Thursday, February 28, 2013

Endurance Week: Meet The Crew

Last week was Endurance Week on the official Tomb Raider blog. Each day a new crew member was showcased, detailing their bio and past connection with the other characters. Meet the crew below.

Lara Croft
Real Name: Lara Croft
Age: 21
Nationality: British
Occupation: Recently graduated Archaeologist. Also worked several part-time jobs as a student to help pay her way through university, including bar work.
Interests: Archery, rock climbing & hiking, reading & research.

A bit of a workaholic, Lara is an unassuming and rather bookish young woman, making her way through life in search of meaning and direction after the disappearance of her parents while on an expedition. She is a product of a privileged childhood, and was initially sheltered from many of the harsh realities of life. Growing up, Lara spent time travelling with her parents on archaeological expeditions. She developed a worldly outlook and a passion for ancient mysteries.

The search for Yamatai marks her first job after graduating from university. Although it is her first time as a full crewmember, it is not her first time on the Endurance. She spent time in her early adolescence on the ship when her father used to hire Roth for expeditions, and took several smaller trips more recently as an intern when she could get time away from her studies. Her best friend Samantha and the crew of the Endurance are the closest thing to family that Lara has.

She possesses a powerful sense of moral (if not physical) courage. Lara is clever, resourceful and determined. When push comes to shove, Lara’s loyalty to her friends outweighs her fear for her own safety.

Real Name: Conrad Roth
Age: 52
Nationality: British (Sheffield/Southern Yorkshire)
Occupation: Captain of The Endurance, Freelance salvage and treasure hunter, ex military.
Interests: Rock climbing, hiking and wreck diving.

After serving two combat tours with the RMC (Royal Marine Commandos) Roth left the military and put his specialized skills to use as wreck-diver and freelance treasure-hunter. Roth traveled the world, earning a reputation for toughness, competence, and a willingness to bend inconvenient laws restricting traffic in historical artifacts. Those qualities attracted the attention of wealthy private collectors including Lara’s parents. For several years, Roth accompanied Richard Croft on over a dozen treasure-hunting expeditions, acting as a guide and, when necessary, bodyguard.

Roth has modeled his style of leadership on that of his hero, the explorer Ernest Shackleton. The welfare and safety of his crew is paramount to Roth and he prides himself on instinctively knowing who is going to make a good crewmember. He is also a hands-on leader who knows how to boost the morale of his shipmates, have fun and remain both optimistic and realistic.

Real Name: Samantha Nishimura
Age: 22
Nationality: Portuguese, Japanese citizenship. English and Japanese speaking
Occupation: Documentary Producer/Translator, but receives regular money from her rich family.
Interests: High living, clubbing, spending money, travel and adventure

Samantha’s mother is a Portuguese model who was working in LA when she met Sam’s father, a media mogul from Japan. Growing up she moved a lot, not just down the street, but between continents. As a result Samantha was often the outsider in school, and gained attention by being a bit of a wild child.

Samantha is a budding documentary filmmaker and like Lara has a passion for uncovering the untold stories of the world. Despite her rebellious streak, Samantha has extremely expensive taste in clothes. Sam really can’t understand why Lara refuses to touch her fortune, and sometimes ribs her about it, but she doesn’t let it get in the way of their friendship.

Samantha and Lara share a feeling of being out of place in the world and feed on each other’s thirst for adventure.

Real Name: Alex Weiss
Age: 24
Nationality: American
Occupation: Ship’s technician. Also a very skilled hacker and electronics geek.
Has made a living largely through legally dodgy and flawed avenues, but only doing things he considers ‘victimless crimes’ although his definition of this is pretty wide.
Interests: Hacking, specifically defacing websites for kudos or hacking online gambling sites for fun and profit. Reading up about all the new tech stuff, Bit-torrenting everything and gaming. He is also an avid conspiracy theorist.

Alex is the Endurance’s technician, handyman, and all-around “radio-shack genius.” Despite his impressive technical and scientific background, Alex is the most “out-there” member of the crew. Alex’s MacGyver-like talent for jury-rigging technical devices and being somewhat of a ‘machine whisperer’ is very useful to the survivors. He’s a bit of genius and could probably be enormously successful in the technology field if he actually applied himself properly.

Alex knows this about himself and thus tends to do the very bear minimum amount of work needed to do the job and always “just squeaks by” as a result. Alex is a bit of a joker, and although he’s quite witty, he can be pretty crass. He also has a charming side and is more sensitive than he likes to let on. Alex has a fascination with conspiracy theories, alien abduction stories, and urban legends of all sorts.

Real Name: Joslin Reyes
Age: 42
Height: 5’8”
Nationality: American
Occupation: Ex-cop turned mechanic
Interests: Tinkering about with engines

Joslin ‘Jos’ Reyes grew up in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Queens, New York. She’s straight talking and no nonsense, but has warm side she doesn’t share easily. She is also fiercely loyal and someone you really wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of. After being accused for the murder of a local gang leader, Reyes was suspended from the NYPD. Due to a natural affinity with engines, she re-trained and found work as a mechanic.

