At the end of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider reboot of 2013, the game gave us a very quick look at the potential next outing for Lara. The book our heroine looks through as she mutters “I’m not going home” has scraps of Russian characters as well as a map which, arguably doesn’t point to anything.
The characters seem to be English words rewritten in Russian text, translating roughly to “lost villages”, which could be a direct nod to the Remnants in Rise of the Tomb Raider. It could also just be a simpler connection to the fact that most of Rise of the Tomb Raider takes place in Siberia, and that this story was planned long before Rise was ever announced.
Fast forward to the ending of Rise of the Tomb Raider when the camera pans to a shot of a desk with maps and photos of Mexico, complete with a huge red circle around the country’s Yucatan peninsula, including Cozumel.
Looking closely at the surrounding scraps of paper we see a few interesting things:
- At the bottom of the map is written “New Spain”
- This is a reference to the real-world colony comprising of Spain’s possessions in the new world (North and Central America), and established following the fall of the Aztec Empire in 1521.
- We assume that Tomb Raider III would be based on real places and stories since both the 2013 game as well as Rise of the Tomb Raider rely on real-world stories as the base for their narrative, taking place in Japan and Siberia, respectively.
- The Bay of Campechy is labelled on the map
- This references the expedition to discover the lands and surrounding area in 1517, just a few years before the colony was declared New Spain
- A business card for Kennard Montez, who has some affiliation with the Archivio Segreto Vatican, the renowned secret Vatican archives
- Kennard Montez was first introduced in the Tomb Raider comic book and was Lara’s love interest and rival archaeologist. There is quite obviously no word as to how he would play into the game’s story at this point.
- The writing “Location 3” on a scrap of paper with five symbols
- This is perhaps the most obvious clue that this will be leading to the third game, but it could be a red herring as the symbols don’t seem to point anywhere specific.
- Scribbled words, “Army of the dead?”
- This may be a reference to Mexico’s called Day of the Dead, the gathering of people to remember their friends and family who have passed. It is also a perfectly creepy jumping off point for a new story.
So, is this where Lara is going next? We can only imagine that to be the case, as our favourite action-adventure heroine has proven to be a big seller for both Square Enix and Microsoft and quite the success among fans alike.
Let’s make it very clear: the next Tomb Raider game has not been announced, but we like the clues we’re getting as to where a theoretical game could be headed.
Given the previous two-and-a-half year span between Raider releases, we expect the next instalment of Lara’s adventure to be announced at E3 2017 and released the following year, either in Spring or Holiday 2018.
We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything from Crystal Dynamics, Square Enix, or Microsoft on the future of Tomb Raider. Take a look at the photos in question below.