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Tomb Raider AMA recap: Sexual assault, DLC, and gruesome deaths

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Posted by: Andrew Clouther

Yesterday, March 19th 2013, a couple of the Tomb Raider’s higher ups got together on the ole Reddit machine and decided to do a Reddit AMA; Karl Stewart is Tomb Raider’s Global Brand Director and Noah Hughes is their Creative Director. During the AMA the duo answer questions about sexual assault, fans, multiplayer, expansions, outfits, deaths, and all sorts of other things.

This is by no means the whole AMA and it’s been edited to remove the fluff. Feel free to check out the original with all the bells and whistles HERE.

Enjoy some insight.


[Reddit] What were your personal reactions when the initial controversy started snowballing regarding the role of sexual assault in shaping Lara's character?

[Karl Stewart] It was very unfortunate that the situation went in the direction it did. our goal was to make the scene feel real, and for you to understand that Lara had been pushed to her limits and had to fight back. it took the focus off of a area of the game that we truly believed was right.

[R] How did you go about ensuring you pleased the old school Lara Croft fans while at the same time updating the look, the story, and how the game plays?

[KS] From day one we kept a focus on the original pillars of what made Tomb Raider the phenomenon it was back in 1996. We tried to ensure that even with a new vision, we stayed true to the pillars of Combat, Exploration and puzzle solving.

[R] Why did you include multiplayer in the game? It feels sooo tacked on, while the main game was perfect on its own right.

[KS] We honestly believe that creating a multiplayer experience was and is the right thing to do. This is our very first attempt to create a MP experience and with that comes a lot of learning. We will continue to monitor and tweak the experience until we get it right.

[R] What can we expect for a DLC for Lara in a Single Player expansion?

[KS] There are currently no plans in place for any Single Player expansions. All of our DLC is based around the Multiplayer experience for now.

[R] Even though this is intended to be a reboot, have you ever considered doing a "Classic Outfits" DLC pack where outfits like the classic "Blue Top/Khaki Shorts" combo return?

[Noah Hughes] There are not currently plans for a classic outfit DLC. We did try to have a lot of nods to the classics in this reboot, and even her outfit itself is intended to evoke her classic outfit in a way, but is more practical for her situation. This was just an example of trying to play that balance between fresh and familiar.

[KS] How hard was it to decide to kill Lara in such brutal ways? It seems like most games shy away from this now.

[NH] In trying to tell a survival story, it was important that the stakes were high. Survival is a life or death situation, and we wanted the player to really understand the lethality of the island and the situation. It is this life or death stakes that motivate some of Lara's growth as a character.

[R] The game is also very cinematic and the removal of any HUD while not in combat definitely adds to this. Did you go into the game with this planned? Or did you have an always active heads-up display initially designed for the game?

[KS] With regards to the Hud, from day one we were big fans of letting the world and game speak for itself on screen, we want the player to become as immersed in our world as possible. Having constant distractions on the screen pulled you out of the experience to much so we never even went there.

[Reddit]

Tags: Tomb Raider

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