Lara Croft is coming back for another game soon. Hide your tombs.
Lara Croft hasn’t raided a tomb since 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, but that’s set to change soon. As announced at the recent State of Unreal 2022 event, a new Tomb Raider game is on the way. Details on the upcoming adventure are scarce so far, but given fans’ love of the long-running and generally excellent series, the announcement is already plenty to get excited about.
Unfortunately not. The April 5, 2022 announcement was the first public reveal of the game, so it’s likely whiles off. In the announcement, Tomb Raider series general manager Dallas Dickinson said the team has “just started development of our next Tomb Raider game.” It’s so early that not even a tentative title for the next game has been revealed.
Neither a trailer nor screenshots have been released yet, but you can watch the full (very short) announcement of the game on YouTube.
Crystal Dynamics officially announces the next Tomb Raider game.
The creator of Tomb Raider, Core Design, hasn’t been involved with the series since 2003’s poorly received Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. Several studios have released spin-offs and ports since then, but the main series games have been handled by Crystal Dynamics. The next game is again being handled by the Square Enix subsidiary, which is also partnering with The Initiative to make a Perfect Dark reboot.
It’s worth noting that Days Gone director Jeff Ross announced he’s joining Crystal Dynamics as design director the same day as the Tomb Raider announcement. However, it hasn’t been confirmed whether he’ll be working on Lara Croft’s next adventure or one of the studio’s other games.
In the game’s announcement, Dickinson described the next Tomb Raider as “a high-quality cinematic action-adventure experience.” Though there’s been plenty of variation in the series, all mainline Tomb Raider games have focused on third-person action, puzzle-solving, and platforming. It’s a safe bet that the next entry won’t stray too far from that formula, and the mention of it being “cinematic” could indicate that storytelling will be a major priority, as it was in Crystal Dynamics’ most recent Tomb Raider trilogy.
Crystal Dynamics didn’t reveal any details about the next Tomb Raider game’s plot or setting during the State of Unreal, but franchise director Will Kerslake dropped some hints in a 2021 community update. Kerslake said Crystal Dynamics wants to tell stories that take place after both the studio’s own Tomb Raider trilogy, which explored Lara’s origins, and the earlier games, which feature her as an experienced adventurer. That means the next game will likely focus on world-shaking adventure’s in the explorer’s later career. He also noted the goal is to eventually “unify” the timelines of the existing games.
Crystal Dynamics celebrates 25 years of Tomb Raider in this 2021 update.
While you can’t infer much about a game based on its engine, the State of Unreal event did include some impressive footage of Unreal Engine 5 in action. The engine will likely help Crystal Dynamics “push the envelope of fidelity” with cutting-edge graphics, as Dickinson said in his presentation.
The recent tech demo The Matrix Awakens ran on Unreal Engine 5, which could give you a hint of what the new engine is capable of. CD Projekt Red also recently announced that the next Witcher game will run on Unreal Engine 5.
The Matrix Awakens shows off the potential of Unreal Engine 5.