Crystal Dynamics, the developer of the upcoming Tomb Raider game, believes that the very first kill of heroine Lara Croft in the title needs to be a special situation and that she shouldn't immediately be forced to murder hundreds of other enemies.
The Tomb Raider games showed an experienced Lara Croft that could easily infiltrate monuments, recover relics, and quickly eliminate anyone who stood in her way.
In the upcoming reboot for the series, we're dealing with a younger and much more inexperienced Lara Croft, so developer Crystal Dynamics has taken great care to show her evolution throughout the new game.
A big role in the plot will be played by Lara's first kill, and Brian Horton, the studio's art director, says the team took great care in crafting this moment.
"In video games the mechanic, or the idea of using killing as part of a gameplay loop, has been part of video games forever. It's just something that we've grown accustomed to. But very few games put that importance and the weight of what killing a person means [into the game]," he told CVG.
"So the first kill for Lara had to mean something. It was something that she had to do, but she actually made a choice to do it, in a way. The player makes the choice. You need to pull the trigger. So you go through that event and you feel the weight of it."
The video game experience allows the studio to slowly ramp up the enemies Lara needs to deal with over time, so she won't immediately murder a hundred bad guys after her very first kill.
"What's exciting about video games versus film is that films have to tell a story in an hour and 45 minutes. We can tell a story over many hours, so we can ramp up that experience over time, and we can feather that in from going from that first kill to more kills," he added.
"It's a game, so you have to bring it in, but the next big encounter you see she's not too sure of it. She's like 'stay away', and she's injured. So she's once again cornered but now she has two guys to kill. So we've ramped it up so that we're not actually going from zero to hero in the span of an hour, we really give you the opportunity to get used to the idea of what she has to do, which is to kill in order to survive."
While this progressive experience might not please players who want action right from the get go, it does highlight the attention Crystal Dynamics has given to the game's story.