Meant to conclude the trilogy that began with the franchise's crucial and critically well-received reboot, Tomb Raider: Underworld
ended not only Lara Croft's search for her mystically misplaced mother, but Eric Lindstrom's stint as creative director
at Crystal Dynamics. He's spoken out on some elements of Underworld
's development before -- particularly with regards to its two DLC expansions
-- but a postmortem published on Gamasutra
features a complete account of his work on the game.
While Lindstrom points out many of the game's successes in terms of design and play mechanics, he admits that several unforeseen factors took a significant bite out of time that was initially set aside for polishing. Getting a shared technology base in place proved unexpectedly difficult, and "acts of god" seemed to target the team, tragically taking the life of the lead level designer during the first half of production.
Eidos may have expressed disappointment
sales, but the now Square Enix-owned publisher is rumored to be at work on a new direction
for the franchise, overseen by original Tomb Raider
designer Toby Gard.