The younger, dirtier and unvarnished version of Lara Croft still needs some polish, according to Crystal Dynamics. The developer is pushing back the release date of the next Tomb Raider, from Fall 2012 into the first quarter of 2013. (Yes, the same quarter that now hosts another one of 2012's former heavy hitters, Bioshock Infinite.)

"Our priority now is to make sure we fully deliver the very highest quality game," Crystal Dynamics Head Darrell Gallagher wrote. In a missive posted on the game's official forums, Gallagher shared the studio's push to make Tomb Raider "the best game of our careers." The delay will boost quality up to "a level that you deserve," he said.

The shift in release date has also given us an unexpected sense of optimism. If enough promising games get pushed into next year, we might actually start rooting for the world's continued existence beyond 2012.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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