Rhianna Pratchett No Longer Writing Tomb Raider Games
(Last Updated On: January 4, 2017)

The official Tomb Raider Twitter account announced that writer Rhianna Pratchett is no longer the lead writer working on the Tomb Raider games under Crystal Dynamics. The news was met with a lot of people showing support and adoration for the work she put into the rebooted game series.

The tweet had a message attached to it that reads…

“Crystal Dynamics and Rhianna Pratchett are announcing today that Rhianna is off to pursue new adventures separate from the Tomb Raider franchise. Rhianna was instrumental in helping us find Lara’s voice in the 2013 origin story, and through Rise of the Tomb Raider she shaped Lara into the evolving heroine we know today. The entire team thanks Rhianna for her dedication and tireless efforts on the games. Please join us in wishing Rhianna the absolute best in her next adventure.”

There are various threads across the net that contain discussions where Pratchett is being ripped to shreds with criticisms about the writing of the two new rebooted Tomb Raider games. I didn’t think the writing was that terrible, but I did think it was written in dissonance to what the actual gameplay was.

Back in late 2015 I did a piece excoriating Rise of the Tomb Raider for portraying a weak and unsure heroine in Lara Croft, stating clearly and definitively that she was not the tomb raiding heroine we had grown up with from back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. I did like the two main villains in the game, though, and they seem to have a more consistent vibe in their portrayal than Lara did.

Some people liked the two new Tomb Raider games but I cringed through them. I cringed badly.

There was obvious dissension in the production of how Lara should be portrayed, and the behind-the-scenes ruckus showed through in the final product, where we had a weak and confident-lacking Lara bouncing between being a pacifist and a Rambo-esque mass murderer. There was a bipolar element to the writing of the character where it was obvious the writing team struggled to match what the game designers had crafted. In result, Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider were two games that suffered greatly from identity crisis. Was Lara a badass or not? Was she a pacifist or not? Was she a killer or not?

Naughty Dog avoided the existential questions in Uncharted by bringing levity to the violence with jokes and faceless enemies you didn’t get to know. Crystal Dynamics did the opposite by having Lara hypocritically condemn her enemies for killing mercilessly, and then killing mercenaries mercilessly while they talk about wanting to get back home to their families.

The whole thing was a mess, and it was one of those obvious situations where they tried to choose being “mature” over choosing to incorporate a fun story that helped compliment the gameplay, not hinder it.

Unfortunately, I don’t think this situation will be fixed with the third game. The gaming industry seems intent on fighting against its own nature and the nature that helped make the Tomb Raider series recognizable and a blockbuster name to begin with. Heck, those Angelina Jolie movies were bad but they were at least entertaining and recognized what they were trying to achieve instead of fighting against it.

Some supporters of this new grim-dark Lara Croft have stated that we’ll finally get the “real” Lara by the third game, which reminds me of the DC fanboys saying we’ll finally get the “real” Superman by Man of Steel 2. I’ll say the same thing about the grim-dark reboot of Tomb Raider that I’ve mentioned about the DC cinematic universe’s Superman: it doesn’t take three tries to get a character right. If you failed to properly convey the character the first time out, you’ve already failed the character.

(Main image courtesy of KVAND)


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

  • LurkerJK

    Pretty much everything written by her is distilled blandness, not terrible, they are never terrible, just bland, unremarkable, unmemorable, something you forget about 5 minutes after dropping the game

    For a long time i wondered why she appeared so much in interviews with nothing remarkable to her name, i later understood they were just pandering to a sjw darling.

    I have no explanation how she landed so many games with her results other than favoritism, there are hundreds of other writers that are just as bland as she is

  • durka durka

    I like the old lara she is a BITCH!!

    Also doomguy is the best character this year.

    • Doom Guy won me over when he ripped out the monitor at the beginning of the game so we didn’t have to listen to the objectives for the first level. He was there to rip and tear and he didn’t need no exposition to tell him how to do it.

  • totenglocke

    Regarding Man of Steel, I *like* Superman being a badass. I don’t want the “real Superman” who is a spineless pussy with no character depth.

  • Sevuz

    Tomb Raider right now is dead. These 2 fake Raider games are boring mediocre action games with no understanding of what made the old games great. The last okay Tomb Raider game we got was *Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light*.

    • lucben999

      It’s still nothing like the Core Design games though.

      Those were slow paced, unforgiving and the platforming required a lot of input. While you can’t completely sleepwalk through the Lara Croft spinoffs like you can with the reboot and sequel, they are still too easy and simple compared to the old games.

    • durka durka

      Meh, tomb raider died with angel of darkness.

  • fnd

    “which reminds me of the DC fanboys saying we’ll finally get the “real” Superman by Man of Steel 2”

    And what’s wrong with superman in Man of Steel 1? Kinda annoying to include examples at random like there is some sort of consensus about a movie or plot or wathever. The movie was quite good as far as comic hero movies can be, if anything, the fanbois where stupid for saying clark’s actions where out of character..

    • totenglocke

      There’s a lot of morons who are mad that Superman wasn’t a pussy “nice guy” and actually acted like a man with some self respect. I enjoyed Man of Steel.

    • He wasn’t a hopeful hero at all. The movie was bleak and there was nothing inspiring about Superman in Man of Steel 1. He certainly wasn’t as optimistic or as heroic as this newest iteration of Captain America, or heck even the Christopher Reeves’ Superman that many of us grew up with.

      • fnd

        This criticism boils down to “they made it different than the comics and old movies!!” which is not valid imo. I hope you don’t prefer the gay version of superman as portrayed by notorious hollywood pedophile Brian Singer. Twin Perfect addressed a lot of these criticisms in one of their videos, recommended watch:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZeqQlmOPgs

        • lol…. they have every right to make Superman into whatever they want, but if I — as a member of the audience — and others see him as a destructive, depressing, sullen dickbag that’s impossible to identify with, and the directors/writers/fanboys keep saying we have to wait until three or four movies into the cinematic universe before we fully come to terms with him, then something is seriously wrong.

          He seemed more villain than savior.

          • fnd

            Yeah, no.. watch the video, i’m sure one of your pet peeves is in there and adressed properly. At least i don’t have to wait for part three since i liked the first movie p. much.

          • It doesn’t matter if my “pet peeve” is addressed. It’s not going to make people like me like his portrayal more. At the end of the movie I still found it depressing and I found him, as Superman, unlikable. There’s no amount of reasoning to reason that away. It’s no different than people can complain all they want about the new Captain America, but I think he’s portrayed perfectly, and no amount of reasoning is going to change how I feel about the character. As I said, they can make him as dark as they like, it just doesn’t mean he’s going to resonate with people like myself who preferred Reeves’ portrayal or the portrayal in Superman: The Animated Series (which was basically an extension of Reeves’ portrayal).

  • Losing the sex-appeal, confidence and assertiveness in favour of being “mature” has completely ruined Lara Croft.

    I would also argue that being confused, bipolar, weak-minded and uncertain is the opposite of mature.

    Isn’t Social Justice and feminism just great?

  • Ghost

    Too late. Way too late.