Rise of the Tomb Raider

The new Lara Croft works out some kinks in a second act that, while slick and enjoyable, doesn't resolve Tomb Raider's identity crisis.


FeatureWriting Lara Croft

How Rhianna Pratchett helped reboot Tomb Raider.

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4

Improved over Xbox One, but PC still offers the definitive experience.

Key events

Tomb Raider film review - a new kind of game-to-film failure

For decades, film adaptations of video game properties have sucked - but to be fair to their beleaguered makers, they have faced some intractable problems. Early video games had great name recognition and more than their fair share of iconic imagery, but their lead characters were vacant mascots and their action often defied rational explanation, never mind motivation or plot structure. Filmmakers had to either make this stuff up as they went along, like the disastrous 1993 Super Mario Bros. film - and face the scorn of video game fans who didn't see any of what they loved on screen - or abandon any ambition to flesh out their source material and make something resembling a normal film.

You could put 2001's silly Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in the latter category. Angelina Jolie nailed Lara's original look, but the character didn't amount to more than a depthless cartoon superwoman engaged in nonsensical acrobatic capers, because that's all she had ever been. Even latterday games like Assassin's Creed, which come preloaded with the kind of tangled lore that's catnip to movie producers shopping for a future franchise, struggle to present a human dimension that scriptwriters can find purchase on. Attempts to insert one fell unsurprisingly flat.

So you can see how 2013's Tomb Raider reboot looked unusually attractive to the film world. Here was a game that bore one of the most famous names in the business - one with a bit of history to it - and yet took an expressly cinematic approach to character development. It rebuilt Lara Croft from first principles as a human being, frail and flawed, discovering her true strength for the first time. It had superb art direction as well, creating a new visual language around the character that had grit, texture and plausibility as well as grandeur (although it did owe an awful lot to the Hunger Games and Tomb Raider's upstart cousin, Uncharted).

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"A new Tomb Raider game is coming" says Square Enix

"Our journey together will begin with a major event in 2018."

Square Enix has announced "a new Tomb Raider game", by which it probably means Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but it sounds like it won't feature tonight at The Game Awards or tomorrow at PlayStation Experience.

It's true, we've covered Rise of the Tomb Raider so many times over the past couple of years that we've even given it a YouTube playlist - but this is by no means a bad thing. It simply demonstrates the love and care developer Nixxes has poured into maintaining the game over the years. From supporting the ageing Xbox 360 to the PlayStation 4 Pro and PSVR all the way up to the Xbox One X, Nixxes has become the caretaker for Crystal Dynamics' most recent outing. At this point, the only thing missing is a Switch port. But right now, all eyes on are the upcoming Xbox One X port, demonstrating what looks like the best console version of the game yet.

Digital FoundryRise of the Tomb Raider shines in HDR on Xbox One X

And Digital Foundry has the gameplay capture to prove it.

A couple of weeks ago, Microsoft began its latest global media tour, primarily to promote Xbox One X. While the range of games available to check out was essentially a subset of the impressive Gamescom line-up, we did have the opportunity to get direct feed capture of a range of titles that we'll be covering over the next week, starting with Rise of the Tomb Raider. We've already posted our initial thoughts on the Gamescom demo (and we have more coverage planned) but for now, we thought we'd kick off with a look at the game's breathtaking HDR support.

New Tomb Raider film gets first trailer

New Tomb Raider film gets first trailer

Better than the poster.

The upcoming Tomb Raider movie which stars Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft has received its first trailer.

The film looks to be about Lara returning from some form of walkabout (possibly a gap year?) as she decides to inherit her father's legacy of hunting for treasure and/or saving the world. It's always nice when these things coincide, eh?

Like Crystal Dynamics' recent 2013 reboot, the film will strand Lara on an island for the bulk of its adventure, as opposed to some earlier games and films that saw her globe-trotting. If nothing else Vikander looks the part, which is more than we can say of the film's poster, which saw Lara sporting a bizarrely photoshopped elongated neck.

