When we think of Tomb Raider, "multiplayer" isn't traditionally the first word that jumps to the front of our psyche, so we were curious to see how the recently announced multiplayer component plays out in the game's universe. Joe Khoury, Producer at Eidos Montreal, shared with us how they wanted to really bring in pieces from great multiplayer experiences and customize them to work within the Tomb Raider universe, while still creating something unique. They've definitely brought an experience that feels familiar to play, but it's also fresh and genuinely fun to experience.
During the demo, we alternated between both factions (Survivors and Scavengers), and had differing goals for the map. As a Scavenger, our goal as a team was to kill 20 Survivors. That sounds easy enough, but Tomb Raider's added in a visceral component to assassinations via "finishing moves" that require a Scavenger to get up close and personal in order to brutally dispatch a Survivor after incapacitating them. Survivors are still able to keep shooting until finished off, though, which makes it a little tougher for Scavengers to rack up the kills as Survivors attempt to complete their objective.
If you're playing as a Survivor, your team's job is to collect 5 med packs and drop them in a random zone. It's a very capture-the-flag style of play on the Survivors side, but the med pack collection adds an actual story component instead of just asking you to grab a little flag and run to the same place with it every time. Fortunately, Scavengers don't have the same "shoot while down" survival skills as you (hence the whole "Survivors" thing), so when you take a Scavenger down, they're off to the respawn queue. No getting your hands bloody on this side... unless you wanted to, of course.
The map we played seemed small at first, but we realized that there was a labyrinth of tunnels and other passageways. Traps were sprinkled throughout the map, waiting for players to set them and wait for opponents to get tangled up in them. Map-appropriate triggers like sandstorms were also available during play, and added an additional layer of depth to an already compelling map. The visuals are stunning and keep up with everything we've seen in the single player component, and upgrades and unlockables will be peppered throughout your progression. Word on the street is that Lara Croft herself will be the last unlockable character in multiplayer mode, giving us even more incentive to dive deep into multiplayer leveling and ranks. To us, it gave off a decidedly Uncharted 3-like feel, which is a very good thing, and now, we're even more excited to play through Tomb Raider when it's released on March 5, 2013.