The Crystal Compass Podcast Episode: 29

By on May 2, 2015 | 8 comments

Podcast Ep 29 Featured Image

In the newest episode of the Crystal Compass Podcast, community manager Meagan Marie and Crystal brand coordinator Robin Huey touch base on Tomb Raider 2013’s recent milestone and the newest mobile release from Square Enix, Lara Croft: Relic Run! Rise of the Tomb Raider’s game director, Brian Horton weighs in on the systems of survival, and does a take 5 Q&A! Check it out!

RELATED: Reflecting: Demise of The Tomb Raider

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The Crystal Compass Podcast Episode: 28

By on March 20, 2015 | 8 comments

Crystal Compass LogoHey everyone! The Crystal Habit podcast is back and newly rebranded as “The Crystal Compass!”

In this new feature, senior community manager Meagan Marie sits down with the talent behind Rise of The Tomb Raider to dive into the mythology surrounding the next chapter in the Tomb Raider saga.

Subscribe to the Crystal Compass podcast on iTunes!

“Rise of The Tomb Raider” Launch Campaign

By on February 11, 2015 | 1,331 comments

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Crystal Dynamics has officially started the campaign for “Rise of the TR” this month with Gameinformer, unveiling the March issue with a cover story for the next installment in the Tomb Raider franchise.

Late last year, Square Enix had announced “Rise of The TR” as an Xbox exclusive, being published by Microsoft come Holiday 2015. Still up for speculation that Rise could eventually come to other platforms sometime after it’s initial release on Xbox.

RELATED: Rise of The Tomb Raider – Reveal Coverage

Throughout the month of February, Crystal is exclusively releasing assets and details for Rise of The Tomb Raider via Gameinformer’s ROTTR Hub, where you can check there periodically for TR updates.

One of the points I made in my open letter to Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix regarding the exclusivity deal was my concern about releasing a next-gen Tomb Raider title on last-gen’s
hardware.

Developing a next-gen game for last-gen’s hardware is not “ambitious” in any way, period.
Especially if the game is set to drop on the cusp of 2016. — Open Letter

Crystal Dynamics Head of Studios, Darrell Gallagher addressed this concern announcing Nixxes Software as the studio who’s developing Rise of The TR for the Xbox 360 version.

We’re wholly focused on Rise being an Xbox One title without limitation, without even thinking of the Xbox 360 version,” Gallagher revealed to Game Informer in their latest March issue.

Nixxes put together a tech demo of Rise of the Raider content running on Xbox 360, and we were totally blown away by what they achieved.

Nixxes has been a long time partner of the studio since the Legacy of Kain games. Their first ever project was Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, and since having worked on every Tomb Raider installment alongside Crystal Dynamics, including their work on the Tomb Raider Trilogy.

The latest ROTTR Gameinformer coverage has me feeling a bit bitter-sweet. I’m excited because Lara’s next journey has been revealed, however my rose colored glasses aren’t that tinted, leaving me frustrated and conflicted.

To read Game informer’s full cover story in the latest March issue filled with exclusive screenshots of the next installment of Tomb Raider, click here to subscribe!

Where do you stand with the Xbox exclusivity deal? How do you feel about developers utilizing outdated hardware as an obligation to deliver diluted gaming experiences on last-gen tech?

Is the 360 and PS3 holding back next-gen titles from their fullest potential?
Let me know what you think about the new Rise coverage in the comments below!

Open Letter to Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix in Regard to Rise of The Tomb Raider:

By on August 12, 2014 | 511 comments

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After hearing the appalling news that Rise of The Tomb Raider will be shipping exclusively to the Xbox One, we as fans are extremely outraged.

We all saw how chummy Crystal was with Microsoft during the reboot’s initial campaign. But to this extent, to go as far as making “ROTTR” an Xbox exclusive is over the top, ridiculous and will inevitably devastate the franchise. Timed exclusive or not, how can Square and Crystal be so blatantly disrespectful to the fans and slap us in the face like this? As if people weren’t already wary of Square Enix after the first game’s release. We all saw what people were saying about Square Enix in the comments on IGN on every Tomb Raider article. This just gave people more room to criticize the publisher, and rightfully so this time.

When Definitive Edition dropped, we all know that the release was demo’d and hyped on the Playstation 4, because the Xbox One is clearly inferior to the PS4. Definitive Edition was dumbed down in optimization just to perform adequately on the Xbox One.

This is not what we want. This is such a bold and an uncalled-for move for Square Enix to do this to the ones who support the game the most.

We’re talking about a company who plasters Xbox One ads on Chef Boyardee cans, McDonalds products, numerous TV and online commercial spots, and who bought out IGN during E3.

I’m sure Sony shrugged off Crystal Dynamics during the reboot’s campaign last year, but that doesn’t mean go running to the other competitor. Now that Crystal Dynamics has the money from Microsoft, the quality of the franchise is now irrelevant. The original team worked so hard for years to build and establish a solid foundation for the reboot, and to just have it ripped down for the sequel makes zero sense.

Your friends at Microsoft have seen huge potential in Tomb Raider and have always believed in Crystal’s vision for the franchise because their exclusive lineup is pitiful and if they can pay you off, they will.