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Have you heard of the North Pond Hermit? It's a wonderful story: strange and wistful. For 27 years a man named Chrisopher Knight lived in the wilderness of Maine, sleeping in a camp beautifully hidden amongst boulders and sneaking out, every few weeks, to steal supplies from the surrounding homes. People suspected he was there. It must have been a little bit like being haunted by a lonely ghost. Houses were broken into, candy, books, the odd Game Boy was lifted. Some people would leave supplies out for him, in a bag hooked over the handle of the back door.

Digital FoundryHow Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One X improves over PS4 Pro

UPDATE: Screenshot and video comparison assets added to the analysis.

UPDATE 30/8/17 10:10am: We've updated one of the comparison images below with fresh PS4 Pro and PC shots that replicate an additional texture layer found in Square-Enix's Xbox One X press shot, representing an injured Lara. We couldn't replicate this look within the cutscene, but thankfully Digital Foundry readers came forward to help get better matching shots. The key takeaway remains the same though - Xbox One X is clearly running with higher quality art than PS4 Pro, but there are some curious differences with the maxed-out PC version.

Meanwhile, Square Enix just reported huge sales and profits

Meanwhile, Square Enix just reported huge sales and profits

FF15 and Rise of the Tomb Raider PS4 do well.

Square Enix is binning off Hitman developer IO Interactive, but it's just announced record revenue and profits for the company as a whole.

For the financial year ending 31st March 2017, Square Enix saw net sales of 1.7bn - an increase 20 per cent versus the previous year, with operating income up 20.3 per cent and ordinary income up 22.9 per cent.

Square Enix said the launch of Final Fantasy 15 and the PlayStation 4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider as well as strong download sales of catalogue titles had sparked the increase in net sales and operating income in the area of console games.

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FeatureWriting Lara Croft

How Rhianna Pratchett helped reboot Tomb Raider.

Back in 2010, after a stint working on the early version of Eidos Montreal's Thief reboot, Rhianna Pratchett set to work writing a very different Lara Croft. The brief from developer Crystal Dynamics was clear: this new Tomb Raider would be a reboot for the long-running series, a game that would drag Lara Croft kicking and screaming into the modern era. For Pratchett, that meant helping craft a personality for a younger Lara, an origin story in which the world's most famous video game action hero could find herself.

Digital FoundryInput lag issues fixed on PS4 Rise of the Tomb Raider

Patch 1.04 improves gameplay, optimises PS4 Pro performance.

When Rise of the Tomb Raider hit the PlayStation 4 earlier this month we were pleased to discover a number of enhancements over the previous console iterations of the game. Unfortunately, there was one bugbear that ultimately limited the game's potential - input latency. The original Xbox One release suffered from a large dead zone and noticeable input lag during gameplay and the brand new PlayStation 4 version exhibited the very same problem.

The first house I ever owned was vast and elegant, a comfortable arrangement of grand halls and wide staircases with a treasure room glinting madly from the basement and a butler I enjoyed locking in the fridge. I would go back to that house to take a break from globe-trotting and jumping about in jungles - although, when I got there, jumping about was still pretty much all I did anyway. What a place: I loved it. You never forget your first home, and so I never forgot Croft Manor.

Hello! It's time for another episode of the Eurogamer Podcast! I'm delighted and a bit nervous. Anyway, today Chris Bratt and I talk about Civilization 6 and Really Bad Chess. We pick a fight with an unlikely - and utterly undeserving - institution and we even have a bit of time to talk about Tomb Raider.

Face-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on PS4

Improved over Xbox One, but PC still offers the definitive experience.

UPDATE 23/10/16 09:14: We're pleased to confirm that input latency issues have been fixed in the PS4 version of Rise of the Tomb Raider, via patch 1.04. Unfortunately, the issue remains in the original Xbox One version.

