Tom Raider on the PS4
Facts and fiction are hard to sort when it comes to speculating about the next generation of console gaming and what we can expect from franchise titles like Tomb Raider. The PS4 leads the pack in keeping us all simultaneously frustrated and tantalizingly delighted with speculation. (Congrats Sony, your market preparation strategy still works!) Let’s start with what we know and then we’ll move to speculation.
1 - It has been nearly 6 years since the birth of the PS3. No gaming console in the modern era has been permitted to survive as the flagship for longer than 6 years. So here it seems we have a precedent being set. Why the precedent? Well, the technology available for gaming platforms for the last six years hasn’t been fully explored. The success of the internet has led to the spawn of networking platforms that utilize user driven content like Facebook, LinkedIn, iGoogle, and dozens of others. The PlayStation Network has attempted to take advantage of that popularity but on the opposite side of the coin where provider content comes from the company rather than users/gamers. We consume it by joining their platform to get exclusive news, products and connect with each other to enhance our in-game experience. We can still interact and say what want all over the place but we have a lot less control.
2 - This connectivity clearly takes time to establish as it is a physical, technological infrastructure and there are always setbacks. Network response time for global play due to high volume of users requires more dedicated servers which is the bane of all online gamers at some point. Remember, PSN became available worldwide between 2007 and 2009 and operates in about 60 countries too. The security breaches we commiserated over in the spring and summer of 2011 certainly did not help things along either especially with British, Canadian and American authorities demanding explanations and a class action lawsuit being filed by US customers. So there are definitely novel situations to contend with as the tech world has become more developed, integrated and risky.
3 - We also know Lara’s story is about to get a whole lotta badass back-fill with a revamped Tomb Raider origins slated for release in the first quarter of 2013. The lead writer is the lovely award winning Rhianne Pratchett of Mirror’s Edge fame. Her name burst on the scene after controversy over an implied impending rape scenario where Lara is forced to kill for the first time was outlined by Executive Producer Peter Rosenberg. Naturally Crystal Dynamics had to do some serious PR back tracking but it ultimately adds to the excitement, scandal and buzz surrounding the next installment as a reboot. Additionally, next year’s Tomb Raider will be promoted with a real world geocaching hunt. That’s an excellent touch to bring us out of the cave and into the real world. Well done!
And that my friends, is about the extent of what we do know.
LET THE RUMORS & CONJECTURE BEGIN!
As far as tech goes, we have heard the PS4 may feature the AMD x64 CPU and 28nm AMD Southern Islands graphics power, or it could be a revision of the AMD FX-8150 CPU, or maybe even the AMD Radeon HD 7670 chip and the A8-3850 APU. Riiiiiight. None of that means anything unless there is a mega leap in reality and clarity throughout play.
THE END OF THE POLYGON
A completely new approach to game texture is in order for the PS4 and we likely have that with the demise of the polygon based design and the introduction of 3D points built one upon the other. Sounds like painstaking work. Lara is worth every effort though. The algorithms are going to get pretty crazy to make all of this happen so even if they have to draft the entire graduating class of MIT this year to get it all done in time, they should go right ahead.
BEYOND THE LOOK
Equally important will be developing new plots, weapons, and challenges. But will that even be enough? Isn’t it time for a great antagonist for Lara? An arch enemy to battle across several more games? Or since we have an origins game next, is it time for a futuristic time travel piece where an uber-mysterious artifact launches her in to the future, space, alternate reality, or some other high tech scenario where we can test the limits of the next gen engine? Call me crazy but I want this woman’s story to go places no one ever thought of before. Please offer your thoughts on what Lara’s PS4 premier should entail below!
Update - March 10th, 2013 -- Tomb Raider A Best Seller
It's safe to say that the new Tomb Raider, released only a few weeks prior, has been an outstanding success. Early reports state that the game has sold over a million copies in 48 hours after release, placing Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider series back in the spotlight and returning this franchise back to the big leagues.
Now that the PlayStation 4 is official and we're nearing the end of the PlayStation 3's lifespan, it's safe to say we will be seeing Tomb Raider on the PlayStation 4. Square Enix will want to continue the brand now that its once again popular, and without any mention of a new Uncharted game for the PS4, a new Tomb Raider on the PS4 could satisfy a lot of fans cravings for a game in the Uncharted genre.
We will bring you further updates of the future of Tomb Raider on the PS4 when Square Enix makes them available.
Article by - Adam H.
Insert Date: 07/31/2012
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