Train2Game News: Tomb Raider delayed until 2013 to allow extra development time

Tomb Raider reboot Train2Game blog image

Train2Game News listed Tomb Raider, the series reboot from Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix, as one of the most anticipated games of 2011. Obviously, it didn’t appear in 2011, and in fact, won’t be released until the first quarter of 2013.

The announcement came on the Eidos forum

“When Crystal Dynamics first set out to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise, there were two goals that we were extremely passionate about. The first was to create a modern Tomb Raider game that would surprise and excite gamers. The second was to make this the best game of our careers, something we would be really proud to be a part of. We truly believe that we have something very special on our hands and we can’t wait to share it with you.” said Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher

The reason behind the delay, much like that of Bioshock Infinite’s, is to allow the development team more time to take the best game possible.

“Our priority now is to make sure we fully deliver the very highest quality game. In order to do this, we have decided to move the game’s release date by a few months, from Fall 2012 to the first quarter of 2013.” Gallagher continued.

“We’re doing things that are completely new to Tomb Raider in this game and the additional development time will allow us to put the finishing touches into the game and polish it to a level that you deserve. We believe this is the right choice and I guarantee it will be worth the wait. The game is looking amazing and we can’t wait to show it to everyone at E3 in a few weeks.” he concluded.

There’s more Tomb Raider news on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the Tomb Raider delay? Disappointed you won’t get to play it this year, or relieved you won’t be playing something that’s been rushed?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game E3 news: Microsoft goes Kinect heavy

Mass Effect 3 will have Kinect support

Microsoft’s two hour E3 presentation focused on a range of improvements and new uses for Kinect.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, the hands free motion controller broke the 10 million sales barriers in March.  Microsoft’s E3 conference shows their looking to both consolidate and increase this market with Kinect news for both hardcore games and more casual applications.

Massive upcoming titles including Mass Effect 3 will see Kinect integrated into gameplay with the use of voice recognition technology.  It’ll mostly be used for selecting dialogue during conversations, with the option of commanding squad mates too. Of course, Mass Effect 3 will still feature regular control.

The introduction of Kinect compatibility for Mass Effect 3 does two things; firstly it allows Microsoft to take a step towards bringing Kinect to a hardcore audience – the Bioware title is highly anticipated by Train2Game forum users – while the voice commands are step towards making gaming a more interactive experience.

Interestingly, the Train2Game blog reported in April that Kinect developer Rare believe that voice commands are the future. The future may be here with Mass Effect 3 is released next year.

Microsoft’s E3 conference also revealed that Ghost Recon: Future Soldier will be adding Kinect compatibility. Players will be using it to customise weapons and then test them on a virtual shooting range. It’ll be interesting to see how it works first hand, and then to see if’s implemented for the full-game. Again, it’s evidence of Microsoft attempting to bring Kinect to the hardcore.

Kinect Star Wars

However, in what may be disappointing news for Train2Game students, the Kinect Star Wars demo showed that it appears to be an on the rails game with a lightsaber instead of a gun – not the hardcore title many were looking for.

The press event also demonstrated that Microsoft are very much attempting to use Kinect to tap into the casual market that the Nintendo Wii has held for some time.  Kinect Disneyland Adventures, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and Kinect Fun Labs all demonstrated a family friendly direction for Kinect. We also got more casual titles in the form of Kinect Sports 2 and Dance Central 2.

At least when it came to non-Kinect titles there was something for the hardcore gamer, with live demos of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Tomb Raider looking very impressive. It very much looks like the Train2Game blog is justified in listing Tomb Raider as one of the most anticipated games of the year. (That is, if it’s released this year. There’s no date yet)

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the Kinect heavy nature of the Microsoft presentation? Does it demonstrate Kinect is the future of the industry? Or are Microsoft just attempting to force it into as many titles as possible? How would you implement it into ‘hardcore’ games?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Tomb Raider reboot ‘necessary’ say developers Crystal Dynamics

Tomb Raider reboot Train2Game blog image

The upcoming Tomb Raider reboot from Crystal Dynamics – one of the Train2Game blogs most anticipated games of the year – was necessary to push the iconic franchise further.

That’s what Studio Head Darrell Gallagher told Edge Magazine in the latest issue.