Original story: One year on, Rise of the Tomb Raider is finally available on PlayStation 4. For many, hopes were high for this one - perhaps based on the vast performance improvement for Sony's platform we witnessed in Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition. However, the bottom line is that we're looking at more iterative improvements this time around, with the big boosts to image quality and performance reserved for the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro edition.

There are content differences, however. PS4 owners get the full 20th anniversary celebration package, meaning that the base Rise of the Tomb Raider adventure is bolstered by additional material - namely a new level set in Croft Manor (also playable from a first person perspective in PlayStation VR), which also plays host to a nightmare mode, where Lara takes on waves of zombies within her ancestral home. There's also a new endurance mode - a survival-based affair where players can play together in co-op for the first time. All of these extras - bar the VR element - are available to PC and Xbox One owners as DLC for just 6.99/$9.99.

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Watch: Ian attempts to stream a bunch of PSVR launch titles without vomiting

Well I never, PSVR launch day has finally arrived and to celebrate, I made up a brand new word: Streampocalpyse. I think it has a nice ring to it.

Yep, I'll be streaming PSVR games today for as long as my stomach can handle it, and as always I'd be honoured if you lovely lot fancy joining me in the video below.

I've gotten hold of as many PSVR launch titles as I could manage and I'll be trying to play at least half an hour of each, hopefully more, but it all depends on whether or not I can keep my lunch down.

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FeatureWatch: We attempt to survive the wilderness in Rise of the Tomb Raider

Ian and Aoife livestream the new PS4 version from 4pm.

Rise of the Tomb Raider finally launches on PS4 next week, and it packs in quite a lot of new content on top of the original release. The so-called 20 Year Celebration contains a new story chapter Blood Ties, new outfits, weapons, and Expedition Cards, all of the previously released DLC, and an ultra-challenging Extreme Survivor difficulty setting.

Digital FoundryRise of the Tomb Raider: the first PS4 Pro vs PC graphics comparison

Head-to-head video highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the 4K console experience.

Outside of Sony's first party wares present at last week's PlayStation Meeting, there was one third party title that stood apart as an impressive showcase for the fledgling PS4 Pro's 4K prowess - Crystal Dynamics' Rise of the Tomb Raider. Similar to its predecessor, there's an immense amount of scalability built into the engine and the core assets, meaning that the game really shines on a high-end PC with the settings and texture quality ramped up to the very high level. Indeed, there are actually insane-level presets available that actually push beyond this level. So, the real question is, just how much of the full-fat experience has Crystal's development partner Nixxes managed to cram into the PlayStation 4 Pro version?

Digital FoundryDigital Foundry: Hands on with PS4 Rise of the Tomb Raider

UPDATE: PlayStation 4 video shows Croft Manor, endurance co-op and a 'nightmare' zombie mode.

At Gamescom this week, we finally had the opportunity to spend some time with the much anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider port for PlayStation 4. When we covered the previous iterations of the game, we were duly impressed - and it's exciting to finally see how it's shaping up on Sony's console. Those expecting a technical overhaul over the Xbox One game may be disappointed, but there are still plenty of new elements to enjoy.

Rise of the Tomb Raider PS4 includes a PSVR chapter when it launches

Rise of the Tomb Raider will include a new chapter featuring PlayStation VR support when it finally launches for PS4 on 11th October.

The game originally arrived for Xbox One as a controversial timed-exclusive last December. It got a generally positive reception, although in the meantime, the PS4 has seen Uncharted 4 launch and lap up all the critical glory.

Still, Square Enix is doing its best to make the PS4 version of the game an attractive purchase. Porting has been handled by well-respected studio Nixxes, for one. But there's a wealth of other new content too:

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Next Tomb Raider movie sets 2018 release date

Next Tomb Raider movie sets 2018 release date

Catch a midnight screening on the Ides of March.

The Tomb Raider reboot movie will come out on 16th March 2018.

