Rise of the Tomb Raider makes Lara Croft more human than ever before

When Crystal Dynamics launched Tomb Raider in 2013, the legendary Lara Croft underwent a fundamental change. No longer a caricature of female action heroes, Lara instead became a real person: a person with scars, scratches, and an uncanny ability to slip down mountains. With Rise of the Tomb Raider, the developers aim to make her even more of a living, breathing human being.

In a behind-the-scenes featurette during Square Enix’s E3 press conference, director Brian Horton and Crystal Dynamics explain just how important the new consoles’ power gave them for Rise of the Tomb Raider. Unlike other video game heroes, Lara Croft is constantly vulnerable, screaming in pain as she is impaled with a spear or falls through a trap door.

To convey this, the developers have included scars on her character model to replicate injuries she sustained in the previous game. Scratches and cuts on her skin will appear as she sustains new wounds — which is a guarantee — but battle damage isn’t the only thing improved for this iteration. Pores on Lara’s skin, snow on her clothing, and even individual eyelashes have been crafted to make her appeal more real than ever before, and she now looks remarkably like her performance capture actress, Camilla Luddington. In fact, the character has been redesigned “from the ground up,” starting with a scan before the artists added their own touches.

For a game with “tomb” in the name, 2013’s Tomb Raider was remarkably light on actual raiding of tombs. That will change in Rise of the Tomb Raider. “We’re putting the tombs back into Tomb Raider,” says Brian Horton, mentioning that what was seen in the teaser trailer was only a “glimpse” of what the new tombs have to offer.

Rise of the Tomb Raider launches for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on November 10.

Product Review

‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ is an ode to gaming that lives up to its name

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a loving tribute to Nintendo and video game history. It’s a terrific multiplayer fighter that also has plenty for single-player fans to love this time around.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Ice meets fire in HBO's latest 'Game of Thrones' season 8 teaser

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Deals

Check out the best Green Monday deals for those last-minute gifts

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've missed your chance of finding a great deal. We're talking about Green Monday, of course, and it falls on December 10.
Gaming

Itching to fight in an online match with friends in 'SSB Ultimate'? Here's how

You can play online against your friends in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it isn't quite as simple as you might expect from a multiplayer game in 2018. Here's how you can do so using the Battle Arena system.
Gaming

Still trying to unlock your main in 'Super Smash Bros. Ultimate'? Try these tips

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Nintendo’s biggest entry in the series to date with over 70 characters to unlock, but the process can feel tiresome. Here are our tips to unlock your roster as quickly as possible.
Gaming

PlayStation Classic hacked in less than a week to play games via USB drive

Hackers have already managed to crack the PlayStation Classic, with programs now available to allow users to play additional original PlayStation games on the system via a USB drive.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ adds sword from ‘Infinity Blade,’ which disappears from App Store

Epic Games has added the Infinity Blade melee weapon to Fortnite just as it pulled all three games in the Infinity Blade trilogy from sale. The games are still available to download if you bought them.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Gaming

How to make a clan in ‘Destiny 2’ and where to go from there

Want to know how to make a clan in 'Destiny 2'? Here's everything you need to know, including how to design your clan's banner, earn extra loot, and help other players with guided games.
Mobile

Put down the controller and pick up the best phones for gaming on the go

Which phones are the best if all you want to do is play some mobile games? We've done the hard work and put together a list of the best gaming phones on Android and iOS, so you can keep playing and winning.
Gaming

Need help getting the Sleeper Simulant in 'Destiny 2'? We’ve got you covered

The Sleeper Simulant is one of the coolest new Exotic weapons you can unlock in the Warmind expansion of Destiny 2, but it's an involved process that will take awhile. Here's everything you need to know.
Gaming

Ditch the meditation app. 'Katamari Damacy Reroll' is pure gaming zen

Katamari Damacy Reroll brings the magic of the PS2 classic to Nintendo Switch and PC. With updated visuals and the same great, singular loop, Reroll stands the test of time. Katamari Damacy is the ultimate relaxation game.