After a long waiting period of new game names, rumors, and trademarks we finally get a peak into Tomb Raider:Underworld - a continuation of Legend (finally!) which is supported by a brand new engine. Update: I've been digging some more and found this thread which contains more details and facts about the game. Play Magazine has the exclusive:
"In the level where Lara explores Southern Mexico, she leaves footprints in the mud, but it's raining so they wash away. The bodies she leaves behind in combat encounters will stay, however, as will the debris from any destruction she causes,"
Lara looks amazing. I've uploaded a few of the images released and the Play article for your viewing. I'm such a huge fan of the franchise and waiting for the 8th installment is painful! If you 'd like to see the interview with developer Eric Lindstrom you can download your copy of the magazine. I cannot wait!
[Editor's note: If you've also been living under a rock like me this is probably the first time you're seeing these images. Luckily, Lauren is a big fan of the series and graced our c-blogs with the scoop. Great find! Hit the jump for some copy pasta. -Niero]
Lara Croft Model
*Lara's body reacts to the weather and environment - if it is hot, she will sweat. If it is raining, the water will trickle down her body. If it is muddy, dirt will cling to her and gradually wash off due to the rainfall. Her clothes will also react to changing environmental conditions. Lara interacts with environmental foliage, sweeping it away as she passes through it.
*Crystal Dynamics have introduced motion capture for the first time in a Tomb Raider game. Motion capture brings increased realism and fluidity to Lara's movements.
*Lara will have high quality facial animations and lip-synch.
* TRU uses a realistic and dynamic weather system including torrential rain pour, thunderclouds and lightning.
* An improved physics engine means that the whole world is reacts to Lara's presence and has memory. Lara leaves footprints in the mud. Debris and bodies will no longer vanish, providing valuable markers of where the player has been in the game world.
*An innovative lighting system moves beyond simple dynamic lighting to create stunning and realistic environments.
*The game is more open-ended than ever before, giving players the choice of how to tackle situations.
*Crystal Dynamics travelled on location to photograph the Mayan tombs ensuring a realistic look to the ruins.
*All cutscenes are made using the in-game engine.
*Lara can now perform close quarters combat and melee moves. These moves are focused on repelling enemies so she can shoot them with less risk to herself.
*Multiple targets can be shot, with one gun focusing on one target while the other gun focusses on another.
*Lara will have numerous costume changes throughout the game with more available as unlockables.
*Environmental objects can be used in a variety of different ways, both as weapons and tools to aid climbing.
*The grapple tool is back although it is unknown as to whether it is hooked or magnetic.
*Lara's motorbike is the only confirmed vehicle in the game so far. It will have a greater role in puzzle solving.
[Images from Tiscali Games]