The Voice of Reyes: Interview with Tanya Alexander

By on January 23, 2014 | 1,040 comments

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Tomb Raiding recently got the chance to speak with Tanya Alexander about stepping into the role of Joslin Reyes in the new Tomb Raider reboot!

Everything from Motion-Capture, to the creative direction of the game, Tanya gives us an insight look into the making of the new Tomb Raider!

Interested in revisiting Lara’s adventure on Yamatai? You can pick up – Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, available now for The PS4 and Xbox One!

 

Can you tell us about Joslin Reyes, and who she is? Have you been in her boots long enough to understand her as a character?

Reyes is a police officer and single mother of a teenage daughter. Her boyfriend, Roth, and she were recruited to help Lara on her latest mission aboard the Endurance. I’ve never been in law enforcement or the military (my background is in performing arts – dance, acting, voice), but I was very attracted to the physicality of the character and her toughness. I understood that she loved strong, her man, her daughter and was not to be messed with. There was also a humor in her, which you saw briefly with her relationship with the ‘Alex’ character. Besides my voice and body, I felt I brought that bad-ass vibe to life that the character deserved. My work with the director, Toby Gard, was all about showing her courage, yet emotion – particularly when Roth dies, as well as her drive to get back safe to her daughter. The relationship she has with Lara is love/hate. She respects her as another tough lady, but feels she puts them all in danger and maybe a bit careless. Later on, when survival is key, she begins to trust and forgive Lara for the death of her man. It’s that mutual need to survive that brings them closer.

In what way was Toby Gard involved with the process of filming Tomb Raider?

Toby Gard was the director for all the scene-work between levels of play in the game. He also was in charge of casting and was the main person in the casting sessions that I attended. He was basically the go-to on set and worked very closely with all the actors. Noah Hughes was on set as well offering lots of ideas as the producer, but Toby was most certainly the hands on director. They were both awesome to work with and were very cohesive in their ideas. It was really an ideal environment for myself and the other actors, having the director and producer on one accord with the project.

How did you find inspiration to perform this role?

The biggest thing I did for this role was to study mothers. I know it sounds weird, but mothers are the toughest beings on the planet. The goal to get back to your child or protect those you care about is the strongest force in the world. And that’s what I used for Reyes.

What do you think about Motion Capture technology, and the way Video Games are shot?

I love Motion Capture Technology! It’s so cool to see yourself as a stick figure, then as a walking, full avatar. The first time I saw Reyes I was blown away. It was very surreal to see this computer generated person who walks and talks like you. I loved it. The mo-cap suits and head gear is really…interesting. Ha! Having a camera mounted to your head 4 inches away from your nose while dressed in a skin-tight suit with glowing balls all over it while trying to run, dodge bullets and ACT is quite a challenge, but I was more than up for it! Tomb Raider was my first mo-cap project and I’m looking forward to doing a lot more.

What are your thoughts about the new Tomb Raider as a rebooted franchise?

I think it’s great to have this new version of Tomb Raider for gamers and viewers. I don’t play video games, but I have a friend who does and I’ve seen it, and it’s so cool. I knew of the Tomb Raider games and films, but I didn’t know I was auditioning for one. Video game production is very hush-hush. I got a call from my agent about some “multi-media project” and thought I was going in for a tv show or something. The first audition was just a read with the director, and I got a callback. During the callback I was asked to jump over things and wield a gun, and it got very physical. I found out only after I booked the gig and signed a non-disclosure agreement what I was really called in for. After I signed, I got the script by zip file and was like, “Whoa! This is Tomb Raider!” It was a fantastic surprise and I felt like I was about to be a part of something big. Every actor wants that.

The-voice-of-Reyes-Interview-thumbnailHave they asked you to do another game? Will we see Reyes make an appearance in the next Tomb Raider sequel?

Well, I can’t say if Reyes will be back, but I love the fact that she was one of only a few survivors. That is awesome. All I can say is, I hope we’ll be back!

Moving forward, where do you see Reyes going in the future?

I can’t say what Crystal Dynamics has in store, but I’m sure it will be interesting! I’m hoping Reyes makes a return and remains a significant character for future games.

