Crystal Dynamics wants to do something with Rise of the Tomb Raider that was missing from the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider: allow players to raid tombs and partake in platforming puzzles. It's kind of amazing that a game called Tomb Raider was kind of staunchly thin on tombs to raid.
On the upside, Crystal Dynamics wants to get Lara Croft back to some of her roots by incorporating more tombs into the sequel.
Eurogamer picked out choice quotes from an interview creative director Noah Hughes had with Game Informer, where Hughes stated that...
"Puzzles are an important part of the Tomb formula, so we're excited to have more tombs in the game, featuring more puzzles," …
Well that sounds promising. The first two Tomb Raider games were known for being unbearably hard on players from start to finish, containing some of the most hair-tearing, eye-watering platform puzzles in the history of gaming. I wish that was hyperbole, but next to Super Mario 64, the platforming puzzles in the old Tomb Raider games were frustratingly difficult. That was part of the appeal, and some gamers would spend all weekend long with their Blockbuster Video rental of the game staying stuck on the same puzzles over and over again.
It'll be nice to see that level of challenge return to the game... but at the same time we probably won't be seeing that exact level of challenge. You see, Rise of the Tomb Raider still must maintain a broad appeal.
According to Hughes...
"Our intent is to challenge the player but we don't want average players getting into stalemates,"...
So it's going to be like the puzzles from Uncharted 3 and the Assassin's Creed games following Brotherhood? Got it.
These tiered-puzzles have become common in newer games so – just as Hughes mentioned – lesser-skilled gamers or those who don't have an hour to burn just staying stuck on a puzzle can at least feel like they're accomplishing something.
I understand why these kind of puzzles exist in today's AAA titles, but at the same time I still kind of miss that raw challenge from the old-school titles that made you love and hate the game at the same time (e.g., Heretic II).
Anyway, Xbox 360 and Xbox One gamers will have a lot to look forward to with Rise of the Tomb Raider, when the timed-exclusive launches later this year.