Tomb Raider: Underworld F.A.Q.
Name: Tomb Raider: Underworld
Developer: Crystal Dynamics, Nixxes Software, Santa Cruz Games, Buzz Monkey Software, EA Mobile
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Formats: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, P.C., Nintendo DS, Wii and PlayStation 2 (which will be released some time in the New Year).
Release Date: November 18th 2008 (US), November 21st (EU), Januarary ? (PS2 only)
Length: ~12 - 20 hours.
Trailers and Gameplay Vignettes:
Lara discovers from a family friend that her father discovered what could possibly be the location of Thor's Hammer, a weapon used by the Norse God that has the ability to shatter mountains and kill Gods. But it may be Lara herself that brings upon the ruin of all civilization and in full knowledge of this, she heads out in search of the fabled artefact.
The famous archaeologist-adventurer has had personal tragedies and great credit to her name. At the age of nine, her plane crashed in the Himalayas where her mother mysteriously disappeared and presumed killed after pulling out a sword in a dias. After miraculously making a ten-day trip to Kathmandu, she politely phoned her father to ask her to pick her up and afterward barely left his side. For the next six years, Lara, along with her father Richard Croft, went for archaeological site to site picking up everything she needed to know to become an archaeologist herself. When she was fifteen Richard went missing and the human remains that turned up could not be identified which saw Lara and her family put into a bitter feud as to who would inherit the Croft estates and title. Lara eventually won but has become isolated from the rest of the Croft family. Lara has found fifteen sites which have been credited with international interest but her methods have been called into question - is she just a cheap, glorified grave robber or is she an archaeological wonder-woman? Regardless, Lara never gives any interviews and chooses to give formal statements through her lawyers and she remains one of the world's most enigmatic and mysterious figures of the modern world.
Gameplay and Game-world changes:
Lara will react to the weather - rain will run down her body realistically and gradually wash away any dirt on her body as will jumping into a pool of water.
Lara will lip-sync realistically and have realistic facial animation.
As Lara runs through flora, she will cover her face as not to get hit by their leaves and branches.
Lara's movements are being motion-captured by Olympic gymnast Heidi Moneymaker.
Sprinting is back from TR3, while shooting while climbing and climbing onto poles are new features for players to get to grips with.
Lara can wall jump now.
Lara will fight a Kraken in Underworld's first level which will feature a multi-staged puzzle as well.
Mercenaries are returning as well as black panthers.
Sharks are returning in Underworld.
Naga (acid-shooting lizards), tigers, bats and spiders will feature in Underworld.
Enemies will fight each other if needed. Panthers will try and take down mercenaries while the mercenaries will fight back to survive. Lara can use this to her advantage to go by unnoticed.
Talking about enemies, they've been replaced by bleeding versions for Underworld. Yes, blood is back Gore Raiders ; ).
The game will start in a burning Croft Manor before a flashback will occur to the Mediterranean Sea level.
It is confirmed Lara will be raiding the Mediterranean Sea and Mayan ruins in South Mexico.
Thailand will also be featured in the game along with Arctic areas and Croft Manor.
Introduced into Underworld is a realistic, dynamic weather system. Rain, thunder and lightning all exist in Lara's world.
A new lighting system has been introduced to give a more realistic lighting effect. Lara has more than twelve layers of skin so that different lighting will react differently to her.
An improved physics engine has been introduced. Footprints will be left in the mud and will gradually be washed away by rain and bodies and broken environment will remain afterward.
The game-world has been opened up allowing multiple ways to progress through the game.
All cutscenes within the game are used using the in-game engine.
The "Interactive Cutscenes" have been ripped out and new "Adrenaline Moments" replace them. Instead of specific button presses, time slows down and gives the player a chance to get out of harm's way in whatever way they wish and in doing so, the player retains complete control of Lara.
Lara can dual-aim meaning she can aim at two targets at once and shoot at both of them at the same time.
Lara's combat has been upgraded allowing more melee attacks and combat is now more focused on evasive moves to allow Lara to attack the enemy without harming herself.
The camera system has been given an overhaul allowing the camera to give cinematic views while still allowing the player complete control of the camera. With the overhaul, Crystal Dynamics are also able to provide directional hints without making it too obvious.
Gears, Weapons and Vehicles:
Dual pistols and [sticky] grenades return.
As does the grapple.
Dual pistols can be fired underwater.
Sticky grenades, a spear gun and a tranquilizer gun have been introduced into Tomb Raider: Underworld.
Uzis and the Shotgun are also returning allies.
Lara can also use items she picks up such as poles to attack enemies.
Lara's motorbike will return but will be needed to complete puzzles instead of just being a means from A to B.
Lara will have multiple outfit changes throughout the game including a black and yellow wetsuit with scuba gear allowing for more exploration underwater. Additionally she will also have a long sleeved top and trouser outfit.
Lara travels with sonar equipment. When used it will send out sonar pings which reflect off surfaces and creating a 3D map of the area. It can be used underwater and above water.
Lara will also carry with her a camera which she will speak into and can take pictures with. Players will also have the ability to take pictures (with or without Lara in them) and upload them to the internet for other players to download.