25 November 2014

Relive is a new feature on the site which revisits specific moments in the Tomb Raider series. In this post we're going back to one of Lara's earliest adventures, Tomb Raider II. The game promised to be bigger and better than the original, with more locations to explore and new gameplay variety. This time Lara was after an artifact, the Dagger of Xian, which granted whoever was impaled with it, the ability to turn into a dragon. An impressive power sure, but incredible impractical given that most doorways aren't dragon size... or in fact takeaway food. And being a dragon is great and all but, you know, burritos.

While there are so many fantastic moments in the title, there's one which stands out as the greatest for me, and it takes place pretty early on in the game.

The game starts off with a trip to the Great Wall of China. After wrestling with some of the wildlife including some kittens, a pack of angry spiders and some heat seeking eagles, Lara finds herself at the start of an adrenaline fuelled ancient assault course. The course only takes around one minute to complete but also consists of back to back traps, and yes, most of them are highly impractical and ridiculous.

Of course this series has no illusions that it frequently delves into the fantasy genre; it's what allows awesome situations like this to happen. Plus I have a fondness for level design which has "wait...what?" elements.

The assult course is as followed:

Lara first runs down a darkened tunnel and over collaspable tiles which breaks seconds after she touches them. Below the tiles are bloodied spikes so continuous movement is imperative. Once over the tiles, keep running to the steep incline and quickly slide down. Behind you are two huge boulders, in front are sharp spikes, so make sure you keep moving and you jump at the precise moment. Once on solid ground you haven't got a moment to lose as two walls, baring spikes, closes in on your position. Turn left, and sprint to the tunnel, and you can escape just in time. In the dark tunnel, you're allowed a moment to pause, and perhaps save before the insanity starts up again.

Once on the move you're faced with a more blades and loose ground, move fast and jump when needed, matching the pattern: tiles, blades, tiles, blades, tiles, blades. Once in the next room, run quickly to the exit as once again the walls close in on you. Run over the collapsible tiles, past three sets of spiked walls, and drop down into the next room. In this room, you will face more moving spiked walls. The loose ground in the corner proves to be your salvation. As the floor gives way, you are thrown into a cave. The final trap lays in front of you; two rolling wheels, armed with a spike in the centre.

24 November 2014

Gaming has a strong ability to unite people, whether it's through a shared passion for a character,  a series or a game. Over the past 19 years, the Tomb Raider franchise has connected people from across the globe and has helped fans express their creativeness.

I want to tell you about a fan film which I am so excited about. While every fan film has a unique touch, this one especially caught my eye when it was first announced.

The film is called Hunted and is written by Kate Sykes and directed by Josh Pate. It stars Sara Croft, Anne Roig and Carla Lemley.

Kate Sykes, The Writer.
                  The Inspirations     

The story is written by a close friend of mine, Kate Sykes. If you don't know her, then where have you been!
She's a cosplayer, a talented writer, an actress, a photographer, and she's also a genuinely lovely person.

Over the past few years she has written guest posts for the Official Tomb Raider Blog as well as Guns and Grapple. She has been spotlighted for her cosplay skills by Crystal Dynamics in Croft Couture and has been a featured cosplayer for a month at Lara Croft Cosplay. She has written her own mini Christmas Tomb Raider fan film and she is currently participating in Meagan Marie's cosplay charity store which supports Room to Read. These are just a handful of projects she's done, I recommend checking out her Facebook page for amazing ventures.

Copyright Kate Sykes

For Hunted, Kate is in charge of creating an interesting and engaging storyline as well as giving the characters a voice. Over the past few months she has worked closely with the cast to discuss the plot. "It's tremendously exciting!" Kate describes "I've wanted to make a Tomb Raider fan film ever since I decided I wanted to make films for a career, which was when I was about 14, so to be able to do this project all these years later with some of my personal inspirations is very special."

