The next Tomb Raider will use Unreal Engine 5

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Crystal Dynamics has announced that the next Tomb Raider game is now in development at the studio, and that it will be using Unreal Engine 5 as the core game engine.

The announcement came at the end of the Unreal Engine 5 launch stream, with Franchise General Manager Dallas Dickinson turning up to make the reveal.

“This new engine translates into next-level storytelling and gameplay experiences,” he said, “and that’s why we are thrilled to announce today that we have just started development of our next Tomb Raider game powered by Unreal Engine 5.

“Our goal is to push the envelope of fidelity and to deliver a high quality cinematic action adventure experience that fans deserve from both Crystal Dynamics and the Tomb Raider franchise.”

The new Tomb Raider project is a pleasant surprise, given the last few years for the studio. After the release of Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015, and the various ports and enhancements it had over the year that followed, Crystal Dynamics got to work on Marvel’s Avengers, a game that sought to blend super heroes with a compelling single player story and an online loot-driven co-op action game. Marvel’s Avengers launched to a mediocre reception and post-launch content has been slow to arrive.

While one part of Crystal Dynamics is now working to maintain and add content to Marvel’s Avengers, the studio’s focus has been split by new projects. That included the announcement by Xbox in September last year that the studio will co-develop the new Perfect Dark game alongside The Initiative. Now, even if it’s still at an early stage of development, Crystal Dynamics is having to spin a third plate. Thankfully for the teams within the studio, both the Perfect Dark game and the new Tomb Raider will both be using the same game engine, so skills will be directly transferrable.

That said, I think it’s a shame that we’re seeing yet another studio give up on an internally developed engine in favour of grabbing Epic’s ubiquitous platform. Crystal Dynamics’ in-house Foundation engine was capable of some great visuals, but alongside CD Projekt Red’s decision to adopt UE5, it’s a sign that building a cutting edge game engine is starting to be seen as a costly and potentially risky endeavour.

Source: YouTube

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