Tomb Raider III: Latest News (1998)
- The Croft Times -
Reader Steve Wheatcraft reports on the August issue of Computer Gaming World, CGW which finally acknowledges the success of the Tomb Raider series.
Or as Steve puts it, "I would like to emphasise the importance of this event. CGW is the largest and most important gaming magazine in North America, and, up until now, they have chosen to ignore Tomb Raider and Lara. Of course, they did (obviously) review both games, and their reviews were pretty accurate, in my opinion. CGW is a good magazine, but my only criticism is that they tend to think all gamers fit a certain profile, that they call "core gamers". To them, a core gamer is someone who plays Diablo, Quake II, etc. Not all game enthusiasts fit this model."
In an article by Charlotte Panther, they cover most of the aspects of what TR3 will be like. Here's Steve report:
Will TR3 be a new game or a add-on? TR3 Baddies Core has decided to make it a really new game. The programmers have re-written 80% of the graphics engine, with a much-improved dynamic lighting system. There will be less shooting; more of a return to the discovery/puzzle solving environment of TR.
This time, Lara's mission will be to locate and piece together four bits of a meteor that crashed in Antarctica millions of years ago. The four pieces had been part of an altar, but have been scattered around the globe. Naturally, legend has it that they hold the secret to great powers, including important discoveries in genetics and evolution.
Locations to be visited include islands of the South Pacific, the jungles of India, London's mysterious subculture, and of course, Nevada's infamous Area 51. As before, there will be 15 levels spread throughout these localities. But TR3 is much less linear than the previous games: you will be able to choose the order in which you can visit these locales. There will be advantages and disadvantages to the route you choose, but the order will not affect the outcome of the game. The overall philosophy here is to increase the replay value of the game.
Core's main focus is to enhance the game's special effects. The environment will be flushed out with birds, bats and blowing leaves. The new lighting system will make the game darker and more mysterious than before. Light and darkness will play more of a role in puzzle solving. There will be, for example, transparent platforms that can only be seen by the light of a flare. Some of the baddies will be afraid of light. There will be better water modelling, improved translucency, opaque light beams, weather effects (including fog, rain and snow, which Lara will leave footprints in). The landscape will have much richer terrain detail, and Core claims to have solved the clipping problem that has plagued the first two games.
Lara will encounter a band of mercenaries that she can either choose to fight or join (that is really a novel concept!) Core has hired an AI specialist (Tom Scutt) to work on this aspect of the game's mechanics. Animals will be scared of a gunshot the first time, but then get used to it. Tigers will employ pack behaviour, and surround Lara before attacking. The trick will be to shoot the pack leader, which will cause the others to disperse.
There will be well-hidden enemies throughout the game: snakes in the grass, piranha in the water, quicksand, monkeys stealing your weapons, etc.
Lara will have new moves: strafing while swimming; pushing down, or kicking in some doors; hand-over-hand monkey swing; rope swing; duck and roll. Lara can also now do a speed dash - a timed sprint, so you can expect her to have to run from boulders and other timed events.
As for vehicles, there will be one in each level, always playing an integral role in moving the gameplay along. Mentioned so far: underwater propulsion unit; snow vehicle; a canoe for whitewater rapids; an assortment of cars and jeeps.
Weapons don't sound much different than before: Desert Eagle pistol, hand grenade, rocket launcher, the latest Uzi model.
Core promises that Lara will be more properly attired in the cold climates - no more shorts in the snow !
Finally, Core still has no plans for network play.
=> Return to Articles & Interviews <=