Count the treasure

The next ‘Tomb Raider’ will be made in Unreal Engine 5

After a four-year hiatus, Crystal Dynamics is now working on the next Tomb Raider, and it's being built in the just-released Unreal Engine 5.

We haven't seen Lara Croft for a little while now, but that's set to change — in about three to five years, that is. This week, Crystal Dynamics announced that the next mainline Tomb Raider game is now under development, and the studio is using the all-new Unreal Engine 5 to put it together.

What exactly the next Tomb Raider will look like is very much an open question at this point. As true Crofters (that's what we call ourselves) will recall, 2018's Shadow of the Tomb Raider closed the book on what Crystal Dynamics called the "Survivor trilogy," which set out to explain how Lara first became the dual-wielding treasure hunter (and notorious animal killer) that we saw in the first few Tomb Raider games. Personally, we think that mission could've been achieved in a single entry, but hey, gotta make money somehow.

Recently, the studio made it clear that it's planning to bring the Survivor trilogy and the original games into one big beautiful canon, which is a wonderful goal. (Considering that the OG Tomb Raiders feature dragons, ancient Egyptian wizards, and other goofiness, such a realignment would drastically improve the direction of the new-school games.)

Now, while we don't have any idea of when this new Tomb Raider might come out, we do know that Crystal Dynamics recently hired a notable designer to lead development on a project. Days Gone lead designer Jeff Ross announced that he joined the company this week, and that he's "thrilled with the project." However, he stopped short of informing us what exactly the project is.

Given Ross’s experience with third-person action games, it seems likely he’s involved with Tomb Raider — but he might also be working on Marvel’s Avengers or Perfect Dark. We know which game we’d want to work on, that’s for sure. Overall, the latter Tomb Raider games have been good but not great, so it would be nice to see the series go in a direction that isn’t just “Uncharted, but open-world.” Then again, the last trilogy made a boatload of cash, so perhaps change isn’t coming after all.