GamesRadar: When you decided that Tomb Raider was getting a reboot, what were you thinking Lara would look like?
Brian Horton: When we took the decision to go down the reboot route we asked ourselves some really big
questions about Lara: which traits would go, which would stay? Do we keep the backpack;
do we keep the shorts, the ponytail? Is she still British? All of these were asked, and it
caused some huge debates internally.
We were able to boil Tomb Raider’s gameplay down to certain key elements, without which
the game would no longer be a Tomb Raider game: puzzles, exploration and combat. We
also agreed that this could be done for Lara. We realized that there were certain traits
which made Lara recognizable as Lara – the ponytail, the dark eyes and full lips – and we felt
we should keep them, but the rest of her look was reimagined and redrawn for our times.
The Lara we see in this game is a 21 year old adventurer, still a Brit, and fresh from
university embarking on her first archaeological voyage to seek the lost kingdom of Yamatai,
somewhere in the Dragon’s Triangle off the cost of Japan. She’s lost some of those cartoonlike curves of previous iterations; in this game we wanted her to seem more realistic, more
like a person you could walk past on the street.
Aesthetically she’s still beautiful, if not more beautiful than before, and she also has all the
potential of the previous Laras. She’s ambitious, tough and strong, but at the beginning of
the game the Lara we meet is untried and untested; this is her origins story.