I know that some people have felt that we’re breaking down Lara in this game. That we’re taking a strong character and sort of breaking her down through the events that happen. But that’s really not the case. What we’re doing is taking her back to a time when she didn’t have the answers to everything. She didn’t have the guns and the gadgets to deal with every situation. She was seeing everything with fresh eyes and she didn’t know she was capable of doing these things. So she’s on that mission of self-discovery. All those traits that she strengthens throughout the game are in her, absolutely in her, but they’ve not been brought out in such a way. That was really interesting from a writer’s perspective, to be able to do that. We haven’t really taken away from her. We’ve just wound her back. Everything is still there. It’s still embryonic within her. She’s discovering it at the same time as the players are. That’s delightful, when you can get players and player characters discovering everything for the first time. That’s a real sweet spot. That’s been very important. Particularly where her bravery comes in, that was something I wanted to look at. The fact that we do see her being scared and sobbing at certain points and turning to Roth for help… Yeah, she does seem a little bit helpless. Not necessarily what you want to do with a strong female character. But… That’s important. You see her grow. You see her actually having to face up to things. She’s utterly scared, but she realizes that she’s going to have to get herself out of this. That realization is powerful. I think it was a little bit shocking to players, to see Lara being scared. You rarely see characters being scared, especially when they’re usually seen as so strong and capable. I think that was a bit of a shock for people. But we’re playing a long game with Lara. When you see Lara scared and asking Roth for help, that’s very early on in the game. You see her basically having to pick herself up and say, “Okay, I have to do this one step at a time. If I get knocked down, I’ll get back up again.” It’s that character evolution and discovery of things inside herself… And discovering the magic in the world. Not necessarily supernatural magic, but her love of tombs and her geekiness about archaeology, that comes out as well. It’s not all doom and gloom. She gets excitable and almost bubbly… That kind of geeky archaeology student really comes out in certain places. That was a lot of fun to do.
Rhianna Pratchett —