Tomb Raider: Anniversary - exclusive look

Tomb Raider: Anniversary is shaping up to be everything fans of the series could hope for - and we've been given exclusive access to it at Eidos' London offices. That means we've got a whole week of Tomb Raider goodies for you to drool over, including the first look at the newly redesigned Egypt level and exclusive screens and concept art, none of which you'll find first anywhere else.

And, to kick things off, we've got an exclusive interview with Jason Botta, game designer at Crystal Dynamics - the man responsible for delivering a game that lives up to everyone's incredibly high expectations.

Why did you decide to remake Tomb Raider?

We wanted to make something that was a tribute to a decade of support from all the fans, the Tomb Raider franchise and also as high a quality game as we could make on current-generation with the current existing technology that we had. With Tomb Raider Legend, we had a great game engine and a great team of people who worked on it so we wanted to sort of make a really solid good game, sort of a tribute - an homage to Tomb Raider 1.

Above: The power of PS2 and PSP make the game look how you imagined Tomb Raider looked in 1996

How similar is Anniversary to Tomb Raider Legend?

It's similar in that Lara Croft is obviously the main character and she has all the moves that she had in Tomb Raider Legend and it uses the same engine technology that we used. But as far as the overall gameplay goes, it's definitely more evolved. We've given a lot of mechanics to use in addition to what she has in Legend and we've also sort of changed the way that we've designed the layout of the levels.

We were sort of criticized on Legend for being a little bit too linear. We really wanted to make a more branching path - a more explorative-type environment. And actually it worked out really well because Tomb Raider 1 as a game did have lots of really good interconnecting areas, paths that you would backtrack to and what-not, so it really sort of fits hand in hand with our goals for correcting most of the things we were criticized for on Legend and also to make a game that was true in form and structure to the original Tomb Raider.

Justin Towell

Justin was a GamesRadar staffer for 10 years but is now a freelancer, musician and videographer. He's big on retro, Sega and racing games (especially retro Sega racing games) and currently also writes for Play Magazine,, PC Gamer and TopTenReviews, as well as running his own YouTube channel. Having learned to love all platforms equally after Sega left the hardware industry (sniff), his favourite games include Christmas NiGHTS into Dreams, Zelda BotW, Sea of Thieves, Sega Rally Championship and Treasure Island Dizzy.