The reinvention of Lara Croft drew on previous incarnations of the character, as the team wanted to create a Lara still connected to her "badass" roots but distanced from the femme fatale persona, Tomb Raider writer Rhianna Pratchett said in a video during a panel at PAX East today.
"We wanted to keep the traits players associate with Lara, but rewind to point where they were deep below the surface," Pratchett explained. "She's not conscious of what she's capable of doing. The game brings the traits to the surface."
Pratchett said that Lara's reputation as an "untouchable ice queen" was something she wanted to overcome.
"I wanted to explore the humanity behind that, her sense of empathy, her friendships, what makes her tick as a person," she said. "She has a sort of playgirl reputation, jetting around world, throwing money left, right and center, stealing ancient artifacts for hell of it. I didn't think that was relatable in this climate.
"Lara has a different relationship with wealth than previous Laras," she continued, noting that for this Lara her wealth is still intimately connected to the loss of her parents. "She still comes from a wealthy family, and chooses not to touch that wealth. She wants to make her own way around the world, and be self-reliant. Because touching that money means her parents are really gone."
Pratchett said that some story scenes were moved later into the game in order to get players into the action faster. This was also done to extend the reveal of Lara's personality, letting players get to know her over an extended period of time.
"We had to change scenes between Lara and the crew and change the opening exposition," she said. "It was a lot to get across at the start, and we wanted to get players into game as quick as possible.
"[The opening scene] is a little bit disorientating, which is good in some ways to get players to feel the same thing as Lara and get them on the same level," she added.
Tomb Raider is available now for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC.