[Update: We won't find out any big new details about Shadow of the Tomb Raider until its worldwide event on April 27 but in the meantime Square Enix has released some new art which gives us a clearer idea of what the game's about.
As was suggested by the game's trailer, the art shown below makes us doubly confident that Lara will be visiting some Mayan pyramids in South America and perhaps exploring some of the history around Mayans and eclipses.]
After plenty of leaks, we now know from Square Enix itself that Shadow of the Tomb Raider is indeed the name of the next Tomb Raider title and that it'll be released on September 14 2018.
It looks like this could very well be the final chapter in Lara's origin story as the tagline states this is the "climactic finale" so we're expecting a dark and emotional journey. In-game details are thin on the ground at the moment but we know we're going to find out more at the official reveal of the game on April 27.
Here you can find all the news, rumors and everything we know so far about Lara's 2018 adventure in Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? The sequel to Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider
- When it is out?September 14 2018
- What can I play it on? PC, Xbox One and PS4
We now know that Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released on September 14 2018 on PS4, Xbox One and PC.
A reveal event for the game will take place on April 27 where we'll have the chance to see in-game footage.
The very first teaser trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider was revealed on March 15. It's a collection of quick shots but we can see Lara in a mountainous environment with plenty of ancient pyramids (Mayan by the looks of it). Sounds like Tomb Raider to us.
News and rumors
The official announcement
After leaks and promises aplenty, the official confirmation that Lara's 2018 adventure would be called Shadow of the Tomb Raider took place on March 15. The game's official website opened up to show the official release date as September 14 alongside a trailer.
It was also confirmed that the game wll be coming to PS4, Xbox One and PC on the same date. So no timed exclusives.
More information on the game will come on its official reveal event which will take place at several locations around the world on April 27. Pre-orders will also open on this date.
The title, and other snippets of information about Shadow of the Tomb Raider were leaked in November last year when an eagle-eyed Reddit user saw someone - presumably an employee of Square Enix Montreal, Eidos Montreal or someone from Crystal Dynamics on a work trip - open their laptop to have a look at a Tomb Raider slideshow presentation. The title on the slide, “Shadow of the Tomb Raider”, is now known to be the name of the game.
What will it be about?
The title implies a darker take on Lara’s journey so far, but the games have already been pretty dark, with supernatural goings-on, Lara’s struggle to become the confident raider of tombs we all know and love, and her troubled family history. At the very least, the title implies Lara is coming into her own and moving towards the fully-fledged tomb raider we know so well.
The tagline for the game says this will be a "climactic finale" for Lara's origin story so we're expecting something big as well as an indication about where the series may go from here. Writer Rhianna Pratchett has recently said she'd like to tackle an older and more grizzled Lara, perhaps we'll see a set up for that in the end of this series.
In the first teaser for the game we saw plenty of mountainous locations but we also spotted Lara on what looks to be some Mayan pyramids suggesting this time we could see her take a trip to South America.
Certainly, the game's main poster features what appears to be an eclipse. Given the close ties between the Mayas and solar eclipses it seems reasonable to assume there may be some overlap here.
The Mayas were able to accurately predict solar eclipses hundreds of years in advance and the Dresden Codex shows this. According to Susan Milbrath, the curator of Latin American art and archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History, groups of indigenous Mayas associated eclipses with end times and destruction.
The Ch’orti’, she reported in an article in the New York Times, believed “an eclipse of the sun that lasts more than a day will bring the end of the world, and the spirits of the dead will come to life and eat those on earth.” The Lacandón, on the other hand, thought that during an eclipse the Earth would split and that jaguars would emerge “and eat most of the people.”
All of this ties in very well to a finale for Lara's journey. An eclipse means the end of an age and the beginning of a new one. It'll be interesting to see how this will all come together.
Crystal Dynamics isn't done with Croft, having hired Ian Milham in August of last year. Milham was the art director on Dead Space and Battlefield Hardline, and had this to say about his new role:
“Adventure games have always been my first love. When the opportunity came to join Crystal Dynamics, I had to jump on it. This is the home of Lara Croft, who is a legend in action-adventure gaming and a pillar of the industry. I’ve admired Crystal’s work for a while now, as they continue to deliver top notch narrative and spectacle, coupled with deep systems and player choice. I’m very excited about where the studio is headed and I’m eager to be a part of it.”
The last game Crystal Dynamics released was the 20 Year Edition of Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2016, which added VR-compatible DLC and the co-op Endurance mode to an already huge game.
There have been rumors that perhaps the studio working on Shadow of the Tomb Raider is Square Enix Montreal, but given that their focus has been mobile games like Hitman GO, Lara Croft GO and Deus Ex GO for several years, it’s unlikely that they’re making a shift to full console games.
Who's writing it?
Rhianna Pratchett wrote the scripts for Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, winning awards for narrative at the Game Developers Choice Awards, the Writers Guild of America Awards and the DICE Awards, but she’s now working on “exciting/terrifying new things” instead. “I like to think we did some good things,” Pratchett said on Twitter as she announced her leaving. “Maybe shifted the gaming landscape a wee bit. And that feels damn good.”
As yet, it's not clear who's writing the latest game.
Who’s in it?
Camilla Luddington has been the voice and mo-cap body of Lara Croft for the past two games and she'll be reprising her role for the final game. In fact, she'll be making an appearance at a panel for Shadow of the Tomb Raider at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 27.
There is also a 2018 Tomb Raider film, which comes out on March 16, starring Alicia Vikander as the titular heroine and Dominic West as her deceased father.
Walter Goggins, who has been cast as the villain of the piece, described the plot as “Raiders of the Lost Ark meets a genre version of the Joseph Conrad novel Victory: An Island Tale,” which implies islands, treasure, archaeology and intrigue. The film will focus on Croft trying to find her father.
Will the film play into the plot of Shadow of the Tomb Raider? We think it’s likely that the game will have heavy family themes as the new, rebooted series has had so far.
The last DLC, Blood Ties, released in October of last year, focuses on Lara frantically trying to prove her mother’s death to stop her uncle from taking the family manor. Safe to say her family might not be coming back any time soon, but Lara’s journey to make them proud continues.
- We expect Lara will be a presence at E3 2018