Episode 31 of the Game Informer Show has Team Lara producer Forest Large quizzed on the upcoming “Lara Croft” game — and the bigger game that’s coming after it. This one’s a tough nut to open, but we’ve small cracks enough to keep us satisfied.
While digital title Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light has its own refocused sense of gameplay, Large maintains that “Tomb Raider” as a franchise has its four main pillars intact, and she makes it clear that they are things the team will “continue honoring”.
They are, quite obviously, “great puzzles, great exploration, some amount of combat, and of course platforming.” With word of a reboot incoming for the franchise, however, aren’t these things that somewhat stick to the tried-and-tested, rather than shake things up a bit?
“I can’t really talk too much about what’s next for the franchise, but what I can offer is that we care very much about the franchise and put a lot of love and energy into it.”
While Large kept mum on deets on the next pillar relese, she did offer some interesting insight on the goings-on at Redwood HQ and what led to the two-team set up at the studio.
According to Large, the DLC pack team for Tomb Raider Underworld went on to work on the Guardian of Light. The small Underworld add-on team, she says, had such great “team synergy” that they decided to keep the clique intact for fresh dev duties.
This went well with the refocused grand studio scheme, Large shares, and it apparently gave way to new “team formulations” that had the Tomb Raider 9 team — the bigger, triple A dev group — working on the next pillar release at the same time the smaller team worked on the Guardian of Light.
Earlier on, the side-series team prototyped a variety of new gameplay mechanics for the downloadable title; this included a side-scroller camera angle for the Lara Croft adventure. It would prove less appealing in comparison to the isometric angle, however, as the team would later on decide to stick with the Diablo-inspired gameplay perspective for the new game.
It was also decided that, Totec, Lara Croft’s co-op partner for the Guardian of Light would only have single-game-starrer duty so Lara’s “thunder won’t be taken away”. Large shares that it was a conscious decision to have a very different, non-competitive partner character for Lara; after all, this is her own self-entitled side-series. So yes, Guardian of Light will feature Totec’s first and last appearance in either series.
On adopting new approaches to developing both the Lara Croft and Tomb Raider series, Large says that the team critic/fan response is key to knowing what’s next. A wait-and-see stance, so to speak.
And we wager they have waited and have seen enough to have a new, focused formula for Tomb Raider 9. Luckily for them, we’ve Janet J’s “Feedback” on cue to get them the response they need. — Now if only we had something to respond to…