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Crystal Dynamics

Extended Rise of the Tomb Raider video is way better than the E3 trailer

Jun 22 // Steven Hansen
This goes along with bigger tombs, either secret ones or ones on the narrative path. At one point Lara came up on an abandoned Cold War installation, which was apparently one of the game's "hubs" that contain quest givers, crypts, secrets, and story missions. There are also "systems that celebrate Lara's intelligence and archaeological background." Reading documents and murals throughout the ancient world gives Lara more experience and improves her proficiency, allowing her to uncover greater secrets. Like the secret of immortality hidden in a lost city beneath a lake, which Lara is fighting evil organization Trinity to get to. One other major gripe I keep having with the snow-ridden portions shown off is that Lara refuses to zip up her jacket and instead keeps showing off that cute infinity scarf. On top of that, no hat or gloves despite that fact that you lose heat fastest through those extremities. Bad guys, too, are not appropriately bundled for Siberian winter. [embed]294565:59186:0[/embed]
E3 preview photo
E3 preview
I was beefing a bit with Rise of the Tomb Raider for its heavily scripted sequences in which you hold forward on the analog stick as the game just sort of nonthreateningly happens around you (except for when a brutal cutscen...

Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider gets a November release date


Mind that falling ice Lara
Jun 15
// Laura Kate Dale
Hey everyone, Rise of The Tomb Raider is coming to Xbox One on November 10.  There's also a chunk of gameplay footage which we will have up shortly. The game appears to be both faster and more action packed than the last Tomb Raider, which is pretty cool to see.
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

New Rise of the Tomb Raider trailer shows off highly unsafe climbing practices


Full reveal at Microsoft's E3 briefing
Jun 01
// Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft reaches the top of the ice wall after a probably-should-be-dead experience. She has several carabiners attached to her belt. Why didn't she use them on her way up? Granted, it wouldn't have helped if all of her an...

Lara Croft: Relic Run photo
Lara Croft: Relic Run

Lara Croft's in a new mobile runner ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


The Lara you used to know and love
Apr 13
// Brett Makedonski
Crystal Dynamics has announced a new mobile runner titled Lara Croft: Relic Run. The name's fittingly nebulous. Is Lara running after relics? Or, is the old-school Lara the running relic, a classic character hearkening back t...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider (2013) has become the best-selling game in the series


Clearing 8.5M copies
Apr 06
// Brett Makedonski
The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider was always expected to move a lot of units. That much was clear when Square Enix initially deemed it a "failure" after first-month figures yielded a very respectable (yet not good enough) 3...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Crystal Dynamics: Tomb Raider partnership with Microsoft began in 2008


2013 Tomb Raider moved 7.5 million copies
Feb 24
// Brett Makedonski
At gamescom 2014, Rise of the Tomb Raider caused waves when it was revealed to be an Xbox exclusive. Well, sort of an exclusive. More like a timed exclusive. But, regardless of the confusion surrounding the announce...
Cancelled game photo
Cancelled game

One tit out: Leaked footage of a canceled Soul Reaver sequel, Legacy of Kain: Dead Sun


I can't get over the tit....
Feb 23
// Steven Hansen
Ok. A lot happens in this video, and there's a cool story behind its unearthing thanks to "years of research by NeoGAF member Mama Robotnik" -- there's a full, detailed thread on it here -- but, also, I'm struggling to get p...

