After being announced back in 2014, Crystal Dynamics finally revealed the first gameplay footage for Rise of the Tomb Raider during Microsoft’s E3 press conference this year, showing a thrilling and tense gameplay demo with Lara escaping avalanches, climbing sheets of ice, and squaring off against deadly beasts.
With the game nearing the end of development and prepping for release later this year, Crystal Dynamics has begun to talk about how Rise of the Tomb Raider is planning to expand upon the things that the first game did well. In addition to new gameplay details, the developer has also confirmed that fans will have much more of the world to explore as well.
In an interview with GamingBolt, Rise of the Tomb Raider director, Brian Horton confirmed that the team is building on the formula established within the previous title in the series not only through gameplay, but technical improvements as well. One big improvement comes from the fact that Rise of the Tomb Raider will have no loading screens outside of a player death or quitting to the main menu.
“Just like the last Tomb Raider we’ve created a seamless experience. As soon as you start a new game if you never died or don’t quit you will have a seamless streaming experience throughout the whole game. We want to immerse the player into the world as soon as possible and flow from mission to mission in a very seamless way.”
Not only that, fans can expect the world to be three times as large as the previous game, including much larger tombs for Lara Croft to explore. These revamped tombs often will include what the developer is calling “A Nested Puzzle Approach” where multiple smaller puzzles need to be cleared first which then all contribute to solving the one main puzzle. To help support this larger open world, Crystal Dynamics has given Lara new traversal mechanics such as the ability to swim or climb trees. These traversal mechanics can also be used to open up new combat options for players as well.
Even with an impressive showing at E3 this year, Rise of the Tomb Raider has been subject to a bit of controversy over the title’s originally announced exclusivity deal by Microsoft. Through confusing and misleading PR messaging, many fans wondered if this title would remain exclusive to the Xbox One or eventually come to other platforms. After a lot of back and forth on the subject, it was finally revealed that Microsoft only had themselves a timed exclusive.
Even more surprising may have been the fact that going into the deal with Microsoft, Square Enix knew fans would be disappointed over the exclusivity deal. However, having Microsoft there to handle marketing and distribution duties was an offer they couldn’t refuse.
Rise of the Tomb Raider launches on November 10, 2015 for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. It’ll hit PC early in 2016 and finally arrive on PlayStation 4 during the holiday period of 2016.