Connect with Tanya Alexander:
Twitter | Facebook

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition – New Screenshots!

By on January 7, 2014 | 954 comments

TRDE-PS4-Box-ArtHappy New Years, Raiders!

Time is getting closer to the launch of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition! Kicking off 2014 with a next-gen Tomb Raider game, Crystal has finally released some new screenshots of the remastered title!

VGX Recap: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

 

We don’t have long to wait, pre-order now with select retailers to receive art book packaging featuring never before seen concept art!

TRDE One Sheet

VGX Recap: Tomb Raider Definitive Edition

By on December 30, 2013 | No comments yet

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Recently announced, Crystal Dynamics is bringing Tomb Raider to the next-gen consoles!

The Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition ships with all post-launch DLC, as well as a few bonus offerings that let you dive deeper into Tomb Raider’s development. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The fully rebuilt game for next-generation consoles
  • The Tomb of the Lost Adventurer
  • Eight DLC multiplayer maps
  • Six DLC multiplayer weapons
  • Four DLC multiplayer characters
  • Six alternate outfits for Lara
  • Dark Horse digital comic book “Tomb Raider: The Beginning”
  • Brady Games digital art book “Tomb Raider: The Art of Survival”
  • “The Final Hours of Tomb Raider” documentary series

Crystal Dynamics’ Community Manager, Meagan Marie has posted a Q&A, that’s listed below!

Who is developing Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition?

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was developed as a multi-studio collaboration between Crystal Dynamics and two trusted partner studios: United Front Games (Vancouver) whom we know from their Sleeping Dogs work with Square; and our long-time partners at Nixxes whom we’ve worked with since the Legacy of Kain days. Both UFG and Nixxes worked closely with our internal Crystal core team to rebuild Tomb Raider from the ground up for next-gen consoles.

Are the graphical improvements really that great? What other “next-gen” features are
you including?

Yes, we think the graphical improvements are pretty great. The team didn’t just up-rez the game. They pulled it apart and rebuilt it with new technology, finally allowing us to reach the vision for Tomb Raider that we always wanted.

Will PC users be getting an update that allows them to play with the next-gen Lara
model?

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition was designed and rebuilt from the ground up for next generation consoles. At this time a PC update is not planned.

Can I get the art book packaging without purchasing the game? I’d like to buy it
separately.

The art book packaging is a pre-order exclusive, and will not be sold as a standalone retail offering.

How many FPS does Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition run at?

We are still optimizing the game for both platforms and will be doing so until we release to manufacturing so that we get the highest performance possible.

Is Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition just a port of the PC game?

No, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is not a port of the PC game. Definitive Edition was rebuilt from the ground up for next-gen consoles. The X360, PS3, and PC editions were where we started from; and then we added an improved lighting and shadow caster system, more detailed storytelling visuals, massive amounts of more particle effects, a fully simulated physics world, and the new next-gen Lara.

Some key Definitive Edition improvements include:

  •  An all-new Lara model created to take advantage of the power of next-gen consoles.
  •  Gear on Lara (necklace, climbing axe, radio, arrows) now have realistic physics.
  • Lara’s head has been retopologized and increased in resolution for a higher fidelity appearance. Her head was rebuilt from scratch with an estimated 5x density improvement on features for eyes, nose, mouth, cheeks, etc. All of her textures are higher resolution as well. We’ve also smoothed over edges on elbows, shoulders, and legs to give more natural features.
  • Shaders and lighting have been reworked to showcase the raw physicality of Lara’s journey through sweat, mud, and blood materials and effects.
  •  The world has been dynamically brought to life using complex physical world simulation on trees, foliage, cloth. Additional enhancements have also been made to weather and lighting.
  •  All textures have been created at 4x resolution for maximum fidelity and detail.
  •  In-game characters, enemies, and destructibility have been enhanced for added realism.
  • Subsurface scattering technology has been implemented to capture the most physically accurate lighting simulation and deliver a great sense of believability on Lara.
  • Native 1080p gameplay gives outstanding visual fidelity and showcases the deadly beauty of Yamatai.


Why should I buy Definitive Edition if I already own Tomb Raider?

