The new Tomb Raider game is now available for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and it heralds the return of Brit heroine Lara Croft after five years. But although she is back on our games consoles once more, she's not quite the same mis-proportioned character we're used to.
Instead, developer Crystal Dynamics has taken the brave step of rebooting the franchise, taking Croft back to her roots, and has presented somewhat of an origin story. Lara is only 21 years of age in the new game, and the whole tone is very different to what has gone before.
The idea for the move towards a grittier and darker feeling and plot to the new adventure came not from the games world, the developer explained, but from the movie business - specifically the film reboots of James Bond in Casino Royale and Batman in Batman Beyond.
Speaking to Variety, Darrell Gallagher, head of studio at Crystal Dynamics, revealed why. "We started to look at other franchises outside of gaming," he said. "Bond and Batman are two great examples, with Bond being around for 50 years. We looked at the bold choices they made to make sure the franchise is relevant for a current audience rather than sticking to a formula that is dated."
The transition to a more modern Lara Croft will benefit the movie biz too, as Crystal Dynamics has entered into a partnership with GK Films to make a new film based on the more grittier version. The filmmaker is no stranger to character-driven pieces, having produced Rango, The Departed and Hugo in the past.
While Crystal Dynamics will have some say in the process, the final Tomb Raider film will be very much a GK Films product. "We make the games, they make the film," said Gallagher.