Reyes and Roth have known each other for 10 years, and on occasion she works on his ship as chief mechanic. Reyes has a 6-year-old daughter, Alisha. Alisha often lives with Reyes’ sister when she’s off working with ‘Uncle Roth’. Reyes hates being away from her, but Roth pays better than any garage she’s ever worked for. Getting back home to her daughter is always Reyes’ main motivation. One day she’d like to make enough money to open her own garage and spend more time with her daughter. Because of Alisha, Reyes won’t sacrifice herself for anyone, but will still put herself in danger for people when her cop training kicks in.

Real Name: Jonah Maiava
Age: 33
Nationality: New Zealand/American
Occupation: Cook and general ships dogsbody.
Interests: Fishing, the outside, inventing new recipes

Jonah was born in New Zealand, but raised in Hawaii by his maternal grandmother. As a young man, he traveled back to his home country to serve in the army. His strength and almost preternatural ability to detect danger made him a popular member of his unit. And his ability to prepare and cook almost anything didn’t hurt either.

After sustaining injuries in the line of duty, Jonah was honorably discharged and went to work as a chef in his sister’s cafĂ© in Ngapuhi. While in New Zealand, Roth encountered Jonah dockside carrying four crates of seafood at once. Impressed by his strength (and later his cooking), Roth offered him a place on the Endurance.

Real Name: Angus Grimaldi
Age: 60’s
Height: 5’8”
Nationality: Scottish
Occupation: Helmsman and first aid officer.
Interests: Football, cats, Irn-Bru (a non-alcoholic beer)

Grim grew up in ‘The Gorbals’ of Glasgow, Scotland, one of the toughest places in the UK. As a child he always felt a kinship with water and often built makeshift boats out of junk and taught himself to sail on the nearby river Clyde. There’s nothing about sailing and water that Grim doesn’t know, and he has sailed all the oceans of the world, which included stints working for the Merchant Navy where he met Roth.

Roth and Grim found a kinship and stuck together after their service. They traveled the world and took any job that paid well, all of them dangerous and most of them legal. Grim and Roth saved each other’s skin on numerous occasions. When Roth purchased the Endurance, Roth wouldn’t trust anyone else but Grim at her helm.

Dr. Whitman
• Real Name: Dr. James ‘Jim’ Whitman
• Age: 43-45
• Nationality: American
• Occupation: Lead archaeologist, author and TV presenter/documentarian
• Interests: Glitzy showbiz parties, book launches, dining in the best restaurants, and expensive travel.

Dr. Whitman studied at Harvard and is both an expert in Archaeology and Anthropology. He also took his PHD at Cambridge University in the UK and taught at many schools around the world. However, over the last few years Whitman has moved into TV series and documentary making and became quite a popular presenter with a successful range of tie-in books. This has made him both a golden-boy and a black-sheep to the archaeological community. The former for increasing exposure and interest in archaeology and the latter for ‘selling his soul to TV’. Dr. Whitman has had a bit of a run of bad fortune and only recently emerged from a messy divorce.

His TV series is also in danger of not being renewed unless he finds some new and exciting angle; a problem that he’s not keen to share with the rest of the crew. He privately hopes that the trip will give him material for a new TV series and, along with Sam’s footage, the commissioning editors will come crawling to him.

Monday, February 25, 2013

A Wonderful Illustration by Sam Spratt!

A remarkable piece to celebrate a remarkable week. Congratulations to the entire development team on all the positive reviews for Tomb Raider. You all have put your heart and soul into this project and it shows. Thank you - Lara Croft is back!

Tomb Raider Reviews Incoming!

The reviews for Tomb Raider are rolling in like crazy, and they are looking great! Even more than great! :D
Reblogged From: provocativesociety
I decided to do this for those who don’t feel like wondering to the ends of the internet to find them all, here you go! I’ll update this as much as I can!

Clueless Gamer: Conan O'Brien Reviews Tomb Raider

New Screenshots To Celebrate Tomb Raider Review Day!

It's review time for Tomb Raider and so far I have seen a lot of very positive reviews! To celebrate, here are some brand new screens hot off the press! I am freaking out about that compound bow!!!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Tomb Raider Limited Edition XBOX 360 Controller Unboxing

It's been a while, but here is my unboxing of the Tomb Raider XBOX 360 controller. With each controller you receive a code for the Scavenger Archer Multiplayer Character. He looks pretty sweet! I also drop a hint about my TBA give away.

Guide To Survival - Episode 3: Survival Combat

In this final episode we see Lara's scrappy approach to combat. Keep your eyes peeled for new moves and upgraded weapons!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tomb Raider PC Requirements Revealed, Finally

The PC version of Tomb Raider has been developed in tandem between Crystal Dynamics and long-time partner Nixxes, and we’re proud to be continuing this tradition. The relationship has spanned over a dozen PC titles, and dates back fifteen years. The PC edition also has the benefits of an ongoing partnership with AMD, with Tomb Raider extensively optimized to include unique AMD tech that supports AMD HD3D, AMD Eyefinity for capable PCs, and more.