In the series, Lara travels in search of mythological truths and fascinating treasure but for each adventure there's a personal aspect to it. For Kate, the driving force behind her involvement in the project is a similar reason. In 2007, she met Anne Roig who plays Lara in the upcoming fan film and the two quickly became friends. Kate has complete faith that Anne will deliver a great performance. "She is incredibly talented and has already shown that she's an excellent Lara Croft through her cosplay." Around the same time, Kate also met Sara, the owner of Lara Croft Cosplay. After learning that both Anne and Sara were planning to meet for a photoshoot and a possible fanfilm, Kate jumped at the idea of writing for them. As talks of the fanfilm became more serious, Carla also joined the cast to portray Himiko. "To have Sara and Carla Lemley - who are also veterans in Tomb Raider cosplay - involved as well is a dream come true for me."

Copyright Kate Sykes

The latest Tomb Raider has certainly grabbed the attention of the gaming community. The sleek, new reboot took Lara to the brink of insanity to show the strength and determination of humanity and the treasures of pursuit. Kate is among the title's fans; "It's a beautiful, emotional and brutal story that shows a broken young Lara who finds her inner fighter in order for her and those she loves to survive. It's something that's never been seen before in Tomb Raider." Kate wanted to focus on Lara's and Sam's relationship, a variation of Rhianna Prachett's story, which also includes her own personal touch to script.

Sara Croft, Sam Nishimura
                  The Filming     

For those involved or interested in cosplay in the community, Sara's name will be very familiar to you. She's the creator of the community's largest cosplayer website, Lara Croft Cosplay. Through it she has launched several exciting projects including recently a care package programme for those fans interested in creating their own Tomb Raider costumes but are experiencing financial difficulties. In recent months, she has been spotlighted  in Croft Couture and arranged a cosplay charity auction which raised over $1000.

Sara's Tomb Raider (2013) Photoshoot
She's a woman of many talents, with skills in photography, video editing, crafting and sewing. While you may see photographs of her scaling trees or plunging into cold water as Lara Croft, for the upcoming fan film she will be embodying Lara's friend Sam Nishimura.

Like Kate, Sara fell in love with Lara's latest adventure "When I got to play the game, I really liked the character development. She's just a young girl whose been backed into a corner by fate and either she fights or she dies." Sara is best known for her dedication to the cosplay community; a hobby that isn't just about looking like a character but capturing them. What intrigued Sara was Lara's complete determination throughout her adventure and her unwillingness to give up. "If it was me, I think I would have given up when I washed up on that beach, but you watch her develop into a fighter, and if a normal girl can do that, so can we."

Earlier this year, Sara, Carla, Josh and Anne met to record scenes from film. While in great company, the weather seemed anything but. "We needed to shoot a few scenes in the snow and even though you bring coats and try to mentally prepare yourself for the cold, it's never enough. Although I was able to handle it better because I layered shirts and pants on underneath my costume. I had to do a couple takes barefoot in the snow as well" Some fans have suggested that Lara could have acquired a jacket from one of the scavengers in the game, Anne more than anyone probably wishes that was the case now. "I felt worse thinking about Anne in two tank tops and ripped up pants and Josh in the Mathias costume in 29 Fahrenheit weather!"

Sara and Anne as Sam and Lara. Photo by EAT Photography.
Sara's enthusiasm for the project certainly shows through. When I asked about why she wanted to create a fanfilm, her answer solely focused on the people involved on the film;  "honestly just for a chance to work with Carla, Anne and Josh in person. They are wonderful people that I love dearly and it's like we were all split from the same egg. The amount of things we have in common is overwhelming so it made the whole process easy and really fun."  She also spoke about her admiration for her friend's acting skills especially during a fight scene between Anne and Josh "without speaking a word, Josh had thrown his staff at Anne and she instinctively blocked it (not to give up too much) but the improvisation carried on throughout the scene and it was perfect! We still remenise about that scene!"

