Tribeca Film Festival’s Sneak Peak of Shadow of the Tomb Raider

BY DEAN MOSES

Video games bring us together, whether it is playing side by side on a couch or playing with a friend or loved from around the world. Thanks to the Tribeca Film Festival video games brought us together again, this time with A Special Preview of Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

The Tribeca Film Festival presented a special free preview on Friday April 27th of one of the most hotly anticipated titles coming this year: Shadow of the Tomb Raider. This beloved franchise has been going strong for over twenty years, first releasing in 1996. Since then the games’ protagonist has become one of the most well-known characters in all of gaming, even spawning three spin-off movies. If you are unaware, the franchise follows a wealthy young British woman as she uncovers ancient artifacts. Now, it is almost time for Lara to return once again. Held at the BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, attendees were treated to the first publicly shown gameplay footage, which came right after the first cinematic trailer released that morning, showcasing Lara engag-ing in stealth warfare, shooting arrows through the jungles of Mexico. After scaling a cliff edge, we see Lara focus on the Mayan pyramids. The trailer ends with Lara looking down from the top of the pyramid.

After the footage concluded and the lights raised, moderator Geoff Keighley took the stage to much applause. He spoke with the audience, gauging their fandom by the amount of games in the series they have played recently, and asked if they had seen the latest movie. Then, Keighley introduced the panelists: The game’s creative team, Senior Game Director Daniel Chayer-Bisson, Lead Writer Jill Murray, Senior Brand Director Rich Briggs, and Lara Croft herself, Camilla Luddington.

Keighley spoke with Luddington about the evolution of the character and the fact she has been playing Lara for almost eight years now.

Luddington had this to say: “It’s funny, at this point I feel like Lara is a part of me because she is the character I have played for the longest time of any character. In the very first game you see she has that excitement and naivety to her about the world, and obviously at that point she has already lost her parents, but she has created this new family around her that feels like her cushion, her safety. You see her lose Sam and Roth, and it just rips the carpet from under her. In the second game she has tunnel vision. In this game, I feel like if she carries on the way she has been living her life, it’s internally so dark that it will be self-destructive. So, in this game it is really about re-finding herself and her light.”

Keighley then moved on to lead writer Jill Murray, asking about the journey Lara will be having this time around.

Murray said: “In Shadow of the Tomb Raider we see Lara fighting not to become the enemy that she hates. And, in many cases, we might even see that the enemy is herself. She is going to make a lot of mistakes, deal with a lot of complicity, and I always think—depending on your perspective—a hero can also be a threat. In this game Lara has to decide, with all of the power she has, as she is becoming the tomb raider she is destined to be, which of those is she going to be?”

Tribeca Film Festival special presentation of Shadow of the Tomb Raider gave us a behind the scenes look at the creative process and a few fleeting glimpses at the game itself. One thing is for sure, Lara’s new adventure is shaping up to be one of her best and most complex yet.