A brand-new Tomb Raider game is in development, and it sounds like it'll be closer to the original PlayStation games than the more recent - and divisive - reboot trilogy.
Square Enix plans to mark Lara Croft's 25th anniversary celebrations all year long, with retrospectives, "nostalgic content", and other fun surprises. While all of this is going on, developer Crystal Dynamics will be beavering away on the next big Tomb Raider adventure, though we're unlikely to hear much about it for a while yet.
We're celebrating 25 Years of Tomb Raider throughout 2021, with community features, nostalgic content, and surprises along the way! pic.twitter.com/cOmsfVj8jr
- Tomb Raider (@tombraider) January 27, 2021
For now, we have a slight idea of what to expect thanks to franchise game director Will Kerslake. He teased that upcoming project will blend the original games with the reboots, which were of course an origin story of sorts for the raider of tombs.
"We envision the future of Tomb Raider unfolding after [the rebooted trilogy], telling stories that build upon both the breadth of Core Design and Crystal Dynamics' games, looking to unify these timelines," he explained in a 25th anniversary video (thanks, Push Square). "With Tomb Raider's extensive history, this is not an easy task, and we ask for patience as we go through the process."
No big announcements in 2021 then, but old-school fans of the franchise will no doubt be glad to hear the Tomb Raider is at least partially returning to its roots. This blending of the old and new is unlikely to mean a return to the finnicky controls of the original games. It's likely more indictive of where we find Lara in her life and who she is a person, which will no doubt be interesting to see after three games of a much younger and more inexperienced adventurer.
The last game in the series, 2018's Shadow Of The Tomb Raider, received a fair bit of praise for its renewed emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving, but some of its narrative choices, relentlessly bleak tone, and odd character moments were roundly criticised. If Crystal Dynamics can pull back on that darkness a little bit, great. If the new game also lets us lock a butler in the walk-in freezer? So much the better.
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