Tomb Raider’s hero Lara Croft had become “somewhat unrelatable,” over the years, which is why Crystal Dynamics has to reinvent the stalwart adventuress.
Speaking with MCV, studio head Darrell Gallagher said over the years, it seemed as though consumers were unable to bond with the “confident, wisecracking” heroine which starred in various incarnations over the course of the Tomb Raider franchise.
“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 said. “So we wanted to strip it down, give her a personality, make her feel more human, grounded and believable.
“The thing we want to do is make her a more modern version of a young British girl versus somebody that was so, I hate to use the word ‘posh’, but in a sphere where she had a butler. She wasn’t that relatable – almost like the niece of the queen or something.
“You look at some of the actresses that are popular at this point, someone like a Keira Knightley, she’s just a very likeable English girl and that’s the kind of person that you’d imagine Lara to be like. We really wanted to make her a little bit closer to somebody you could know.”
In the 2013 iteration of Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics is taking Lara back a ways – all the way to the beginning if you will – to a place where Lara Croft the girl, becomes Lara Croft the woman through a set of trials and tribulations. To the time before she became the wisecracking adventurer we’ve grown accustomed to, and the woman who would eventually be played by Angelina Jolie on the silver screen.
“Not many game franchises have run as long as Tomb Raider,” said Gallagher. “And we were faced with a challenge that many more franchises will also have to face.
“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.
“What they’ve done with that franchise is make it relevant by reinventing it for modern times. In the video game industry, we haven’t really been faced with that. We were feeling like we were one of the first to really have to tackle that.
“We knew that to stay relevant we had to change.”
Tomb Raider is out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in early 2013.