09 . 13 . 2018
Happy Shadow of the Tomb Raider Launch Day!
The first steps towards rebooting the Tomb Raider franchise were taken in 2007 – a full six years before the Endurance set sail in 2013. Eleven years later, Lara Croft’s reimagined origin story is drawing to a close. Over the period of three games – developed by hundreds of passionate professionals across multiple development studios and publishing branches – Lara has evolved from an untested adventurer to a survivor, and ultimately into the Tomb Raider. We have grown alongside Lara, pushing ourselves to deliver the high-quality and cutting-edge experiences that you deserve.
We are eternally grateful for all of the fans – old and new – who have come on this journey with us.
Read on for notes from the team.
A Note from Senior Game Director Daniel Chayer-Bisson
"When you are working on your third game of a series you're telling yourself: we will not make the same mistakes as the previous ones so this game should be the easiest to make. Oh boy was I wrong!
“Each project always provides a new set of challenges and a third one more so for different reasons. For example, in Shadow of Tomb Raider we knew we had to close off the trilogy, but what was not immediately obvious for us was the fact that not only did we had to make a great ending to the game, which is a hard thing to do by itself, but also a great ending that will conclude all of the previous two games at the same time.
“Also, by having worked on the previous two games I became comfortable with the recipes that we had developed over the years on how to make a Tomb Raider, but when we tried to use them exactly like before, the game fell flat. We had to find new ingredients to spice it up and that was the most difficult thing we had to do on Shadow of the Tomb Raider - finding the right balance between familiar and different.
“Too much on the familiar side and the game feels too much like a rehash of Rise of the Tomb Raider. Too much on the different side and we are building a different game and not closing the trilogy anymore.
“To my surprise, I would say that I've spent much of my time balancing the familiar and the different so that in the end, the game's identity really plays its part in the trilogy, but also feels fresh enough that people want to dive in and experiences Lara's final act in her origin story."
A Note from Senior Producer Mario Chabtini
"Working on such Iconic brand is a privilege, but it also comes with great responsibilities. We had one shot at making this a Tomb Raider to be remembered while delivering a Lara as never seen before. She is more capable, but she is also more human and she will have to live and deal with the consequences of her actions! I am very excited for you to get deep into the content, and try to find everything the team has created for you. From deadly tombs and puzzles to new traversal mechanics that allow you to explore more freely than ever before, and bigger hubs with lots of opportunities to learn more about our world. Not only will you be able to customize your own Lara, but more ‘Paths’ will ultimately be available for you...
“I think there is a very interesting parallel to be made between Lara and our team. Dedicated, hardworking, passionate and ready to stand for what they believe in. For every challenge or roadblock, we found a way to raise the bar higher. I am so proud of our team that always believed in themselves, and work as one to deliver the end of Lara's origin story. To bring Shadow of the Tomb Raider to the finish line was a huge undertaking, and my greatest desire is that you can feel our love and passion for Tomb Raider and Lara Croft when you play the game. Enjoy the ride! "
A Note from Producer Fleur Marty
"Being responsible for delivering a new episode in as cult a franchise as Tomb Raider can be quite daunting. Especially working with such an iconic character as Lara (as a woman, that has a special resonance with me). It has been a privilege to work with such a group of extremely talented individuals. Rarely in my career have I seen such a degree of dedication and ownership, such an attention to detail, across every department and every seniority level.
“I think a lot of it takes its roots in the love and deep respect we all share for the Tomb Raider games. We all wanted to deliver the best experience possible to fans of Lara across the world. It simply was not an option to let them, and ourselves, down!
“I do believe that the game you now have in your hands is a reflection of this. I hope you will feel how much of our hearts and souls have been woven into it. I wish you an incredible time in the company of Lara!"
A Note from Gameplay Director Daniel Drapeau
“I still have very fond memories of playing the original Tomb Raider back in the 90’s. Sometimes, when I get to work, I think of this kid who would spend way too many hours playing this game, and absolutely loving it. It is truly humbling to be able to work and leave a mark on a series so iconic and prestigious.
“I would like to say on behalf of the whole team: thank you! Thank you for playing and caring about our game. I truly hope that our passion and dedication will come through to you, and that the experience you will have with the game will turn into great memories, that you will cherish for the rest of your lives.
“As a famous explorer once said: ‘the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are.’ So go out there and be extraordinary.”
A Note from Art Director Martin Dubeau
“From my point of view, the creation of Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been a true human adventure, but one that hasn’t been a walk in the park: the scale and the importance of the project didn’t give us a lot of room for error. We had to be efficient while ensuring a high degree of creativity. To succeed in this endeavor, we had to build a team of talented people we could trust, and who would do everything in their power to bring us where we needed to go. Fortunately, this is exactly the type of team I was given the opportunity to work with, not only during our conceptualization phase but also during the production itself. In my 21-year career, I have never seen such a high level of dedication and synergy within a team, with each individual being fully aware of what they were bringing to the project. I am extremely proud of the result, and I hope that everyone will enjoy exploring the world we have created, a world fueled by our undying passion for the franchise.”
A Note from Narrative Director Jason Dozois
“A new project is always a new opportunity to learn new things. We wanted Shadow of the Tomb Raider to be the most personal and the most emotional story that we could make, so making sure we had the right characters took a lot of care and time. Who are Lara’s companions, the people she meets, and who is her opposition? We tried several different iterations of our main opponent before arriving at Dr. Dominguez, and it was worth the wait. Dr. Dominguez is someone who can challenge Lara on an intellectual level and he has the same amount of drive as she does. He also shows us a preview of what she could become is she stays on her current path. The development of the web of characters was the most difficult and satisfying part of making the game for me. On the more informational side, I had to do a lot of research and delve into the backstory of the puzzles we wanted for the game. To do that I learned a lot about Maya and Aztec history and stories as well as immersive myself in the world of archaeoastronomy to help inspire our main clue path that leads from Cozumel to the Amazonian Jungle in Peru.”
A Note from Audio Director Rob Bridgett
“Every day of the three years I’ve worked on Shadow of the Tomb Raider has been a wild ride. It has redefined my preconceptions about what a Tomb Raider game could be. It’s been often challenging, but always rewarding, and always fun.
“Playing through the entire game in its finished state, as I recently did during our final sound mix at Pinewood studios, I found myself playing something at once familiar, yet deeply fresh and unfamiliar. I found myself playing a game full of narrative surprises, amazing locations, darkness, light, hope, and fear.
“This is, in great part, due to all the polish and finesse, sometimes the results of tough decisions to cut things to improve what’s on screen, which has occurred in the final 6 months of post-production on the project, across all disciplines. But, it is also because the overall shape of the finished game can only really ever reveal itself at the end of production, and to be a part of putting the finishing touches to that final experience, is certainly one of the proudest of my career.
“I sincerely hope you enjoy the game. Now our work as developers is over, it’s your turn to experience Shadow of the Tomb Raider. You’re in for a wild ride!”