We’re tantalisingly close to announcing our most anticipated game of 2013, but you’ll have to wait for tomorrow to find out who’s fought their way to the top of the pile. No, today it’s Lara Croft’s turn to take the spotlight, as the Tomb Raider reboot has made its way to second place in our countdown. In fact it’s somewhere the game’s been before, with it also clocking in at number two in our Top 100 of 2012. That 2012 date was revised to 2013 back in May, with the date eventually confirmed as the 5th of March next year.
Of course that delay means we know rather a lot about the game, including the most recent announcement: the game will feature multiplayer. We don’t quite know what form it will take yet, although a leak from GAME suggests that you’ll be able to play as Lara’s Shipmates or Yamatai’s Scavengers in various modes.
However, despite Crystal Dynamics talk of openness and a whole island to explore, a recent preview of the game from PC Gamer wasn’t all that positive. They claim that you simply press forwards a lot, something that really does fly in the face of any claims of an open world. Their preview seems to have been based on about three hours of play, so even if the game does open up after that somewhere between a quarter and a fifth of the game may be very linear. We’ll probably have to wait until reviews hit to get a true sense of how much of an issue this is though.
As the game’s a reboot of the series, the Lara that features is the youngest we’ve ever seen. She’s setting out to explore the world and make her mark when the ship she’s on is struck by a huge storm in the Devil’s Triangle, marooning her and some other survivors on the uncharted island of Yamatai.
While they may not have any information about the island, it’s hardly uninhabited. In fact it’s quite the opposite, with the island seemingly crawling with mercenaries determined to kill her and her companions. It’s not just them either, as some of the island’s animal inhabitants aren’t all that happy with their presence either. These dangers mean Lara will have to learn to defend herself quickly, and based on what we’ve seen of the game she’ll be doing it with a bow and arrow.[videoyoutube]Initially she’ll be using that bow and arrow to hunt animals for food and defend herself against the more aggressive ones, but it’s clear that she’ll have to bring herself to killing other humans if she wants to survive her ordeal. Seeing her grow and adapt to her new circumstances seems to be one of the most interesting elements of the game, and I’m intrigued to see how close she is to the Lara of old by the end of the game.
Despite the negativity of some recent previews, I still can’t wait to get my hands on this title in March. If the open world elements pan out and the development of Lara’s character is believable this could be something truly wonderful.