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For avid gamers who clock major hours in virtual worlds, getting the opportunity to see the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes work that goes into making these intense interactive experiences is a rare treat. Pulling back the curtain on the inner workings of the game development world, veteran game journalist Geoff Keighley digs deep into the Tomb Raider franchise and unearths some fascinating stories in The Final Hours of Tomb Raider, a multimedia app for iPad. Longtime fans will truly appreciate the sheer level of detail found through this interactive journalism project, but it's an equally fascinating read for anyone with an interest in the gaming industry.
Chock full of well-reported stories, interviews, artwork, video, and exclusive bonus extras, The Final Hours of Tomb Raider looks at the long and arduous process that went into making the new Tomb Raider game for home consoles and PC. From the team's struggle to reinvent Lara Croft and the inspiration behind the new game to how sequences were actually made, this app weaves together an impressive level of detail and personality throughout its content. Keighley's approach focuses on the people behind the game and the rigors they underwent to save an ailing franchise as much as it explores the game's many facets. It's a compelling read that sucks you in right away, but there's a lot more than just text here to keep you busy.
Interactive features abound in this app, and they offer an enhanced window into the game-making world. Video and photos are certainly plentiful, and you get a lot of interesting concept art, personal interviews, and behind-the-scenes design documents to pour over. But it's elements like interactive 360-degree photos of the development team's office spaces, as well as multi-tier breakdowns of game sequences from storyboard to finished product, that really round out this well-constructed experience.
The bottom line. The Final Hours of Tomb Raider's biggest success is the way it paints the human side of game development and does so in clever, absorbing ways. The in-depth reporting and attention to detail pairs perfectly with the broad range of interactive media content, making for a gripping journey into the heart of this venerable game series and its comeback from the abyss.
iPad running iOS 5.0 or later
Great journalistic storytelling. Tons of interactive extras. Strong presentation and layout.
You can burn through the content in a single sitting.