Attempting to sugar coat the situation by saying Crystal isn’t walking away from the fans on other platforms and telling them to play Temple of Osiris or Definitive edition instead is so condescending. That’s like Don Mattrick saying stick with the Xbox 360 if you don’t have access to the online features of the Xbox One.

It’s been said that “Rise of the TR” will also be coming to the Xbox 360, alongside it’s release to the Xbox One. I don’t know who’s running the show, but you guys have managed to completely ruin the sequel. Crystal did a perfect job with the reboot the first time around, so what happened? I don’t think any of us in the community ever excepted the next game to be as big of a train wreck that you guys have made it out to be. Developing a next-gen game for last-gen’s hardware is not “ambitious” in way, period. Especially if the game is set to drop on the cusp of 2016.

Crystal has been trying to establish an exclusive deal with Microsoft since Tomb Raider: Underworld. And now that you guys have it, you guys are excited to flaunt it as if it’s a good thing when that’s really not something to be proud of. You guys have been persistent in doing this to us since 2008, and it’s become ridiculous at this point.

If Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix have binding contractual obligations to Microsoft for Rise of The Tomb Raider from here on out, I will boycott Rise of The Tomb Raider, and will urge my fellow friends in community to do the same.

As long time fans of a 20 year old franchise, we will not stand for this.

For the sake of the franchise, get it together.

Dre Anthony.

Multi-platform Petition | Tomb Raider’s Announcement | Xbox 360 Explanation | Reflecting

Rise of The Tomb Raider – Reveal Coverage

By on June 25, 2014 | 1 comment

ROTTR-E3-Featured-ThumbnailSquare Enix has finally revealed the announcement trailer for the next installment in the newly rebooted Tomb Raider franchise!

Check out the reveal trailer, concept art and the E3 coverage that surrounded the buzz for Rise of The Tomb Raider below!

RELATED: Open Letter to Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix in Regard to Rise of The Tomb Raider

Rise of The Tomb Raider Announcement Trailer

 

 

IGN Rewind:

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Tomb Raider Next-Gen To Be Announced At VGX Awards?

By on November 21, 2013 | 1 comment

 TR Next-Gen Sequel To Be Revealed VGX (Featured Image)

Tomb Raider made a splash recently with rumors that hint at a Next-Gen reveal to be announced at the 2013 Video Game Awards in early December!

An Amazon Italy post suggested that Tomb Raider’s reboot will be ported to the next generation consoles. Some are speculating that it might be a “Game of The Year” edition, others say that a next-gen sequel will be announced as well, or both!

A Square Enix rep told IGN, “It’s so hard to keep a secret these days! We appreciate all of the enthusiasm, however we don’t have any details to share just yet. That said, we highly recommend you keep an eye on any major gaming events happening in early December.”

Electronic Theatre reports:

At last week’s Bradford Animation Festival (BAF), Brian Horton, Senior Art Director at Crystal Dynamics, gave a presentation discussing the history of Lara Croft and the development of this reboot.

Following the talk Horton was open to questions from the floor, and the inevitable suggestion of a sequel didn’t take too long to come around.

“We’ve announced the sequel… I’m glad I can finally talk about!” Stated Horton. “The Tomb Raider sequel is the next chapter of [Lara’s] development… her life is changing. She can’t go back to the way she was.”

Horton stated that the team at Crystal Dynamics had worked hard to create techniques and tools that would exist beyond a single videogame, notably stating the development of TressFX with AMD. Horton keenly stated that TressFX was still being worked on and that it was most certainly a ‘next-gen’ technology.

Junkie Monkeys reports, Square Enix has trademarked a game title — Lara Croft: Reflections in both the United States and Europe. The classification qualifies the trademark as, “Computer game software; computer games, consisting of computer software; video game software; video games, consisting of computer software.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Be sure to vote Tomb Raider as “Game of The Year” & Tune into the VGX award show
Saturday, December 7 at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT on SPIKE TV!

 

Square Enix Announces Next-Gen Tomb Raider Sequel

By on August 23, 2013 | 544 comments

Tomb Raider Sequel Announcement

In a statement on Square Enix’s official blog, North American CEO Phil Rogers revealed that Crystal Dynamics is well into development on a next generation Tomb Raider sequel!

“Square Enix is in production with a number of next generation projects, including Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III, which were announced at this year’s E3, and Thief coming in 2014. I am also excited to reveal that we are well into development on a next-generation Tomb Raider sequel – something you may have heard about recently!”

Crystal head, Darrell Gallagher also released a statement on the official Tomb Raider blog.

“Hi – you may have read today that a next-generation sequel to Tomb Raider is in the works. We’re very excited to confirm that the team has started working on telling the next chapter in Lara’s tale. It’s still early days, so I’m afraid I can’t provide any further details for now save my assurance that we’re not resting on our laurels and acclaim from Tomb Raider’s recent successes, but working hard to raise the bar even higher and re-affirm the faith you’ve shown.”

I’m super excited for next-gen Lara!!! I hope Crystal Dynamics can make Lara Croft’s character model look similar to the turning point Lara. I can’t wait to see what Crystal comes up with for the next chapter in Lara’s saga.

 

You can read the full Square Enix note: here

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