On the occasion of the release of Shadow of The Tomb Raider, the last exciting chapter of the misadventures of the beautiful Lara you can read about here our review, we offer our interview to Daniel Bisson, Senior Game Director of Eidos-Montréal, e Fleur Marty, producer of the studio.
You told us that in this game Lara is more mature at the end of the story, do you think she evolves and changes a lot during the title?
Yes, change. Going back to the 2013, from the end of Raise of Tomb Raider at the beginning of this game, it had already changed. Not only in his personality, but also physically: he moves in a much safer way, and gains further security during the game. He owns all the weapons he has earned at the end of Raise, he is very capable and he is aware of it, but he still misses something and the player realizes it. And when he meets the doctor ... it's the first time we know an intelligent villain like her. I like to think that you are like Sherlock Holmes and Jonah as Watson, and this doctor represents Moriarty then: it's a new challenge for her. He has a higher maturity than Lara, also because she is very young at the beginning, and like all young people she has potential but has no awareness to use it. In the game it is essential to understand that you have to mature and understand how much your actions can help people. When he takes the dagger he does it for noble reasons and even if he knows that this will cause catastrophes, he proceeds in any case.
So you basically created a more difficult game because Lara is stronger?
There are two reasons: the first is that Lara is stronger, so we had to raise the mail. That's why we've added underwater parts, complex puzzles and stronger enemies. The closer you get to the goal, the more difficult things become. The second reason is that the fan community asked us for a higher level of challenge during the main mission and we listened to them. We have been working on this franchise for eight years and as soon as we have had the opportunity we have increased the difficulty. In the past we had tested and found that people loved puzzles and dungeons, but the latter were the main reason they could leave the game if they were too frustrating. We had to make them more accessible.
Now we can set the difficulty, so we could make them as difficult as we wanted to. Hardcore fans will be happy and die a lot, while casual players can have fun without being too stressed. Everyone wins.
Fleur, do you prefer the fighting sequences the puzzles?
I love puzzles but also action sessions, and I love how they became more complex now. I like having to find the perfect timing to press the keys, and there are different sections of the game so you have to run. And then there are moments of strong inspiration, in which you stop simply to watch how beautiful Lara is in some poses! Personally, I like to play in stealth mode, so I do not make fights go crazy. For this reason I love the jungle, where you can hide in the vegetation or play with mud
If you want to play shooting with a machine gun, in Raise of the Tomb Raider style, you can. But if you want to play like the authentic Lara, the gameplay is completely different. You can camouflage among the trees, in the walls of leaves and dive into the mud, and thanks to the changes of the AI we have been able to ensure that the enemies do not recognize you: they will go crazy thinking that it is a kind of jungle monster to attack them. So you can feel the real power, because Lara in the jungle has control and is very funny, you feel like a predator. He has more experience and skills, and we had to make him feel full to the players. But of course you can always shoot everything and explode things ...
When you reach the final part of the game you'll be amazed: the gameplay shows the new Lara. There are enormous and extremely complex tombs
People were complaining that in Raise of the Tomb Raider the really complex puzzles were not in the main story, which was interesting but too easy. Now the challenge is more intense in history, and the game is very useful. We even have a guy in the team who realizes the puzzles in the real world to make sure they work: he uses the legos and looks for a lot of details, so he creates them in reality. You can see some images in the concept art, before we had never done it before.
It seems clear to us the moral of the story: Shadow is not a walk for our archaeologist, but a real challenge in which to fight against the enemies and against his still young and child, forced to grow and understand their responsibilities.