Tomb Raider to include multiplayer?

In the past few months, we’ve been treated to a lot of news about Crystal Dynamics’ upcoming Tomb Raider. It seems today we have some of the biggest news we’ve seen since E3: the possible existence of multiplayer for the franchise.

French news site All Games Beta has a short writeup (a few bullet points, actually) that points to a variety of multiplayer modes within the new Square Enix-published title.

It says that you do not take on the role of Lara at all, but rather her shipmates (presumably before the wreck) or the Yamati scavengers that we already know too much about. The inclusion of her shipmates means we might be seeing more of the game take place before the wreck than we original thought, as we were led to believe the game begins with the ship’s crashing ashore.

All Games Beta’s report actually comes after they supposedly uncovered a since-removed image from UK retailer GAME‘s product description which mentioned multiplayer. If the description said “multiplayer” without any other details, we would’ve simply brushed this off. But the retailer seemed to go into a fair amount of detail, including the shipmates and scavengers as playable characters.

Square Enix has also let us know that we can expect a special announcement that will “change the way you play Tomb Raider forever.” Forgive us if that doesn’t sound like multiplayer. Never before has there been any multiplayer modes in a Tomb Raider game, so this could be a nice diversion and awesome gameplay addition if it gets pulled off.

We do have one request, though it is probably far too late at this point: Please do not include a multiplayer mode for the sake of including a multiplayer mode. People who love the Tomb Raider franchise love incredible storytelling. The goal should be to create a beautiful, immersive story first, and interesting additive gameplay elements second. If this ends up like Halo 4, we won’t be entirely upset, but we’ll take a longer, deeper campaign over tacked-on multiplayer any day.

Tomb Raider launches March 5th, 2013. Look for our review around the same time!