Lara Croft is back for a new adventure. Rise of the Tomb Raider puts us back in the hiking boots of the gaming world's foremost gun-toting archaeologist. You've probably got some questions, so let's dig up some answers.
What is Rise of the Tomb Raider? And when is the release date?
Rise of the Tomb Raider is the sequel to 2013's Tomb Raider, which was a reboot of the classic Tomb Raider series. The series revolves around the adventures of archaeologist Lara Croft, an explorer who always seems to find herself getting shot at, chased by ravenous critters, or darting through dilapidated ruins that are on fire, on the brink of collapse, or both.
You can grab Rise of the Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One on November 10 in North America, and November 13 in Europe. It won't be showing up until 2016 for Windows, and sometime at the end of next year for the PlayStation 4 -- you can blame a timed exclusivity deal for the delay.
I take it some tombs are about to get raided?
More or less, yeah. But you'll move beyond tombs too, to traipse through jungles, and the action will pair exploration with lots of combat, scavenging for supplies, and skulking in the dark to take down (or avoid) foes. I'm going to refrain from spoiling the last game; suffice to say, Lara saw some incomprehensible things at the end of her last adventure, and roaming exotic, dangerous locales in search of answers.
But I'm looking to raid tombs. I mean, it's in the name.
Yes, there will be tombs. In fact, there'll be more tombs than there were the last time around. And the Rise of the Tomb Raider's tombs are centered around solving puzzles, so you'll want to get your thinking cap on.
It sounds like there's a survival angle.
Yup: Lara Croft will be able to pilfer gear from fallen foes, but she'll also have access to a bow and arrow, for a more elegant (or silent) approach. You'll also need to collect materials to survive, which often means hunting wild animals and relieving them of their pelts.
You mentioned skulking about? I'm big on skulking.
Hey, me too! Combat is central to the Tomb Raider experience, but you don't have to charge in, guns blazing. The game has been designed with stealth in mind: get the drop on enemies by scurrying up a tree or lurking in a bush, or avoid combat altogether by staying out of sight.
What about multiplayer? Can my friends get in on the action?
Not quite. There's no multiplayer mode, so you won't challenging anyone directly. But Rise of the Tomb Raider adds new Expedition Modes that introduces different ways to compete. When you complete a level in the Rise of the Tomb Raider campaign, you're assigned a score based on how well you did.
In the Expedition Modes, you'll replay levels with the aim of completing specific challenges: you might replay a level and try to beat your previous score, replay a level with all of the gear you earned playing the full game for a super-powered experience, or treat the levels as a sort of arcade experience, getting points for headshots and completing the level quickly.
You'll also be able to create custom challenges for your friends, tweaking parameters and challenging them to do at least as well as you can. It's not quite the same as a deathmatch, but it'll certainly offer a new, fun take on playing the game.
Editors' note: This content originally appeared.