by Michael Beckwith, Game Rant
With this year being the 25th anniversary of the Tomb Raider series, many fans naturally hoped that Crystal Dynamics would have a major game release planned for 2021, besides the Tomb Raider Reloaded mobile game. Bad news: that’s not going to happen. Good news: Crystal Dynamics has stated that the next mainline entry will unify the reboot trilogy with the original timeline of games made by Core Design, the studio that originally created the series.
In a Twitter video explaining Crystal Dynamics’ plans to celebrate the Tomb Raider series throughout 2021, game director Will Kerslake briefly discussed what the studio intends to do with the series going forward and how future games will continue on from its recent trilogy. Said trilogy concluded in 2018 with Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
“We envision the future of Tomb Raider unfolding after these established adventures, telling stories that build upon the breadth of both Core Design and Crystal Dynamics’ games, working to unify these timelines.”
2013’s Tomb Raider title was essentially seen as both a reboot of the series and an origin story for Lara Croft, showing the events that would lead to her becoming the titular tomb raider. As a result, Lara’s characterization was radically different.
It could be argued that Crystal Dynamics was maybe looking to move past the original games entirely and focus on this new timeline, but Kerslake’s comments suggest that it will be treating those original games as canon to the reboot timeline, meaning the two interpretations of Lara will become one and the same.
This doesn’t necessarily mean future games will return to that original portrayal, but perhaps Crystal Dynamics will combine the two, creating a Lara who is still human and relatable, but far more willing to throw herself into the action and sporting a confident attitude and wit to match. However, as Kerslake says, any new announcements are a long way away so don’t expect anything to be shared this year.
That said, Crystal Dynamics still has plans to celebrate the anniversary of the series, starting on February 1 and with each month focusing on a different game. The video also reminds viewers that a new Netflix animated series was announced and will be set after the reboot trilogy.
A sequel to the 2018 live-action Tomb Raider movie is still in production as well. There’s no release date as of yet, but the movie recently landed a new director: Misha Green, who also created and directed Lovecraft Country for HBO.