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Crystal Dynamics announces the next Tomb Raider title developed on Unreal Engine 5

Lara Croft will return with Unreal Engine 5 (Image by Crystal Dynamics)
Lara Croft will return with Unreal Engine 5 (Image by Crystal Dynamics)

Crystal Dynamics has officially announced a new Tom Raider title which is currently being developed on Unreal Engine 5. Crystal Dynamics is already working on The Initiative’s Perfect Dark.

Both Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider franchise have become an iconic part of video game history. Fans have been awaiting the franchise’s return since Lara Croft's last appearance in 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

During today’s Unreal Engine 5 Showcase, Crystal Dynamics officially announced the title’s development, along with an announcement that it will be “powered by Unreal Engine 5”.

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The next Tomb Raider game will be built using Unreal Engine 5

Since the PS1 debut, Lara Croft has established herself as an icon in the video game industry. While the franchise thrived in the late 90s and early 2000s, a lot changed during the mid-2000s.

The Legend Trilogy, which consists of Legend (2006), Anniversary (2007), and Underworld (2008), was Crystal Dynamics’ first involvement in the franchise, taking the lead from Core Design. However, the trilogy failed to live up to its potential and is generally considered to be a pretty unmemorable era for the franchise.

Crystal Dynamics is incredibly excited about the future of Unreal and how it will help us take our storytelling to the next level. That's why we're proud to announce that our next #tombraider game is being built on Unreal Engine 5! https://t.co/UFMiWzJAZc

With the 2013 Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics rebooted the series with a younger Lara Croft and opted for a more linear gameplay approach with high-octane action scenes. The title was a certified hit and was followed by two sequels, Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015) and Shadow of the Tomb Raider (2018). The Survivor Trilogy features these three titles.

During the Unreal Engine 5 showcase, the studio announced the next entry in the franchise. The official announcement by Crystal Dynamics states:

"Crystal Dynamics is proud to be a part of the launch of Unreal Engine 5. This new engine translates into next-level storytelling and gameplay experiences. And that's why we are thrilled to announce today that we have just started the development of our next Tomb Raider game. Powered by Unreal Engine 5."

They also spoke about their vision for the game:

"Our goal is to push the envelope of fidelity and to deliver the high-quality cinematic action-adventure experience that fans deserve from both Crystal Dynamics and the Tomb Raider franchise. We can't wait to take this journey together. Thank you, and congratulations again to the Epic Games Team." "

The franchise was previously developed on the Foundation Engine, an in-house engine by Crystal Dynamics. The next entry, with Crystal Dynamics switching over to the Unreal Engine, is certainly an interesting change. Having a commercially available engine will undoubtedly help Crystal Dynamics focus more on the game and less on the development of the engine.

In many ways, the development of the next title is similar to that of the new Witcher game. Both titles follow up on a great trilogy and are swapping out in-house engines (Foundation Engine and Red Engine) for Unreal Engine 5.

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Unreal Engine 5 is quickly shaping up to be an amazing development platform for studios. Aside from Crystal Dynamics and CD Projekt Red, many Xbox studios are also developing titles on Unreal Engine 5. The Coalition also recently showed off a beautiful cinematic demo made using Unreal Engine.

All in all, fans are excited for the next entry of the iconic franchise, although it isn’t coming anytime soon.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish
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