Crystal Dynamics and Geoff Keighley are teaming up for a new installment of Keighley’s “interactive journalism series,” The Final Hours, focused on next year’s Tomb Raider. Like the game itself, The Final Hours of Tomb Raider is set to debut next March. In the meantime, a “documentary web series ” hosted by Chuck star/Spike VGAs host Zachary Levi, will take players inside the game’s development.

The inaugural effort, titled Final Hours Episode 1: An Icon Reborn, is viewable at the top of this page.

Opening in Crystal Dynamics‘ Redwood City offices (which, sadly, showcase nary a shred of Gex memorabilia) before moving on to the Digital Domain motion capture studios in Los Angeles, Final Hours Episode 1: An Icon Reborn focuses primarily on Camilla Luddington, the English-born actress who portrays young Lara Croft in Tomb Raider. Luddington and Levi discuss Lara’s iconic status, and the pressures associated with the role. Along the way, Luddington reveals that, thanks to the game, her childhood archery lessons have, at long last, come in handy.

Tomb Raider Documentary Camilla Luddington

In addition to the interview segments, An Icon Reborn includes some brief glimpses of Tomb Raider in action — and one glimpse has significantly more impact than the rest. Luddington is shown, apparently for the first time, the sequence in which Lara first kills a man. While that part of the game was covered in Tomb Raider’s brutal E3 2012 trailer, that footage cut away from the moment of carnage. Not so this time. Between Tomb Raider and The Last of Us, 2013 should have plenty to offer in the “shooting peoples’ faces off” department. (After outlining the difference between Tomb Raider and Uncharted, will Crystal Dynamics have to defend against The Last of Us comparisons, too?)

The Final Hours of Tomb Raider joins previous installments focused on Mass Effect 3 (available here) and Portal 2 (available here). As with those projects, The Final Hours of Tomb Raider will be made available on iPad and PC. It’ll also be the first Final Hours project to appear on Amazon’s Kindle Fire. Keighley describes why Tomb Raider is such a good fit for the series.

“The Final Hours series documents the creative process behind today’s most anticipated games, with a particular focus on the final stretch of development. In the case of TOMB RAIDER I’m especially excited because, at its heart, this is a tale about the act of reinvention, both of a studio and of a franchise.”

An undisclosed number of Levi-hosted web shorts remain to tide us over until Tomb Raider and The Final Hours of Tomb Raider arrive next March (the next covers the writers who crafted Lara’s origin story). We’ll call that one hour down, 5,843 to go.

Ranters, are you looking forward to Tomb Raider? What do you think of these behind-the-scenes documentaries — would you like to see more games chronicled like this? Let us know in the comments below.

Tomb Raider releases March 5, 2013, for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

The Final Hours of Tomb Raider releases March, 2013, for iPad, PC and Kindle Fire.

Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken.

Source: Joystiq