Tomb Raider was always a massive franchise. From when it first entered the market back in the days of the original PlayStation console to the recent reboot of the franchise. One of the key aspects that really seemed to shine through with the recent two titles, Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, was the narrative story gamers played through.
As it turns out, the narrative could have ended on a much darker note for the reboot. This news came out after an interview between Tomb Raider along with Rise of the Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett and Eurogamer.
It turns out taking on the role of writing the reboot for Tomb Raider was certainly a tough struggle. Rhianna Pratchett described the process as if she’s writing the narrative with an entire audience behind her chiming in their own ideas and comments. This became a struggle to make sure everyone was happy between all the forces behind the title such as the development team, Microsoft, Square Enix, external contractors, internal playtesters, and external playtesters.
“That was very hard to deal with, because you’re constantly reiterating all the time, and obviously different people have different tastes and different levels of power, and you’ve got to react to everything, and you’re trying to keep everyone happy and also deliver on your creative vision. It’s what I imagine working on a big budget studio picture is like. It’s a bit like writing a script with the entire audience behind you, watching you and giving comments.
But it did help us identify potential problems, like problems with the ending or those moments where narrative and gameplay really clash a lot earlier on, so that meant we could finesse those problems more and smooth out the edges.”
Originally, the ending was much darker and depressing. Players would be witnessing several deaths during the journey. This led to changes made all the way towards the end of the development making it tough for Rhianna Pratchett to finesse these issues.
“Originally, when I’d written the first draft of the script, there wasn’t so much death in it and then, gradually the deaths crept in, and it changed the feel of the narrative. It made more sense the players were feeling that way after they’d gone through various other deaths.”
Rhianna Pratchett has since left Crystal Dynamics to pursue a new adventure. With her creative hand not steering the direction for Lara Croft’s next adventure, we’re interested in seeing if the development team can deliver a strong narrative for the next big installment.
— Rhianna Pratchett (@rhipratchett) January 3, 2017