The wait is finally over folks. Official Xbox Magazine (February Edition) has hit stands with its exclusive look at Tomb Raider's multiplayer, and as a bonus we also have a new video from the team at Crystal Dynamics spotlighting some of those newly revealed details. Both contain plenty of additional information and are definitely worth a read and/or watch, so make sure to give them a look when you get the chance. For those who haven't had time to catch up on all of this however, I figured a small breakdown on all the new information wouldn't exactly hurt.
You can find The Final Hours #4: Surviving Together video journal below, and in it the team at C.D. goes into some of the thinking behind their decision to give this entry a multiplayer mode. You also get a look at some of it in action. One of the features they heavily highlight is the use of traps and hazards in the environment. You can manipulate these traps, such as lightning rods and cave spikes (and bear traps I believe) to maim or completely take out other players.
So far there are two confirmed modes, one of which is a traditional team deathmatch mode (which seems to be the one highlighted in the video). The other is called rescue. Rescue revolves around one team (the ship's crew) trying to get 5 healthpacks to different locations around the map, while the other team (called the savages) attempts to stop them. The premise itself isn't exactly original, but the environments, with their hazards as well as the verticality they offer, should go a long way to keeping matches varied and fresh, at least in theory.
Players won't be able to control Lara, at least initially. OXM gave the impression that players won't have access to her at all, but in the video there is a shot of a select screen where it seems she might be available, at least at some point. Lara or not, you will at least be able to customize your character of choice, and if customized names are available I'm warning you now. At some point or another you will probably be shot by someone (i.e. me) named buddy the elf, so just come to terms with it now.
As for the combat, at least from the video it seems chaotic and rather fun, but there is a sort of jerkiness to how the characters move about. The game is still being fine tuned, so that might be different upon final release, but it is something to keep an eye on. Hopefully the weapons have some weight to them, and if so Crystal D. might have really hit this one out of the park.
Tomb Raider's will always be known for their solo experience, but having something to kill time between individual playthroughs that's actually fun couldn't hurt, so here's hoping they get it right.