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The new Tomb Raider lets Twitch viewers influence the gameplay

The new Tomb Raider lets Twitch viewers influence the gameplay


Big head Lara, anyone?

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The just-launched Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One may be a largely single-player experience, but if you stream it on Twitch other people will be able to get in on the action as well. As part of a new feature, the new Tomb Raider will allow Twitch viewers to interact with the game they're watching, influencing the gameplay at specific points.

The game features 64 cards that can modify the experience — doing everything from making the bad guys stronger to adding an NBA Jam-style big head mode — and at certain points viewers will be presented with two cards, which they can vote on. The card that gets the most votes will then go on to influence the game for the next five minutes. The feature, naturally, will be optional. Meanwhile, viewers who watch a lot of Rise will also receive in-game credits any time they witness a player reach a particular milestone, like completing a new tomb.

Interactive viewing isn't exactly new for Twitch. The streaming service was home to a cult phenomenon with "Twitch Plays Pokemon," which has spawned numerous follow-ups, and indie games like Choice Chamber have tried to build on this phenomenon. But the Twitch-functionality in Rise of the Tomb Raider represents one of the first times that a big-budget console game has catered to the streaming cloud in this way, and could represent a shift as more games are designed with a streaming audience in mind.

Rise of the Tomb Raider is available on Xbox One and 360 now — be sure to check out our review.