This highly anticipated title finally gave gamers a playable origin story for Lara Croft; the industry’s most famous female protagonist. This reimagining of the 17 year-old franchise takes Lara back to when she was 21, full of ambition and drive, and on her first big expedition to find the lost Japanese kingdom of Yamatai.
It’s a time before Miss Croft had the guns, gadgets and confidence to deal with any situation. And so, when she finds herself shipwrecked on a mysterious island, initially alone, with no weapons and facing extremely hostile inhabitants, she reacts in the way that many of us would, with fear and uncertainty. But this is Lara Croft. We know what she’s capable of, even if she doesn’t. And so our heroine makes the decision to live; to fight back against the odds. Not because she’s not scared, but despite it, because no true bravery comes without fear.
Rhianna spent over two and a half years working with Crystal Dynamics as Lead Writer for Tomb Raider; initially being brought on-board to help the team create a more human, relatable and likeable Lara. During her time on the project, working with Noah Hughes (Creative Director) and John Stafford (Senior Narrative Designer) she helped build the narrative from a story-synopsis right up to a full-game. Her role including creating the story treatment, world building, fleshing out character bios and relationship webs, casting prep, performance feedback and writing the full cinematic script.
Alongside that, Rhianna was an active figure in the game’s marketing campaign, and was interviewed by many notable news and entertainment outlets, including: CNN, The LA Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, Metro, The Independent, Penny Arcade, Digital Trends, Rock, Paper Shotgun, The Huffington Post, Wired, The Escapist, Polygon, IGN and Eurogamer.
“Rhianna Pratchett and the writing team have created a believable,
relatable protagonist without resorting to the kind of disempowerment
certain discussion suggested they would. In fact, the handling of Lara
as a character, as well as that of the other survivors, is masterful.”
“The interplay between Lara and her crewmates further cements
her place as a laudable female protagonist. Not only does the game
pass the Bechdel Test with flying colors, but it does so with a
multiracial cast. Her friends respect her, but they also question her,
for they, too, are human. When they doubt her, it is not for her gender,
but for her inexperience. No one hits on her, or comments on her appearance.
When they admire her, they speak of her instincts and intellect. They are
the final brick in the old Lara’s tomb.”
“Tomb Raider is well-written, sympathetic, exciting, beautiful
and just incredibly well-made.”
“With a well written cast of characters, mightily impressive production
techniques, sumptuous visuals, tight platforming and surprisingly enjoyable combat,
Tomb Raider is most definitely a release to be treasured.”
“Tomb Raider wouldn't work if you didn't care about Lara...
Once things get grim and she’s forced to face the fact that help
isn’t coming, her humanity is touching to see. We see her in a
way we never have before - vulnerable and real. Other Tomb Raider
titles have focused on bits and pieces of Lara’s personal history,
but she’s never been so truly human as she is in this latest
incarnation. Her journey to get off the island is a fun adventure,
but her emotional journey from student to survivor is what makes
this Lara so appealing.”
“This self-effacing Lara Croft really is a bona fide
original — for me she is the first true heroine of computer
games, and at last worthy of her star on San Francisco’s
Walk of Game. Her authentic femininity is what makes this game.
If this was a male character in the lead, well, the game would
be good, but with a heroine front and centre, it is a masterpiece
that I’m delighted to have finally fallen in love with after
a courtship of just 17 years.”
“From a story perspective, Lara is now as interesting
a character (though wholly different from) sardonic Nathan Drake.
This feels like Uncharted will have to start chasing Tomb Raider.”
“Lara is a great lead. Emotional, nuanced voice acting and stellar
animation for the character help make her believable... Few games have
managed such a likeable and relatable protagonist, scaling up from
vulnerable ingénue to hardened survivalist.”