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Crystal Dynamics rebooted Lara Croft because she was “losing relevance”

Monday, 18 July 2011 15:39 GMT By Johnny Cullen

Crystal Dynamics brand director Karl Stewart has said that it needed to reboot Tomb Raider and, more specifically, Lara Croft because she was “losing relevance.”

“I think Lara’s a beloved character and Crystal has really enjoyed their time they’ve been able to spend with her,” Stewart told RPS, referring to the three previous games with the old Lara.

“We felt she was losing some relevance in the gaming world, that she was a little too hard and removed. We wanted to make her more approachable and relatable. I think this was a perfect time for us to reimagine the franchise, taking Lara back to her roots.

“I think it’s growing to be a great way for players to learn to reknow who Lara is, retell her story.”

Stewart added that it wanted to show a Lara Croft that wasn’t “perfect,” adding there wasn’t too many stories it could have told with the previous iteration.

“I think she became an icon. When you do, you remove yourself from relatability. We wanted to bring her to a place where she didn’t have all those skills, she wasn’t perfect. The modern gamer can relate to that, they want a complex hero,” he said.

“I think Lara had done all the growing she could. We’d taken her to a great place, to somewhere she had some closure. There weren’t really many more stories we could have told. So we feel like with this new place we have fertile ground and there’s a lot of places we can go.”

Tomb Raider launches in autumn 2012 for PS3, 360 and PC.

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18 Comments

  1. Edo

    True dat.

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Corfizz

    I still don’t understand why they couldn’t have just made up a new character. If Lara is losing relevance, why not tell the story of somebody else entirely? It removes the confusion that must surely result from having three fictional universes. Obviously, I know the answer: the names ‘Lara Croft’ and ‘Tomb Raider’ are simply more likely to sell.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Gurdil

    @2 Well obviously you got a point with the sales. But I also think they’re keeping Lara because the story of the character is appealing and doing a kind of clone (like a Lara Croft with smaller boobs and another name) would have been a call for criticism. Plus, it can bring back old fans. I didn’t care about Tomb Raider games up until now anymore because the franchise went straight in a wall a few games back (IMO). But I find this idea of playing Lara’s youth very interesting and do want to play the game. I don’t think it’s JUST a marketing stunt even if, as you noted, the name itself will help to sell the game. The character’s background is interesting and has been scarcely exploited.

    #3 4 years ago
  4. alimokrane

    @Corfizz

    An established brand guarantees at least some following unlike a brand new IP.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Well said #3. Also, just to add, they probably wanna help make up for the shit that tarnished the series after 3 and before Legend…lol.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. hitnrun

    @2: I agree, and have been saying this for awhile. I’m certain they could find a market for a high-textured, well cleaved girl who gets bloodied up a lot. Even if some of it seems a bit…creepy.

    Of course, we all know *why* it is another Tomb Raider. This game would never even have come into existence, except in a whiteboard-aided brainstorming session about “making Lara relevant again.” This isn’t about “exploring” Lara – the character seems to be very much a reboot and her salience to the old Lara is likely nil – but answering the question “what do we make next?” in a room where continuing to exploit the Tomb Raider property as often as possible goes without saying.

    But still, as an artistic move, yeah, they should have just made another game and told us it was a “spiritual successor.” Lara was a tech demo for boobies and 3D exploration. Let her rest.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. DaMan

    @6 .. smh. so then James Bond is a silly array of quotes, eh? I ‘ve always been amused at the people who say stuff like that.. amazing, man. Unparalleled criticism. You see through the bullshit. How about stating God has no personality? You know what, I think she’s amazing, and the way they subtly presented her in say, Anni was excellent. I see zero reason to make a visual clone of what is probably the most well known videogame protagonist with a new name and a plethora of emotional issues.

    Old school LC is a classy character, since she’s an all around sublime being why would she have some down to earth emotional ‘personality’. The simple fact is that the more vulnerable and flawed the person is, the more there’s to explore for the author, ie in those short stories about everyday people.

    The way they explained this in one of the interviews is that once you finish this game you’ll get to see why she became the invincible adventurer from the previous titles.

    Also, CD ‘ve pretty much ruined the series, Legend was an excellent title but downright poor TR, Anni was the only game they developed which was actually fun, perhaps they should spend more time designing platforming sections and placing artifacts instead. TR is one of the most fun games I ever played, it’s CD who took it in the wrong direction.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Fin

    All of Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raiders have been excellent! I don’t think it even needed a reboot, some minor tweaks to the design (more flowing movement) would’ve worked for me.

