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Lara Croft was "losing relevance"

Developer justifies Tomb Raider reboot.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics decided to reboot the Tomb Raider franchise because heroine Lara Croft was starting to lose relevance, so says brand director Karl Stewart.

In a Rock Paper Shotgun interview, Stewart argued that gamers were struggling to relate to the invincible, infallible old Lara. Conversely, the revised take on the gaming icon will be more more grounded and accessible.

"I think Lara's a beloved character and Crystal has really enjoyed their time they've been able to spend with her," explained Stewart.

"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 she became an icon," he added. "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."

Stewart noted that another factor in the decision to go back to square one was that the studio had run out of new stories it could tell with the original Lara.

"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."

The last entry proper in the long-running adventure franchise was the sturdy Tomb Raider: Underworld back in 2008, with an excellent top down spin-off, Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light, hitting download services last year.

The new look Tomb Raider is scheduled to launch on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in Autumn 2012.

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