Microsoft spent most of their E3 pre-show conference running game trailer after game trailer, with little exposition in between, and quite frankly it was a far wiser choice to do so than have too many stodgy old execs trying to be cool. Since the actual E3 expo starts tomorrow, that's a pretty decent strategy. My personal favorite highlights were as follows:
NEW TOMB RAIDER! Lara Croft is back. The sequel to 2012's Tomb Raider is called Rise of the Tomb Raider and the trailer juxtaposes one of Lara's PST therapy sessions with her actual coping mechanisms: raiding, exploring & killing. I can't really count the number of times I said "fuck yes" out loud and in my head during this video. Actress Camilla Luddington is once again breathing life into Lara, providing both vocal talents and motion capture sequences to bring us the best Lara possible. Release date: Holiday 2015, Precise Date TBA
Halo: Master Chief Collection! The full next-gen HD remakes of the first 4 Halo games – the ones starring Master Chief, that is – are being collected into one (ONE!) disc and provided for your entertainment. All 4 games are getting the Xbox One HD treatment, and all games will have their original multiplayer experiences (upgraded, of course) included. Not only that, but there are 4000 gamerscore points available through achievements. I plan on getting at least 3000 of them. Pre-ordering the collection will also grant access to a new Halo webseries and more importantly the multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians.
Project Spark! Conker Returns! (Sort of.) Conker, of Conker's Bad Fur Day fame on the N64 is making a smashing return to the world of gaming in a wonderfully creative way. Project Spark is the game-building game that allows you to create the world and type of game you would want to play, fully populate it with challenges, enemies or both, then play it. Coming later this year as a full release (it's in beta now) the game will now include one of gaming's most irreverently fun squirrels. AW NUTS!
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Lara Croft is one of my personal heroes. I loved the original Tomb Raider when I was a kid because there was a pretty heavy emphasis on running and jumping and action. I grew up with a huge back yard, and an adjacent forest so big, the limits of my imagination were never reached. Lara was the first high-profile digital representation of a non-cartoonish, non-hetero male, non-militaristic, non-space-suited protagonist. Sure she had quite a few qualities which are not quite relatable – she's an heiress, has a wildly exaggerated bust size, and is essentially an olympic-level gymnast. But still she provided, for me at least, an engaging fantasy avatar.
Crystal Dynamics relaunched the series last year bringing a more somber tone, a multilayered heroine and an engaging combat system. Camilla Luddington of Grey's Anatomy lent her voice to this new Lara, and quite frankly, it's some of the best voice acting in a video game and rivals some of the top talent in a year of utterly amazing voice work in video games.
Unsatisfied to let a good thing rest on its laurels, Crystal Dynamics rebuilt the entire game from the ground up to introduce it to the next generation of consoles, specifically the Xbox One and the Playstation 4. Since both new consoles utilize completely different and more advanced processors than the generation prior, a simple port wouldn't suffice. IGN offered a comparison between previous and current gen versions:
This is a game that I've already completed three times because I loved the narrative and the gameplay so much, so it's a no-brainer that I'm going to pick up the Definitive Edition for my Xbox One when it launches next week. Hell, I bought the collectors edition last time around with the Lara Croft action figure. Yep. Not even sorry about it. I very seriously recommend you play Tomb Raider if you haven't already – especially if you've never played any of the previous games. It's such a wonderful new start for Lara. It is the reboot by which all reboots should be judged.
AND there's a comic book being released next month to serve as an official bridge between the end of this game and the beginning of next! It's being written by Gail Simon of Batgirl, The Movement, Birds of Prey, Red Sonja, and Secret Six fame, so I have full faith the story will be handled expertly.
Check back here later today for an exciting announcement from #nerdjizz regarding your chance to own a copy of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.Follow @harveywalkerFollow @ClosetCaseRoman
Lara Croft is returning in a reboot to the Tomb Raider series. Does it need a reboot? That's the biggest question up for debate right now. Personally, I thought the latest game (not the XBLA offering) Tomb Raider: Underworld was just fantastic. It reminded me of everything I loved about the very first one, all while offering a very dynamic current-gen experience. The control was fluid, the environments were dynamic, and Lara was just as sexy as she'd ever been.
However, I have to say I'm very intrigued by the direction this new game will take. I think it will certainly be a solid gameplay experience. It is the same team after all who brought us Underworld, so even if they just rehash the same mechanics with new polygonal skins, I'll still be happy.
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