I know what you’re thinking. How can a featurette about the Tomb Raider reboot’s musical score blow your mind? Trust me on this.
What’s so special about this third edition of The Final Hours of Tomb Raider? I mean, it’s primarily an interview with Jason Graves, the award-winning composer who’s creating the original score for Crystal Dynamics’ reboot of Tomb Raider.
If you’ve been following our coverage, you probably know that the new Tomb Raider bares little resemblance to the over-the-top, big-breasted pin-up girl from the old games. Reimagining the character for a whole new generation, Crystal Dynamics has fashioned a younger Lara Croft, at the start of her very first adventure. Thanks to a horrific shipwreck, what’s supposed to be routine passage on a freighter ship turns into a brutal battle for survival on a strange island. The harsh experience molds this young, inexperienced Lara into the action heroine she’s destined to be.
This episode of The Final Hours of Tomb Raider examines the music that Graves has written for the game — a fully orchestral undertaking that can stand toe-to-toe with any big-budget movie. Since the new game is a fresh start for Lara, setting a much more serious and dramatic tone, her old musical theme has been replaced with something that matches this new iteration of the character and her world.
Still wondering about that “mind-blowing” bit? It comes at about the 3:30 mark. To give this game a truly original sound — which Graves wanted to sound as if it was made from cobbled-together items found on the game’s dangerous island setting — he commissioned a sculptor friend to fashion a one-of-a-kind instrument that gave him a whole new world of musical possibilities. You get to see “the instrument,” as they call it, in all its glory in this video, along with some demonstrations of what it can do. Watching Graves cull music out of this crazy thing is mesmerizing. At one point, he actually plays it with a small device that looks exactly like Lara’s in-game bow and arrow.
Tomb Raider arrives March 5, 2013, but you can preorder it now at Amazon to get a special edition with some cool extras.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, as I did, why host Zachary Levi is suddenly blonde in this video… He’s taken on the role of Fandral in Thor: The Dark World. (He was actually up for this role for the first movie, but he had a scheduling conflict.)