with cartoony style) leaving us a little disappointed about what her future holds. These days, Lara isn't remembered for her square-breasted days as a PlayStation exclusive. Moving with the times, Crystal Dynamics gave the character a new lease of life with the 2013 reboot. This was followed by Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015 and concluded the critically acclaimed trilogy with Shadow of the Tomb Raider in 2018.
Now, Crystal Dynamics' Community Manager Meagan Marie has teased what's next. During a special anniversary tweet, Marie explained how the celebrations kick off on February 1 and the newly announced Tomb Raider Netflix anime series will tie directly into a new future. For those questioning where everything fits into a convoluted timeline of reboots, remakes, and remasterings, franchise Game Director Will Kerslake, “We envision a future of Tomb Raider unfolding after these established adventures”. Kerslake said there's an announcement coming “in the near future", with the studio “working to unify these timelines.
In short, the next game will unite the Core Design era that ran until the abysmal Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness in 2003 with the Crystal Dynamics age that started with Tomb Raider: Legend in 2006. If you're already loading up your pistols in anticipation, it sounds like the next chapter will be completely out of the box. Kerslake concluded, "With Tomb Raider’s extensive history, this is not an easy task, and we ask for your patience as we go through the development process". The comments are all pretty cryptic, leading to questions about whether time travel could be involved, or it will be a title that takes story elements from Lara's past 25 years for another reboot of the Tomb Raider name.
When will the new Tomb Raider game be released?
The million-dollar question is when will we get to see Lara draw back her bow, battle bears, and presumably slip into some very impractical clothing? Kerslake has asked for everyone's patience, suggesting we won't be seeing her as soon as we'd like. Then again, COVID-19 has upended the video game world and already led to major delays for the likes of Cyberpunk 2077, Halo Infinite, and Far Cry 6. It's already been three years since Shadow seemed to close the book on Lara's adventures, but as we all know, you can't keep a good Croft down.
If video game anniversaries have taught us anything, it's to expect the unexpected. The Mario franchise is still celebrating 35 years of the portly plumber, while both Pokemon and Zelda have major milestone with their respective 25th and 35th anniversaries in 2021. Now could be a great time to revisit Lara's past. Interestingly, Shadow of the Tomb Raider is still available as part of January's PlayStation Plus subscription, but you'll have to be quick if you want to see how the story ends (for now).
Images via Eidos Interactive | Square Enix