Shadow of the Tomb Raider Devs Talk The New, Darker Lara, Non-Linear Gameplay, and More

Nathan Birch
Shadow of the Tomb Raider Xbox One X 4k 60fps

The torrent of Tomb Raider info continues! Earlier today we published a full hands-on preview for Shadow of the Tomb Raider and detailed the game’s special editions and Season Pass, and now we have some additional info courtesy of a Tribeca Film Festival panel featuring the game’s director Daniel Chayer-Bisson, lead writer Jill Murray, brand director Rich Briggs, and current Lara Croft motion capture model Camilla Luddington. The panel was preface by a Shadow of the Tomb Raider gameplay demo, but, unfortunately, that footage was exclusive for attendees and not livestreamed. We’ll let you know if it turns up online! If you’ve got a few minutes, you can check out the panel below (jump to the hour mark).

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Here’s a rundown of some of the new info revealed during the panel:

  • According to Murray, most of the story is carried by the gameplay, without a lot of pre-rendered cinematics. She promises “open exploration,” and that the story “won’t be a purely linear experience.”
  • As Christian described in his preview, Lara can now repel in new ways and swim underwater. The devs promised even more new traversal options, as Shadow will star a more muscular, athletic Lara Croft.
  • The game will place a larger emphasis on stealth, as Lara can now use various techniques to blend in with the jungle. In this respect, the game actually sounds a bit like Metal Gear Solid 3.
  • Lara will be going to some dark places in this game (she does set off the apocalypse, after all). According to Murray, she may start to resemble the villains she’s fighting.

“In Shadow of the Tomb Raider we see Lara really fighting not to become the enemy she hates, and in many cases, we may see the enemy is herself. She's going to make a lot of mistakes, deal with a lot of complicity. Depending on your perspective, a hero can also be a threat, and in this game Lara has to decide which path she's going to choose.”

  • Lara’s growing darkness will be balanced her adversary, Trinity leader Dr. Dominguez, who will be a surprisingly sympathetic villain…

"Dr. Dominguez is the head of Trinity, and his motivations [...] they often come across as just as compelling as Lara's. He's someone I think will make the player question her motives, and he really gets in her head and makes her question herself. I think it brings her whole struggle alive to have such an equal challenger."

It certainly sounds like Shadow of the Tomb Raider is going to be swinging for the fences. There was some fear the series would lose its edge with the movie to Eidos Montreal, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider swings onto PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on September 14.

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