As reported by the Train2Game blog, the Tomb Raider reboot was revealed last year and it’ll see a young Lara Croft  stranded on an island and fighting for survival. The news of a Tomb Raider led to plenty of excitement on the Train2Game forum.

“A reboot for us felt like the necessary thing to do,” Gallagher told Edge “Lara had hit her apex in how she was before, and we didn’t really feel we could take that any farther. It was a chance to look at everything again, bring new people in who had been interested in the franchise before but didn’t feel like Lara was modern enough.”

He added that the Crystal Dynamics Game Development team put a lot of work into the Game Design of the new Tomb Raider in order to give Lara Croft the right feel.

“We left no stones unturned as we were going through the concept, and then kept the right stones. The crucial thing is that it feels like her, even though it’s completely different.”

Crystal Dynamics also revealed that the reboot is as important for the studio as it is for Tomb Raider itself.

“The Trilogy games weren’t official reboots for us,” said global brand director Karl Stewart. “They were just Crystal’s interpretations of the game as it was. We see this as a fully fledged reimagining.”

Gallagher agrees and believes the radical departure from the previous Tomb Raider games is a risk worth taking for the series.

 “We wanted to take risks. We felt like we’d done some really great games after inheriting Tomb Raider from Core [Design], and one of our goals now was to do something that people didn’t expect, that felt fresh. [The series] is a sacred and fragile thing, but you have to go for it. You’re not going to make it sacred again unless you make that big leap.”

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot? Are the big changes In Game Design a massive risk? Or do you believe the title is heading in the right direction? And if you could help reboot a series, which one would it be?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Edge

The Train2Game blog Top 5 most anticipated games of 2011

2010 was a great year for video games and 2011 looks set to be even better. With that in mind, the Train2Game blog presents a run down of our top 5 most anticipated games of the year. Some of these may not be absolute blockbusters, but represent what we’re personally looking forward to in the coming year.

5. Fight Night Champion

This might be a controversial one to begin with because previous comments on the Train2Game Facebook page suggest that the excellent Fight Night Round 4 wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. However, as a fan of the sport myself I thought it was an excellent game that truly represents an accurate simulation of boxing, without forcing you to step between the ropes.

Fight Night Round 4 looked great and played even better and it felt great taking a created boxer to the top in the career mode. If the trailers that have already been revealed are anything to go by then Fight Night Champion isn’t just an update with a few new fighters on the roster, the game looks like it’s been updated in every department.

If the screenshots we’ve seen are anything to go by then not only does it look better, but fighters will react more realistically to damage during fights. Noses can be broken, eyes can be bruised and the new stamina system where each limb has its own energy means you’ll need to do more than just throw right hooks for 12 rounds.

Not only that but the new story based champion mode means that the latest incarnation of Fight Night is set to become the first EA game to have a mature rating thanks to a gritty tale involving corruption, drugs, and prison. It should be excellent entertainment for boxing fans.

Fight Night Champion is due for release on March 4th.

4.  Portal 2

Train2Game blog Portal Image

The original Portal was released in 2007 and was perhaps the biggest surprised to come out of the rather amazing Orange Box. The charming little puzzler based around the use of portals may not have been very long, but it stole the hearts of many. (Over three years later this tribute recently turned up in Minecraft!)

Now, 2011 sees Valve release a full sequel to Portal that not only is at least twice as long as the original, and a lot of new features, but also full length game co-op game mode. As we’ve seen in previous posts on the Train2Game blog, Portal features a lot more character interaction for silent-protagonist Chel in the form of Wheatley, a small robot voiced by Stephen Merchant. Portal 2 also apparently features 13,000 lines of dialogue which points towards there being more conversations rather than listening to the oh-so-adorable sentry guns talking at you.

Personally, what I’m looking forward to most is the new co-op mode, especially when you take Valve’s track record with co-op and team based games into consideration.  You may have heard of two little games called Team Fortress 2 and the Left 4 Dead series both of which make co-operation the utmost importance.

And if for some reason you need extra convincing that that Portal 2 should be one of the best games of the year, then remember that it’s from Valve, the team behind Half Life 2. (Of course, there will be some of you who’d hope that Half Life 2: Episode 3 or Half Life 3 will at least appear this year!)

Portal 2 is released on April 22nd. If that’s too long to wait, you can check out these trailers on the Train2Game blog.