Review: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris

Dec 15 // Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris (PC [reviewed], PlayStation 4, Xbox One)Developer: Crystal DynamicsPublisher: Square EnixReleased: December 9, 2014MSRP: $19.99Rig: AMD Phenom II X2 555 @ 3.2 GHz, with 4GB of RAM, ATI Radeon HD 5700, Windows 7 64-bit Gameplay in the Lara Croft series is different from that in the main Tomb Raider games. Though both feature shooting, light puzzling, and treasure hunting, the former uses an isometric camera position as opposed to the latter's standard third-person shooter viewpoint. As a result, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris's brand of shooting feels more like Geometry Wars' than Gears of War's. The bird's eye view also allows for more easily discernible puzzle elements. The problems presented and the tools available are clear, placing the focus on logic and eliminating most of the worry that a necessary lever or switch is hidden somewhere. There are a few clever puzzles to solve, but most are easily figured out and only require some finesse in execution. The basic tools available to Lara are guns, bombs, torches, and a grappling hook. Taking the place of Totec's spear from Guardian of Light is a magic staff that works as a sort of catch-all trigger for any environmental item with a particular rune marking. This can raise and lower platforms, slow down ticking time bombs, alter the rotational speed of gears, fire a damaging beam of light, and more. Alone, Lara can wield this in conjunction with most of her other gear, creating interesting combinations to use in Temple of Osiris's tombs. [embed]284944:56652:0[/embed] Though Temple of Osiris can be completed solo, the real interesting stuff happens with at least one other player. In the cooperative mode, Lara and fellow archaeologist Carter have only torches and grappling hooks, while playable gods Isis and Horus have the staff and a shield bubble ability. Teams need to consist of at least one archaeologist and at least one god, but additional members can be of either type. This alone would be enough to change up some basic gameplay, where trivial things like climbing up a wall need to be tackled differently, since Isis and Horus lack a grappling hook. Timing jumps along with staff usage to retract deadly spikes requires a bit of teamwork and communication. However, the strongest point of the cooperative play is that the puzzles are updated in order to require each player to be doing something. Sometimes it is a simple change like requiring two pressure plates to be activated simultaneously instead of in sequence. Other times the solution to a particular puzzle room is entirely different with more people around. Through all of the tombs, there are various challenges to hit, and they have tangible benefits. Many of the available weapons are locked behind achieving a high score, and several trinkets that confer stat bonuses are rewarded for completing tasks unique to a given tomb. As with Guardian of Light, there are still more red skulls to find, but this time they have Egyptian headdresses on so it still totally makes sense probably. Certain pendants will grant bonuses to the entire team, but this buff will only be activated if the player holding the corresponding item maintains a high combo meter; collecting gems and killing enemies boosts the meter but taking any damage resets it back to zero. This combo meter also factors into going for a high score, as it can be the difference between a gem's base value and four times that amount. In order to get the high score for a tomb, players will need to take as little damage as possible. In multiplayer games, this can breed a competitive cooperation like that seen in recent Super Mario titles, where each player is working toward the goal of having the team reach the end of a tomb, but also wants to be the one on the team to have performed the best. With the right kind of player, this can lead to "accidentally" setting off bombs or dropping teammates onto spikes when there are precious gems nearby. So far, it sounds like Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a great successor to Guardian of Light. There are more players, more weapons, and better graphics. But Temple of Osiris's fatal flaw lies in its control issues. The most noticeable problem is an easily detectable input lag. At times, it felt like somewhere between 300 and 500 milliseconds between controller input and the corresponding on-screen action. It is less obvious when running in a single direction or shooting, but going from stationary to moving takes far too long. Given the tight quarters and constant direction changes necessary for some boss fights, the lack of responsiveness can be quite frustrating. Other times, Lara and her cohorts do not behave consistently. Usually, walking to the end of a platform will result in the player dropping to a hanging position on the edge. Every so often, the characters will instead just drop to their deaths. There was another section where Lara even mentions needing to be careful about a particular wallrun. Dropping into spikes enough times caused me to think I must have been missing a switch somewhere. After a bit of searching and returning, I was able to succeed at the wallrun over the spikes, having no idea what I had done differently. For those who only want to play through the levels and get to the end to advance the appropriately silly story, the penalties for taking damage or dying are not severe. Checkpoints are frequent and players get back into the action quickly. However, given the focus on perfect runs and high scores, it is especially irritating to be locked out of a challenge (and its corresponding item unlock) not at the fault of the player, but as a result of loose and unresponsive control. Sadly, that colors the whole experience. Playing through Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, I was consistently impressed with the environments, weapons, and puzzle design, but I was still frowning and scowling. The action sections (and especially the boss fights) are unsatisfying, tainted by control that functions at a base level but requires the player to fight against it. There are still great things to be found in the Temple of Osiris, and those who care less about scoring points or who have some good partners to team up with can still find some fun in it. For me, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is a lot like Horus's staff: it is a treasure that can do great things, but it is cursed. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Lara Croft review photo
Cursed treasure
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was a surprise hit for me. I had never been a huge Tomb Raider fan, but its focus on puzzles, asymmetric cooperative multiplayer, and replayability drew me in. It's hard to believe that wa...