That's according to The Hollywood Reporter, that claimed Warner Bros. had initially reserved that date for a DC Comics film, possibly The Flash, but decided to offer the quiet Q1 timeslot to Tomb Raider instead.

The upcoming film will star star Alicia Vikander, who recently won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in The Danish Girl. She also starred opposite Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson in Ex Machina, where she played a pretty robot.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider: Cold Darkness Awakened DLC release date

Rise of the Tomb Raider will receive Cold Darkness Awakened, its final slice of extra content, on the 29th March.

That date applies to the Xbox and PC versions of the game - you'll be able to pick up the pack either via the Xbox Marketplace, Steam or Windows 10 stores.

Season Pass holders will get it for free. Its standalone price has yet to be announced.

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Face-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on PC

UPDATED: PC performance analysis video added.

Released to critical acclaim this past November, Rise of the Tomb Raider is now locked and loaded for release on the PC courtesy of always reliable Dutch development house Nixxes Software. The Xbox One version is already a great-looking game but with the vastly increased power of a high-end PC, Crystal Dynamics' latest has never looked or played better.

Powered by an upgraded iteration of the in-house Foundation Engine, Rise of the Tomb Raider brings a host of next generation visual features to the table. This includes a physically-based materials system, image-based lighting, deformable snow, enhanced hair simulation, tessellated terrain, high quality cinematic effects and more. In bringing the game to the PC, Nixxes has enabled a host of PC exclusive options which expand upon and refine this already beautiful game.

While the game looks quite similar to the Xbox One version at first glance, it's clear that these additional PC specific settings bring a lot of additional depth to the experience. Tessellation is used throughout the game in areas where it is absent on Xbox One, shadows are greatly enhanced, the amount of dynamic foliage is increased, high quality HBAO+ is available, and general performance and image quality can be pushed much further. All of these improvements do require more powerful hardware than Tomb Raider 2013 but with some tweaking, you can achieve excellent performance on a wide range of hardware.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider reveals Baba Yaga DLC in new trailer

Rise of the Tomb Raider reveals Baba Yaga DLC in new trailer

Due in January, included in the Season Pass.

Rise of the Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics teased its first DLC expansion at The Game Awards earlier tonight.

Dubbed Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch, this add-on is a whole new story in which Lara finds herself in a forest ruled by the mythical Baba Yaga, a creature from Slavic folklore known for living in a house set upon giant chicken legs. Take that, Metal Gear!

Publisher Microsoft said that Baba Yaga: Temple of the Witch will add "hours of new gampeplay" as well as new enemies, puzzles, tombs and more when it premieres in January. Season Pass owners will automatically gain access to it.

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Microsoft, Square Enix "very happy" with Rise of the Tomb Raider, despite reported sales

Microsoft and Square Enix are both "very happy" with Xbox timed-exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider, director Brian Horton has reassured.

Responding to fans on the Tomb Raider forum in a thread discussing unofficial reports of the title's sales, Horton said his team was focusing on the game's positive reviews and fan feedback (thanks, NeoGAF).

There has so far been no official tally for Rise of the Tomb Raider sales from either publisher Square Enix or platform holder Microsoft.

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This week, I took a break from Fallout 4 and finished Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to 2013's Lara Croft reboot. It's a game I previewed back in June, and the main issue I had with it then - namely, that Lara was a bit of a buzzkill - still bugs me now. Don't get me wrong, I actually really love the game; the weapon crafting, resource collecting and skill unlocking really builds towards a sense that Lara is a proper badass, and the puzzle-solving, while still relatively light compared to the original Tomb Raider titles, is a fun diversion.

Fallout 4 tops UK chart, launch sales 200% up on New Vegas

Fallout 4 tops UK chart, launch sales 200% up on New Vegas

Rise of the Tomb Raider sidles to fourth.

There's no surprises as to this week's UK chart number one: Fallout 4 has claimed the crown with ease - no need to Pip-boy anyone to the post.

