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Tomb Raider: How we saved Lara from upsetting Northerners

And asked Crystal Dynamics if it's ready to slice its heroine in two

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With regards to the exploration gameplay, two things caught our eye. First was the fact you can take multiple routes to reach where you need to get to, making the clambering about seem more freeform than Uncharted, which usually only features one path. Second was the way Lara can be nudged slightly to correct her course in mid-air after jumping, rather than the magnetised ledges and fixed-animation jumps of old. Makes sense, but it'll take a playtest of a tricky section to be sure it really works.

Crystal Dynamics aren't showing the combat side of things yet, but in addition to a climbing axe nicked from mentalist caving movie The Descent's prop cupboard, Lara is also armed with a bow and arrows. Horton hints that this will also tie-in with the use of fire in the game, suggesting she'll be able to torch flammable obstacles from a distance. You'll also be able to craft new weapons and kit on the 'Base Camp' screen, which also acts as a hub for quick travel around the island and the place where you upgrade Lara's survival skills.

The idea of Lara as a survivor is absolutely key to what Crystal Dynamics are trying to do with Tomb Raider. "We definitely looked at film," says Horton. "You mentioned The Descent earlier, and it was a really key influence for us on these strong female characters going on an arc from unsure of themselves all the way through to badass. That was a big inspiration." Hmmm. So does that mean Lara will be attacked by horrendous monsters too? "I didn't say anything about horrendous monsters."

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