Tomb Raider Multiplayer Hands-On Preview
On Wednesday 16th January, I had the opportunity to get hands on time with Tomb Raider’s new Multiplayer mode at IGN UK’s Community Event.
Like many other Tomb Raider fans, the thought of Multiplayer being added chilled me to the bone. If there was one Single player game that did not require multiplayer, Tomb Raider is it. Could this community event, as well as speaking with the developers behind the game, change my mind?
A specific team of developers were assembled to build the Multiplayer for Tomb Raider from scratch over two years from Eidos Montreal, the development team most known for the recent Deus Ex Human Revolution as well as individuals who had worked on Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s Creed. Inspiration for the multiplayer came after play testing the single player campaign, and the team wanted to utilise the new environmental elements and the new traversal style seen in this reboot of Tomb Raider.
Joe Khoury, producer of Tomb Raider, explains that from the single player, the multiplayer became a natural progression, with the foundation coming from the story itself. The story introduces us to the Solarii ( the Island’s natives), and the survivors of the shipwreck. With their own objectives and reasons to be fighting, the two teams form how the multiplayer came to be, adding a narrative element to the core gameplay.
The mode I got to try out was ‘Rescue’, which sees the Survivors fighting the Solarii, to capture and retrieve five medical supply crates to their base. This is essentially Capture the Flag, with the objective for the Survivors being to work together as a team to escort/defend/capture, whilst the other team, the Solarii, attempting to stop them, with their own win condition being twenty kills.
The map itself utilises the new traversal system that adds a vertical dimension to the environment. Being able to climb and navigate the map from on high gives you a new combat element both in attack and in defence. The map also uses ziplines to move around quickly behind the enemy, but can also be climbed up so you can strategically and slowly move towards the enemy team, allowing you the chance for a sneaky kill as your target slides down!
Another feature of the new environmental approach to the multiplayer is the use of traps such as Rope traps hidden at key walkways that will snare an enemy when walked on. Placed around the map, either team can set these traps to take out the unsuspecting enemy team, which are great fun when triggered. The demo map featured a trap that called in a sand storm, reducing visibility; a great help if you are the Survivors retrieving a medical crate and also for the Solarii team to disorientate for easy kills.
The Multiplayer looks and feels very similar to other multiplayer modes in well known titles. Borrowing elements from Gears of War, such as ‘down but not out’, require an execution to complete the kill, though the downed player does have the opportunity to fight back with the use of a pistol while teammates scramble to their position to revive them. Tomb Raider attempts to change it up using the new trap system and it plays well, using an XP system to rank up your skills and weapons.
It has also been confirmed that, that the multiplayer will not require an online pass, and there will not be a Season Pass available. Joe Khoury explained to me that the multiplayer was something they didn’t have to add to the game, but it’s something they chose to add, giving fans more game to enjoy, play and just to have fun. As an original Tomb Raider fan, the thought of multiplayer worried me. I do feel more confident about the motives behind the addition to the series, much as it was with Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect, and it will be something that will not detract from the Singleplayer due to external development, instead providing something extra to do with friends, and will be something I will explore when the game is launched. With the game releasing in March, I expect more to be revealed regarding the multiplayer, but for me I enjoyed it, just as the multiplayer modes in Mass Effect 3, Assassin’s Creed and Gears of War provided unique experiences
This will be a fun multiplayer experience to play with friends, a nice break from the Singleplayer and will be a pleasant surprise to most fans nervous about what the multiplayer will bring to this rebooted Tomb Raider experience
More game for your money is always a good thing