The legendary Tomb Raider gaming series is getting another installment; Crystal Dynamics have officially announced the work on the 13th mainline entry in the franchise. The announcement was buried at the tail end of Epic Games’ State of Unreal event, during which Epic Games launched Unreal Engine 5 to the public. The new engine is now available to use, and Crystal Dynamics plans to employ the new engine’s fidelity to bring Lara’s new adventures to life and enhance the Tomb Raider experience.
Unfortunately, however, no other details about the game have been disclosed at the State of Unreal event, as stated by Destructoid. Still, the Tomb Raider official Twitter account posted the announcement about the next Tomb Raider game being built using Unreal Engine 5. The latest edition of the benchmark games development engine is set to replace Crystal Dynamics’ Foundation Engine, which has been used since 2013’s reboot and brings innovations such as fully dynamic global illumination and a new geometry system that allows game-building with unprecedented amounts of geometric detail.
Lara’s upcoming journey and how it connects to previous games in the franchise is still shrouded in mystery. Crystal Dynamics developed the first two Tomb Raider games since the 2013’s reboot, including 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider. The third game, 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which concluded the Survivor trilogy, was developed by Eidos-Montreal. It’s worth noting that both companies are subsidiaries of Square Enix and have been engaged with various Square Enix titles since 2009.
While Eidos-Montreal was busy creating the most-recent Tomb Raider game, Crystal Dynamics worked on 2020’s Marvel’s Avengers, which had several issues at launch. Following the conclusion of 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider and its Survivor trilogy, Eidos-Montreal went on to develop 2021’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy — a massive hit amongst the critics and the audience, which failed to meet Square Enix’s sales expectations.
Considering that Square Enix has no issues discontinuing the franchise the first time it fails sales expectations, the future of 2021’s Guardians of the Galaxy remains under a pretty big question mark. Luckily, the last Tomb Raider reboot series, which started with 2013’s version, generally received positive reviews and was praised by critics. That said, the gaming community concedes that the Shadow of the Tomb Raider feels and plays somewhat differently than the first two games — which is reasonable, as it was developed by a different company.
Unfortunately, Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix haven’t provided any timeline of the new Tomb Raider’s development, of when the visual teaser or a full-blown cinematic trailer might be revealed. However, they did disclose that Jeff Ross, who led the development of 2019’s Days Gone, had joined Crystal Dynamics as the game director but didn’t attach any project to his name. The new Tomb Raider game is now one of several projects in development on Unreal Engine, including the next Witcher game, from CD Projekt RED. Apparently, Unreal Engine 5 is off to a running start.