A small team of developers at Square Enix Montreal are changing how people believe AAA brands can be incorporated into the mobile gaming space. Not only have they successfully created a unique and innovative experience in Hitman GO, but they have now provided a new way for fans to experience some of Square Enix’s most popular brands.
Mobile gaming possesses an enormous audience and it is one that will only continue to grow. Technology in the space has advanced in a myriad of ways and some believe it will match the power of console in the next handful of years. The developers are Square Enix Montreal are on the cutting-edge of what a mobile game can be and are redefining what a mobile game can achieve.
Tomb Raider is a brand with major expectations for later this year, as Rise of the Tomb Raider will debut, but Square Enix Montreal has created and honored the series’ past with a brilliant, new way for fans to play as Lara. In a new developer video, Lara Croft GO Lead Programmer Antoine Routon talked about their aim when they decided to create another GO title with Lara Croft.
“When we started the Lara Croft GO project, for us it was important not to just do a re-skin but to do the same process of understanding what this franchise is about. We drew inspiration from our childhood memories from the first Tomb Raider. We’re definitely going for the nostalgia factor,” Routon said.
I was able to get a brief hands-on session with the game back at Gamescom and it plays as well as Hitman GO did. The game is surprisingly deep dripping with lore, wonder and what made the original Tomb Raider games so astonishing.
When you get to chat with folks like Routon, you begin to see the unbridled passion and desire they have for their GO games and what they represent. In gaming, it’s important to remember where we’ve been in order to know where we’re going, and Lara Croft GO does a fantastic job of championing the former.
It’s important for developers to continue to have opportunities to think and develop differently, especially when you look at the mobile space. Mobile is such an open platform for creation and will continue to grow upward.
Developers at Square Enix Montreal are blazing a trail for what a mobile game can be and how AAA brands can be utilized. Lara Croft GO Game Director Daniel Lutz went on to talk about the emphasis the team had in regards to honoring the original Tomb Raider games we saw back in the 90’s.
“We really inspired ourselves from the very beginning of the Tomb Raider franchise. We’re big fans of Tomb Raider and Lara Croft games and grew up with these games, so it was very important for us to look at this current experience with a nostalgic lens,” Lutz said.
Fans of the Tomb Raider series will certainly enjoy Lara Croft being presented in a different light. For what many believe is the future of gaming, Routon and his team created a beautiful and challenging world for fans to become immersed in.
“We know that Lara Croft is an athletic, acrobatic person so she had to be animated. I really like how the game starts and how the mechanics are introduced one by one. Slowly, you understand each and every one of them in a simple context, but then the combination is what makes it interesting and where the challenge comes from,” Routon said.
The environments have been carefully and beautifully created, and Lara Croft GO contains over 75 puzzles for fans to experience throughout five chapters. Gamers can also acquire relics and outfits as they venture into the game world. Lutz spoke about how the game turns a AAA brand into something simple.
“It is really looking at the existing AAA games and it takes many of the established concepts and mechanics and it boils them down, simplifies them into the puzzle framework that we establish,” Lutz said.
Lara Croft GO is available now on iOS, Android, and Windows Mobile devices for $4.99. Rise of the Tomb Raider will launch on Nov. 13 exclusively for Xbox One.