I have to say I was a little surprised when Crystal Dynamics revealed that part of Lara's character development would involve learning languages in Rise Of The Tomb Raider (opens in new tab). It's something different so I like it, but it is such an unusual idea. Talking to GamesRadar, creative director Noah Hughes has explained more behind the new mechanic.
One of the new systems in the game sees Lara needing to find and decipher smaller language samples in order to earn XP that can be used to further her knowledge. For example, that stone carving up there is initially gibberish until you take the time to find script fragments and murals to examine that level up your word skills. Greek and Mongolian are two of the languages revealed so far.
It's a nice concept, but it does lead immediately to the question, 'why?' For Noah, it was about making the original Tomb Raider feel like she was living up to her title: "how do we make sure that the archaeological themes and tomb raiding, as a game system, is contributing to your progression as a character?" he explains.
Much of the previous game was built around some very physical combat and exploration. This time Noah "really [wanted] a lot of that tomb raiding stuff to be as important to your success in the game as your ability to survive environments or confront your enemies". Hence language being added to Lara's syllabus for the the first time. "We really did want to make sure that [Rise of the Tomb Raider] was celebrating, not just those survival instincts and skills, but her archaeological background, her passion for unravelling the world’s secrets, and some of her intellectual prowess as a character." Πρέπει να είναι διασκεδαστικό*.
(*Thanks to James Tsorvas for the correct Greek.)
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