Tomb Raider: Anniversary Q&A - Demo Details, General Game Updates

Get the details on the new demo and more updates on the general game.

The classic Tomb Raider third-person action series launched the career of Lara Croft more than 10 years ago, and now, publisher Eidos and developer Crystal Dynamics are going back to Miss Croft's roots with a remake of the original game from 1996. GameSpot is premiering the demo version of the game, which you can download here, and we have new details on what's in the demo, as well as what's planned for the final game, from executive producer Matthew Guzenda.

GS: Let's talk about the demo. What level are you showcasing, and where was it taken from in the game? Can you give us some setup as to what's going on?

Lara Croft returns in an anniversary celebration of her many adventures.

Matthew Guzenda: The demo starts at one of my personal favorite spots from the first game, which was the waterfall in the first level. This is about a third of the way through the first level, which is set in Peru. Lara's there searching for part of an ancient artifact called the Scion.

GS: How long is the demo to play through, approximately? How difficult is it compared to the other levels in the game? Are there any hints or tips that you feel you should give the audience at this point?

MG: The demo will probably take the average player about 20 minutes to play, although there are several hidden items throughout the level which will take the player much longer to find. It's pretty early in the first level, so we're not too rough with the player at this point. The puzzle by the waterfall is a three-stage puzzle, but you really only need to complete one stage to reach the end of the demo. In order to finish the demo, you don't need to climb to the top of the waterfall, but I encourage players to go up there first, as there are several goodies hidden there. Also, who doesn't want to swan dive off the top?

GS: What are the system requirements for the demo? What do you recommend to play the game with?

MG: The minimum system requirements are as follows:

Minimum Specification
OPERATING SYSTEM:
Microsoft Windows 2000, XP, Vista
CPU:
Pentium 3 1.4GHz or Athlon XP 1500+
RAM:
256MB (for Windows 2000/XP)
512MB (for Windows Vista)
GRAPHICS:
100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 64MB 3D Accelerated Card with TnL (GeForce 3Ti/Radeon 9 series)
SOUND:
Microsoft Windows 2000/XP/Vista compatible sound card (100% DirectX 9.0c compatible)
DVD-ROM:
Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
HARD DRIVE:
4GB free disk space
INPUT DEVICES:
100% Windows 2000/XP/Vista compatible mouse and keyboard

The recommended system requirements are as follows:

Recommended Specification
OPERATING SYSTEM:
Microsoft Windows XP, Vista
CPU:
Pentium 4 3.0GHz or Athlon 64 3000+
RAM:
1GB RAM
GRAPHICS:
100% DirectX 9.0c compatible 64MB 3D Accelerated Card with Vertex Shader 2.0 and Pixel Shader 2.0 (GeForce 6000 series/Radeon X series)
SOUND:
Microsoft Windows XP/Vista compatible sound card (100% DirectX 9.0c compatible)
DVD-ROM:
Quad-speed (4x) DVD-ROM drive
HARD DRIVE:
4GB free disk space
INPUT DEVICES:
100% Windows XP/Vista compatible mouse and keyboard/Xbox 360 controller for Windows

The game will feature new puzzles and content to complement what appeared in the original Tomb Raider.

GS: Let's talk about the game itself. What was the reasoning behind remaking the original Tomb Raider as opposed to simply making a new Tomb Raider game, especially considering that the amount of effort to remake the original was probably the same amount required for a new game?

MG: Tomb Raider: Anniversary really is about celebrating the series. We thought the best way to celebrate 10 years of the franchise was to go back where it all began and to remake the first Tomb Raider game. Technology has moved on in 10 years, and we thought that it would be a compelling gaming experience to re-create the original game from the ground up, taking advantage of today's tech.

GS: This isn't simply a straight remake, as you had to flesh out existing puzzles and create whole new ones for the game. What was the philosophy behind what content to keep from the original and what to basically rewrite from scratch?

MG: We wanted to keep themes from the original game even though we were building all-new content. For instance, the puzzle in the demo keeps the theme from the original game; it revolves around finding cogs for a mechanism tied to the waterfall. Each cog activates a portion of the puzzle. Using the movement system, you then have to interact with the moving puzzle to work yourself up to the top of the cliff. The original game had the cog puzzle, but there was none of the movement challenge or interaction with the puzzle, as there wasn't a physics system. We spent a lot of time identifying the memorable bits from the original game and trying to re-create them, taking advantage of game systems that we have now. In the end, our objective was to take inspiration from the original game and create a new Tomb Raider adventure that would deliver a sense of nostalgia, but also a really exciting and compelling Tomb Raider gameplay experience.

GS: We understand that there's a greater emphasis on story in the remake, mainly because the original glossed over the story for the most part. How did you enhance the story, and what other aspects of the original did you have to fix or address?

MG: The original story was pretty sparse. We used this as an opportunity to clarify some of the points that were pretty abstract in the original game. We also wanted to tie in the original storyline with the storyline that we started in Tomb Raider: Legend.

