Copyright 2005

[ December 3rd 2005 ]

Toby Gard - creator of Tomb Raider star Lara Croft - has spoken candidly to PLAY UK on his reasoning behind leaving Core Design in 1997, and subsequent return to his franchise in 2005 by assuming the role of lead designer on the character he first sketched on a drawing board almost 10 years ago.

"I think it's important that if you're going to make a franchise, it has to evolve. I think that Core's mandate when I was there was just 'we have to pump out a Tomb Raider every year ' and that was just not going to lead to the quality that is necessary for improving a franchise. I didn't see much point in pursuing that. We'd already done it with the first one, so what are you going to do?"

Tomb Raider Legend faces stiff competition from the likes of Prince Of Persia pushing the genre forward, but Gard still believes in the power behind the Tomb Raider Brand. "Tomb Raider is pretty good because it's based on mystery, it's based on discovering pretty amazing things.

"Lara is a pretty cool character in terms of her personality. That whole 'ice on the surface but fiery underneath' thing is fascinating. It's more compelling to me anyway, than the more totally fantasy Prince Of Persia-ery stuff, because it's more of a real-world thing, closer - in character at least - to what we experience today.

Tomb Raider Legend will simultaneously release on PS2, XBOX 360 and PC in Spring 2006, and Gard won't be drawn on what the future holds for him. "I haven't really thought about it yet, but I would definitely like to continue with old Lara - she's got a big story arc to go down and I'd like to be involved with taking her down that road.

"Bringing the series away from Core Design has given the series life and given me an interest in Tomb Raider again." Gard concluded.

Retribution at last, then.

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