During a panel at PAX West in Seattle, Rise of the Tomb Raider Franchise Creative Director Noah Huges, Senior Designer Chad Armstrong and Designer Alisha Thayer gave more information on the upcoming Rise of the Tomb Raider: 20 Year Celebration, which will finally bring the game to PS4 on October 11th.
Below you can read a recap of what they shared:
- The team has been pushing internally for for a while to create the Croft Manor. A lot of attention to detail was put into creating it.
- Inspiration was taken from a lot of old manors throughout history. It’s run-down, as Lara hasn’t had a chance to make it hers yet.
- Blood Ties lasts about an hour of story mode. If you completely explore everything it can take about two hours. There’s a lot to find, including documents to read.
- Blood Ties is just the first step in making the manor playable again. There are many more rooms and gameplay experiences that the team would like to create in the future set in the Croft manor.
- Crystal Dynamics has been looking for opportunities to do something Tomb Raider-related in VR. The release on PS4 was the perfect chance.
- The VR part of the game is in first person perspective (while when played on your screen it’s in the usual third person). It has two different locomotion modes: Free Mode is the normal walking in first person mode, while Comfort Mode allows you to teleport to counter motion sickness. The team advises to try this one first if you’re not familiar with VR. Both modes allow a degree of room-scale movement.
- In Lara’s Nightmare some wings of the manor are locked off. You need to explore to find ways and beat minibosses to unlock those areas. Blood Ties has an exploration component as well, and not all of the manor will be accessible from the start. Both pieces of content share the same “footprint,” but a little bit of the manor only exists in Blood Ties, as it would spoil the story if you play Lara’s Nightmare first.
- Both the PlayStation version of the game and the 20th anniversary celebration were very important to Crystal Dynamics, so they wanted it to be as special as possible.
- In co-op endurance mode you appear as Lara on your screen, while the other player appears as Nadia. On the other player’s screen, the roles will be reversed, since everyone wants to play as Lara.
- The studio wanted to do co-op for a long time. They doesn’t see co-op and single player as mutually exclusive experience. When the campaign is over, it’s nice to have replayable co-op tomb raiding.
- The team got rid of the slow motion effect in co-op when traps are activated, as it wouldn’t work with more than one player. To compensate, there is a shared pool of lives. Traps are ten times more lethal in co-op.
- When you aim, you can press a button to mark things in the world for your co-op buddy. You can mark resources, traps and more.
- The team likes to experiment within additional content, and the feedback they get on those new elements can then be used in new games.
- Replayable puzzles were partly inspired by Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes by Steel Crate Games. They can generate about 300-400 combinations of questions and answers.
- Asked whether the cover was an intentional homage to Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection, Armstrong mentioned that is “more of a throwback” to the Definitive Edition of the previous Tomb Raider.
- There are no other story DLCs planned at the moment besides Blood Ties, and the developers declined to comment on whether another Tomb Raider game is in the works.
- Crystal Dynamics is “informally involved” with the upcoming 2018 Tomb Raider movie. They have regular conversations with the production, which seeks feedback on scripts and more.