Anne Roig, Lara Croft
                  The Challenges     

Anne's journey into the world of cosplay started at the young age of 14, encouraged by Lara Croft's adventures, and viewing her as a source of inspiration throughout school. Since then her love for the series has driven a number of cosplay projects. She has been interviewed for Croft Couture on the Tomb Raider blog as well as been a spotlighted cosplayer on Lara Croft Cosplay and Complex. She has modelled for Hibernacula, been featured in the book Gorgeous & Gory, and has starred in the sci fi series, Venus Rises. With her Hunted cast members, she is currently taking part in Meagan's cosplay charity store.

While I know many incredibly cosplayers in the Tomb Raider community, Anne was one of those fans whose work I admired but I had never talked to her personally before. Everyone I interviewed for this article spoke fondly of her, it wasn't until I approached her about the project that the reason became incredibly clear. Anne is probably one of the sweetest and most accommodating people I have met. Her enthusiasm and complete adoration for the fan film and her cast members shone through immediately.

Anne's Tomb Raider (2013) Photoshoot
Her passion for the games is obvious from the outset; despite being introduced to the series in the early Core Design days, she thinks there's something special about Lara's latest incarnation who she describes as her "absolute favorite. There’s a certain rawness, or vulnerability I guess you could say, to Lara that no one has ever seen!"

Anne refers to the fan film as an "exciting challenge" stating that "we are not a professional team, just a bunch of crazy hardcore Tomb Raider fans with a passion to bring Lara to life!" Her description of the group seems somewhat fitting, especially after hearing of some of the tribulations that they faced while filming. "I believe nothing could have prepared us for the crazy journey that soon took place as everyone was getting ready to meet." Even before filming even begun, a broken down car and impossibly cold conditions hindered the group travelling. After Sara's car broke down on the highway just 40 miles into their journey, Anne and her fiancé Josh drove down to New Hampshire to collect the team. Despite a hectic and expensive day, they continued preparation for the fan film. "we had to juggle finishing up miscellaneous props and costume pieces, taking care of my son (who, might I add, is in his terrible two's!), and get filming equipment ready."

Behind the Scenes photograph with Anne and Josh.
The following day was filled with further troubles. "It seemed like fate was completely against us" Anne describes, as the freezing conditions made it impossibly to safely film the scene. Despite feeling frustrated with the sudden turn of bad luck, the group still managed to make the most of the day by arranging a photoshoot. Getting up early the following day allowed for the cast to make up for some lost time. " Thanks to Sara and her ridiculously awesome ability to organize everything with her lists, seriously… I’m super impressed! We made it on location, and even though it was still dangerous for us to film, we did it anyway! We took all of our props and gear, (which collectively weighed a couple hundred pounds, at least!) and hiked roughly 15 minutes in through the frozen tundra of a forest to get to the perfect location." By the time that filming was finished, a blizzard had began to roll in, travelling through fresh snow and frozen lakes with the equipment, proved to be an additional challenge. Despite talking about the challenges of filming, Anne remains completely optimistic as she retell her experiences "we all stuck together as a team and got through it alive! And for that, I’m extremely proud of us! "

Carla Lemley, Himiko
                  The Surprises     

 If you've been following the Official Tomb Raider Blog or any Lara Croft cosplay groups, Carla's incredible reboot photoshoot has probably graced your computer screens a few times. She has a real talent for cosplay and can accurately embody the characters she is portraying. Her recent Lara cosplay, dedicated to the first incarnation of Lara, has received praise from numerous gaming websites and has been described as a perfect tribute to Core's protagonist. While we've seen her as Lara, she is exploring new ground in the upcoming fanfilm and will be playing the antagonist, Himiko.

Carla's Tomb Raider (2013) Photoshoot

The project is a collaboration between fans spread over thousand of miles. For Kate, video calls were set up from the UK to the States. For Carla, this first meant a series of transfer flights across America. Talking to her in the middle of production, Carla is enthusiastic about the fanfilm; "This project is very exciting we have a great crew with lots of ideas and ways of crafting that will make this film certainly memorable!" It's certainly a film to keep an eye on!

