Back in 2010, after a stint working on the early version of Eidos Montreal’s Thief reboot, Rhianna Pratchett set to work writing a very different Lara Croft. The brief from developer Crystal Dynamics was clear: this new Tomb Raider would be a reboot for the long-running series, a game that would drag Lara Croft kicking and screaming into the modern era. For Pratchett, that meant helping craft a personality for a younger Lara, an origin story in which the world’s most famous video game action hero could find herself.
“They talked about it in the way in which Batman and James Bond were rebooted,” Pratchett tells me over Skype. “We talked about Lara being depicted at a younger age. They’d had a lot of feedback from fans who wanted to see the adventures of a younger Lara, so they knew there was an appetite out there for it.”
When Pratchett began work on the series, Crystal Dynamics already had a number of Tomb Raider games under its belt, having taken over development duties from Lara’s creator, Core Design, in the mid-2000s. The studio felt it had the credibility to reboot the franchise – one of the most iconic in all video games – and had come up with a bold new vision to make the reboot worthwhile.