Tomb Raider won’t depict Lara as ‘sex object’

Developer Crystal Dynamics has revealed that it’s setting its sights on cementing a new tone for Lara Croft in her next outing – and portraying the nimble adventurer as a sex object isn’t one of them.

Chatting to U.S. publication Game Informer, art director Brian Horton revealed that Croft’s appearance in the new Tomb Raider will instead accentuate the vulnerability and youth of the iconic heroine — in other words, don’t expect Miss Croft to be modelling the latest line in skimpy swim wear for you to gawp at.

"We wanted to make a girl that was somewhat familiar, yet had a special quality about her – something in the way her eyes look and her expression in her face that makes you want to care for her," Horton told the magazine.

"Her skin is still bare on the arms and there are going to be rips and tears on her clothes, but it won’t be about being revealing. It’s a way of saying that through these tough situations, there is a beauty and vulnerability coming through. I think that is sexy in its own way.”

"There is a different tone we are going for across the board," said Horton, "and Lara Croft as a sex object isn’t our goal. No unlockable bikinis."

For those out of the loop, the eponymous reboot sees a 21-year-old Croft shipwrecked on a perilous Island, pitting her against all sorts of indigenous nasties and environmental hazards. And despite her inexperience, Horton said the pint-sized heroine will demonstrate she’s still more than capable of fending for herself.

“She isn’t going to be as tall as the men around her – about a head shorter. This reinforces the feeling that she’s against all odds," he explained.
"The relative proportion is more important than the actual number [5′ 7"] – making her feel like a scrapper of sorts, even though she will always find a way through her self-determination. She will find a way to survive even if she doesn’t have Amazonian proportions in the game."
"The emphasis on acrobatics isn’t nearly as important as the fact that she is capable.”

Stay tuned for more on Tomb Raider as it breaks.