Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the third and final chapter in a trilogy of games chronicling Lara Croft's origin story, is coming on Sept. 14, 2018. Probably. (Definitely.)
Currently, there's a teaser page up at TombRaider.com hyping some kind of reveal for March 15, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. PT. No details, just the date/time and a drawing of what looks like a solar eclipse.
See for yourself:
We know the title and release date because someone made a mistake. If you view the page source for TombRaider.com and take a look at the metadata, this text is visible:
"Shadow of The Tomb Raider is the climatic finale of Lara's origin story."
The page was updated at some point, but an earlier version also included the text: "Available September 14th 2018." The page source still hypes April 27 as the day pre-order bonuses will be revealed.
All of which is to say: Shadow of the Tomb Raider may not have formally been confirmed just yet, but it's happening and it's coming on Sept. 14.
This will be the third game in publisher Square Enix's rebooted series, following Tomb Raider (2013) and Rise of the Tomb Raider (2015). Both games chart a new origin for series lead Lara Croft, giving a glimpse into her early adventures out in the field and tying them back to a larger mythology involving the Croft family.
While this new tease for Shadow is the first actual confirmation of a third game to round out the trilogy, rumors sprung up in late 2016 when a games-loving commuter happened to catch a glimpse of a laptop screen bearing that title.
Rhianna Pratchett, the writer on this rebooted series, summed up the reason for re-imagining Lara during a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly.
"Classic Lara had been a playgirl with the money, gadgets, and guns to deal with any situation, jetting around the world and having these big adventures, and being very James Bond-y. That’s not quite as relatable in this day and age of economic strife as maybe she once was," Pratchett said.
"With this Lara, I wanted to bring her down to earth a little bit more, and think about her as an average London student just out of university who paid her way through and worked bar jobs — someone more in line with young women in London today."
With the origin trilogy wrapping up, Pratchett is also looking ahead at what might be next for Lara's adventures.
"I’d love to write an older Lara in her 50s, who’s grizzled and war-torn, because we get that with male protagonists,” Pratchett said, pointing to examples like Metal Gear's Snake and Splinter Cell's Sam Fisher.
"And maybe she has to take another character under her wing, which is often done with dad figures in games — it’s the ‘dad-ification’ of games, like John in The Last of Us or Booker in BioShock Infinite," she continued.
Pratchett has also imagined what it might be like to turn Lara into a mother.
"How would that work? How would she even have time? I’d love to see more action moms in games. There’s so much we can do, so many stories we can tell, it feels like we’re just scratching the surface."