    The old Core Design games really haven’t aged well.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Gekidami

    @2
    Indeed, in the end it all boils down to brand recognition.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. OrbitMonkey

    It will NEVER happen, but I’d love to see a Tomb Raider/Uncharted mash up… Nate & Lara in competition for some relic, then teaming up to save the world from some big bad evil :)

    #10 4 years ago
  11. DarkElfa

    You don’t reboot a character that loses relevance, you retire her.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    #7 said “Also, CD ‘ve pretty much ruined the series”

    Are you for real with that comment? I respectfully couldn’t agree more. Legend, Anniversary, AND Underworld (yes I did enjoy Underworld) were my best Tomb Raider experiences since original 1 and 2!!! (and I’ve played them all)

    @10, that WOULD be AWESOME!

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    ^ That’s supposed to be “couldn’t DISagree more”

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DaMan

    @12 Surely I meant the gameplay. They did an awesome job with the atmosphere and everything else really. Although, again bar Anni the Core Design titles were definetely more immersive and the locations were all more intriguing, Thailand and Mystic Sea Creature in TRU were great though, the Shiva puzzle was very good too.

    As I said they were good games but poor Tomb Raiders. Anni was the only good one. With a little bit of more elaborated platforming it would ‘ve been as good as the original.

    There was practically zero depth as far as the jumpy climby sections go especially in Legend, not to mention the asinine ledge jumping that plagues this game ever since they followed in the footsteps of Sands of Time. Pretty much the reason i don’t play Ass Creed and the like.. Of course CD didn’t really fall that low but still. There should be a system rewarding more skilled players. If you played the old games, then you know everything I say. I wouldn’t go as fara s to say that the old controls were better because they were obviously the result of that time limitations, however I do think they should make something more elaborated too.

    Underworld made up for that a bit by introducing chimney jump and other moves and stuff, but on the other hand that one was devoid of any treasure hunting, there was no reason to replay the game after you beat it, collecting everything was so easy. many levels were clearly rushed and no fun. Repeating the boat stage had zero purpose, more so with that stage being the worst one. They also made the mistake of replacing artifacts/relics with numerous little ones scattered across.

    I’ve enjoyed the dlc Beneath the Ashes, TRU is a lot better with that included, but still couldn’t hold a candle to Anni, let alone old ones.

    Also, what this guy says is nothing but PR gibberish, LC has nothing to do with it, He is just distancing from not so well perfomance of Underworld. CD might’ve successfully rebooted the franchise after 2003 disaster, but failed to make the gameplay relevant for many TR fans. That’s what they should reconsider.

    #14 4 years ago
  15. triggerhappy

    @ Dr G – Yeh im with you there I loved the latest trilogy, underworld included. I liked the whole Lara looking for her mother story and it never got any cheesier than Tomb Raider normaly gets anyway so yeh I thought CD really did it justice.

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Unlimax

    How about rebooted Aya brea .. Square ?

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Kuwabara

    I want a game based on ELENA. She hears about drake cheating with Lara and goes to kill them both!

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Corfizz

    I suppose they could have made up a new character but still called the game ‘Tomb Raider’. They could have carried over the basic gameplay concepts with a different story and characters. Lara could have had a cameo role, if they really wanted. That way they would satisfy brand recognition without having to mess up the fiction or feel constrained by the past iterations of Lara. This model seems to work for Final Fantasy. (Imagine if they just kept ‘rebooting’ Cloud Strife with more and more emotional baggage – oh no!) I’m just musing, here.

    #18 4 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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  • Venture into the Valley of the Yetis next week in Far Cry 4

    The next batch of Far Cry 4 DLC, Valley of the Yetis, releases in March and Ajay Ghale will be tasked with surviving violent cultists and the mythical Yeti. Apparently the cult is looking for a secret hidden in the valley, and Ajay has discovered their motives. The DLC features co-op with a friend taking […]

  • The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack out for Payday 2, has dino masks

    The 19th DLC pack for Payday 2 title The Butcher’s AK/CAR Mod Pack is available on Steam from today. The pack will run you $4.99/€4.99 and features: 11 new weapon modifications for the AK rifles in the game 11 new weapon modifications for the CAR rifles in the game Four new masks together with their […]

  • Battle Chasers slated for PC, consoles; comic picks up where 2001 storyline left off

    Darksiders creator Joe Madureira and Vigil co-founder Ryan Stefanelli have confirmed a Battle Chasers game and a new comic are in the works at their new studio Airship Syndicate. Speaking to Polygon, Madureira and Stefanelli wouldn’t provide details on the the game, but did divulge it will be an adventure RPG with player-controlled Battle Chasers […]

  • Shovel Knight, Hotline Miami 2 discounted for Sony’s annual Spring Fever Sale

    Sony is hosting its annual Spring Fever Sale which runs for eight weeks and features a new title each week. The sale starts next week on March 3 with the launch of Helldivers. Here’s just a few items included in the sale: HELLDIVERS (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March 3 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number (PS4/PS3/PS Vita) March […]