So here it is – the full list of PC enhancements and features for Tomb Raider, including minimum and recommended system requirements!

System Requirements 

Minimum system requirements for PC

  • Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista,7,8 (32bit/64bit)
  • DirectX 9 graphics card with 512Mb Video RAM: AMD Radeon HD 2600 XT, nVidia 8600
  • Dual core CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 2.1 Ghz (4050+), Intel Core2 Duo 1.86 Ghz (E6300)
  • 1GB Memory (2GB on Vista) 

Recommended system requirements for PC

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8
  • DirectX 11 graphics card with 1GB Video RAM: AMD Radeon HD 5870  nVidia GTX 480
  • Quad core CPU: AMD Phenom II X2 955, Intel Core i5-750
  • 4GB Memory 
  • PC Enhancements 

General Features

  • Full integration with Steamworks to offer cloud storage for saves, multiplayer matchmaking, achievements, as well as automatic updates and new content.
  • Support for Steam Big Picture Mode.
  • Configurable mouse and keyboard support.
  • Gamepad support. 

High-end Graphics

  • Very high resolution textures with up to 16x the amount of data
  • Detail Tessellation to enhance the detail on many surfaces in the game
  • Higher quality shadows
  • High quality bokeh depth of field with near-blur
  • Tessellation algorithms used to smooth out geometry
  • Improved cloth, SSAO, quality wetness effects, and post-filter effects.
  • LOD quality is adjustable for better quality on higher-end machines. 

Low-End Graphics

  • Crystal cares about TR fans being able to run on older systems, unlike many other games they still support Windows XP.
  • A lot of scalability options to suit a range of machines. 

Game Trailers - The Tomb Raider Retrospective Part 2

Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival Preview

Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival
Pages: 272 
Size: 8.5 x 11 
Price: $40.00 

  • Character Development - Follow the development of Lara Croft and other favorite characters from beginning concept sketches to finished renders.
  • Extensive Commentary - Filled with commentary by Senior Art Director Brian Horton who worked with BradyGames to carefully select each image, creating a one-of-a-kind look behind the scenes of this eagerly anticipated game. Follow the creation process as Brian explains the decisions behind each pivotal moment in the game and how they played an important part in the imagining of this iconic franchise.
  • Stunning images - Printed on high-quality paper explore this unique and dangerous world with hundreds of images, including a close look at the environments and enemies. 
Pre-Order from Amazon or the Tomb Raider Store.

New Cover Stories and Brand New Art!

Tomb Raider Collector's Edition Un-Boxing!!!

Watch as the lovely Meagan Marie and the awesome Larry Hryb dig into the North American Collector's Edition! All that new merch from the official TR Store is looking amazing too! I can't wait to get my hands on this great stuff! How about you?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Official Tomb Raider Store Launched Today!

The Official Tomb Raider Store Is Now Open! I love it! I've had dreams of this day and it has finally come! Head on over to to check out all the goods. Keep an eye out because it sounds like they're not done yet... :O  :X :X

Final Voice Actresses Announced

Guiomar Alburquerque Duran is the Spanish voice for Lara Croft.

Polina Sherbakova is the Russian voice for Lara Croft.

Vista Fall Concept Art Released

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tomb Raider Original Soundtrack Available For Pre-Order

That's right! The first official physical Tomb Raider soundtrack ever to be released is available for pre-order now from! You can find the full track listing on Amazon, but I refuse to look at it. I want to experience the music in the game first. ;)

"What you hold in your hands is the culmination of more than two years of work and musical exploration. It contains all the musical elements I love, wrapped up neatly together - mysterious textures, evocative percussion and thematic developments to die for.
It's been wonderful accompanying Lara through her first adventure. I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed composing it." Jason Graves/Composer

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Countdown To Tomb Raider

There are many of us counting down the days to the release of Tomb Raider. Here's a little something while we wait!

The Tomb Raider Retrospective on GameTrailers

GameTrailers kicks off with the 1st of 3 episodes today! Keep a look out.

Square Enix Presents The 20 Days of Tomb Raider

Square Enix Blog

Check back daily for interesting tid-bits.

New Pre-Order Incentives!

Some new pre-order information has come about. Word on the street is (and by on the street, I mean straight from Global Brand Director, Karl Stewart's Twitter account) that if you pre-order the game from Target in the U.S. you will receive an exclusive and limited steelbook! This steelbook is different from the previous images we have seen, supposedly being the European edition. See the differences below. I have not been able to find any other details about this offer officially, but that didn't stop me from booking it to Target and pre-ordering my 5th copy! You will also receive a free $5 giftcard from Target.

U.S. Exclusive Limited Steelbook

European Steelbook

Also, you can receive 1600 Microsoft points if you pre-order from the Microsoft Store. This info is on the official Tomb Raider website and the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft Points Pre-Order