The creators of the new Tomb Raider game, which features a new-look Lara Croft who is some combination of the adjectives “gritty,” “realistic,” “macho” and “filthy,” have spoken of trying to reduce her sex appeal – the perfect recipe for commercial success, and one quite familiar to Square Enix watchers.
The latest images of the new Tomb Raider:
Whilst few could deny the graphics themselves do look impressive (they would have to be, considering the game is now in direct comparison to the Uncharted series in more ways than one), the usual caveats about pre-release screenshots apply – i.e. that they are completely fanciful.
Speaking about the new design, the developers claim they wanted to “soften up” the character:
What dropped away pretty quickly was the hardness that she had. She is strong and we love Lara Croft for that strength, but she was almost so strong that we were always one step away from her.
That was one thing that we all agreed on right away – to try and soften her up enough so that you could step into her life. All of the character design decisions came from trying to make her believable. We didn’t want to make her a sexual object. She is a character that we want you to believe in.
“Softening up” apparently constitutes covering her in muck and bandages and making her pout a lot.
The developers also talk about taking care to strip the new Lara of much of her sex appeal:
We did some initial tests where we brought in the vision for the new Lara Croft, and then we matched it up against the previous iterations.
In the tests of the previous iterations it was clearly evident that people moved around the image more to the items and her chest and her waist size. But with the new image, people spent most of the time piercing her eyes. Anybody who has seen the image says “I know that girl.”
A game which certainly has all the makings of Square Enix’s outstanding reputation for quality.