Along the way, Lara will also do plenty of running, jumping, and shooting.

GS: It looks pretty primitive now, but the original Tomb Raider looked amazing in its day. Could you give us a comparison of the technical differences between the original and the remake? For instance, how many polygons were there in the original Lara Croft, and how many are there in the remake version?

MG: Graphics technology has come a long way in 10 years. I don't have exact numbers, but I think the original Lara was built with about 300 polygons, while the current model has about 5,000. The memory footprint for just Lara in the current game is more than the entire memory footprint for the original game (environment, Lara, and sounds).

GS: Tomb Raider II was an even bigger commercial and critical hit than its predecessor, and there are undoubtedly many fans who would like to see that sequel get the remake treatment. Are there any thoughts or plans to this effect, or will we see a whole new Lara adventure next?

MG: We left a lot of unanswered questions in Tomb Raider: Legend, so I think we'd like to get back there first. But you never know.

GS: Finally, is there anything else that you'd like to add about the demo or Tomb Raider: Anniversary?

MG: If you liked the original Tomb Raider game, you're really going to enjoy Tomb Raider: Anniversary. If you've never played the original game, play Tomb Raider: Anniversary and find out what you missed.

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Discussion

48 comments
FurirPK
FurirPK

Seems to be a very good game for once and it remind me off the old Tomb Raider style. I hated the other versions.... But I have only played the demo so =P Shouldn't say so much about the hole game =P

mugugipan
mugugipan

Does her ass look especially hot on the cover or what?!!

depeare
depeare

I have both the demo and the game tap (oh sorry) on-line version to play with and I like TRAnn. I've always loved TR on the PS console, now I'm on PC for everything. My system exceeds the min requirements but I have a control problem. Either the keyboard controls are to touchy, respond too quickly, or the game requires a game pad to settle down and move smoothly. I'll try that next.

dklingen
dklingen

Having played the original Tomb Raider I am bewildered that they have screwed up the PC controls so badly. Why isn't there an option to manual target and use a cross hair while moving. The whole game is focused on gamepad (ala consoles) with the PC mouse/keyboard being after thought. They just keep dumbing games down - pretty soon it will auto-target and shoot for you, plus give you directions on how to get through a map (you won't even have to reload - oh yeah you don't). If they were going to recreate the original why couldn't they offer the original control scheme - arggg!!!!

snakes2solid
snakes2solid

crc failure while demo was installing on my pc... i'm over the system specs to run the game so i shouldn't have a problem.... what is crc failure??

jalen_222
jalen_222

ya baby !!! but i too miss Lara's little 'hop back' and 'side jump' maneouvers - wisht they coulda been included as an option.

Amanda_485
Amanda_485

The game is very cool!!! I love it! Tomb Raider is my fav game serie.

g3n3r41xan
g3n3r41xan

hmmm, i might actually get this one, but still ill check the demo out first

HumanoMexicano
HumanoMexicano

I just hope they make it for 360 not just old gen, and yes wii is old gen by any standard leave it at that. The only good release will be the pc one that is, if you have a good comp to run it right+ a remote. Another thing is what was up with legend and the sword stuff? Kinda weird I just hope they finish or explain the series and not start doing a TR2 remake on the ps2, ugggh.

Kuzmyc
Kuzmyc

Nice game Respect from Lithuania

brain20035
brain20035

cool dude! I'm waiting to get my hands on it

CarCrazy709
CarCrazy709

Pre-ordered a few days ago. It's definitely going to top Legend as the best in series.

kappareign
kappareign

i hope the new game brings back the spirit of the original

1239jonwhite
1239jonwhite

I miss the original control scheme. I still can’t make her walk or step left and right in this demo ????

Adeboli
Adeboli

Looking forward to playing this game later today. Tip: Buy Anniversary on STEAM, it's almost 60% cheaper!

XtaszY
XtaszY

Yup, Lara is back again ;) , I still wait a full new version , something new like legend, some new innovation and more interactivity This demo is very good, but I still wait....

NoAssKicker47
NoAssKicker47

I started playing this game. So far it's pretty fun, though combat doesn't feel too responsive.

