The upcoming reboot for the Tomb Raider series, which is simply called Tomb Raider, isn't trying to re-invent the franchise, as Brian Horton, the art director for developer Crystal Dynamics, believes the game still has the trademark features of any Tomb Raider game and retains the franchise's DNA.
Tomb Raider games earned a cult following many years ago but recent installments haven’t exactly delivered the same kind of quality gameplay the franchise was known for.
[admark=1]With the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, developer Crystal Dynamics is starting fresh with a younger version of heroine Lara Croft as well as with new adventures that have a grittier style.
According to the studio's Brian Horton, this doesn’t mean it won't be a Tomb Raider game, as the team wanted to stay true to the series.
"We wanted to capture the impression, the feel and the DNA of a Tomb Raider game. When we reimagined this, we knew it needed to be perceived as a Tomb Raider game and not something different," he told CVG.
Some changes have still been made, according to the art director, but the core remains faithful to previous games in the long-running franchise.
"We have changed quite a bit in terms of the mechanics, her [Lara Croft's] presentation and the world presentation, but it is still at heart an action adventure game with the navigation, puzzle solving and combat that is a classic Tomb Raider formula."
What's more, the visual design also changed but Horton emphasizes that, although it looks a bit grittier and realistic, it will still have color and a vibrant tone.
"When we knew we had a reimagining of the franchise, the main goals were to make it more grounded, not only in the way the world looks, but the way Lara looks, We wanted to tell a survival story. That informed what the visual DNA would be, and it facilitated the decision to go darker and grittier," he added.
"Still, throughout the game there will be a strong sense of color - there's going to be a lushness to it, there's going to be history. There's going to be everything you love about a Tomb Raider game, but set with a more believable tone. When we do have fantasy elements they're as grounded as we can make them, almost like we're documenting something."
Horton also cited movies like Apocalypse Now or Children of Men, which inspired him and his team to add a new visual style to the game.
Tomb Raider is out in early 2013 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.