Square Enix is changing things up with Tomb Raider, tapping into resources across Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal for the third installment of the rebooted franchise. (Handout/TNS)

Lara Croft returns in ‘Shadow of the Tomb Raider’ game

The third game in the “Tomb Raider” reboot once again stars Camilla Luddington.

Square Enix is changing things up with “Tomb Raider,” tapping into resources across Crystal Dynamics and Eidos-Montreal for the third installment of the rebooted franchise. The new game will also launch cross-platform, allowing PC, Steam, PlayStaton 4, and Xbox One gamers to experience the new adventure simultaneously on Sept. 14.

With Camilla Luddington reprising her performance capture role as Lara Croft for the third time, this new quest spans the jungles of South America. Jason Dozois, narrative director on “Shadow of the Tomb Raider,” explains what’s in store for gamers in this exclusive interview.

Q: What do you think it is about the “Tomb Raider” franchise that’s kept it alive all these years?

A: Lara Croft is the main reason people love “Tomb Raider.” She’s a compelling, genius character who is super capable. And we keep finding new ways of challenging her, bringing in the survival aspect like we’ve done. And now she, herself, is becoming a threat because she is so consumed by her obsession with trying to stop Trinity that it’s becoming a danger to herself and the world. That’s what we’re going to resolve in this story.

Q: What’s the story behind Shadow of the Tomb Raider and why is Lara in South America?

A: She’s hunting an organization called Trinity. This organization is responsible for the death of her father, so in this pursuit as you see early on in the game she comes across an artifact. She takes it and this leads her to a chase into Peru, through South America, ultimately to find the other missing piece of this artifact and stop the Mayan apocalypse.

Q: When did the road map start for “Tomb Raider”? Did you have a plan from the reboot all the way to this sequel?

A: We had a very a very high-level vision, but of course story problems come along the way and we had to refine it and deal with the situations we had. But we had a goal we were headed towards, which is Lara becoming the Tomb Raider she was meant to be — protecting the world, not just stealing things. It’s all about tomb raiding to protect.

Q: What’s going on with Lara Croft in this third game?

A: We’re going to see Lara’s defining moment and really see her transform into the Tomb Raider she’s destined to be.

Q: Can you talk about the evolution of the series from the first game to the improvements you’ve made since then?

A: Not only is Lara’s character evolving from being someone who is surviving to becoming more proactive, the tombs themselves are becoming way more dangerous. Whereas in “Tomb Raider 2013” it was really the introduction, now it’s evolved into this horrible dangerous place and Lara needs to use all her skill and cunning to solve it or die.

Q: What are some of the challenges when trying to tell a story, but at the same time having the story be interactive?

A: If you take certain games, sometimes even people can be fooled that they’re in a cinematic experience. We’re trying to blur the lines of when is it story and when is it gameplay as much as possible. We control the pacing and we have character moments, storytelling moments that blend seamlessly into the gameplay moments. We work really hard to make those moments really coming alive.

Q: What are some of the inspirations for the story in this game besides obvious films like Indiana Jones and Predator?

A: It’s a huge array of things that are influencing us from movies about South America, other adventure films and stuff like this. We try to pick from everywhere the best things that we like, our own tastes, and putting it together in a unique way that only Lara Croft can give us.

Q: This game gives you many options to play. What’s your favorite way to play in this game?

A: My favorite game play is stealth. I love what we’ve done with the stealth, using the mud, becoming one with the jungle, hiding from the enemies, tormenting them and scaring them is the most fun for me in this game.


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