Tomb Raider: Underworld - Lara's Shadow

Tomb Raider dev investigating multiplayer

Crystal Dynamics hiring risk takers.

Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics would like to employ a lead designer to "effectively create and lead the multiplayer vision and design effort" of an unannounced "AAA title".

Next Tomb Raider film to star new Lara

"It's not full-on action, it's like Terminator."

Dan Lin, the producer of Terminator Salvation and the forthcoming Tomb Raider film, has been discussing his plans for Lara's next big screen adventure.

Tomb Raider: Underworld - Lara's Shadow

Now this is more like it. To date, most downloadable content has been a cynical exercise in artificially holding a level back from the game and then punting it out at a price that makes you wince. In fact, that's pretty much exactly what the recently released Beneath the Ashes pack felt like when it belatedly arrived a fortnight ago: more of the same, and not particularly inspired either. More like a deleted scene to extend the game than a fully-fledged episode.

Lara's Shadow is a different prospect entirely, mainly because you're not actually controlling Lara at all. Instead, for the two or so hours that this lasts, the starring role falls to the mysterious Doppelganger who popped up a couple of times during Underworld. Tasked with helping out Natla, your quest is to restore the power source to a gigantic, ancient machine so that the withered old hag can, I dunno, take over the world via some bonkers old contraption. You know what videogame scriptwriters are like when they haven't had their Shreddies.

Thrown in the deep end, you find yourself in control of a character who might look a bit like Lara, but has the ability to dose herself up on amphetamine sulphate at will. Blessed with an array of 'shadow' abilities, she not only moves with lizard-like speed, but is pretty handy in the fisticuffs department, meaning the melee combat rather comes to the fore.

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Tomb Raider: Underworld - Episodes

Ron Rosenberg on Beneath the Ashes, and playing as the Doppelganger in Lara's Shadow.

Once regarded with uniform suspicion, premium downloadable content for console games has thrown off some of that stigma in recent months, as the likes of GTAIV: The Lost and Damned and the Mirror's Edge Pure Time Trial Pack have advanced the original games in directions influenced by critical and community response.

Tomb Raider: Underworld DLC dated

First lot in February, pictures inside.

Eidos has announced that Tomb Raider: Underworld downloadable levels Beneath the Ashes and Lara's Shadow will be available on 10th February and 10th March, respectively.