Crystal Dynamics confirmed during Microsoft's E3 2014 press conference that they're working on a sequel to the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider. Rise of the Tomb Raider will take Lara on a new treasure-hunting quest in 2015.
"In her first adventure, Lara Croft was forged into a true survivor, but she glimpsed a deeper, secret world," says Crystal Dynamics of Rise. "In the next chapter of her journey, Lara must use her survival skills and wits, learn to trust new friends, and ultimately accept her destiny as the Tomb Raider."
The 2013 reboot took place entirely on one tropical island. Rise of the Tomb Raider, however, will let Lara travel across the world.
“With the power of the new generation, and our proprietary Foundation engine, our high octane action moments will be even more epic. Multiple locations around the world will be filled with exploration spaces that are some of the most beautifully hostile places on earth and over three times larger than we could achieve before,” said Darrell Gallagher, Head of Product Development and Western Studios at publisher Square Enix. "Our digital actors will rival CG quality, and after hearing the cry from our fans loud and clear, we will put the tombs back into Tomb Raider, all in our gritty Survival-Action style."
Tomb Raider had its share of tombs. They were generally optional, though, intended only for players looking for a challenge to their platforming or puzzle-solving skills. I guess Crystal Dynamics realized that this annoyed many long-time fans of the series. Gallagher's statement suggests that tombs will be better integrated into the main campaign.
In the trailer, we see Lara speaking with a psychologist. This could be the narrative frame for the game, with each mission taking place in flashbacks. The second half of the trailer shows one of these adventures, set in a cold mountain environment. We see her outrun a bear, kill an armed thug with a bow and then enter a forgotten tomb. Just a regular day for Ms. Croft.
If you liked the story of the Tomb Raider, you'll be pleased to hear that the same team has been kept in place. Camilla Luddington will be once again voicing Lara. Writer Rhianna Pratchett is back as well.
Crystal Dynamics didn't announce the platforms for Rise of the Tomb Raider yet. However, Gallagher's talk about the "power of the new generation" suggests that this game might only be on PS4, Xbox One and PC. New-gen-only titles are only going to get more and more common from here on out.
The release date for Rise of the Tomb Raider is unknown. The game's currently slated for "Holiday 2015" so expect it in the usual September-November range that AAA releases are so fond of.