Fallout 4's launch sales were 213 per cent higher than 2010's Fallout: New Vegas, UK numbers company Chart-Track reported.

Bethesda has yet to reveal actual sales, but the publisher has said it shipped 12m copes of the game in readiness for launch.

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Face-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox 360

Digital FoundryFace-Off: Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox 360

Ten-year-old hardware hosts a cutting-edge game - and it's a superb conversion.

When Microsoft announced an exclusivity deal for Rise of the Tomb Raider, we were surprised to learn that such an important game shipping in late 2015 would receive a port to the ageing Xbox 360 - yet here we are. Lara Croft's latest adventure has arrived day and date on two Xbox consoles and the results are far more impressive than we ever imagined. There may well be eight long years separating the two generations of Xbox, yet Rise of the Tomb Raider manages to work beautifully on both platforms. On Xbox 360, it's a remarkable piece of work.

Of course, ports to last generation platforms are nothing new. Even once a new generation is well under way, there is still be money to be made on older consoles. Yet, traditionally, the quality of these ports tends to take a dive as time passes. We saw this last year with ports of games such as Shadow of Mordor, Far Cry 4, and Dragon Age Inquisition - all of which were significantly pared back next to their next-gen siblings. Go back a generation further and we even saw a port of Tomb Raider Underworld make an appearance on PlayStation 2.

However, with Rise of the Tomb Raider, the situation is different. This time we have the talented bunch at Nixxes taking point on the Xbox 360 port and the results are remarkable. This is the same game that we enjoyed on Xbox One with nips and tucks made in all of the expected places. It lacks much of the visual panache of the next-gen version, but it's still an attractive title and a worthy sequel. It doesn't feel like an afterthought at all - it's a project that has received a lot of care and attention.

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How Twitch viewers can change your Rise of the Tomb Raider game

You can earn credits just for watching, too.

In my review of Rise of the Tomb Raider earlier this week I wrote about how the game's Expeditions replay mode, with its blind packs of game-altering cards, was "a blatant play for YouTube relevance and micro-transaction revenue". Crystal Dynamics has now both proved my point and challenged my cynicism by announcing some pretty novel and interesting Twitch integration for Expeditions.

Digital FoundryTech Analysis: Rise of the Tomb Raider

Digital Foundry on what works and what doesn't in November's big Xbox exclusive.

This morning we're publishing our Face-Off for Rise of the Tomb Raider, where we compare the Xbox One version to the quite remarkable Xbox 360 game. Bearing in mind how important the new technological features are to the Xbox One release, we thought we would re-publish our full tech analysis alongside today's comparison.

Rise of the Tomb Raider review

Rise of the Tomb Raider review

Plunder the influence.

It is, if nothing else, a hell of a title. Rise of the Tomb Raider: it's got that hint of pulp-magazine shlock, of the lurid, post-colonial adventures of the class of fictional explorers and action-archeologists to whom Lara Croft owes so much.

It works on other levels, too. Her last game, 2013's Tomb Raider, reset the clock and cast Lara as a vulnerable ingenue learning the strength and resourcefulness - and ruthlessness - that she would need to become a hero. It was a jarring gearshift for a character whose previous incarnation was a remote, ice-cool badass, and her personal struggle clashed with the violence of the gameplay. But, as a narrative device on its own terms, it worked. And now that title promises the pay-off: the rise and rise of New Lara as the finished article, the Tomb Raider, the swan-diving, rock-climbing, gun-toting woman of our dreams.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Watch: Ian shows off Rise of the Tomb Raider gameplay

It's a given by now that Lara Croft is incredibly brave. I mean, she'd have to be when her brand new game is releasing on the same day as Fallout 4.

Still, if you are one of the five people in the world who doesn't fancy galavanting around a post apocalyptic wasteland while The Ink Spots croon over your Pip-Boy, Ms Croft's adventures will likely be of interest to you - they involve lots of climbing, puzzle-solving and shooting cute little animals in the head with a bow and arrow. Oh, and raiding tombs. Fancy that.

