After over a year of silence, the Tomb Raider mobile spin-off has popped back up with actual gameplay and a launch in just two weeks.
Between all the chatter of Amazon backing the next mainline Tomb Raider game and planning a TV show, we honestly forgot that we’re supposed to be getting a mobile spin-off as well.
Tomb Raider Reloaded was announced back in 2020, but it immediately seemed to drop off the face of the Earth. It then seemed as if it might have been cancelled, when Square Enix sold the IP, along with its Western developers, to the Embracer Group last year.
Then one of Tomb Raider Reloaded’s developers, Onoma (formerly Square Enix Montréal) was shut down. The game didn’t die with it, though, and Embracer and the other developer, Emerald City Games, have shared a new trailer and a release date of February 14.
So now we finally have an idea of what the game actually is and how it will play. It’s essentially a top-down roguelike, with Lara exploring various ever-changing rooms, fighting enemies, and solving puzzles to retrieve an ancient artefact.
Since it’s a roguelike, you’ll obtain run-specific boosts to improve your chances of reaching the end, but there will be permanent upgrades as well as opportunities to craft and improve your weapons, and unlock new outfits for Lara.
Considering the game is free-to-play, this makes it rife for monetisation, but Embracer hasn’t explained exactly how this will work yet.
At the very least, it’ll be a nostalgic experience for long-time fans of the series. Aside from Lara more closely resembling her classic design, characters and locations from the older games will make an appearance, including her butler Winston.
They even got Keeley Hawes to reprise her role as Lara for the first time since 2014’s Lara Croft And The Temple Of Osiris.
In 2021, it was said that the game would include other Lara voice actors, but Embracer hasn’t mentioned whether this is still the case or not.
Pre-registration is currently available on both the Apple and Google Play stores and doing so will net you a gold variant of Lara’s iconic twin pistols.
The game will also launch on Netflix and will be included with all subscription levels.
While Amazon appears to have no involvement with the mobile game, the company reportedly wants its own Tomb Raider universe where, similar to Marvel’s cinematic universe, its projects are all connected to one other.
It’s an idea that seems rather peculiar considering Lara is the franchise’s only recognisable character, especially as the next game is set to unite the original games and the reboot Survivor trilogy into one continuity.
No one is asking for a Winston mini-series or a prequel starring her dad. Or, god forbid, Jonah from the reboot trilogy. Although that doesn’t mean we’re not going to get them anyway…
Tomb Raider Reloaded launches for iOS and Android on February 14.