The Difference Between ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘Uncharted,’ According to Crystal Dynamics

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 17th, 2013 at 1:10 pm,

Tomb Raider Uncharted Comparison

After Crystal Dynamics brandished a more complete version of their Lara Croft reboot, Tomb Raider, at E3 2012 with a trailer and an all-new gameplay presentation, some strong analogies to Naughty Dog’s Uncharted franchise seemed inevitable – invited, almost. One scene encountered by our Tyler Schirado, for example – with Lara attempting to scale up the wreckage of a B-52 bomber as it dangled precariously off a tree limb – felt like a “shot-by-shot recreation” of the opening scene in Uncharted 2.

By the same token, though, the Uncharted series has drawn heavily from Tomb Raider; it likely owes its conception to the years an older, more buxom Lara Croft spent shooting up old archaeological ruins, battling rival outfits for treasure, and uncovering the mysteries of her family’s past.

So just where do these two sides diverge, as history has often set them in the direction of one another? Darrell Gallagher, studio head at Crystal Dynamics, spoke in an internal Square Enix interview during E3 about the unique feel the developer is lending to Tomb Raider when it releases this March. The interview was recently spotted by Siloconera, and in it Gallagher surmises that – despite the intrinsic similarities two action-adventure/treasure hunting games are bound to share – it’s the little things that stack up in the end for Tomb Raider to stand out:

“I guess the comparison I can make is, you can have two summer blockbusters, and they can be big action things, with two different actors and things like tone and mood and story separate the two very differently. So, our tone is very different. Our storyline, our narrative. Our lead character is very different.

“And deeper than that, in terms of the gameplay, we have a resourcefulness to Lara, right, that you start seeing in some of the demos we’ve given, which I think is again a different thing to Uncharted. Also, our game structure. I think we have some wider areas. I think our hubs, which we’ve not necessarily shown yet. I think they’re a really big differentiator. Our ability to re-traverse. The ability system on the island. Hunting. The ability to go and take deer and other animals on the island.

“I think there’s a lot of small differences that actually make the two products sort of stand apart when you actually experience them in full.

The Tomb Raider timeline is saturated with instances where the series has received overhauls from developers Core Design (who handled the game between 1996 and 2003) and Crystal Dynamics (who started their Tomb Raider run in 2006 with a trilogy: Legend, Anniversary, and Underworld). Whether or not 2013’s reboot will be a case of conformity to the influence of Nathan Drake remains to be seen. But some of the very elements Gallagher hinted at – the deep, resourceful gameplay; Lara’s raw character and struggle for survival – were some of the highlights of our hands-on preivew, and enough to earn the game a GR nomination for best Action/Adventure title of E3.

Ranters, do see the upcoming Tomb Raider as a fresh, original take on the action/adventure genre? Or is the Crystal Dynamics reboot an apple that fell just below Uncharted’s tree – which grew from seeds cast through wind dispersal by the flowered fruits of Lara Croft’s early adventures?

Tomb Raider is slated to release on March 5, 2013 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.

Source: Square Enix (Youtube) [via Siloconera]

TAGS: Crystal Dynamics, E3 2012, Naughty Dog, PC, PS3, Square Enix, Tomb Raider, Uncharted

  • jaquam saliard

    Uncharted was based off of tomb raider so uncharted can suck it.

  • pauly

    Havnt played Uncharted as dont have a PS3 but from what Ive seen yeah its just Tomb Raider with better graphics and probably a better storyline. Anyone who has played Tomb Raider is well aware of the unbelievebly stupid storylines. What was the deal with that floating level with green buildings in The Great Wall of China levels? Just messed up.

    • Guy

      You can add WAY better gameplay to that list… At least until the new Tomb Raider comes out.

  • Jordan

    I’m old to remember buying tombraider for pc when it launched in 96. You want to crap on uncharted? Obviously you haven’t played it. Everything is influenced by something else. That is the core value of art. Integrity is in the drive for originality based on your influence.

    That being said, I am very excited for this tomb raider. I would hope they pulled some of the elements from uncharted. There is nothing wrong with similaritys especially with how flawless uncharted is.

    Jaquam, get off your Xbox hi horse and be a little more open minded. It makes you look ignorant.

  • Justin Loomis

    And yet Star Wars 1313 isn’t getting the ‘durr, it’s a ripoff’ treatment for its opening sequence.

  • Justin Loomis

    Sorry, prematerly posted. I’m just saying. tomb Raider has some good things going for it. And if the gameplay should SLIGHTLY resemble Uncharted, so what? By this logic, every third person shooter is a copy of Gears, every FPS, Halo, every free roam, GTA. I’m sick of this shit. I can’t wait to play this.

    • jashatta

      Everything is a copy of something i agree with you, but when you copy it if you don’t have your signature, your originality, your own flavour that makes you unique and stand out on your own, then you just a full fledged copy.

  • Michael

    Drake and Croft look like they could be from the same game in that picture up there.

    Drake and Croft… Hmmm… Sounds like a kids show.

  • Matt

    “Ranters, do see the upcoming Tomb Raider as a fresh, original take on the action/adventure genre? Or is the Crystal Dynamics reboot an apple that fell just below Uncharted’s tree — which grew from seeds cast through wind dispersal by the flowered fruits of Lara Croft’s early adventures?”

    The latter. Sure, Tomb Raider will be a different game from any other game ever made, but it won’t be innovative or original.

    • jashatta

      thank you very much for this comment at least you understand, so there fore chances are it will feel like Uncharted an not Tomb Raider