HellsKing
HellsKing

mmm hot chick doing an Indiana Jones rip off...can't go wrong =D

hijunaid
hijunaid

It's my first experience with lara craft .....really enjoying this very much.

yaeh
yaeh

thats is very gooooooooood i love these game

vufor
vufor

Brilliant, old school in new shell. That sounds good to me! Cant wait to try out.

rmj
rmj

Great game Just finished It! Lots of fun! Except for the Bosses, then it just button smashing time! Each boss is different to finish off! and it can be agravating figureing out how! other then that the GAME WAS A BLAST!

bruno504
bruno504

I've played two or tree levels of this new TBR8 -Ahpha version-, and belive me, this game is fantastic!!!. It has Beautiful/Realistic graphics, Sounds are good, easyier to play. I've played all of realeased tombraider's, and this one I may say is the same story as TBR1, but made with new graficx technology. I tested this beautifull graphics on one dualcore2x2.4Ghz with one ATI DDR256Mb PCIe graphic card, Asus MotherB. "Simply the Best" - If u like adventure games, this is one of the best. »»» Buy it to support more new adventures in future.»»»

percyng
percyng

I'm really like the first Tomb Raider. The graphic is much more better now. I like it.. Gooooooooooooooood !

bodylotion
bodylotion

Though i have doubts this game will give me the thrilling feeling the first one gave me im still going to get this one and re-do old times with a mate like we did 10 years ago.

bogart19
bogart19

I finished the demo of Tomb Raider Anniversary and have to say that it was a bit to easy for most, Legend was much better to play. I never had a chance to play the original so I don't know how well the rest of the game will play out. The graphics were not as bright as Legend, I hope that is just the demo! I still intend to buy the game though, if not just to see how it plays! Chuck

spike042
spike042

Just finished the demo and I'll definitely be gettin the full thing once its out =] But does anyone else think they over-did the dof a tad...? Or did I miss the option to control how close to Lara it starts to blur?

Sokol4ever
Sokol4ever

Nothing wrong with that Daniel :) It has been quite some time since first Lara's adventure. I do remember some parts of it, however this will be a great chance to re-play it once again. The Queen is back !

daniel_kay
daniel_kay

The Demo was good so far, a few unpolished spots thought like the controlls responding a bit sloppy... oh and they should tone down her voice a bit, during jumping passages she sounds like she´s having a multiple orgasm :P

Overseer76
Overseer76

Cool. I missed the Lara Croft "boat" when it was a shiny new franchise, and as a result never opted in for any of the sequels, so I for one am looking forward to adventuring "old school style".

aikao
aikao

I have been an fan of Lara since I bought Tomb Raider on the Sega Saturn back when it was released in October of 1996, before the Playstation Version, which I traded the Saturn version for after seeing the graphical improvement. Now, I am very impressed with the Tomb Raider series lasting through all the negative in order to be given a remake of the original. I have been exploring Anniversary on the PC demo for a while, and I must admit that, so far, it plays better than Legend (not looks, but plays). Glad to see Lara back, the original game deserves this remake, as does all of Lara's games. Gamespot was right when they reviewed the first Tomb Raider, we will be searching for lost artifacts (N64s) in Tomb Raider 5 before you know it. Too bad it doesn't have any online functionality. Can't be too picky. See you in the Tomb.

hate-this-werid
hate-this-werid

Will i own all these games except for #5(Chronicles) because i can't find a copy of it anywere:( Will this game is diffently going to be a great game i liked the last sence when she was going to duel the T-Rex very Lara Croft style lol

silent_riku
silent_riku

uhm... question... is it gonna be on X-Box 360?? or maybe PS3?? or is it strictly PC, PS2 and Wii.... I think I missed something.... hmm... I'll take another look... maybe I just missed the part of X-Box 360 and PS3....

red_x2004
red_x2004

Am really looking forward to play this game since in my opinion Tomb Raider : legend was the most improved sequel for the series.

peace-fist
peace-fist

My oldist brother never let me play the original when I was a kid. But now, I got the updated version sucker! HA! The demo was good by the way, very good. The queen of platformers is back! She may not have anything new here, but she can still 'hang' with the best of them. And the graphics are well done too, thanks to the great graphic engine. (I love that effect when you come out of the water all wet.) ;)

Ashkanhoss29
Ashkanhoss29

the demo was awsome, I'm definitly getting this

BrUnOdeFeNiX
BrUnOdeFeNiX

Hey People, I get demo, and I didn't needed to use 3d analyzer, RUN normally on Geforce 4 MX. Some effects u never will put ON. It's a good game and I think that anyone doesn't did open the Underwater gate in DEMO. I will get the complete.

GrizzlyJim
GrizzlyJim

The article is very interesting, as I played the original game and found it fantastic at the time. But, nobody even mentions WHEN the Demo will be available...

angkawsw
angkawsw

I never played Tomb Raider 1 in 1996.. I wasnt that interested in it at first.. but this one looked mad!!!

spiderman120988
spiderman120988

Definitely getting this!! It'll be my first Tomb Raider game. (Back in 1996, I wasn't much a gamer because I thought it was a waste of time. Boy, how wrong was I, since games are chock full of imagination and creativity).

BrUnOdeFeNiX
BrUnOdeFeNiX

I have a Geforce 4 MX, but I have a good program and If i use this program, maybe I will play the game. The program is 3D ANALYZER.

ksyme99
ksyme99

This should be fun, really liked the original and legends was a great step in the right direction for the series!

searsbarnett
searsbarnett

Superb. It will be nice to visit TR again and play it the way it was meant to be.