  • The gold Super Mario amiibo is a Walmart exclusive

    The Super Mario Gold amiibo which surfaced via a CPSIA certificate earlier this month will be a Walmart-exclusive, Nintendo has announced. The gold-colored Mario amiibo will be released the same day as the Mario Party 10 game for Wii U and will run you $12,96 at 3,000 participating Walmart stores in the US. Along with […]

  • Here’s an overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD

    As new gameplay overview trailer for Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, culled from the Active Time Report, stream has been sent over by Square Enix. The video provides a look at the history and environments of the Kingdom of Orience; the 14 memebers of Class Zero; the battle system with customizable magic spells; and the ability […]

  • Final Fantasy 15 video gives you a look at the game’s wildlife

    A new video shown by Final Fantasy 15 director Hajime Tabata during the latest Active Time Report, contains a look at the game’s wildlife and ecology. You can watch the full stream two hour stream through here, or a smaller clip courtesy of GamesHQMedia below.

  • Lionhead ventures into the free-to-play space with Fable Legends

    Fable Legends will be free-to-play when it launches on PC and Xbox One. According to Lionhead, the one versus four cross-platform title borrows from MOBA games such as Dota 2 and League of Legends as it will contain free, rotating heroes which will be added to a roster for a two week period. Once the […]

  • Win! 5 pairs of tickets to the Call of Duty European Championships

    We have five pairs of tickets to giveaway for the Call of Duty European Championships, taking place in London this weekend. The event takes place this Saturday February 28 and Sunday March 1 at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. Winners can watch teams will go head to head for a $10,000 prize pot […]

  • Republique Remastered has released on Mac and PC

    Republique Remastered, which was announced earlier this month, is now available for Mac and PC. The game is 20% off through Steam, GOG and the Humble Store for $19.99 until March 4. Thereafter, it will run you $24.99. The Remastered edition contains all five episodes of the game, with 1-3 available now and the remaining […]

  • LA Cops coming to Xbox One in March

    Isometric shooter LA Cops is coming to Xbox One on March 13. Already on Steam Early Access, the game looks like it’s been heavily inspired by Hotline Miami. Walk into a room, open fire, leave bloody puddles in your wake. It’s being published by Team 17. Check out the video below for some 70s cop […]

  • We have $500 of Steam Wallet funds to giveaway!

    We’re giving away 10 Steam Wallet prizes worth $50 each to VG247 readers, courtesy of Bundle Stars. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning $50 Steam credit is to enter your details below. Join the Bundle Stars Steam group for entry in the sweepstake, and gain extra entries for […]

  • Lapsed Final Fantasy 14 players tempted back with 10 day freebie

    Square is offering lapsed FF 14: A Realm Reborn players a chance to come back to the game for 10 days worth of free adventuring. Provided you’ve already bought and registered an account you’ll be able to play free of charge from Feb 27 to March 9. Square wants you to sample the new content […]

  • Advanced Warfare: Sledgehammer looking at “opportunities” to recreate classic Call of Duty maps

    Sledgehammer Games has told VG247 it’s looking at opportunities to recreate classic Call of Duty maps in Advanced Warfare. According to co-founder Michael Condrey, players of the latest Havoc DLC are asking how Exo abilities and verticality can be added to classic franchise maps. “We’re taking a look at some opportunities to really highlight the […]

  • GTA Online reader playlist week 7: and the winner is…

    Stuff was shot. But only one player emerged victorious. GTA Online player e031271 won last night’s VG247 reader playlist, beating myself, Matt and regulars solidorwot and Revolting. Congratulations, Mr e031271. A deserved victory. We play a GTA Online playlist in an open session every Wednesday on PS4, because it’s both funny and fun. Anyone’s welcome […]

  • Leaked screens reveal The Reef as Destiny’s new “social space”

    A handful of leaked Destiny screens seem to confirm that The Reef location will be the new social space in Destiny. The new addition is likely to be revealed as part of the upcoming House of Wolves expansion. Reddit user Megamanexe4 dropped the screens on the site earlier this morning, along with grabs that reveal […]

  • Darksiders creator teases Battle Chasers game

    Joe Madureira, creator of Darksiders, has released art that strongly suggests a Battle Chasers game is in the works. Battle Chasers was a comic book from the late 1990s that suffered notorious production problems between issues and was never finished. Madureira formed Airship Syndicate after the collapse of THQ, where he co-created Darksiders. His latest […]

