Developer Crystal Dynamics confirmed that the next Tomb Raider game is coming and it will be built on Unreal Engine 5 technology. The announcement was made towards the end of the latest State of Unreal presentation from Epic Games.
Dallas Dickinson, franchise general manager for Tomb Raider at Crystal Dynamics said development has just begun on Unreal Engine 5. “Crystal Dynamics is proud to be a part of the launch of Unreal Engine 5,” said Dickinson. “This new engine translates into next level storytelling in gameplay experiences. Our goal is to push the envelope of fidelity and to deliver the high-quality cinematic action/adventure experience that fans deserve.”
The next Tomb Raider game will be the thirteenth mainline entry in the franchise, if you’re counting all the various continuity reboots that have made across the series. The most recent one was 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider, which appeared to put a cap on the ‘Survivor’ timeline that featured a more grounded and vulnerable Lara Croft (voiced and mocapped by Camilla Luddington).
Last year, Crystal Dynamics announced that it would be unifying the Tomb Raider timelines to create a single coherent history that ties in concepts and events from classic Tomb Raider games and the more modern ones. This would allow the developer to create new adventures for Lara without having to discard previous stories and characters entirely.
No timeline was given regarding the new game, nor was any kind of visual teaser or trailer presented. But Crystal Dynamics recently welcomed a new leader into their fold. Jess Ross, who was game director of Days Gone at Sony’s Bend Studio, announced that he had joined the California-based developer as a game director, though he did not disclose the game (understandably.)
Crystal Dynamics is a very busy developer. In addition to the new Tomb Raider game, it currently manages the development of Marvel’s Avengers, its live service hero brawler game. It is also co-developing the Perfect Dark reboot in partnership with The Initiative and Xbox Game Studios, though there appear to be some struggles on that project.
In other Tomb Raider developments, Netflix will be adapting the adventures of Lara Croft for an exclusive animated series. A sequel is also currently in development for the 2018 film that starred Alicia Vikander in the title role, but has not yet been greenlit.