Square Enix released a new Tomb Raider Guide To Survival trailer today that details two systems that players will use to fully explore the game’s semi-open world environment. As an added bonus, the trailer also seems to directly address concerns that some fans have expressed about the linear nature of past gameplay demonstrations.
The first system detailed in the trailer is called Fast Travel. It works off the game’s Base Camps (safe areas that allow players to upgrade Lara’s equipment and skills) and acts as the foundation for the entire island exploration system. As you may have guessed, Fast Travel allows Lara to instantly return to any previously explored location on the island. After a player “completes” any area on the island all the Base Camps discovered in that section are unlocked and will appear as a new travel location on the island’s map. This gives players the ability to instantly return to previously traversed areas to explore, build experience, salvage, and uncover the island’s many mysteries.
Fast Traveling back to any Base Camp pauses their progression though the Tomb Raider‘s main story. That progress is saved as a way point on the map, so that once the player is done exploring the island they can quickly return and continue to advance the game’s plot from where they left off.
The trailer also reveals that Crystal Dynamics has taken a few cues from Nintendo’s Metroid playbook with Tomb Raider‘s “Gear Gating” system. As players first explore though the island’s many areas they will often find that they lack the ability to access certain sections. As they progress though the game and gain new equipment (like the shot gun, fire arrow, and bow rope) they can then fast travel back to those locations and use the equipment to open up new areas to explore. For example; the shut gun’s secondary function is to clear passages that are blocked with barricades, and the bow rope can be used to make zip lines over otherwise impassible chasms and rivers.
While Tomb Raider‘s island is sectioned off into different areas, there does appear to be a huge open world aspect to the game that should allow for plenty of exploration. In fact, assuming the systems work as they are described in the trailer, an argument could be made that Tomb Raider features far more exploration than any other game in the series.
Check out the Tomb Raider Guide To Survival Episode 2: Exploration trailer below, and let us know your thoughts in the comments.