The lead writer for Rise of the Tomb Raider and its 2013 predecessor has admitted that ‘part of [her]’ misses the quippy, one-liner Lara Croft of old, while admitting that she had to ‘write to [Crystal Dynamic’s] vision’ for the action-adventure series.
Rhianna Pratchett, who parted company with Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics last week, recently gave a wide-ranging and extensive interview to Eurogamer, in which she discussed some of the biggest challenges in writing Lara Croft.
When questioned on whether or not the studio had veered too far from the Lara Croft of old in its rebooted series, Pratchett admitted “there is a tonal difference”, adding:
“Crystal is very keen not to do the quippy one-liner Lara that characterised classic Lara. There’s a part of me that misses that. I know there are players who miss that. From a writer’s point of view, it’s fun to write that kind of character.
“But quippyness and the devil-may-care attitude suggests confidence and resilience Lara doesn’t have yet, so it didn’t feel in-line with her character to be that confident and that quippy. Crystal just didn’t want the same tone to the character. That wasn’t my decision, but I had to write to their vision, and I completely understand that. It’s a darker game.”
Pratchett also stated that the writing team “were in the constant headwinds of feedback all the time”, from the likes of the developer, Square Enix, playtesters and more, adding that it was “very full-on” and “very hard to deal with”.
The biggest writing challenge, however, according to Pratchett, was how to handle Croft being forced to kill countless characters throughout the games. She explained that the team’s approach was slightly different to how Naughty Dog had handled a similar problem with the Uncharted series: “Uncharted has made Drake more lighthearted about it.
“With Lara, we wanted to make her care a little bit and be a bit more human in her reactions, but ultimately realise this is what she’s got to do to survive and just get on with it.”