What's the difference between Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3's islands?

"Theirs is much more of a tropical aesthetic, ours is a more forested look."

What is the difference between the island settings of Crystal Dynamics' upcoming Tomb Raider reboot and Ubisoft Montreal's Far Cry 3?

"Theirs is much more of a tropical aesthetic, ours is a more forested look," Tomb Raider art director Brian Horton told Eurogamer.

Perhaps what's more intriguing is how similar the two locations are in terms of their artistic design, character and history.

When speaking to developers of both games at the Eurogamer Expo, each named the same two inspirations for their island locations - sci-fi survival series Lost and dark war epic Apocalypse Now.

"I wouldn't say we've gone for one specific thing over another - but such things as Apocalypse Now and Lost have certainly been an influence," Far Cry 3 lead designer Jamie Keen explained.

Horton revealed his team had similar tastes. "Lost is definitely in there as an inspiration - Apocalypse Now has been a big influence visually. I like to describe its look as 'ominous beauty'. There's a dark edge to it."

Lost's crashed Beechcraft plane.

The Tomb Raider demo shown on the Eurogamer Expo show floor sees Lara Croft explore her new island location properly for the first time. One moment near the start of the level sees players traversing a crevasse. Above this hangs a Beechcraft plane, ruined and rusting.

Croft must climb up to and clamber across the crashed aircraft in a scene which hints at an episode from Lost's first season.

"When you go to an environment you don't need a script," Horton explained. "You can see there's a history here, a story there. If you explore you'll see that plane. This island has been trapping vehicles and wrecks from all ages. That's what's important to us, to tell that story visually.

"I call [the island] the second most important character in the game."

The sentiment is shared by the Ubisoft team. "It's very much a character," Keen said of Far Cry 3's own island.

"We want this place that's both alluring and repulsive in equal measure. You'll feel seduced by the place and all the people in it.

"You'll walk around one corner and see this beautiful vista. Then you'll walk around another and see a pirate beating a man's head in against the wheel arch of a truck."

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

News Editor  |  tomphillipsEG

Tom is Eurogamer's news editor. He writes lots of news, some of the puns and makes sure we put the accent on Pokémon.


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