3. Tomb Raider

No, Train2Game blog reader you haven’t angered a wizard and been sent back in time to 1995, Tomb Raider is coming out this year. Tomb Raider is simply a reboot of the entire franchise that see’s a 21 year old Lara Croft stranded on an island and fighting for survival.

From what we’ve seen so far this open world adventure not only takes a number of elements from the world of survival horror, but will also require the player to sustain Lara with drinking water. It’s another game that looks set to have a mature rating with Lara able to suffer a number of brutal deaths if the player isn’t careful enough.

The open world nature and change in tone from previous games in the series certainly marks Tomb Raider out as one of top prospects of the year.

You can check out some artwork for the upcoming Tomb Raider here on the Train2Game blog.

There’s no official release date for Tomb Raider yet, but it should be with us before the year is over.

2.  Uncharted 3

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was an impressive video game, while Uncharted 2 was arguably even better.  Will Uncharted 3 continue the trend and trump them both?  It looks like we’ll be getting a lot more of the fantastic character interaction that features in all of the Uncharted games thanks to screenshots and gameplay footage that show Drake and mentor Sully playing a bigger role in the game.

The intense action sequences, the game play and the dialogue between the characters have all helped make the Uncharted games classics of this generation and have near enough made Nathan Drake the icon of the PlayStation 3.

Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception will see our protagonists spending a lot of time in the desert and from what we’ve seen so far it looks visually amazing. Expect fast paced action, an epic story and lots of twists and turns when Uncharted 3 is release for the PlayStation 3 on November 4th.

1. Dragon Age 2

So, given that how much we at the Train2Game blog have praised Dragon Age: Origins in previous posts, we may get called out as biased here, but Dragon Age 2 lets set to be amazing.

OK, some people aren’t happy that we’ll no longer be able to ‘truly’ create our own character anymore thanks to us now being restricted to a human called Hawke. But we’ll still be able to make decisions through now fully voiced dialogue and decide which class our main character will be. The Dragon Age 2 team recently released this video saying why focussing on one character will make it a better game.

Some PC gamers are also worried that Dragon Age 2 has been ‘dumbed down’ for the console market but Bioware have been keen to show that the tactical option is still available for players who want to experience Dragon Age 2 as a true role playing game.

But looking at any of the trailers for Dragon Age 2 that have appeared which demonstrate shiny new graphics, a new visual style, both old and new characters and lots of huge battles, it looks like Dragon Age 2 is sure to be very impressive indeed.

Personally it’s a PC release for me, but when Dragon Age 2 is released on March 11th, it’s also available on PS3 and Xbox 360

Of course, this list is just my opinion, and will focus on the sort of games I like. Perhaps you’re looking forward to other games in 2011? If so, why not leave your thoughts here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum?

Square Enix reveal Tomb Raider series reboot

GameInformer Lara Croft

Train2Game students will recognise her as one of the most iconic characters in gaming, but Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series are getting a reboot.

Square Enix has announced that the new game will simply be known as Tomb Raider – Yes, that’s the same title as the original that some Train2Game students will remember playing in 1996 – and it’ll be produced by game development studio Crystal Dynamics.

Game Informer has exclusively revealed the ‘young and inexperienced’ Lara Croft’s new look on its latest cover. The magazine has also revealed a snippet of what Train2Game students can expect from the Tomb Raider reboot:

“In our world-exclusive cover story, we uncover a brand-new Lara Croft. Rebooting the Tomb Raider franchise through an origin story wasn’t so much a choice as an act of necessity, according to Crystal Dynamics. Drastic measures were needed. To build an entirely fresh Lara – a culturally relevant hero worth of the attention that once came so effortlessly – they must break her first. In this new adventure – simply titled Tomb Raider – a younger and inexperienced Lara Croft must endure both physical and emotional trauma to survive.”

“Forget everything you knew about Tomb Raider,” said Crystal Dynamics studio head, Darrell Gallagher.

“This is an origins story that creates Lara Croft and takes her on a character defining journey like no other.”

As of yet there’s no information about what gaming platforms the Tomb Raider reboot will be on or any news about a potential release date.  However, Train2Game students will be able to get more details in the January edition of Game Informer which is out on December 11th.

So Train2Game, what do you think about Lara Croft’s new look and the concept behind the series reboot? Is Tomb Raider still relevant? And if you could use the skills you’re developing with Train2Game to help reboot one game series, which would it be?

Let us know here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.