Earlier today I had the privilege of touring the Square Enix media booth and was treated to an extended demo of the new Tomb Raider, as well as some hands on time with the new Hitman game. Even though I wasn’t able to play Tomb Raider it definitely is my favorite out of the two Square games that I got to view today. I know some Tomb Raider fans were a little hesitant about the reboot of Lara Croft, but I can assure you that it’s the right move.
We were shown a new mission from an early stage in the game that perfectly highlighted all of the new changes to the Tomb Raider series. The less boob having Croft is perfect, and she definitely has potential to be more than just some female video game character for gamers to drool over. The more mature tone of this new Raider is clearly evident, and I saw plenty of set pieces that sold the game’s new direction. I really think that most of you will absolutely love this game, and what the developers did to alter it for a new era of gamers.
It’s hard not to draw comparisons to Uncharted, but outside of the obvious most of what I saw showed me that the new Tomb Raider is not just an homage to Nathan Drake’s way of surviving hairy situations. The Tomb Raider world for one is much more open than Uncharted. Lara can setup camps to retreat to for various functions such as upgrading items, and cooking food, so she isn’t really forced to follow a linear path. Croft is also skilled in the arts of parkour like Drake, but she looks much better doing it. I also liked the cinematics mixed with gameplay action that I saw, which did feel similar, if not better than those same types of moments in Uncharted.
If the new Tomb Raider hasn’t been on your gamedar then I’d urge you to give it a little more thought. I wasn’t too thrilled about it either, but after watching the media demo I can’t wait to play it myself.
In addition to my Tomb Raider demo I also got to get some hands on time with the new Hitman game. The game itself looks fantastic, and it played quite well, but it also reminded me why I don’t like heavy stealth games. I found the demo to be a little frustrating because of its heavy use of stealth (could go balls to the wall but I got smoked every time I did so), but that’s my personal opinion. If you’re into stealthy games then I think you’ll love the new Hitman, but I just couldn’t get into it.
Square Enix, like most of the developers and publishers I’ve seen this week, definitely has some great games coming down the pipe, but if I had to single one out it’d be the new Tomb Raider. The new Lara and mature tone is definitely the fresh coat of paint that this series needed. Hitman might not be my type of game, but from what I’ve seen and played it’s a solid game. You can check out some pics from my Square Enix tour below, as well as some new trailers. You’ve been wanting Tomb Raider to come out now…
Square Enix E3 Booths
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