It’s the first day of E3 2011, and Microsoft had the pleasure of starting off the show with their wares: a collection of Kinect exclusives, Xbox Live bonuses, some special reveals, and everything in between. One of the more impressive and striking reveals was the Tomb Raider demo, which displayed a tomb raider that that most fans have never seen before.

Starting off the demo, Lara is seen dangling upside-down in a cave: beaten, bloody, and scared senseless. Yet through all of that, Lara is still able to find items and devices to get her out of trouble. That’s going to be the key in Tomb Raider — Lara’s investigative ability. Finding items and objects in the game world, Lara will be able to make weapons, traps, and get out of harms way when needed.

We see that here, as Lara burns her way out of her bindings, only to fall on a sharpened stake, stabbing herself in the process. Players will have to be conscious of Lara the entire way through, as damage and pain are all a part of the challenge as much as the puzzles and survival. Trying to get out of her prison, Lara hobbles her way through claustrophobic sections of rock and water, searching for the way out.

Take a look at the Tomb Raider demo from Microsoft’s Press Conference.

The level designs are something between Alone in the Dark and Resident Evil 5. Darkness and that incessant need to run fills the gameplay here, making for a startling difference in the pace of the game. It’s certainly a nice thing, as it literally drops you into the world and makes you almost feel the panic that Lara is feeling.

The demo closes as Lara finds her way out through a small opening in the cave, though as she gets closer, the cave begins to crumble and fall around her. Crawling on hands and legs, she bursts out into the sunlight, looking at the island she’s found herself shipwrecked on.

Right out of the gate, this isn’t the same Lara that came out on the original PlayStation — a point driven home by the recently released Tomb Raider trailer. The challenge for Crystal Dynamics, however, will be to try and keep the diehard players of the series happy, while still bringing in newcomers. We still haven’t seen much in terms of combat dynamics, or know much on the story yet, but with E3 still going strong we may soon know more.

What do you think of the Tomb Raider demo video? Are you looking forward to the game?

Tomb Raider releases late 2012 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.

Source: GameTrailers