In its concept, the fan film, simply titled A Tomb Raider Fan Film by Kate Sykes, starred Anne Roig and Sara Croft. As the script and project developed, the idea grew into something more complex and in the months that followed, the group released a series of surprise announcements, among which was Carla's involvement with the project. Prior to the film, Carla had been working for a number of years as an admin with Sara and Anne at Tomb Raider Cosplay, but until the fanfilm, the group had never met before in person. In preparation for the fan film, Carla drew inspiration from the latest game, "I took into account the traits, mythology and aspect and transferred that into my part in the film "

Upon arrival, Sara had a special surprise lined up. Months prior to the meeting, Carla had purchased several custom items online to be used in an upcoming cosplay, the items never arrived. Before the group began filming, Carla was presented with a series of surprise handmade gifts sent all around the world by Lara Croft cosplayers to replace the items she should have been sent. Click HERE to watch the unboxing video.

Himiko's Promotional Poster. The outfit was made by Kate's mother (Sarah-Jane Underhill), and cost around £200 to construct. The costume was then shipped to America to be used in the film's final scene.

Speaking to Carla, it quickly became clear her passion for the project and for her hobby "My most memorable and favorite moment of the project has been the behind the scenes crafting with Sara and Anne,we sat down for the evening and just painted and detailed some amazing props Sara made and we all put our personal touch to them."

Josh Pate, Mathias
                  The Directing     

In the upcoming fan film, Mathias returns to our screens, played by Josh Pate. In-game, the antagonist is often manipulative with a determination to kill Ms Croft for her interference, but in real life Josh and Anne are a couple. As a still life and cosplay photographer (EAT Photography), Josh is someone who is often seen behind the camera rather than in his photographs, but from his photoshoot below he looks comfortable in front of the lens; he does an amazing job at portraying Mathias.

Josh's photoshoot as Mathias.
In addition to starring in the film, Josh had the additional challenge of being the fan film's Director. With his experience as a cosplay photographer, it will be interesting to see how he incorporates his prior experience into recording the film. Sara described her time working with him on set: "Working with Josh Pate was a delightful experience, his passion for his art often became contagious, and was like a surge of energy throughout the crew.  He always had a smile on his face no matter what we faced. We as a whole crew decided that he would be the best person suited to direct. So as the director, it was an enormous responsibility that we threw on his shoulders but he rose to the occasion beautifully. "  

Speaking to Sara about Josh's portrayal of Mathias, she comments: "he did an excellent job portraying, I honestly don't understand how he was able to juggle directing and acting at the same time, especially because we were in extreme weather and temperatures." In addition to the fanfilm Josh also portrayed Mathias for a special photoshoot which took place earlier this year. He joins his castmembers in Meagan's charity campagin, supporting Room to Read, where you can purchase his Tomb Raider prints.

Josh's photoshoot as Mathias.

Throughout the filming, Josh was an invaluable member of the team, as he also photographed the experience "he was incredibly quick and on point, he was great at directing all of us and we captured some phenomenal pics. That's the kind of decisiveness you need in your crew chief. we are a lucky bunch to have him."

Have a Facebook account? Make sure to "like" the Hunted page for regular updates on the team's progress. You can also follow Hunted on YouTube, where you can see special behind the scenes videos from the filming. Stay tuned for more information!

Thank you to the team for the interviews and for their amazing support with the article. A special thank you to Sara for last minute help and exclusive behind the scenes screenshots.

21 November 2014

Question Friday is a new feature on the site which focuses solely on you, the Tomb Raider fans. The community is a passionate and vocal group who are not only intelligent but also interesting. Each person has their own opinions on the franchise and their own experiences. Hopefully with this feature we'll unearth some information about each other and strike up some new conversations.
It's an exciting time to be a Tomb Raider fan, especially with Temple of Osiris just days away. The title will be released on 9th December on PC, PS4 and XBOX One. The game allows for up to four player co-op, but also a single player mode if you share Lara's hatred of moving things. The game is promising to be bigger and more explosive than it's predecessor, Guardian of Light, which has already set the bar pretty high.

