In the first episode, Lara used her upgrades of both skill and wits to solve puzzles and challenges in her environment. These upgrades also helped her survive while stranded on the island within the Dragon’s Triangle, setting the game in the Pacific Ocean.
This time around, we see a new concept called Fast Travel and our first real look at the almost open-world nature of Tomb Raider. We also see how the base camp system works to achieve this alongside Lara upgrading items and creating new tools from the things she already has.
The way base camps work is, as Lara progresses through the game, she sets up camps at various stages along her discovery of the island. At these places, she can take refuge, build up her equipment, and use the exploration system called fast travel.
Fast travel is a unique part of the game where it lets the player basically put a pause on the main storyline of the game while Lara can explore any of the previously discovered locations on the island. Any of these base camps, whether it’s the site of the crash or an old WWII base Lara discovers, is somewhere she can instantly travel back to. She’ll be able to gather more clues as to the island’s secrets, gain experience, and collect more salvage for her journey. Using fast travel will also create waypoints to Lara’s main adventure so you can always hop right back into Tomb Raider‘s main storyline.
As Lara heads through some areas for the first time, she might not be equipped to handle every task thrown at her by the environment. This is where a concept called ‘gear gating’ comes into play. Gear gating is the expansion of Lara’s arsenal of tools and weapons to include things like fire arrows and bow rope to let her explore the island in its entirety. Bow rope is easily our favourite as it allows Lara to create her own zip-lines and anchors to cross canyons and traverse to new areas.
The next episode promises to bring all these concepts together to show how Lara can use them in combat and just how fluid and flexible Lara can be with her new (though rudimentary) tech.
We’re often excited for new games, but this is one that we can barely contain ourselves for. Tomb Raider launches for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 on March 5th.