‘Rise of the Tomb Raider’ Game Director Boasts Expanded World

With a world three times as large as the 2013 reboot and no load screens on Xbox One, Rise of the Tomb Raider is set to impress.

Recently, Brian Horton of Crystal Dynamics sat down with Gaming Bolt to discuss how he and his team are building their follow up to the critically appraised reboot. The first thing Horton discusses is how the player will experience the seamless world.

“Just like the last Tomb Raider we’ve created a seamless experience,” said Horton. “As soon as you start a new game, if you never die or quit, you will have a seamless streaming experience throughout the whole game. We want to immerse the player into the world as soon as possible and flow from mission to mission in a very seamless way.”

3-pM7Yw7l1Of course, all games need time to stream in new locations, but in lieu of jarring black screens with a spinning wheel, players will likely be met with cutscenes that can’t be skipped while new areas load. This practice has become the default technique in single-player games, and even Tomb Raider (2013) reboot loaded areas this way. While some people don’t like this approach because it forces them to watch sometimes lengthy cutscenes, I find it to be the most effective way to hold player attention.


Tomb Raider (2013) was a fantastic action-survival game, but it ignored the puzzler roots the franchise was built upon. This time around, however, Horton said the team is working hard to build bigger, better tomb puzzles that long-time fans will appreciate.

“…We’re really thrilled to talk about the new scale that we have for Rise of the Tomb Raider. Our exploration spaces are three times larger than they were in the last game and our tombs are much bigger. And we’re employing what we call ‘A Nested Puzzle Approach’ that means there are multiple puzzles that all work together to solve one big puzzle.”

A glimpse at one of the new tombs
A glimpse at one of the new tombs

It also sounds like Crystal Dynamics is working to allow players to take on combat their own way by adding multiple traversal routes to each environment.

“We also introduced new traversal mechanics, like Lara can climb trees and can swim underwater. [She] can use that not only for traversal but as a way too subtly approach an enemy and take them out from above or from below.”

Lara stalking her prey from above
Lara stalking her prey from above

It seems like Brian Horton and the rest of the team are building upon what made their reboot great to make one of the best action games of the year.

Rise of the Tomb Raider launches November 10th on Xbox One. The game will also launch in early 2016 on PC and Holiday 2016 on PS4.

How do you think of the way Rise of the Tomb Raider is shaping up? Will you be picking it up this holiday, or will you be waiting until 2016 to give it a shot? Feel free to let me know in the comments or on Twitter!


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