Official Synopsis:

Lara Croft arrives at the temple, hoping to be the first inside, but rival treasure hunter Carter Bell has beaten her to the entrance. They each seek the Staff of Osiris, but they discover more than they bargained for.

Upon entering the tomb, Carter removes the mythical Staff from its resting place and inadvertently triggers a trap cursing them both and unleashing the evil god Set. But the staff also awakens the gods Horus and Isis, the son and wife of Osiris.

Now free from their ancient prison, they join forces with Lara and Carter in order to resurrect Osiris, the only god capable of removing the curse.As Lara and her companions fight their way across the sands and through ancient tombs, they will face gods and monsters of myth and legend. With the fate of the world at stake, Lara must uncover the fragments of Osiris to stop Set from enslaving all mankind

A special Gold Edition of the game will be released for collectors. And for completionists, there will be new trophies and achievements as well as competitive scoreboards. 

So, what are you most looking forward to in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris?

You can answer in the comments below, write on our Facebook wall or send us a message on Twitter. I look forward to reading your answers! :)

20 November 2014

In anticipation for the upcoming Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, I returned to it's predecessor and one of my favourite titles, Guardian of Light. Admittedly, while I love the game, and the idea of a co-op Tomb Raider title, I hadn't actually played it with someone else before. For me it was always about the single player experience, how Lara fought her way through the various tombs and how Totec showed up at the last moment to share in the glory of defeat.

Yet this time it was different. I had a buddy!

Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light is a co-op game created by Crystal Dynamics in 2010. It's a stand alone, spin off title, which allowed the developers to explore the Tomb Raider IP in new ways. In the game, Lara is after an artifact called the Mirror of Smoke but is ambushed upon its discovery by Vasco, the local warlord, who unknowingly releases Xolotl from his prison inside the relic. While the enemy escapes, Totec, the guardian, is awakened. Gamers can play through the title either on single play mode or with a friend in co-op.  The title is available on PC, XBOX 360, PS3, iOS and Android.

The guy I was playing with has been a friend for a number of years, he's pretty damn awesome, a gamer and is really difficult to buy a Christmas present for. He also allowed me to play as Lara so, you know, brownie points. 

The game is one of my favourites due to its non-stop action, and the sense of continual achievement due to the game's fast paced level design. The AAA Tomb Raider titles tend to include bigger,  more complex puzzles, which sometimes spans over the entire map, whereas Guardian of Light has more compact challenges which you can solve fairly quickly with a certain mind set. Which is by no means a criticism! Once you're running away from Chompy or dodging at the last minute to avoid a rolling spike ball, you want to keep that level of adrenaline going. 

There were several moments which stood out for me a little more in co-op, compared to the single player experience. Moments like coming up with tactics to lure the lava dinosaur in a certain direction, as one of us jumps on the pressure plate, delivering a deadly blow to the enemy just felt a lot more immersive. Running away from Chompy was another favourite and took quite a bit of trial and error to get right; every now and then, one of us would slip up and roll into a fallen pillar instead of jumping over it. By the end of the path, we knew we had mere seconds left to trap the creature and that was exciting!

Midway through a level I wanted to try to get an achievement called Leap of Faith which meant that Totec would have to leap over a cavern while Lara used her grapple to catch him in mid-flight. My partner was somewhat... reluctant at first. In fact I don't think that achievement was gotten there but later after jumping over a gap that the isometric camera implied was smaller. Of course he had a perfect reason to doubt my honesty, at every opportunity I would drop a bomb near him and run quickly in the opposite direction hoping he wouldn't notice. He always would. 

My only criticism from the co-op experience was that, as the game progressed, we died more. We died a lot. The level design drifted away from the puzzles and into horde mode. Rather than working together, it became a situation which we were at separate sides of the screen facing our own onslaught of enemies and facing the situation alone. One of us would die, and the three seconds delay to return to the game felt longer as we were forced to watch the other being overcome by the large group of enemies intended for two players. Although that is such a small criticism and doesn't really take away from the overall experience or enjoyment. There are gamers who live for those moments, I guess we're the type of people who prefer to die by the other's hand in a wave of sudden and inevitable betrayal. 