  • Infamous video nasty Axe recreated in GTA 5

    The trailer for notorious horror movie Axe has been recreated in GTA 5. The shot for shot remake is the work of gigerbrick who has previously recreated exploitation flicks like Machete and Hostel using Lego. The original Axe movie was banned in 1984 in the UK but passed with cuts in the late 1990s. Movie […]

  • Payday 2 for PS4 and Xbox One includes “a year’s worth of paid DLC” for free

    Payday 2: Crimewave Edition will include a year’s worth of paid DLC from the PC version of the game for free. The new-gen version of the game will be available June 2015, and includes almost all of the paid and free DLC released so far for Overkill’s popular first-person shooter. That DLC includes The Big […]

  • Yes, Mortal Kombat X will require Xbox Live Gold or PS Plus

    Mortal Kombat X won’t bypass Microsoft and Sony’s premium online play requirements. Reports that Mortal Kombat X wouldn’t require PS Plus or Xbox Live Gold started circling earlier this week thanks to a communications error. Answering fan questions on Twitter, producer Shaun Himmerick accidentally gave the impression that premium console subs would not be required […]

  • This is what Destiny players most want next

    Destiny patch 1.1.1 has resolved or at least addressed a number of complaints voiced by the community, but there are plenty more. des Destiny community manage David “Deej” Dague has put out a call for Guardians to share their concerns – or rather, what they think the community is most concerned about. “Set aside your […]

  • Google AI can play games now, so we’re probably all going to die

    Google has brought us one step closer to our inevitable slaughter or enslavement by machine overlords. Google has developed an AI that can learn to play video games and devise brand new strategies. Let me just rephrase that: Google has created an AI that can teach itself new skills, including how to play video games. […]

  • First footage of Renowned Explorers: International Society surfaces

    Renowned Explorers: International Society is a turn-based strategy game from the team behind Reus, and it looks great. Renowned Explorers was announced almost a full year ago, but has been pretty quiet since then. Developer Abbey games has now announced that the game has hit alpha, and will be open to select testers soon. You […]

  • Cities: Skylines developer commits to mod support

    Cities: Skylines will fully support the modding community. Hailing from famously mod-friendly publisher Paradox, Cities: Skylines is a no-brainer for mod support – especially as a lack of mod support is one of the things SimCity was so heavily criticised for when it firts launched. In the developer diary below, Paradox’s Jakob Munthe is joined […]

  • Nosgoth update adds Vanguard, many fixes

    Nosgoth, the free-to-play multiplayer brawler set in the Legacy of Kain universe, has been given a significant makeover. The major feature of the latest Nosogth game update is a new playable human character called the Vanguard. “Equipped with mighty throwing axes and a shield, the Vanguard can take more punishment than any human class that […]

  • Xbox Live Gold 12 month sub $40 on Microsoft store

    Microsoft is offering $20 off 12 month Xbox Live Gold subscriptions at the moment. An Xbox Live Gold 12 month subscription will normally set you back $60, but a Microsoft Store promotion has it on offer for $40. The offer is restricted to the US store. Although you can opt to grab your sub as […]

  • Tomb Raider movie script to be penned by TMNT writer

    Tomb Raider will be Evan Daugherty’s second reboot of an established universe. The Tomb Raider movie reboot has signed on a writer and a distributor. Deadline reports Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Divergent, Snow White And The Huntsman and G.I. Joe 3 writer Daugherty will write the film. Additionally, Warner Bros. has signed on to distribute, […]

  • Shelter 2 pre-orders open, launch trailer debuts early

    Shelter 2 is a game in which you are a mother lynx and must protect a den of kittens. Yes, it’s delightful. Shelter 2 is coming to Mac and PC on March 9. Pre-orders are now available on Steam at 10% off or on GOG.com with a free skin and soundtrack, or 20% off if […]

  • That Batman: Arkham Knight trailer is full of codes

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s trailer is like a Transformer – there’s more than meets the eye. The new Batman: Arkham Knight trailer contains a number of codes. Eagle-eyed users have spotted four so far, and work on cracking their meaning is progressing. According to an /r/games thread rounding up results so far, the codes pertain to […]

  • Assassin’s Creed haystacks won’t save you from a fall

    Assassin’s Creed fans, don’t try this at home. Assassin’s Creed characters can survive falls of almost any distance as long as they aim for the haystacks scattered handily throughout the environment. As you probably deduced from your familiarity with common sense, this isn’t a real thing: falling from heights kills you, the same way a […]

  • Why are people buying PS4 and not Xbox One?

    PS4 is outselling Xbox One – but why? A new report may have the answer. Last month, the PS4 outsold the Xbox One in the US again, returning it to the top of the charts after just two months away. Why? What has caused this reversal in fortunes in Microsoft’s home territory? According to a […]