Transcribed and edited
Tomb Raider has an enormous legacy.
Heading away from where Tomb Raider
was at and into the new era, what
is your strategy or plan?
Cooper: The last six games were
done by Core. This is the first time
Crystal Dynamics are doing the game.
The Legacy Of Kain team - responsible
for developing Defiance, are producing
Tomb Raider Legend. The team has a
large and long experience with producing
action and adventure games. When Crystal
Dynamics got the opportunity of continuing
the franchise, they looked long and
hard and really thought through their
main things we found was that Lara
was still a very cool character and
people are still excited to hear about
her and see her in action. To create
a great game, we have updated the
control system in Tomb Raider Legend.
Not only is Lara now up to date, but
we're pushing the envelope with what
a character in a third person adventure
can now do.
What was most important about updating
Cooper: The biggest switch was
getting off the grid-based system.
In previous games you had to take
two steps back to jump forward. Now
Lara just runs and jumps and slides
and swings and grabs ledges naturally,
everything you think Lara should be
able to do, and it's very easy.
Tomb Raider Legend is going back to
the original days so many people hold
dear. How will the story pan out?
Cooper: Fans of the series will
know that in Lara's bio there was
something that happened to her in
the Himalayas which made her who she
is. In Tomb Raider Legend, Lara will
go the Himalayas and uncover the mystery.
It's a much more personal storyline
than there has every been. The other
aspect is that we are dealing with
a Legend, there is a well known myth
that Lara delves into that intertwines
with her personal story and her personal
evolution in the game.
One of the huge draws in Tomb Raider
are the environments. Where will Lara
Cooper: Lara will visit a huge
waterfall in West Africa where she
will solve an ancient puzzle. This
is an example of how we have gone
away from blocks and switches to larger,
more dynamic scenes. All events which
pan out during the game are caused
by the gamer. Occasionally the world
will surprise you, but most of time
Lara is the one pushing the action.
Tomb Raider Legend is about going
back to the tombs. Unfortunately in
The Angel Of Darkness players spent
two hours and never left the abandoned
streets of Paris. We identified that
as maybe a mistake. It is Tomb Raider
after all, and within two minutes
you're in the thick of it.
What are Lara's new weapons of choice?
Cooper: She always has her pistols
on each hip. She can pick up any enemy
weapon, for example a rifle, a shotgun,
an RPG, a whole suite of weapons cache.
One other detail related to that is
that we've gone with a more realistic
Lara so when she picks up a weapon
she doesn't put it in her backpack
of infinite space. She actually wears
it. She can carry one weapon at a
time but she can get any enemy weapon.
How is Lara more realistic?
Cooper: In her model. If you look
at her closely you'll see she has
a collar bone, tendons, she's becoming
like a real life person. She's as
real as you'd ever want Lara to be.
Can you give us details about the
Cooper: Lara will venture to West
Africa in a remote jungle in Ghana
exploring a temple previously undiscovered.
She does have company there, and there
are always competitors floating around.
The game consists of eight levels,
each one in a different location.
She will travel to every continent,
How will Lara's moves differ from
Cooper: If there is a surface,
Lara can move on it. Slopes, ropes,
ledges, ladders, poles. She's extremely
mobile. She also moves very fluidly.
She can also string together a series
of moves to perform an action. She
also controls very well.
What do you feel folk like about Lara
that you wanted to address?
Cooper: Clearly Lara is a sexy
character and we've done that justice.
She's still in control of it. She's
very powerful and compelling, and
doesn't fear using her guns when she
needs to. She's not about combat but
she will fight to achieve her goals.
This game gives players the chance
to experience that.
How difficult will the puzzles be?
Cooper: There is no comparison
really. It's hard to define difficulty.
Previous games focused on blocks and
switches. Pull a handle here and a
door opens elsewhere. Now all the
puzzles are relative to the area Lara
is in. It's all large and physical,
and Lara will interact with huge puzzles
by un-jamming monster mechanisms to
achieve goals. It's a challenge and
it's intuitive. Overall there will
be three difficulty levels. Each level
will involve a different amount of
risk. There will be checkpoints in
the game so if you want to replay
a level, you can.
Lara has changed in her face, why
Cooper: We never set out to change
her face. Toby Gard, the original
architect of Lara, is on board, and
he brought the character up to date.
When you look at her you'll see more
detail and completeness.
How long will it take to complete?
Cooper: We're looking at around
10-12 hours but we're looking for
a lot of replay. The game is about
exploration and discovery, so they'll
be goodies hidden throughout. Puzzles
are also open-ended, and you can solve
them in numerous ways.
What of the additional characters
in the game?
Cooper: Lara has a bad habit of
killing those she encounters, so we've
introduced new characters. There are
some from the past as well. A new
powerful nemesis will debut, a globetrotter
just like Lara. The nemisis will also
be searching for the same artifact
Lara is, so Lara will have competition
throughout her adventure. There is
a new female character to complete
with Lara also...
What about vehicles?
Cooper: We're not quite ready
to talk about that.
What about the sound and music?
Cooper: We have a composer who
is scoring the whole experience. It's
like a movie score, dripping with
emotion. The music has always scored
well with fans of the series. We're
not letting that down. Lara will still
have her cheeky commentary, and will
use a headset so she can talk to her
tech team back at her mansion.
game will debut in Winter, simultaneously
on all formats. The textures on XBOX
and PC will be slightly greater and
run at a higher frame rate. Basically
it's the same game. The PS2 version
will also be awesome. Crystal Dynamics
have developed a streaming game engine,
the sixth of its generation, which
dumps redundant memory and enables
higher details in what appears on
the screen at any one time.
Finally, what do you say to anyone
who has lost faith in the series?
Cooper: First of all, I understand.
You've played six games, and they're
all basically the same. We're going
back to the tombs, she'll appear and
control the way you've always wanted
her to. I don't think you'll be missing
anything. I think you'll be relieved.
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