Celebrate 20 Years Of Tomb Raider With Square Enix

Tomb Raider first came on to the scene in October of 1996 and was an instant success launching multiple sequels, movies, and reboots throughout the years. It’s a game series which has been important to many people in multiple generations who have love not only the for the game, but for Lara Croft as well. Now, 20 years later, Square Enix is celebrating this success and asking the fans to participate directly.

Square Enix is asking fans to consider “What does Tomb Raider mean to you?” and make a video with your response. These videos can cover anything from talking about how the games have influenced your lives to recalling favorite moments in any of the games. Maybe Lara Croft somehow inspired you to do something or sparking an interesting something new and different; this would be a perfect time to share the story. This isn’t a contest but the best submissions will likely be included in something in the future because before submitting your video you have to agree to an image/likeness release. Video submissions can be submitted at this website. No deadline was given on these, but I’d do it sooner rather than later because there will be a cutoff at some point.

For fans who have taken their love of Tomb Raider to another level by creating fan art, Square Enix is running a contest just for you. They are looking for any fan art relating to Tomb Raider both old games and new. Entries could be landscapes, tombs, enemies, or even of Lara herself. The prize for this contest is $1,000 and the art will be featured in a special print offering which will be revealed later this year. There’s no word on how many winners there will be, but it does look like they are looking for more than one. Go to this website to enter the contest, and good luck!

Sherlock Holmes Delves Into The Supernatural

There’s not a whole lot of information available on Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter yet, but I can’t deny the trailer has seriously piqued my interest as it looks like a bit of a  mystical and supernatural story.

After the delight Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments was, I really am excited to see where Frogwares Studio takes things. Sadly Kerry Shale, who was the voice of Sherlock in Crimes & Punishments, will not be reprising the role. As sad as I am about this, it also makes a bit of sense because this will be a wholly different incarnation of Sherlock than what we have had previously. Changing the voice actor up will help to keep the distinction between Sherlocks more firmly in mind.

I’ve also heard the world will be more openly explorable which is a big improvement as the random invisible walls were one of the few things which bothered me with the previous game. I constantly found myself wanting to wander off and see what else was around, but the player was really given a limited amount of area to explore.

Also in Crimes & Punishments there was a background story going on at the same time the player is working on other cases. There were little bits of info dropped throughout the game about this side story, but everything didn’t come together until the last case was done, at which point the side story came to the foreground. I wouldn’t be surprised if something similar was done in this game, but maybe the smaller cases will be more directly pieces of the larger whole?

I also very much hope this new installment will also let the players get things wrong and show consequences of these things. The ability to be wrong, and to have it affect the game directly was one of the best aspects of Crimes & Punishments.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter will be released on May 27th for PS4, XB1, and PC.

Runic Games’ Hob Is A Thoroughly Enchanting Adventure

Originally posted on Gamebreaker.

Runic Games — known for their Action RPG games Torchlight and Torchlight II — are going in a completely different direction and tackling the adventure genre with a game called Hob.

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During PAX Prime I got the chance to get a hands on with the Hob demo and discussed the game with Runic Games CEO Max Schaefer.

According to Schaefer, the team has been inspired by games like the Zelda series and Journey. It’s easy to see the mark of both of those without ever feeling as if Hob is trying to copy them. For example; the story in Hob is told entirely without dialogue or text. Additionally, when in need of health the player character can cut down grass to find what looks like strawberries to regen health. But the differences are also abundant, even in the short demo I played.

The player is meant to navigate their way through the various levels of Hob in order to discover what is causing the world they reside in to be sick and find a way to fix the issue. There are little sprites throughout the levels who serve as sort of guideposts and help the player know where to go. However, exploring off the obvious path is also very worthwhile and offers the player a glimpse of some of the game’s beautiful vistas.

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The world map changes and reforms itself as the player solves various puzzles to move forward. Different areas will rise up while others fall away, sometimes platforms will even rotate to form bridges to new areas. The sweeping vistas, aside from being beautiful, also give clues about where you’ll be heading or what is coming up soon. Some puzzles will require the player to make use of multiple abilities in order to solve them.

The demo at PAX Prime took place in one of the levels still fairly close to the beginning of the game. In the full game players will have to find the sword and giant glove on their own, but for the demo I had these items to start with.

At first the glove mostly just helped me climb around, but after I found an upgrade station I was able to use it more like a grappling hook which worked with magnets and electricity instead of a rope and hook. The upgrade also allowed me to pull far away items to me, and allowed for a new dynamic in solving puzzles.

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There was one boss fight in the demo and I personally felt like it had some high stakes because the first thing the boss did when he appeared is he picked up a sprite and bit its head off. Hurting cute animals is pretty much a guarantee I’ll have a vested interest in beating a mob.

Dodging seemed like a pretty big part of fight mechanics and I was able to avoid taking any damage while in combat with the boss. The magnetic ability of the glove was also super handy because I was able to strip the boss of his metal boots right in the beginning, which severely weakened him.

Sadly the demo ended soon after this point, I would have quite happily played for many hours longer. Everything felt very polished and looked as if it could be in a live game right now.

The current plan is for Hob to be available on both PC and consoles as making it available to players as widely as possible is definitely a goal. Hob is still pretty early in the development so sadly we won’t be able to play the full game anytime soon but I’ll be eagerly waiting for the next chance to play!