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PLAY UNEARTHS 'TOMB RAIDER LEGEND'
Copyright 2005 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ May 22nd 2005 ]

PLAY magazine has published an interview with Toby Gard, Lara Croft's original architect now working on Tomb Raider Legend at Crystal Dynamics. Key points from the interview reveal new information on Legend, including plot details and game mechanics.

According to PLAY, Tomb Raider Legend will not be a prequel, nor will it continue any previous storyline from earlier games. Many aspects of Lara's history will be addressed in Tomb Raider Legend, including an incident which occurred in the Himalayas. Both fantasy and mythological elements will be present as Lara explores the outer and inner boundaries of our modern world.

The AI system is actually quite robust and will respond to the ever-changing combat situation in intelligent ways, such as moving to flank Lara when she is pinned down, dodging grenades, and calling for backup. Combat game-play certainly leaves room for cover and surprise-based tactics, and it is much faster paced and visceral, involving numerous jumps, ducks, slides and rolls.

There are several key moments where Lara will need to use her new super-bike. Although there is a smattering of other vehicles in the game, it goes without saying that Lara's motorcycle is the prominent ride. Addressing the visual elements of the game, Crystal Dynamics tells PLAY there will be a full texture pass specifically for the Xbox version where the frame rate and load times will be faster. There will also be widescreen support for the XBox version and Crystal Dynamics are also looking into some of the Xbox specific features such as soundtrack support.

Toby Gard confirms that the control system is not like old Tomb Raider games or reminiscent of The Angel Of Darkness control system at all. Crystal Dynamics have started from scratch building the game from the ground up. The goal is to create a very responsive, fluid control system but still have Lara animating in a solid and believable way.

Commenting on the soundtrack, Crystal Dynamics advertise the music as being scored individually for all the levels, events and main characters in the game. They have created a highly flexible music system, which allows the music to adapt to player actions and changes in the game environment. The player will hear the game soundtrack tailored to his or her choices in the game.

The June issue of PLAY magazine is on sale now.

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