LARA SPREADS HER
WINGS AT E3 2002
Copyright 2002 www.computerandvideogames.com
[ May 29th 2002 ]
Smith is the boss of Tomb Raider developer Core
Design. He's in charge of one of the biggest games
in the world. He spoke exclusively to computerandvideogames.com
on The Angel Of Darkness. Next gen Tomb Raider,
now subtitled Angel of Darkness, was in a very
early state on the showfloor of E3 last week,
but luckily Core Design head honcho Adrian Smith
was on hand to explain why. While there was no
game-play to speak of, it was obvious from our
little chat that a far more complete title is
planned for the carrier of the most famous breasts
in gaming this time round. About time too.
know by now, Angel of Darkness sees Lara framed
for murder and sent on a mission to clear her
name. Expect Metal Gear stealth elements, art
theft, lunatic asylums and an even more fantastical
bra size. Let's face it. Smith could put the Tomb
Raider logo on the side of a cottage cheese tub
and still sell millions. Luckily he looks to be
making a quality game far in advance of previous
incarnations. See what he has to say below.
If I'm honest, what we've got here is an in-house
tools and technology demo as opposed to game-play.
Be under no illusions: there is no game-play in
here at all. There are like nine different camera
systems in there. The main thing for us was to
just bring it out and let people have a look at
the look and the quality, get an idea for it,
have a look at the new Lara. Where we are in the
development process, is that we're actually doing
the game now. We have all the environments done,
we have all the tools and technology, and we're
basically building the game.
doing lot of clever things. All these floors are
environment mapped. Look at the lights up here,
proper volumetric lights coming down and casting
all this radiosity. We're doing some really nice
bits, and I know they're only superficial cosmetics
in look and approach, but we're really trying
to get across the level of detail. Look at this
[moves Lara next to a wall covered with gargoyles].
There are 7,000 polys just on these faces. They're
actually full 3D. All the geometry is real. The
engine is a massive step forward from where we've
been in the past.
Garratt: Is PS2 doing everything you need it to
do at the moment?
Yeah. Everyone gives it a hard time, but it's
like any machine. If you're prepared to sit there
and work stuff out, you can work it out. To say
that PS2 won't do this and Xbox will... you just
find another way of doing it and the result is
exactly the same.
Garratt: So from a technical point of view, you're
not ruing not doing an Xbox version?
Not at all. No. Not in the slightest. It's like
any machine; it's got good bits and bad bits.
When you think that there are 5,000 polys on Lara
alone: we were struggling to do that on Psone
in an entire scene. It's a massive jump forward.
Garratt: From a game-play point of view, are we
going to see a similar thing as in previous games,
with Lara climbing up on boxes and the like?
Yeah. People say, "Are you going to get rid of
boxes?" We are to an extent, but it's actually
quite hard as it's a fairly intrinsic mechanism
to Tomb Raider to be honest. As you probably know,
the game's in three bits. The first part is wondering
around Paris, meeting and talking to people, finding
out what's actually happened, interacting with
characters. There are choices to be made, so you
can take a passive approach or an aggressive approach,
and that'll differ the route you take.
when you meet one of the characters, if you choose
to take a straightforward aggressive approach
on the options you select, she'll tell you about
a notebook but won't give it to you. The only
way forward then is to get rid of her and ransack
her office to find it. If you take a less aggressive
approach she'll give it to you. It changes the
outcome and adds to the longevity of the game.
You've also got choices that are made on the pad,
which is quite cool. There are parts where things
pan out differently depending on how fast you
react to certain situations. So the first part
in Paris is very different and that 's why we're
not showing it.
Garratt: Has it been easy for you to make the
switch from solid 3D platforming and shooting
to this sort of adventure game?
I think so. There have always been lots of ideas,
and there were limitations of the original engine
and what Tomb Raider originally was. I mean let's
face it, it's seven years old now, and that's
an eternity. It was designed very tightly around
what it did. We've always had lots of ideas and
things that we wanted to do. We know that people
love the progression of Lara, what Lara is and
what she's actually about, so we tried to work
a lot of that in. How you actually play the game
reflects back into Lara. It's like, "I've got
10 points, what do I actually want to do with
them? Do I want to add it to her strength, her
Garratt: Is it nice to come back to Lara? You
obviously had a bit of a dalliance with Herdy
Gerdy last year... Lara's obviously the mainstay
of Core. Do you think Herdy Gerdy actually reinforced
No, not really. Not at all. We still love Herdy
Gerdy, and I think the advantage of doing something
like Tomb Raider does is to give you the opportunity
to do more things. I think that Herdy Gerdy was
probably there before its time and we still love
the game. It is nice to get back to Lara, and
this time it's a whole new game. It's probably
singularly the hardest thing we've had to do,
because it's like, how do you reinvent something
that's worked in the past? How do you change it?
Do we change it so much that we piss off people
that have enjoyed playing the game? If we'd have
brought Paris here, people would be walking around
with a casually dressed Lara that's got no weapons
talking to people, and everyone would be like,
"This isn't Tomb Raider?" It's trying to get that
Garratt: Are we going to see this by Christmas
By November 14 apparently.
Garratt: That's nice.
Garratt: Is the second movie coming out this year?
It's Angelina Jolie again, right?
The second movie's 2003. They [Paramount] haven't
really nailed it down. I think they've got a time-line
they'd like. There's no correlation between this
game and the movie. We've got the new script and
it's really great. It's Angelina again. She's
actually in the UK at the moment, she's been over
for a month. They start filming in 12 weeks. How
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