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Meet the Arabic Lara Croft

Image Credit: Picture Courtesy: Viva Entertainment
Nadine Njeim – the Arabic Tomb Raider

Lebanese actress, TV presenter, beauty queen and business major Nadine Njeim  will be the voice of Lara Croft in the upcoming reboot of the Tomb Raider franchise.

It’s the first voice-over work Nadine, Miss Lebanon 2007, has done.

And the game is the first time publishers Square Enix have offered full Arabic localisation: all menus, dialogue and subtitles will be available in Arabic.

Nadine, who presents the Arabic version of The Voice on MBC, told me at press conference  on Wednesday to launch the new Arabic language trailer that although she’s a gamer she hasn’t played a Tomb Raider game before.

She’s a real-time strategy buff, whose favourite game is Command & Conquer: Generals. And while she is looking forward to playing the new Tomb Raider, she plans to play it with the sound on mute.

“I’m so excited to play the game, because now I know the script. I know what’s going on, but I didn’t get to see how the game works,” she told me in an interview after the conference.

“I’m going to play it on mute, with subtitles, I tell you. I have issues with watching myself on TV when I do my acting gigs, just looking at myself doing weird things.

“Right now, the trailer today this is the first time I’ve heard myself in this, and I was like, smiling shyly because you’re hearing yourself on a different body, in a game. It’s quite weird.

“I hear myself talking, and I think. ‘Whoa! I did not just say that like that!’”

Tomb Raider will be released in both Arabic and English on March 5.

I had a chance to play some previously unseen sections of the game at the press conference, and I am as excited about playing the full version as Nadine.

From the sections I’ve played, this reboot is Tomb Raider as we know and love it, with all the puzzles, climbs and leaps, but in a gritty, realistic way we’ve never seen it before.

Noah Hughes, creative director of developers Crystal Dynamics, said his team had been looking very carefully at the relaunch of Batman in Batman Begins, and of James Bond in Casino Royale.

From the couple of hours gameplay I’ve had so far, I’d say Hughes and his team have caught that magic. The new Tomb Raider is shaping up to be something very special indeed.

Roll on March 5.