The last Tomb Raider game saw players using crafting to upgrade gear and empower Lara as she explored that scary Japanese Island. The system worked, but the 'collect random bits' style of progression could feel a little divorced from the the rest of the game.
This time Crystal Dynamics is trying to tie things together more coherently in Rise. “What we've tried to do is make it so that the systems reflect the survival,” explains game director Brian Horton in this month's OXM. “So, resources you acquire from animals now have a direct correlation with things you can craft. The antlers or pelt from a deer – each of those are a resource, all of which have different recipes that will upgrade weapons and help craft ammunition. We've just built a more robust system to allow for the survival stuff to have relevance".
According to lead designer Michael Brinker, “using elements in the world for crafting [is] about her understanding what it means to be smart and resourceful. Unlike 2013’s Tomb Raider, animal hunting isn't just for narrative purposes." Which means you can now slaughter all the deer you want with a clear-ish conscience - sorry Bambi, Lara needs new pair of +1 winter mittens.