iLLGaming: Tomb Raider games are synonymous to video gaming. TR has a reputation for being an open-for-all franchise, appealing to many. Having said that, Tomb Raider 2013 is the first in the series to be rated “M”, for its dramatic violence and blood portrayal, and the controversial “rape” scene. Why the sudden shift in appeal?
Ian Livingstone: Well, it was again a brave decision. The reasoning behind this being, if consoles allow you to display visually realistic interactive cinematic experiences, and this is a gritty game about survival in a very alien and threatening environment. So to safeguard the audiences, because there is blood involved, you have to have an “M” rating. Whenever I gave talks about Tomb Raider in the UK and in other parts of the world, I asked audiences whether this was a good decision or a bad decision. 99% of them said it was a good decision.
iLLGaming: This is also the first Tomb Raider with Multiplayer. Single player exclusive games have been including a multiplayer mode as a gimmick only because of publisher/market demands. For a historically single player game like TR, does the multiplayer mode actually add value, or is it just a mere filler like in so many other games?
Ian Livingstone: I would definitely not call the multiplayer a filler. Yes ofcourse the single player mode is the main focus, it is the Tomb Raider heritage. You’ll have to treat the multiplayer mode as an additional bonus to the package. It’s been developed not as a throw away add-on. It has been developed by the best talents at Eidos Montreal. Yet, Single Player is what Tomb Raider is really about.
iLLGaming: The narrative of Tomb Raider, is it linear or can we expect to make choices to influence the story?
Ian Livingstone: The storyline is written by Rhianna Pratchett, the daughter of Terry Pratchett. TR has a compelling narrative, storyline and dialogue throughout the game. Tomb Raider 2013 is more of an open-world, so certainly one would have to make choices. It is not as linear as past Tomb Raiders. The narrative is driven by the course you the player’s actions.
iLLGaming: I’m getting a feeling that this Tomb Raider might not be aiming at as wide audiences as it did in the past.
Ian Livingstone: We’re targeting a contemporary audience with Tomb Raider 2013. We are sure people who grew up playing TR would fall in love with the game.