New Tomb Raider due by holiday 2011?

Crystal Dynamics said to be crafting a full-scale origin story for next installment in Lara Croft-led action adventure franchise.

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No Caption Provided Source: European gaming Web site Eurogamer.

What we heard: Crystal Dynamics is trying out a co-op focused, arcade-inspired, isometric downloadable take on Lara Croft with the Guardian of Light later this summer. But outside of the impending download-only release, the developer might be preparing a full-scale title as well.

An unnamed source told Eurogamer that the next entry in the long-standing Tomb Raider franchise is due out during the holiday 2011 season. What's more, concept artwork appearing on ex-Crystal Dynamics artist Joel Boucquemont's Web site, under the Tomb Raider tab, shows a variety of environs, ranging from cityscapes to eerie tombs.

Perhaps this is Lara's new look.
Perhaps this is Lara's new look.

The source verified last year's rumor that the game will be a "reboot" and will star a “young and inexperienced Lara Croft.” What's more, the conjecture said the game will take place in Japan and will tell the story of how Lara came to be a hardened adventurer, which are two claims the tipster verified.

The game is reportedly being developed by series studio Crystal Dynamics for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. According to the loose-lipped tipster, the development team has wrapped work on Guardian of Light and is now focused on the new game.

The official story: A representative from the game's publisher, Square Enix, has not responded to GameSpot's query for comment as of press time.

Bogus or not bogus?: Looking not bogus. While 2008's Tomb Raider: Underworld failed to meet once-independent Eidos' sales expectations, the franchise remains an industry staple. Further, Eidos chief financial officer Robert Brent affirmed the studio's commitment to the franchise last year, saying that its future may reside in a more female-friendly Lara Croft.

Plus, it's not like Lara Croft hasn't undergone a complete makover before. Following the poor performance of 2003's Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, the heroine was completely redesigned for the last series reboot, 2006's Tomb Raider: Legend.

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