Lara Croft is an icon, and like all icons, she requires the occasional, careful tune-up if she’s to remain at her most relevant. This year’s Tomb Raider reboot provided one such kick, stranding the young adventurer on an island fraught with perilous pitfalls, ancient artifacts and the occasional, grisly impalement.
Despite selling well-below expectations - but still selling very well - the latest entry in the evergreen Tomb Raider franchise did garner a rave reviews, enough in fact to convince the publisher Square Enix to commission a direct sequel. Announced back in August of this year, following an accidental outing by Dark Horse comics – currently at work on a (canon) graphic novel linking the entries – the game is scheduled to appear on next-gen consoles sometime in the coming years.
Speaking at this week’s Bradford Animation Festival in Yorkshire, England, the project’s Senior Art Director Brian Horton expanded upon the sequel’s mystery premise, telling attendees “The Tomb Raider sequel is the next chapter of [Lara's] development… her life is changing. She can’t go back to the way she was.”
“The way she was,” as fans will recall involved a young, headstrong archaeology graduate and a first expedition turned sour. With the events of Yamatai now behind her, Lara’s personal journey appears to be taking on a turn for the global – at least according to the writer of the aforementioned comic series, Gail Simone, who told Kotaku back in July:
“The biggest difference [between comic and game], is the game told a claustrophobic story in an isolated setting. We are going globetrotting,”
When taken together, both quotes would appear to indicate a return to the series’ traditional format, that of multiple, mammoth-sized levels, stretching out across the globe. Given that Simone has the blessing of the Crystal Dynamics team to expand upon the series’ official mythos, the possibility of Horton returning the heroine to a single, large-scale locale ala the 2013 reboot, is not only unlikely, but runs contrary to Lara’s expanding horizons, as described above.
If the series does branch out to visit multiple locales, the game’s designers may need to start thinking a little more frugally, having secured an unchanged, albeit supposedly “healthy” budget from publisher Square Enix. For that reason alone, anyone holding out hope for a simultaneous current-gen release ought to start looking elsewhere.
How do you feel about Lara Croft returning to her globetrotting roots? Will the game bear any relation to the recent Lara Croft Reflections trademark application from Square Enix? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check in with all of the latest Tomb Raider news, right here on Game Rant.
Tomb Raider (2013) is now available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms. The game’s untitled sequel is slated to appear on next-gen consoles.
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