At New York Comic Con I got my first chance to go hands-on with Crystal Dynamics reboot of theTomb Raider series. While not an entirely new demo – it was shown backstage at E3 – I was finally able to explore the island firsthand instead of being walked through by one of the developers.
The new Tomb Raider gives us a look into how Lara Croft became the badass treasure hunter that we know she turns into. Starting the demo we find ourselves taking Lara along a narrow cliff in hope of finding other survivors from the ship that crashed on the island. Exploring the cliff-side crash site for other survivors, Lara remains hopeful that she will find someone else alive – I on the other hand am not that positive. Blocking our path, we come face-to-face with a decrepit World War II bomber. Leaping onto exposed steel bars we climb ourselves up and over to the creaking left wing. Losing her grip and barely hanging on with only one hand, prompting the mashing of a button to regain her balance. The whole experience felt just as good as Naughty Dog’s Uncharted series.
Once safely on the other side, we lose control of Lara as she gets caught in a mudslide – as far as I could tell it is unavoidable. Spending the night at a makeshift basecamp, Lara continues exploring eyeing a bow attached to a hanging corpse that she could use to hunt for food. Tiptoeing her way across a rickety log, she reaches out for the swaying corpse and bow only to fall to the ground with the corpse – thankfully the bow comes with it.
Using the bow, holding the trigger down will allow the arrow to reach further distances, while lightly tapping the button will have the arrow drop nearly at your feet. With no enemies to use as target practice and with our hunger on the rise, I decided to hunt the occasional rabbit, but the main prize came when a wondering deer ventured in my eyesight. Shooting an arrow dead center at our prey, the deer was quite resilient – limping away in a feeble escape attempt. Our next arrow however, downed the beast, allowing Lara to take out her knife and claim her dinner. Lara apologizes to the deer, but she knows she must go through with it to survive.
With the rain starting to get heavier, we head back to basecamp and this is where the demo ends, but before it returns to the start menu, we got a quick glimpse at the different upgrades that will be available once the game is released. A couple notable once allows for her to hold more ammo as well as take less damage from falls. With this quick look at Tomb Raider, we can’t wait for the game when it released in March next year.