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MORE LIGHT ON NEXT GEN
Copyright 2000 www.ign.com

[ November 11th 2000 ]

IGN, the online gaming magazine snatches another exclusive right from the arms of Core, who according to their report have not specified any certainties with regards to the Next Generation of Lara Croft. What they have confirmed is the extinction of the current genre as we know it, with the introduction of an episodic series spanning an initial five years.

Eidos has said the game will be episodic, and that each adventure, or "episode," will exist as a fully independent game that consumers can buy separately. Players can use the Internet to download various elements to complement these adventures, such as character and plot details. Adding to the newness factor is Eidos' insistence in bringing in new playable characters. Eidos and Core are working on introducing playable characters from her venerable history in addition to playing Lara Croft herself. Visually, Tomb Raider Next Generation will look simply gorgeous. From the renders and screenshots we've received, Lara has been carefully, painfully re-created with a more realistic body and set of curves, as well as dressed in several different outfits, and is comprised of thousands of polygons, as opposed to the 200-300 that made up her PlayStation form. The new powerful graphics won't only enhance her shape, they'll strongly affect the worlds in which she's spelunking. The future worlds promise to be huge, if the screenshots are any indication. That, added to the PS2's huge terrain-based polygon capabilities, leaves us to believe that the worlds will be more detailed, more interactive, and far more realistic.

While we were already aware of the episodic approach to the new series of Tomb Raider, we wonder whether a new player, coming into the Tomb Raider environment several episodes down the line, will have to start from the very first game of Next Generation to catch up to the current episode. If this is the case, then it's a ingenious marketing plan by Eidos which guarantees sales of older versions of Next Gen. long after their shelf life expires.

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