Deals with Gold photo
Deals with Gold

This week's Xbox Live deals are a treasure trove of tombs to raid


Enslaved is the true hidden gem here
Nov 18
// Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft's gearing up for another grandiose adventure -- this time in the Temple of Osiris -- and before that happens, Microsoft's giving you the opportunity to brush up on your tomb raiding and loot thieving. This wee...
Gex photo
Gex

Hah, remember Gex? It's back on GOG.com


Wonder if any of the jokes have aged well
Oct 16
// Jordan Devore
Couple of things about Gex. First and foremost, the PC version of the original is now available on GOG.com. It's priced at $5.99 and should be quite the nostalgia trip for some of you. That's the main reason I'm writing this ...
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

This happens when you play Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris with a jerk


Coopetition
Oct 08
// Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is shaping up to be a good time as a four-player venture. I played it at gamescom 2014, and it was a lot of fun. However, maybe that's because I didn't have a jerkface in my group tha...
Rise of The Tomb Raider photo
Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider FAQ explains that developer 'didn't intend any confusion'


Haha, yeah right
Aug 23
// Chris Carter
A Rise of the Tomb Raider FAQ has popped up on the official Tomb Raider tumblr account, and it answers some of the questions you've had since the fateful "holiday 2015 Xbox exclusive" announcement. It clarifies that...

Rediscover a Lara Croft you already know in Temple of Osiris

Aug 16 // Brett Makedonski
Perhaps the biggest alteration that Temple of Osiris employs is simply the number of people that are in on the action. Whereas the first game in the series featured two-player co-op, Temple of Osiris drops up to four into the fray. The characters pair off into two groups with unique capabilities. Lara and fellow treasure hunter Carter Bell can grapple to distant locations, while Egyptian gods Horus and Isis are equipped with light staffs. Each proves essential for clearing certain sections, but no characters feel more powerful than others. In the event that there's only a single player, Lara is given a staff to assist with certain sections. On the surface, Temple of Osiris is all about teamwork. Traversing across several tombs in an Egyptian setting in an effort to stop the god Osiris' evil brother Set is technically the reason for this dangerous endeavor. Your partners will feel invaluable as you fight monsters, solve puzzles, and wander off into intriguing nooks. Don't be naive -- they have an ulterior motive just like you. Underscoring the entirety of Temple of Osiris is a sense of competition. The game ranks players after each level, elevating the top performer on a pedestal where they're showered with gems. These gems act as the game's currency, so it's easy to get caught up in wanting more than your compadres. Before long, you're scrambling to pick up the point bonuses, get the final blow on enemies, and find that secret area first. It gives you that one-up that isn't necessary, but you just want so badly. [embed]279606:55317:0[/embed] The pursuit of gems is how the game accentuates its light RPG system. A treasure room that's available in between levels features a wealth of chests that all have random gear to equip. Chests vary in cost to open -- the higher the cost, the better the chance that it'll hold rare items. Crystal Dynamics isn't too willing to talk about the economy of Temple of Osiris yet, so it's unknown whether you'll be able to just buy specific items. Regardless, it's a certainty that gems are something you'll want lots of. Temple of Osiris offers the ability to go back to previous sections and grind out gems if you so wish. After each level, an elevator option is available, which takes the team back to an overworld hub where everything's replayable. It'll end up being a great help when seeking to clear side challenges or set high scores, especially considering that doing so is how some of the game's best gear is unlocked. These challenges won't be a cakewalk. In our demo, gameplay wasn't overly difficult, but it also gave the impression that it'd be tough to do consistently well. Dying resets a point multiplier along with a deduction in points, meaning that consistency is absolutely key. Compounding matters are the typical flaws associated with this style of game. Depth of field and precision platforming aren't Osiris' strengths, but it's likely that familiarity will eventually mitigate most frustrations that arise as a result. It may not be perfect but it works, and it'll probably work really well. It brings with it a sense of exploration and adventure that'll be welcome by those who grew up with Lara. Crystal Dynamics may have taken divergent paths with her character, but Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris proves that it hasn't forgotten the series' roots.
Lara Croft preview photo
She likes shootin' and lootin'
Which Lara Croft do you prefer? Crystal Dynamics has two versions of her, splitting the iconic character into distinctly different properties. The recent Tomb Raider reboot and the scheduled follow-up Rise of t...

 photo
Except for that Tomb Raider thing
Microsoft's press conferences often leave me with cranial damage from head-to-desk impact, but their gamescom 2014 presser felt pretty okay to me. I'm excited to see Microsoft making an attempt to partner with more indies. A...

