Interviews

Getting the lowdown on Lara's DS debut

Producer Luke Valentine spills the beans on touchscreen mini-combat games, auto-targeting and blowing for hidden treasure

Getting the lowdown on Lara's DS debut

With Lara preparing for her first adventure on DS, Eidos producer Luke Valentine has given us more details about what to expect.

How much of the plot and gameplay of Legend has had to be changed for the DS version?

In terms of plot, we haven't had to change a thing. The story is the same and the game uses the original movies as the other Tomb Raider Legend games. In terms of gameplay, almost all the puzzles, combat, exploration, animation and movement make a welcome return.

How are specific DS features such as touchscreen, microphone, and multiplayer wi-fi being used?

The touchscreen is in constant use as the inventory and is also used for combat. When you engage in combat, on the top screen you start to play a combat mini-game that uses the touchscreen. In some instances Lara's movement can also be controlled using the touchscreen. The touchscreen is used extensively in term of the bonus unlockable material too, while the microphone can be blown into to reveal artifacts.

There's no multiplayer in Tomb Raider Legend, although best times and purchased bonus material can be traded wirelessly.

How does the shooting element of the game work?

There's an auto-targeting system with a clear target on what is being aimed at. In most instances this opens up the touchscreen combat mini-game as previously mentioned.

How hard was it to get the character working on DS in terms of the 3D agility we expect from a Tomb Raider game?

This was a big challenge for us. Lara is in 2D but moves in a 3D environment. All the animations and movement are the same though, so Lara jumps and rolls in beautifully fluid movement.

What weapons and items will be available in the inventory?

Everything that you would expect. All the weapons (twin pistols, shotgun, machine gun and grenades), magnetic grappling hook, PDA, and healthpacks can be selected at any time.

Why didn't the DS version come out with the PSP version?

We couldn't use the original PlayStation 2 source code for DS as for the PSP, so we needed to build it from scratch at a time when the original design was finalised. This caused the time lag between releases.

Thanks Luke! Now fighting her way through underground caverns full of treasure, Lara Croft is expected to make her entrance in Tomb Raider Legend sometime during November.