Crystal Dynamics’ Karl Stewart has explained why gameplay footage of Tomb Raider has so far only shown quick-time event combat.
“If we’re going to re-imagine the franchise, we want to get people to digest why we are doing it and who she is first,” the Tomb Raider global brand director told Kotaku.
“Combat is very, very dear to our hearts. We have built an entirely new combat team at the studio to work on it. It is very competitive.
“Combat is ambitious. It was ambitious when I first saw it and now it just feels natural to the game.”
In all previous Tomb Raider games, combat began with an iconic pair of pistols, but players will have to work with Lara to reach the point where she’s willing, able and equipped to bear them.
“We’re not going to start the game and say, ‘Here are two pistols and lets tie her hair up in a braid’ because that doesn’t stand for anything,” Stewart explained.
“We hope to bring gravity to those items.”
To elevate the pistols to something beyond a nice bit of kit, Crystal Dynamics loads them with emotional meaning; at the beginning of the game, they’re borne by Lara’s mentor, Captain Conrad Roth.
“We use that in a very psychological way. She loves Roth. She’s known him since she was very young. She knows she has to save him,” Stewart said.
The journey of transformation that takes Lara Croft from a frightened teenager to an as-yet unrevealed new heroine, packing those pistols, will set the tone for the sequels that are sure to follow.
“When you start this game you will go off and be the Lara Croft that was defined here. It also defines the future of that franchise,” Stewart said.
Tomb Raider is due on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, having wowed at E3 and even won over our own Nathan Grayson.