As an overall co-op experience, the game is fantastic and is one of the best buddy games out there. Yes, I may be slightly biased given my love for the series already but playing with someone close to me and seeing them enjoy it and enjoying the game myself, was pretty amazing.

Bring on Temple of Osiris! 

20 June 2014

First of all, I just want to mention, if you haven't played Tomb Raider (2013) this article has major spoilers for the storyline. It also has slight spoilers for the first issue of Gail Simone's comic series. Just everywhere. Spoilers. Watch out!

Days before E3, rumours began to circulate that we may hear news regarding the next instalment in the Tomb Raider series. The speculation was fuelled primarily with hope, but in the final moments a domain name was purchased which made Lara's presence at the show a very real possibility.

During the Microsoft E3 Conference, Crystal Dynamics announced the sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Back in 2011, I wrote an article for Guns and Grapple which looked more closely at the trailer released during E3 that year. The article focused on some of the clues Crystal provided to hint towards the game's storyline and how they might plan to reinvent the protagonist. This trailer on the other hand is different; we see Lara as an experienced explorer and one affected by the death and events which occurred at Yamatai.

First of all, I just want to mention that there are a number of interpretations online about the new trailer. A popular theory is that Lara is suffering from PTSD. There's a fantastic article by Ashelia about going through therapy and praising the mature direction of the upcoming title. If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking out the piece. With a different interpretation, Leigh Alexander also wrote an article which was later retweeted by the game's writer, Rhianna Pratchett who defended the trailer. It's interesting stuff!

My interpretation is quite different from both of them and focuses on the possibility that Lara may be returning to her Core Design's biography.

"When you're ready, open your eyes."

The scene begins in the middle of a therapy session accompanied with the soothing sounds of  "The Car Chase" by James Horner. Lara is avoiding eye contact with her adviser, shielded by a hood which covers her eyes. At first we cannot see our protagonist, and she's not instantly recognisable; her clothes and the way she slouches in the chair suggests that she is an ordinary young woman who is reluctant to progress through the sessions. The therapist continues to talk and is the only one to do so until the final few moments.

Despite the fascination about the hooded figure there is something in the therapist's voice that is equally interesting; you may call the tone slightly patronising or clinical, but there's also a relaxing narrative tone as though he's talking about Lara rather than to her.

The world of Tomb Raider has always welcomed a mythical element from uncovering the history of Atlantis to travelling to Helheim, yet there's always been an element that remained close to reality; it makes the games more compelling. After acquiring the series in 2003, Crystal Dynamics has been exploring that line between fiction and reality with Lara initially sceptical of anything supernatural. In the recent reboot, the developers' continued this idea; after reuniting with her shipmates from the Endurance, the team quickly splits up in order to find Sam. Lara is quickly partnered with Dr James Whitman, an archaeologist of sorts, who believes that myths and legends are closer to reality than many believe. Lara instantly shoots down the hypothesis stating "But this is real Dr. Whitman we're not standing on a myth." As the game progresses, her perspective opens up to more mythical possibilities. 

The meaning and audience for the opening lines are vague. Is he asking Lara to reawaken to the reality of a plain therapist office away from forbidden cities? Or perhaps asking the audience to expand their sense of reality just like our protagonist was forced to? It feels intentional that there's an ambiguity which is aided by the camera shot emerging from darkness with the mention of that imperative.

 "You say the flashbacks have stopped. This is excellent improvement."

Throughout the scene there's an undeniable fascination revolving around Lara. She's both restless and tense, constantly shifting but still subtly reacting to his statements. As the audience, we also know something about the character that is oblivious to others, Lara lied. The therapist comments on her progress stating that the flashbacks have ceased, and suddenly we're pulled back into the waves at the coast of Yamatai and back to the adventure which started it all. We're introduced to a new side of Lara's character which I can't help but feel mirrors her original biography from 1996, her disdain for regulations and procedure. The biography from the Trilogy boxset goes so far to say she finds it "suffocating". He mentions her loss of grip on reality. She shuffles in her chair. He criticises her isolation. She digs her nails into the armrest.

