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Tomb Raider: Underworld spied in OPM (January 17)

Movement, weapons and more discussed

A few new details on Tomb Raider: Underworld have emerged from the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine in the UK, Lara's latest being this month's cover story.

Apparently surfaces will add further complications to gameplay, realistic water rendering certain environs dangerously slippery and meaning that Lara will, at times, have to sure-up her grip. Not that Lara's likely to be clumsy in Underworld, in fact, we're told "elegant movement" is one of the dev team's goals.

Miss Croft will now be able to cartwheel across beams and wall-kick up ledges. Producer Rob Pavey tells OPM that "the big theme this year is that Lara will be able to do anything that you'd expect her to be able to do."

Lara will also be able to use environmental elements in combat, such as a staff picked from the ground, which you can even duel-wield with a gun. Objects like this will also have use in some of the games puzzles and obstacles. We're told to expect plenty of non-human enemies in Underworld, with better targeting, and Lara will also have a motorbike to get her around.

Part of the game looks to be set in Mexico, but Crystal Dynamics aren't saying much, Pavey affirming that we'll be visiting "several continents, in places no-one has seen for centuries."

More soon.

Source: ,by Luke Guttridge

Tomb Raider Underworld - new details (January 17)

More info on the new "do anything" Lara

New details on the title have appeared in the latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine UK (it's the cover game), which explains how an Underworld level based in the ruins of a Mayan city is "jammed with detail and lashed with rain".

"Every crack in the architecture's running with shiny hid-def H20, and it'll actually affect Lara's progress - the water makes surfaces slippery, meaning she'll occasionally need to address her grip or risk falling off".

Speaking of new gameplay information, a major focus for Underworld is "elegant movement", project lead Rob Pavey says, and to this end we're told how Lara can do cartwheels across beams and wall-kick her way up medium-sized ledges. But, "The big theme this year is that Lara will be able to do anything that you'd expect her to be able to do", adds Pavey. Interesting...

OPM follows this up with an example of how Lara Croft can pick up a staff from the environment and use it in hand-to-hand combat and as a javelin, or duel-wield it with a gun. On top of that, she can even jam the staff into holes in walls and then swing on them gymnast-style to reach what you may have thought to be unreachable ledges.

In Underworld, Lara can shoot from pretty much anywhere and the weapon lock-on system has been improved, OPM continues, Pavey piping up that "Most enemies are non-human, because Lara's going places she's never been before".

And unlike the standalone vehicle levels in Legend, in Underworld Lara can jump on her motorbike whenever she likes and drive it pretty much anywhere.

Exactly where beyond Mexico Underworld will take Croft, Eidos isn't telling, only saying that the game takes place across "several continents, in places no-one has seen for centuries". Mysterious...

Read Official PlayStation Magazine UK's full Tomb Raider: Underworld feature in issue #15, on sale today..

Source: ,by Stuart Bishop