As someone who never properly played a Tomb Raider game before the 2013 reboot, I was pleasantly surprised by the final product. For Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lead Designer Mike Brinker talks about escalation across the board in an interview I recently conducted with him.
We started talking about the expected play length for completionists, before venturing off onto discussions of keeping an open-world game fresh, difficulty, and why you will be tempted to revisit the bigger game hubs in Rise of the Tomb Raider.
AusGamers: I’m glad you just mentioned levelling there. That’s one of my questions. If you’re levelling up secondary to the main quest—personally, I’m a player who tries to avoid the main quest as much as possible, do as much on the side, and then go back to the main quest—is the world, in terms of the challenges, specifically the enemies, scaling to that level, or is it always fixed?
Click on this giant hyperlink for the rest of my interview with Mike
Mike Brinker: We have the main difficulty for enemy AI in combat set in the main menu, so you can choose that, I believe, as you’re playing the game. So if your difficulty level feels like it’s not high enough, I believe you can change that as you play. That option is really locked into the main menu structure of it, but you can actually set it at any time. For the most part, what we’re looking at in terms of difficulty level purely on what our main core development cycle is spent on, so what we’re trying to do is make that as accessible to as many people as possible.
So, I think, what a lot of gamers are going to find, those who are especially off the main path and those who are really going to push themselves, they’re going to find a lot more options, a lot more fun on some of those higher difficulty levels, like our highest one, which is survivor. That one actually has a few different elements to it that make that a very interesting experience. I’m not sure how much I can talk about it right now, I’m not sure that’s one of the things we’re releasing details on, but it does add another couple of layers of survival to it that are what I think people who are looking for a more of a challenge are going to find interesting.