Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012 at 9:15 PM by Guest
I think it’s fair to say that I am incredibly excited about the new Tomb Raider game. I have played every iteration of the Core/Eidos/Crystal Dynamics/Square Enix franchise, and I have grown up with Lara as a gaming icon.
Before Nathan Drake had even associated himself with Sir Francis, Lara was raiding tombs, being sassy and doing her best to backflip, shoot and running-jump-and-grab her way to to the top of the archaeologist charts.
Throughout the games, Lara’s appearance has changed dramatically. Her triangular breasts were rounded and softened, her hair bun became a french plait, then a ponytail, and her movement became more fluid and “realistic”. But it wasn’t only her appearance that has changed throughout the ten games, it was also her voice, and in the 11th game in the franchise, simply calling itself Tomb Raider, we have another actress stepping up to the role. So lets take a look at the actresses that have portrayed the heroine, and get to know the latest addition to the roster.
Firstly, there was Shelley Blond. She voiced the original Lara in Tomb Raider back in 1996, and it is partially her fault that so many gamers fell in love with the character. She voiced a young Lara, on her first adventure, yet gave her a warmth and wisdom that made her sound posh, yet appealing to the audience.
Secondly came Judith Gibbins, famous for her “Go back to the beginning and try again” quote during the mansion training missions in the more action-packed Tomb Raider II (1997), but also voiced the character for the adventurous Tomb Raider III (1998), which featured 3 levels in middle section of the game that the player could chose the order they were attempted.
Judith was replaced in 1999 by Jonell Elliott, who voiced Lara through Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation, Tomb Raider: Chronicles, and the poorly received Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness. Unfortunately for Jonell, she joined the series at a low point for Lara, the character is buried under a pyramid at the end of The Last Revelation, and has people mourning her and telling stories of her life in Chronicles. When the franchise tried something new, a darker story set in Prague and Paris, and with some poorly implemented role-playing elements, the series seemed to die, and Core abandoned ship.
Crystal Dynamics took over the franchise, and with original designer Toby Gard on board, Tomb Raider: Legend brought the series bang up to date. They needed a new voice, and took on successful TV and Movie access Keeley Hawes to bring some class back to Ms Croft. Sufficiently plummy, Lara went from strength to strength between 2006 and 2010, and starred in Legend, Anniversary (a remake/re-imagining of the first game), and Underworld. While these were each individual games in their own right, they also belonged to a larger story arc, with Underworld as the finale. Crystal Dyamics also took a slight detour from the usual path of the franchise, and developed Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light, which didn’t mention “Tomb Raider” at all, and was more of a co-operative puzzle solving game which gained enormous popularity as a download-only title on consoles and mobile devices, and also featured a Lara voiced by Keeley.
Now, with the new game launching (and soon to be played at Eurogamer Expo), a new actress has stepped in to voice a young Lara in this origins story. Camilla Luddington is famous for her roles in Californication and True Blood (worldwide), and now will be voicing one of the most famous game characters of all time. Watch the video interview with her below, and then share your thoughts on who you think gave the best “Lara”.
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