This E3 marks the eagerly awaited return of Lara Croft and it will be the first opportunity people will have to see the new game in the multi-million selling franchise - Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness. The game will be released on PlayStation 2 & PC in November.
A series of grisly murders brings Lara into conflict with a sinister Alchemist from the past, and a secret alliance of powerful individuals shrouded in mystery. At the center of this conflict are five 14th century paintings – the Obscura Paintings, which the Alchemist is desperate to repossess. Accused of the murder of her one time mentor Von Croy, Lara becomes a fugitive on the run. Pursued by the police, she is drawn into a dark world of blood, betrayal and vengeance spanning across hundreds of years. It is up to her to defeat this unholy alliance and stop them from unleashing their incredible powers on the world.
Lara returns as both hunter and hunted and she must rely on her ingenuity, athleticism and a new edge that has arisen from her dark inner demons. The game introduces a whole host of new gameplay features including interaction with other characters and the capacity to improve Lara’s abilities depending on how you play the game. Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness employs a brand new engine built to fully utilise the power of PlayStation 2 and the latest PC graphics cards. Lara is now made up of over 5,000 polygons as opposed to just 500 in previous Tomb Raider games.
The new face of Lara – Dutch model Jill de Jong will also be making regular appearances on the stand. At 6ft tall and measuring 34-26-38, Jill is a perfect incarnation of the world’s number one cyber-babe.
Other new games at the show are:
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin (PlayStation 2, PC & Xbox)
Hitman 2: Silent Assassin is the follow-up to the BAFTA award nominated Hitman: Codename 47. Developed by Io Interactive, the game will be released in September. You must enter the mind of a genetically engineered assassin Codename 47, whose deadly efficiency is now needed more than ever. Lured back into a global ring of deception, you must kill not only to make a living, but to continue living. This time it’s not just business. It’s personal.
- TimeSplitters 2 (PlayStation 2, Xbox & GameCube)
Prepare to battle through history as the evil TimeSplitters get ready to rise again. TimeSplitters 2 is the sequel to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed TimeSplitters. The game is being developed by Free Radical Design of Nottingham, England, and is set for release in September. TimeSplitters 2 will improve on the original in every conceivable way. The game offers a more involving single player and co-operative story mode, featuring a complex narrative with multiple objective-based episodes and superbly animated cut-scenes.
- Praetorians (PC)
Praetorians is an epic 3D troop based strategy game from Spanish based Pyro Studios, the developers of the multi-million selling Commandos series. The game will be released in Autumn. Praetorians is centered around the historical battles from the campaigns of Julius Caesar. Taking on the role of a Roman General you are transported back to the deserts of Egypt, the frozen lands of the Gauls and to the heart of the Empire itself, Italy. You will be given the opportunity to command the forces of not only the Romans, but also the ferocious Gauls and the religiously fanatical Egyptians. The road to victory depends on strategy, tactics, troop formations, learning to combine units and exploiting your enemy's weaknesses.
- Republic: The Revolution (PC)
Developed by Demis Hassabis’ Elixir Studios, Republic: The Revolution is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the year. Republic places you in the role of a faction leader intent on becoming the President… by fair means or foul. Starting with nothing more than a single loyal supporter, a tiny secret HQ and a very small base of local support, you must build up a nationwide faction powerful enough to oust the President and rule the Republic of Novistrana. The game boasts the most advanced graphics engine ever – the ‘Totality’ engine capable of rendering an unlimited number of polygons in real-time.
- Beach Life (PC)
Sun, sand and sex is what you can expect from the holiday simulation Beach Life. Based on a game concept by Ian Livingstone, the game is being developed by Deep Red and is due for release in August. Set in exotic holiday resorts around the world, players compete to create the most successful holiday experience. Build an Ibiza-like resort with hotels, bars, clubs, beach activities, and water sports, set the prices and watch all the self-indulgent holidaymakers have fun in the sun. As summer rolls on you will experience all the joys and the headaches of running a typical package holiday resort from romance and over indulgence to food poisoning and storms.
- Legaia 2: Duel Saga (PlayStation 2)
Originally released in Japan only, Legaia 2: Duel Saga is the latest addition to Eidos’ Fresh Games lineup. The game is a Japanese turn-based RPG, which features real-time backgrounds and voice acting. Eidos will translate and localize the game for the Western market. The game has been developed by SCEI and will be released this Autumn.