We call it “Definitive” for a reason! Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition showcases what next-generation consoles are capable of. You’ll notice all the improvements we made and feel even more immersed in Yamatai as a result.

If you’re an avid Tomb Raider fan or collector, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition includes new cover art and an exclusive pre-order art book packaging with never-before-seen concept art.

That said, we realize not everyone will need or want to purchase the game a second time. However if you have friends who haven’t played Tomb Raider and own next-gen consoles, be sure to let them know Definitive Edition is the version to get!

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition releases for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on January 28, 2014 in North America, and January 31st, 2014 in Europe.

Definitive Edition  will retail for $59.99 in North America. Check with your local retailer for price points across Europe!

Tomb Raider Next-Gen To Be Announced At VGX Awards?

By on November 21, 2013 | No comments yet

 TR Next-Gen Sequel To Be Revealed VGX (Featured Image)

Tomb Raider made a splash recently with rumors that hint at a Next-Gen reveal to be announced at the 2013 Video Game Awards in early December!

An Amazon Italy post suggested that Tomb Raider’s reboot will be ported to the next generation consoles. Some are speculating that it might be a “Game of The Year” edition, others say that a next-gen sequel will be announced as well, or both!

A Square Enix rep told IGN, “It’s so hard to keep a secret these days! We appreciate all of the enthusiasm, however we don’t have any details to share just yet. That said, we highly recommend you keep an eye on any major gaming events happening in early December.”

Electronic Theatre reports:

At last week’s Bradford Animation Festival (BAF), Brian Horton, Senior Art Director at Crystal Dynamics, gave a presentation discussing the history of Lara Croft and the development of this reboot.

Following the talk Horton was open to questions from the floor, and the inevitable suggestion of a sequel didn’t take too long to come around.

“We’ve announced the sequel… I’m glad I can finally talk about!” Stated Horton. “The Tomb Raider sequel is the next chapter of [Lara’s] development… her life is changing. She can’t go back to the way she was.”

Horton stated that the team at Crystal Dynamics had worked hard to create techniques and tools that would exist beyond a single videogame, notably stating the development of TressFX with AMD. Horton keenly stated that TressFX was still being worked on and that it was most certainly a ‘next-gen’ technology.

Junkie Monkeys reports, Square Enix has trademarked a game title — Lara Croft: Reflections in both the United States and Europe. The classification qualifies the trademark as, “Computer game software; computer games, consisting of computer software; video game software; video games, consisting of computer software.”

I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
Be sure to vote Tomb Raider as “Game of The Year” & Tune into the VGX award show
Saturday, December 7 at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT on SPIKE TV!

 

Vote Tomb Raider For The VGA Awards 2013!

By on November 20, 2013 | No comments yet

VGX-TR (Featured Image)

It’s that time again, and Tomb Raider & Camillla Luddington have been nominated for the
VGX Awards!

Tomb Raider has been nominated in the categories listed below:

Game of The Year

Best Action Adventure Game

Best Xbox Game

Best Playstation Game

Best Voice Actress

 

 Be sure to cast your vote & to tune in
Saturday, December 7 at 6 PM ET / 3 PM PT on SPIKE TV!

The Cover of Tomb Raider – Interview with Erin Johnson

By on October 3, 2013 | 541 comments

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Back in November of 2012, the Crystal Habit podcast gave us some behind the scenes insight on the making of the Tomb Raider cover.

Mentioned in the podcast by Tomb Raider’s senior art director Brian Horton, the cover is a mockup rendition pieced together by his team at Crystal Dynamics as well as their partners at Ignition & Visual Works.

So who is the the model on Tomb Raider’s cover art? Brian Horton and Ignition chose the lucky & talented model Erin Johnson to represent lady Lara Croft on the cover of Tomb Raider!

 

Transcribed from the Crystal Habit podcast, Brian Horton explains the cover’s creative process.

It started with an Ignition idea that we modified and did a sketch over. Ignition had done some proof-of-concept kind of stuff. Then we did Bren’s sketch, and then we did the shoot. Once we had the shoot and the pose locked from a photograph, we sent that over to Visual Works. They matched that pose and the lighting. In fact, Ignition sent us detailed lighting information. The temperature and position of all the lights and stuff. So Visual Works could simulate that in their environment. They did an awesome render. Then I worked with Ignition to composite some of that to get the final look that you see on the cover. It was pretty cool.

