Rise of the Tomb Raider was showcased today during Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 press conference.
The gameplay demo during today's presser showed off all the ways you'll be able to customize Lara to your liking, crafting a certain type of game that you can play the way you like it. If you prefer to remain stealthy, there's an opportunity for you to do that. If you'd rather go all out and brutal, you can eliminate your enemies as swiftly or as rashly as possible.
The new "Guerrilla Combat" system is at the heart of it all, and there's even a new bow shown off with which Lara can really do some damage. Stealth water kills and some aerial combat skills are demonstrated in the video as well, and make Lara look like a regular seasoned killer. But then, the first game basically made her into one, after all she had to go through in the end. It's no surprise Lara has become grizzled and powerful.
Unfortunately, there wasn't a lot said about the actual tombs themselves, those fun little extras from Tomb Raider that were as fun to seek out as they were to explore. That was half the fun, discovering them when you thought they were off the beaten path, anyway.
Crystal Dynamics' upcoming Xbox One title will feature the same Lara we met in the Tomb Raider reboot, which was surprisingly successful and an engaging riff on the classic series we knew from youth.
I've not always been a Lara Croft fan, though I did dabble in Tomb Raider when I was a young girl.
I just don't subscribe to the "tired, broken, yet strong woman" archetype that was pushed in the previous game, but that's beside the point. I still enjoyed Lara as the woman she was previously, and while the Tomb Raider reboot was poignant and engaging (and super visceral, if you look back at all those death scenes) I didn't think she needed to quite be overhauled so much as she was in the end.
But if that opens up the Tomb Raider franchise to new players and those looking for a different sort of game than that they played back on the original PlayStation and whatnot, I'm all for a bit of change, and the Uncharted-esque exploration, combat, and quick-time events that now permeate Tomb Raider are modernized changes that certainly feel welcome.
The sequel to Tomb Raider will be exclusive to Xbox only for a period of time, but it will also release for both Windows 10 and Steam in early 2016, with PlayStation 4 users able to purchase the game in Holiday 2016. That's a bit of an excessive gap, given the popularity of the previous game and how well it sold, but that's the business for you.
You can purchase Rise of the Tomb Raider on November 10, 2015 for Xbox One.