Tomb Raider reboot Lara is 21, will die horrifically

The first proper details on Eidos’ Tomb Raider reboot have arrived via the latest issue of GameInformer, which is available to subscribers now (it’ll hit newsstands on December 11th), revealing just how far off the beaten path Crystal Dynamics is taking the series.

For starters, the marooned heroine-to-be is portrayed at the delicate age of 21 and has been tasked with rebooting not only the franchise but the entire Tomb Raider brand. To that end, the awkwardness of having a real world model is a thing of the past; there’ll be none of that going forward.

The gameplay sounds to be much more open-ended this time around with players getting to decide when and where to go. “I think that the major difference between this game and the old is the concept of smoke and mirrors,” studio head Darrell Gallagher says. “There was an illusion of freedom because of streaming and loading that would pop you out in a different location, but this is absolutely real. You can literally go any direction that you see and carve your own way to the finish line instead of being guided.”

Some areas are only accessible later in the game as players have progressed and gained access to more tools, gear, and as Lara’s athletic prowess has evolved. It’s important to “not only deliver the character arc of Lara Croft emotionally,” director Noah Hughes explains, “but to deliver it in gameplay as well so the player gets to grow into a hardened survivor.”

When it comes to Lara’s untimely demise, expect to witness some gruesome sights. A few death scene examples brought include her being trapped by a falling boulder before another crushes her head, or her getting stabbed in the chest by a deranged man who then shuts her eyes.

Details on how she’ll be able to fight back aren’t disclosed in great detail — though a pistol, a shotgun and a bow are shown on images included in the GI story — but the gunplay is said to have been completely revamped; the autolock targeting system has been replaced with free aim, the quality of which can match anyone in the industry, the developer is confident.

A few more details:
– performance capturing is being done
– a skill system can be accessed from base camp areas, which also allow for fast travel
– gathering food and water is necessary for survival
– there are other humans on the island, including other survivors of the shipwreck

As for platforms or release dates, no luck there just yet.