Lara Croft, a name recognized by many in and out of the gaming industry, one of gaming’s greatest icons, a woman who set the stage for action/adventure games everywhere. If all this is true, then why has she lost her place in the lime-light? Crystal Dynamics studio head Darrell Gallagher may have an answer.
Gallagher was recently interviewed by MCV to address this question and others regarding the work-in-progress reboot, Tomb Raider. Gallagher had this to say about Lara Croft and the new angle they are taking:
“She had become somewhat unrelatable. She was obviously fully-formed; she was a confident, wisecracking adventurer and it was something that people weren’t necessarily connected to 15 years in," Gallagher believes. "So we wanted to strip it down, give her a personality, make her feel more human, grounded and believable . . . She wasn’t that relatable – almost like the niece of the queen or something.”
Gallagher also mentioned how challenging it is to work with such a long-running game franchise and how they approached developing a new Tomb Raider game. "So we looked at Batman Begins and Casino Royale and said, well how have they remained relevant over the years? What they’ve done is essentially had turns in their franchises that made it feel modern. So every generation has its version of Batman or Bond.”
Tomb Raider also deals with a hot-button issue new to the franchise. The threat of sexual assault and realistic violence in Tomb Raider has raised many a brow of intrigue and disgust, but Gallagher remains firm on the team's push for narrative maturity. "We have placed a big emphasis in putting some maturity into our storytelling, the drama and maturity of a character and what she’s going through," he said. “It’s something we’re actually treating with care. For us to tell a survival story, there is a harshness to that to deliver on."
Gallagher also acknowledged the impact of Naughty Dog's Uncharted series on this reboot. “They [Naughty Dog] make great games and I enjoy playing them. We were actually planning this before Uncharted 2, so Uncharted was still in its infancy. We knew at that point that we had to take this franchise in a different direction, not necessarily because of Uncharted, but because we knew we were facing a problem with a franchise that, at that point, had been around for almost 13 years."
Are you excited for the new Tomb Raider? Are you excited to see a new side of Lara? Make your voice heard in the comments below!