Rise of the Tomb Raider to Put Greater Emphasis on Puzzles
If you were one of the old school fans of Lara Croft hoping for more tombs in the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, don't worry, Rise of the Tomb Raider is going to have all sorts of puzzle-filled dangers for you to explore.
In an interview with Game Informer, Noah Hughes, the Creative Director of Rise of the Tomb Raider, spoke about how Lara Croft's next adventure would put a much larger emphasis on tombs and puzzles, which is likely to help cater to fans of the original PS-One series. Hughes is aware that a lot of critics of the 2013 reboot were hoping for larger tombs, more exploration and elaborate puzzles that would span multiple rooms and levels.
Luckily, Hughes' team is making this sequel with the classic Tomb Raider titles in mind:
Puzzles are an important part of the "Tomb" formula I think. So we're excited to have more tombs in the game, featuring more puzzles in the game. You'll still see a spectrum of difficulty in puzzles, so some of the secret tombs are larger and in some cases might have more difficult puzzles, but you're still going to find the full spectrum and we try to place them in the game in a ramped sort of way. But we really do celebrate puzzle design as a unique facet of our gameplay formula and we take that as a challenge - not just create the fiction of a tomb's space but really to deliver on the people's sense of using their wits, resourcefulness and smarts to suss out how they really are going to unlock these secrets. And so we're pushing that quite a bit. We still take an approach of leveraging real world systems, like physics and things like that. We had very much a focus on cause and effect in the world. You're not going to find a ton of arbitrary "logic" puzzles, but you will find a lot more ancient-themed puzzle spaces that really ask the player to leverage their sense of how the world works and physics and things like that. So you get a combination of our 2013 reboot aesthetics infused with a lot more of that nostalgic scale [in regards to the original Tomb Raider titles] and ancient space.
Hughes mentions that it's all about the payoff of finally solving a puzzle, even if you have to scratch your head and think for a minute, and finally running through those opened doors to see the big payoff.
"I think puzzles are hard to tune. You may find half of the audience just getting it very quickly and others not. The challenge is making sure there aren't a large number of people that are confused about a particular puzzle but also providing a challenge for those who want challenge," Hughes added. "Things like combat often scale a little better, so a difficult mode for combat can create two different experiences from the same combat setup. But puzzles, you have to get that 'AHA!' moment or not."
Rise of the Tomb Raider is expected to debut in Q4 2015 for Xbox One and Xbox 360. Since Microsoft's console exclusivity for Tomb Raider is time-based, we are likely to see Rise of the Tomb Raider on PlayStation consoles (hopefully) sometime in 2016.