I’m happy to report is that once we got the Visual Works render back, which was originally only supposed to be the head and the hair, they gave us a full body render. I was able to get some ingredients from the Visual Works model and I’ve got them composited in.

TombRaiding spoke with Erin Johnson about what it was like to shoot with Ignition & Crystal Dynamics, and what it takes to be on the cover of Tomb Raider!

How did you learn about the casting notice that Crystal Dynamics had put out?

In the beginning Crystal Dynamics did not hire me. I was hired by a printing company called Ignition Print in Santa Monica.  They are responsible for the cover art of movie posters, video games, etc. I had shot with them before to be a figure model for a different video game and they called me back for Tomb Raider because I resembled the character of Lara.  When it first started out, Ignition Print was trying to get hired by Crystal Dynamics to do the cover of Tomb Raider, and they ended up getting the job with the photo that actually turned out to be the shot they used for the cover!

What did the auditioning process look like?

The casting was through Ignition Print and initially it was for “a chick who can look badass holding a gun.” This to me was perfect because I always dreamt of being portrayed somehow as a badass babe!! So I went to the casting in black pants, thigh high boots, a black midriff top and my hair slicked back in kind of a faux hawk. This to me represented a “badass babe,” little did I know that that shot would help me get the quintessential badass babe of all time.

What was it like shooting the cover of Tomb Raider?

Shooting for Tomb Raider was actually a lot of hard work. They didn’t really keep me in the know or let me know exactly what we were shooting since I shot with Ignition Print about 8 times, each session lasting about 8 hours long. The shoots were incredibly endurance driven. I basically had to do yoga poses for hours at a time and the next day I wasn’t surprised if I was unable to walk because I was so sore. On top of holding poses and pulling on a real bow and arrow (which let me tell you is anything but easy), I was also constantly being sprayed with water and having a fan blowing on me full speed so I ended up also getting sick a couple of times.

I was incredibly accustomed to Lara’s outfit, it was like my second skin!! After shooting in it so much and being drenched in all that water and mud all the time the outfit would get looser and looser everytime I shot in it but they never were able to wash it because they wanted it to still look authentic. We did shoot in front of a green screen and shot one pose multiple times to make sure we got a shot from every angle.

I honestly had no idea how big this was going to be because I could never visualize exactly what my images were going to be used for and how they were going to be used.  I guess it didn’t sink in that I was representing Lara Croft, the most iconic video game character, in my eyes. I’ve always been a huge fan of Angelina Jolie and how big of an uber babe she was as Lara, even shooting for the same thing as her is an incredible honor.  But there is nothing more shocking than to see yourself internationally representing one of the biggest games of the year.

What was the best part about the photoshoot?

The best part about the shoot besides getting to play Lara was probably the things the staff had to make me do to get angry. I’m an incredibly happy/goofy person so it’s hard for me to make angry or pissed off faces because it just is out of character for me.  After a long day of shooting and I was exhausted it came a little easier and I’m guessing that’s why they had me shoot so intensley so that I could portray the expressions of being tired, weary, and angry. After a while we started playing metal so it would get me upset, instead I love metal and it makes me happy so I just pretended to be screaming the vocals and that seemed to help with my “angry face.” Fortunately for the viewers they decided to use none of the photos of me making an angry face and now you know why. Hahaha!!

Have you played the new Tomb Raider game that you’re on the cover of?

Ok here comes the part where everyone is going to hate on me. To be honest I haven’t played the game YET. First off because I would feel incredibly narcissistic, but secondly because the last gaming console I owned is N64. I used to play video games all day long as a kid but since I’ve gotten a little bit older and going to college and working and all that annoying adult stuff, I haven’t had a ton of time to keep up with video games. Once I learn how to understand new gaming consoles I definitely plan on playing the shit out of Tomb Raider, so can someone teach me please?!