If you really can't decide which game to splash your cash on, perhaps I can help make up your mind with my 5pm live stream of Rise of the Tomb Raider? I'll be spending an hour or so guiding Lara around a snow covered Soviet Installation, which should give you a good idea on how this new instalment looks, plays and feels.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider's Gamescom demo impressed some while leaving others underwhelmed with its portrayal of Lara as a bloodthirsty killing machine. To combat this perception, developer Crystal Dynamics has released a new video showing how to play through that very same section without harming a single person.

FeaturePhil Spencer on Xbox's big year

The importance of exclusives, PC, VR and more.

What a difference one man and 18 months can make. Before Phil Spencer took over at Xbox, the brand was in troubled waters. Questionable policy decisions had shook Xbox and mired the early days of its new console in acrimony, and even though Microsoft wisely chose to listen to concerned consumers it's been working hard to regain the momentum lost ever since. As it heads into a vital fourth quarter of 2015, the momentum has definitely returned: the broadening of the Xbox brand to PC was helped by the relatively smooth roll-out of Windows 10, the Xbox division just turned a neat profit and, while it still falls short in sales to Sony's PlayStation 4, its line-up for the remainder of the year looks significantly stronger than its opposition's.

Rise of the Tomb Raider gameplay footage features actual tombs

Rise of the Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has shown off not one but two sections of gameplay from its upcoming Xbox timed-exclusive during Microsoft's Gamescom 2015 press conference.

The first slice of footage saw Lara Croft stealthily make her way through an encampment of evil Trinity guards. It starts off quiet and ends... less quietly. Count the bodies!

Following that, we got a look at some actual tombs - and even in this sneak peek we saw more than all of the tombs in the original.

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"We really wanted to send her on her first great tomb-raiding adventure. It's inspired by real-world adventurers, people like Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, who climbed Everest," says Crystal Dynamics creative director Noah Hughes. That's all well and good Noah, but I'm struggling to recall when exactly Hillary or Norgay killed a grizzly bear with a poisoned arrow crafted from mushrooms harvested from an old tree stump. But hey, I'm not saying it didn't happen; my history is rusty at best.

15 minutes of Rise of the Tomb Raider gameplay footage

Nearly 15 minutes of Rise of the Tomb Raider footage have appeared on YouTube.

The demo, Siberian Wilderness, follows Lara Croft as she's split up from her adventuring partner, and then tries to survive her harsh freezing conditions by salvaging things from the environment around her. It's a section of gameplay that follows on from the teaser trailer you've probably seen.

Lara collects wood to make a fire, loots an animal carcass for its skin, and strings together her own bow - which she can reinforce and upgrade when she finds appropriate materials. She puts her ice axes to good use.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider release date set for November

Rise of the Tomb Raider now has a release date of 10th November, exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Shown off at Microsoft's E3 press conference, we got our first look at Rise of the Tomb Raider's gameplay.

It includes a lot of mountaineering, explosions, hunting, and even a bear.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider teaser trailer has a mountain to climb

Here's a new teaser for Rise of the Tomb Raider, this year's new Lara Croft adventure that is still a timed-exclusive for Xbox.

We'll warn you now - don't expect any gameplay footage in the trailer below. This is but a small, teasing morsel designed to point to the game's proper showing set to take place later this month during Microsoft's E3 conference.

In fact there's not much of anything, unless you really like CGI shots of Lara climbing an icy mountain with her trusty pickaxe.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider details emerge

Rise of the Tomb Raider details emerge

Adds advanced AI, more dynamic environments and crafting.

A slew of details have emerged regarding Crystal Dynamics' highly anticipated Tomb Raider follow-up, Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Unveiled as part of GameInformer's most recent cover story, the developer has revealed some exciting details on what this sequel will add to the franchise.

