As a nearly 20-year-old video game character, Lara Croft has already come close to immortality, at least commercially. Whereas her new game, Rise of the Tomb Raider, sees her hunting a forgotten city and the secret of living forever, the answer’s a bit easier in the real world: you just need popularity, high-quality sequels and perfectly timed marketing campaigns to keep on going. All of that’s a long way of saying … here’s new gameplay footage.
The first of Microsoft’s three-part “Woman vs. Wild” series (spoiler: woman wins) is a snappily edited rundown of the challenges you can expect in Rise of the Tomb Raider, with the first episode focusing on how Tomb Raider’s survival elements have been expanded within larger and less welcoming environments. The first game surfaced hunting when the plot called for it on the storm-swept island of Yamatai, but it was ultimately a cursory bit of deer slaughter that didn’t impact Lara’s toolset.
As we discussed in our hands-on preview, liberated animal pelts and other fluffy necro-materials can now go into weapon upgrades and on-the-fly ammunition crafting. A harsh Siberian wasteland also hosts more exotic animals to support the crafting system, which is the reason we’ll keep coming back to every time we start feeling bad for mowing down something cute. Sorry, Mr. Deer, but, y’know, we gotta support that crafting system. A lot of people worked on it.
With greater size comes more freedom too - the new footage also teases the sidequests and optional puzzle caverns in Rise of the Tomb Raider, which unlock additional materials and abilities.
Though Tomb Raider is still on its combat-heavy course, the latest game (due on Nov. 10) is trying to carve out room for Lara’s traditional traversal hobbies, right alongside a better-realized “survival” element. With other major survival-themed games like Far Cry Primal and ARK on the way, you can expect to hear that do-not-die descriptor a lot in the coming months.