Also, while in the process of shooting I was shown clips from the trailer of the game so I could get into character and try and portray Lara’s feelings, so I did get to see a lot of the graphics and get an idea for the plot of the game. I was incredibly impressed, because I was used to Mario Kart and now the design and the graphics of these new school video games are absolutely insane! The gaming world is a whole new world. I think Crystal Dynamics did an amazing job, especially since it took them over four years to make this game. It really shows and it’s incredibly impressive the imagination and creativity and talent they have for making a game so life-like.

Erin Johnson with Cut out & Bestbuy Employee

I appreciate all the love I’ve received from Tomb Raider fans around the world! If you have any Tomb Raider pictures and are on instagram or twitter please reach out to me!! Thank you and I love you! ♥

 

Connect with Erin Johnson:
Instagram | Twitter

 

 

GTA IV: Tomb Raider 2013 Lara Croft Classic Mod (Video)

By on September 13, 2013 | 10 comments

GTA IV Classic 2013 LC Mod (Featured Image)Like cosplay, the modding community is a very talented & creative bunch. A GTA modder: ac.amir has designed a downloadable classic Lara Croft Mod, mixed with the appearance of the new Lara! The Mod gives you an awesome idea of what the new rebooted Lara Croft would like like with her Duel pistol holsters to along with the shorts & ponytail!

For directions on how to get this mod,
follow this link to ac.amir’s official site!
Enjoy the video below!

Tomb Raider Mac Version In The Works

By on September 11, 2013 | No comments yet

Tomb Raider (Mac Version)Tomb Raider launched with an impressive 1 million copies sold within the first 48-hours of it’s initial release earlier this year, and it appears that a version for the game will be available on the mac platform very soon!

Neither Crystal Dynamics or Square Enix has officially announced the game’s release date for the Mac, but an ESRB rating reports Feral Interactive Limited is publishing a version of Tomb Raider for the Macintosh, so the release window shouldn’t be too far away!

Stay tuned for more details on the
Mac OS X release.

 

Update:  A request for a confirmation statement was sent out to Feral Interactive, and they shared the following:

“We are unable to share details of our future release schedule until a game is officially announced via our website. This means that we are unable to confirm or deny that Feral Interactive will be bringing this title to Mac.”

It’s evident that they’re the ones who will be bringing this fantastic game to the Mac. We’ll just have to wait until they officially announce this title.

Update: Feral Interactive & Crystal Dynamics just officially announced that Tomb Raider’s
appearance on the mac
will launch later this year!

Crystal Dynamics released the following:

“We’re excited to bring Tomb Raider to the Mac, and in doing so introduce a new audience to Lara Croft’s origin story,” said Darrell Gallagher, Head of Product Development and Studios at Square Enix. “This is one more step on the road to achieving everything we wanted with the game.”

Pricing, system requirements, and Mac multiplayer details will be revealed closer to the release date.

Connect with Feral Interactive via it’s social media sites:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

Camilla Luddington, Tomb Raider Interview (Geek Bomb)

By on August 31, 2013 | 1,124 comments

Camilla Luddington 08:06:2013Geek Bomb’s Maude Garrett sits down with Camilla Luddington to discuss auditions, Lara’s new iconic outfit, accents and tips on how to break into the gaming industry!

 

 

Connect With Geek Bomb:
Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Tomb Raider Surpasses 4 Million Copies in Sales

By on August 30, 2013 | 12 comments

A Survivor Is Born (Twin Pistols)

The Tomb Raider reboot released for the PS3, Xbox 360 & PC earlier this year and has finally sold more than 4 million copies world wide. This makes this the fastest selling game in the Tomb Raider franchise, according to a statement released by Darrell Gallagher. Gallagher is the former studio head of the Tomb Raider development team at Crystal Dynamics and is now the head of product development and studios for Square Enix.

Tomb Raider remains one of the biggest selling releases of 2013 in many major territories with more than 4 million units sold worldwide so far.

However, a few months after Tomb Raider’s release, Square Enix announced that the game failed to reach predicted sales targets. Crystal Dynamics defended Tomb Raider‘s sales, stating the reboot had the “most successful launch” of any game this year in addition to setting a new record for the highest sales in the franchise’s history.

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