First off, it will encompass a greater variety of environments. While the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot was set entirely on one island, this sequel will contain at least two different locations with one being Siberia, but deserts and forests have been teased as well.

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Square Enix confirms Microsoft will publish Rise of the Tomb Raider

Square Enix confirms Microsoft will publish Rise of the Tomb Raider

New statement suggests significant investment from Microsoft.

UPDATE: Microsoft has issued Eurogamer a new statement further clarifying Aaron Greenberg's tweet.

The statement compares Microsoft's partnership with Square Enix for Rise of the Tomb Raider to its recent deals with Capcom for Dead Rising 3 and Harmonix for Dance Central.

"Yes, Microsoft will be publishing Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

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Tomb Raider, Vita's no-show and the mystery of 10m PS4 sales

FeatureTomb Raider, Vita's no-show and the mystery of 10m PS4 sales

Our Gamescom interview with Sony's Shuhei Yoshida.

It's been a fantastic year for Sony and the PlayStation 4, with a whopping 10m consoles sold. But there have been bumps along the road.

The Last Guardian remains missing in action years after it was announced. It's been in development for so long it's becoming a bit of a running joke.

There's also the issue of the delay to Evolution's racing game DriveClub. It was once due out alongside the PS4 in November 2013. Now, it'll launch almost a year later, going up against the likes of Forza Horizon 2, Project Cars and The Crew.

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FeatureSnake moves with the times, Lara doesn't

The Tomb Raider deal dominated headlines, but Metal Gear's move onto Steam is the true harbinger.

Lara Croft and Solid (or Naked, or whatever) Snake: you can't rival these two rock stars of gaming for their iconic power. And though Snake's roots go back a little further, they both have a deep, emblematic connection with the fifth generation of game consoles, the so-called PlayStation generation - those heady days of the late 90s when gaming burst out of teen bedrooms, into 3D and into a cinematic world of high adventure and sexy intrigue.

Microsoft confirms Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity deal "has a duration"

Microsoft confirms Rise of the Tomb Raider Xbox exclusivity deal "has a duration"

"I don't know where else Tomb Raider goes," Phil Spencer says.

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has confirmed to Eurogamer that Microsoft's controversial exclusivity deal for Rise of the Tomb Raider "has a duration".

However, he declined to confirm how long that duration is set for.

Last night, during its Gamescom press conference, Microsoft and Square Enix made the surprise announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider would launch holiday 2015 exclusively on Xbox. That, Spencer confirmed, means Xbox One and Xbox 360.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusive to Xbox One

Rise of the Tomb Raider exclusive to Xbox One

Microsoft snaps up Lara's return in holiday 2015. Does not appear to be timed.

Microsoft has announced that Rise of the Tomb Raider, the sequel to last year's reboot of the famous action adventure series, will launch exclusively on Xbox One in late 2015.

This is not a timed exclusive, but a genuine one, as confirmed by Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher on the Tomb Raider tumblr. "Our friends at Microsoft have always seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have believed in our vision since our first unveil with them on their stage at E3 2011," he writes. "We know they will get behind this game more than any support we have had from them in the past - we believe this will be a step to really forging the Tomb Raider brand as one of the biggest in gaming, with the help, belief and backing of a major partner like Microsoft.

"This doesn't mean that we're walking away from our fans who only play on PlayStation or on PC. Those are great systems, with great partners, and amazing communities. We have Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris coming to those platforms this December, and Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition is available on PS4."

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Tomb Raider reboot sequel Rise of the Tomb Raider announced

The sequel to 2013's Tomb Raider reboot has just been announced during Microsoft's E3 press conference. It's called Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Due in 2015, the game's CG trailer showed a hooded Lara Croft (once again voiced by Camilla Luddington) in therapy - presumably after the events of the first game.

Interspersed with that are shots of Croft, bow and pickaxe in hand, climbing a mountain and creeping through a cave. She creeps up behind an enemy and fires a bolt straight into his head. Watch the trailer below:

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