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Rise of the Tomb Raider coming exclusively to Xbox platform


Exclusive
Aug 12
// Dale North
Yep. Rise of the Tomb Raider, the latest from Crystal Dynamics, is coming to Xbox only. This was announced today at Microsoft's gamescom press conference. Note that "Xbox" was said, and not a specific console. Maybe it'll come to both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Whatchu think 'bout that?
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

Unwrap Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris in December


Bring some friends
Jul 23
// Brett Makedonski
The sequel to the critically-acclaimed Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light will arrive just in time to unite friends and family for festivities at the end of the year. Crystal Dynamics' Lara Croft and the Temple o...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider might be on last-gen consoles too


According to an Amazon UK listing
Jun 16
// Brett Makedonski
Lara Croft may have moved onto new and exciting hardware, but that might not mean that she's seen the last of the faithful standbys from yesteryear. It appears as if Rise of the Tomb Raider, the franchise's next installment s...
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

The new Lara Croft adventure is all sorts of fun with four players


But you can still play it by yourself if you want
Jun 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light was pretty fun for what it was: a new take on the beloved character where you're running and gunning with a friend through all sorts of dangers.  Now, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris is bringing that same formula over to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, with the major addition being four-player co-op. Quadruple the fun! 
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Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris announced


The OTHER Tomb Raider title
Jun 09
// Dale North
Crystal Dynamics has another Lara Croft game. Square Enix just announced another: Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, a four-player cooperative follow-up to Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. It is coming to PS...
Rise of the Tomb Raider photo
Rise of the Tomb Raider

Lara Croft needs some psychiatric help in Rise of the Tomb Raider


'We become who we're meant to be'
Jun 09
// Darren Nakamura
Lara Croft had a rough time on her last archaeological expedition. It's no wonder that she would suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, or experience some other negative psychological effects. During Microsoft's E3 pres...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

The next-gen tech behind Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition


See what's new
Jan 21
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
We saw the comparison video, now developer Crystal Dynamics shows us exactly what went down to making Tomb Raider all next-gen-y. Lara looks more lifelike than ever, especially with her facial expressions as her face was re-...
Tom Raider photo
Tom Raider

The Tomb Raider reboot is finally profitable


Square Enix initially expected to sell 5-6 million units
Jan 17
// Alasdair Duncan
Last year's Tomb Raider reboot has finally reached the land of profitability, despite initially failing to meet the sales targets set by publisher Square Enix. In an interview with Eurogamer, executive producer Scott Amos rev...
Lara Croft photo
Lara Croft

Guardian of Light's free now for Xbox Live Gold members


You have two weeks
Jan 16
// Brett Makedonski
It's time for another predictable but helpful bi-weekly reminder that a new game is free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers. This time, it's 2010's Summer of Arcade title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light. Of course, this offe...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition comparison video


With blow-by-blow commentary from my wife
Jan 14
// Jonathan Holmes
Our friends over at IGN just posted a video comparing Tomb Raider to Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, along with an interview with with developer Scot Amos. It's a nice interview, but it's a lot of preaching to the...
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Tomb Raider fan film captures the brutality perfectly


A 20-minute film well worth your time
Dec 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Lots of fan films are great, but this Tomb Raider is above and beyond the average homage you'd normally see. The team at CanCinema did an amazing job, and it captures the brutality that the new Tomb Raider brought to the series.
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Tomb Raider's creative director now with Halo dev team


Meanwhile, former 343 creative director gets promoted
Dec 09
// Harry Monogenis
Timothy Longo, creative director behind the Tomb Raider reboot, has made the switch from Crystal Dynamics to 343 Industries. As shown on his LinkedIn profile, Longo is now the new creative director at 343; the studi...
Tomb Raider announcement photo
Tomb Raider announcement

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition coming to PS4, Xbox One


'Fully re-built' for next gen consoles
Dec 07
// Steven Hansen
Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is coming to PS4 and Xbox One on January 28, 2014. The Definitive Edition has been "custom built" for the next gen consoles and includes all of the original DLC, digital versions of the Dark Ho...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Next Tomb Raider is Lara's next chapter of development


The story continues
Nov 21
// Joshua Derocher
Brian Horton, the Senior Art Director at Crystal Dynamics, is really excited that the next Tomb Raider has been announced so he can talk about it. Horton explained the direction of the sequel's story, saying that "The Tomb Ra...
Tomb Raider photo
Tomb Raider

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition listed for next gen


Yeah, I'd play it again
Nov 18
// Jordan Devore
On Amazon's Italian site, there is a PlayStation 4 listing for something called Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition that's said to be releasing on January 24 for €59.99. According to the description, this re-release includes...
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Tomb Raider comes to Mac later this year


Which means soon
Oct 09
// Dale North
While we're a bit light on details, we do know that Feral Interactive are bringing Crystal Dynamics' Tomb Raider to Mac later this year. They say to expect a mini-site soon for the game, which likely means that they're almost done with it.  I assume this trailer is Mac footage.

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