Then there are the lies. Not just about the flashbacks but about the new cuts on her hands from a recent adventure despite her therapist's impression that she refuses to step outside or have a hobby. Or in fact the suggestion to "take some walks" despite her wearing footwear ideal for hiking.

"For many people these traumas become a mental trap, they get stuck like a ship frozen in the ice..."

Personally I absolutely love this line! During the development of Tomb Raider (2013), Crystal Dynamics took inspiration from real life explorers. They focused on the individuals' struggles and bravery to shape their protagonist, one of those individuals was Ernest Shackleton. He was an restless explorer with a love of the sea, a passion which led him to create his own voyage to Antarctica via the South Pole in 1914 entitled the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, in which he sailed on board the Endurance. The following year the ship became embedded and locked in ice and Shackleton was forced to evacuate. Ten months later the ship disintegrated into the sea, where it still remains. 

In April 1916, the order was given to sail to Elephant Island with the crew fitting on board in just three lifeboats. Once on land, the crew began preparations for a voyage to South Georgia on a small ship named James Caird and relying on the Carpenter (McNish) to keep the raft afloat. The first voyage consisted of a skeleton crew which reached shore two weeks after setting off. The remaining party was rescued three months after.

"A girl your age, should be exploring new horizons."

As a personal note, I would LOVE to see Lara returning to our screens with a dislike for procedure, struggling to contain her annoyance at compulsory therapy and leading a secret life. Everyone thinks she's affected or made fragile by her experiences, in truth they wouldn't understand. They weren't there when Lara solved the mystery of the island, or traversed across ice and fire to save Sam, or defeated a powerful Queen with the ability to summon storms. At the end of the last game she sits on the edge of a rescue ship, watching the waves and the sun slip below the horizon, determined not to return home.

Throughout the session we see glimpses of an adventure. Lara is running through a forest  her trusted icepick in her hand, her face hidden by the hood of her heavy duty coat. Behind her is the roar of an animal which is chasing her at a fast rate just metres behind her. As the camera pans in we see it's a bear. Despite the area sharing a similar likeness to Yamatai, the absence of bears in the game and Lara's new look implies a new adventure. The return of the icepick is interesting, perhaps Lara has formed a connection to the gear, viewing it as a symbol of endurance?

"There's another type of person. Do you know what happens to them...Ms Croft?

 Throughout the session Lara remains quiet, silently reacting to the therapist's comments until the final few moments when prompted for a response. It's at this point we hear Camilla Luddington, the voice actress for Lara Croft, answer "We become who we're meant to be." By her confidence in the answer, her tone, and the use of the third person pronoun "we", it's a pretty safe bet to say that she considers herself to be the latter. After the struggles at Yamatai, she's emerged stronger than she was and more determined. 

This was another section of the trailer which suggested to me that Lara feels restricted by what's expected of her. In the room, she is monitored by the therapist who tells her how she is feeling and what she is doing. It's not yet known if these sessions are optional or mandatory, but his statement "I think we're making progress in these sessions" implies Lara has been attending for a while. 

Another interpretation why of Lara could be attending the sessions could be because of Sam, who either pressured her into attending or refuses to go herself. The recent series of comics explore the events after Yamatai and bridges the gap between both games. The first comic features a sleep deprived Sam who frequently sleep walks and has nightmares and flashbacks about the island, yet refuses to accept help. While Lara is affected by her experiences, she doesn't seem to suffer as a result of what she's endured, instead she tries to strengthen the bond between herself and her former crew members. Her acts in the comic and the therapist's description of her character are contrasting which could mean that she's describing Sam's fears as her own to understand how she could help her friend. It would also explain how she responded the way she did after the therapist mentions her real name, she's not hiding then, the answer was bold and determined.

[Disclaimer: This is a fan interpretation of the trailer and therefore the article should be taken as speculation and not fact. I also use some quotations from the video as headings, although it's not a complete transcript. ]