If we take a look at list of our favourite films, we will probably find films that moved us or overwhelmed us emotionally to be making more than half of it.
Keeping that in mind, it hardly comes as a surprise to find Crystal Dynamics focusing on the emotional aspect of the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot.
The brand manager of the Tomb Raider franchise Karl Stewart admitted during a recent interview with IncGamers that the company aimed to create an emotional bond between the young Lara Croft and players. It is for the very reason that the direction of the franchise is being changed with the reboot as it would allow the studio to show the gradual transformation of Croft as she experiences different situations and the way she reacts to them. Stewart hopes that this would help players understand her character better.
“Certainly from our perspective, we want to take you on a journey of breaking [Lara] down and then building her back up again,” Stewart said. “I think Tomb Raider is more akin to a TV series than it is a blockbuster movie, because we want the player to go through the character progression over such a long period of time.”
Crystal Dynamics has also ventured from a Teen ESRB rating to a Mature rating, a transition that has received some pretty strong criticism in recent months.
Stewart, however, defended the move by stating that it was important to make the storytelling mature in order to paint a proper and clearer picture rather than making the presentation vague as that would have only damaged the upcoming Tomb Raider’s narrative edge. Bringing relatively mature content into the storytelling is integral to the proper depiction of character development and showing the emotional side of it, something that the studio is strongly focusing on in the series reboot.
“We wanted to use the mature space to really tell a human story; we want the goose-bump moments and the moments that will make you cry,” explained Stewart.
Some of the most popular games of all time, with Final Fantasy VII being the most notable example, owe a great deal of their success to the emotional narrative. Taking time to develop a character and gradually building a bond between the player and that character was something that had worked extremely well for the game. Chrono Cross and Chrono Trigger are a few other examples of games that laid down a solid emphasis on characters and the emotional narrative surrounding them, which in turn served to make these games pure gold.
Whether Crystal Dynamics is able to successfully incorporate the emotional elements into the game and present the young and naïve Croft the way they intend to is something that only time would tell.
The game is expected to release for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on March 5, 2013.