Critically speaking, the 2013 reboot of the Tomb Raider series did incredibly well for itself. An origins story about Lara Croft’s very first expedition, Crystal Dynamics’ take on the adventurous beginnings of one of gaming’s most well known protagonists (and one of its few female leads) exchanged the series’ oft-seen focus on breast jiggle physics for a gripping supernatural story.
Despite the review performance of the game, the high development costs of Tomb Raider and the game’s failure to meet publisher Square Enix’s sales expectations saw the future of the longstanding series thrown into jeopardy. However, the level of ‘adequate’ sales was soon well and truly tipped over with the PS4 and Xbox One re-release of Tomb Raider, called Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, selling more than enough to justify a sequel.
And we know that a sequel is coming too, with Square Enix boss Phil Rogers revealing the following in an official talk during August last year,
“I am also excited to reveal that we are well into development on a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel — something you may have heard about recently!”
The question of ‘what will the Tomb Raider sequel be about?’ still remains mind you, but it can perhaps be answered with the two new domains that Square Enix has registered in relation to the game.
The first, called RiseOfTheTombRaider.com, could pertain to a phoenix rising from the ashes type situation Lara found herself in on the fictional supernatural island of Yamatai that left plenty dead and Lara and her team both physical and emotionally scarred as they battled to escape the treacherous lump of rock. The second domain, LaraCroftAndTheTempleofOsiris.com, is much more specific and could hold some truths to the next game’s title as the series has always had religious leanings (2013’s Tomb Raider for example, featured shrines, gods and even sacrifices throughout) suggesting that despite Tomb Raider’s success, the next game would still somewhat be keeping to its roots.
Those domains, registered by Square Enix’s corporate domain registrar (domains are often registered this way to protect the license holder — Square Enix in this case — and their brands), seem to be in line with previous statements about the next Tomb Raider game.
Bridging the gap between 2013’s title and the sequel, the Tomb Raider comics are a canon (i.e cemented in the Tomb Raider timeline) set of adventures that lead writer Gail Simone says will show Lara “going globetrotting.” Said globetrotting in the comics has thus far featured some heavy plotlines that would certainly shake the foundations of Lara’s world once taken into consideration for the next game and Square Enix’s previous registration of the LaraCroftReflections.com domain would fit into an emotionally charged storyline.
Furthermore, it doesn’t seem as though the events on Yamatai or indeed the events of the comic book series seem to have affected Lara’s willingness to explore any location with the slightest bit of treasure. At the end of the last game we saw our ambitious lead consider her future; enthusiasm unmarred and so next time out we could potentially see Lara jet out all over the globe, getting all sorts of stamps on her passport as she searches for her endgame prize. That would be a return to what the Tomb Raider series does best and even the single location of Yamatai in the last game featured wildly differing climates and settings, suggesting that Crystal Dynamics has hopes for a much more varying use of space.
We’ll soon see that in action though as Crystal Dynamics are set reveal at least one new title at E3 2014 (which kicks off today) according to the show’s official schedule, so stay tuned to the blog for more.