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.

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    Comment by Anonymous
    18:10 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Maybe it is just me? but I think this lara is the sexiest yet...

    Avatar of ricky murray
    Comment by ricky murray
    16:04 07/01/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    in my honest opinion you don't need to make a character look as sexy as possible to be attracted to them. This is something anime fails to realize.

    Avatar of Ushiromiya Reiji
    Comment by Ushiromiya Reiji
    17:04 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.9)

    >A game which certainly has all the makings of Square Enix’s outstanding reputation for QUALITY.


    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    17:17 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    i hope the gameplay makes up for it
    (but then again this be wada's Enix we're dealing with here so...)

    Avatar of Neonie
    Comment by Neonie
    17:20 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (-0.3)

    This is the reason Square Enix doesn't understand wester gamers.

    Avatar of HouseLife
    Comment by HouseLife
    19:09 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    They simply used the wrong words. Her breasts are wonderful and hemispherical, they never needed to be giant, and her hips are nice and wide without being strange. They shouldn't have used the words they did, because she's hotter than she's ever been. The problem is they didn't seem to realize that her design was a joke to begin with. Nobody really took the design seriously, she was a bad ass woman DESPITE the design, and that was the charm and irony.

    As for softening her, that is the correct direction, however it depends on one major thing: If the person who described her wasn't articulate enough to properly use the word 'soften' and it means something much deeper, or they're going to turn her into the new Samus, whom I've been told does nothing but bitch and has given up all of her perceived bad-assery in so doing.

    All they need to do to soften her up is very, very simple, and as an animator I know exactly how to do it. If she complains about something, make those instances very very few and far between. Her humanity will show up if you make her breathe harder, grunt more in pain when she's injured or exhausted during cut scenes, or generally show a very pained expression on her face if she is wounded for very brief instances, but rarely faltering.

    It's a very powerful and descriptive moment if a strong women is gritting her teeth in pain or strain, with her eyebrows knitted together, and for a brief instance, the eyebrows raise into a sad slope, she whimpers at an injury for a split second, then inhales through her teeth, growls, and gets up and keeps going.

    That thought process is all they need in their writing and design ideas to soften her up just enough to humanize her like never before.

    Now... are they intelligent enough to do it right...

    Avatar of Shippoyasha
    Comment by Shippoyasha
    17:33 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    To be fair, it's western developers making it. Square only publishes the game. They're not making it themselves.

    Also, we don't know if Lara cleans up after the shipwreck.

    Avatar of Aliaus
    Comment by Aliaus
    18:34 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    so many typos Artefact. surely you mean MORE sex appeal right? i mean, who in their right mind would make a less sexy Lara Croft? WHO!!

    Avatar of King Tiger
    Comment by King Tiger
    18:16 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    western developers you say? then i am very disappointed in this so far

    alright which one of you in-equality now moralfags bitched about lara's sex appeal!?

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:55 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    lara has long overstayed her welcome
    for me it was since day one cos her design looked god awful even back in my teens where i believe her niche should have been
    its fitting that square enix organizes her funeral

    Avatar of Majineko
    Comment by Majineko
    01:26 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    im actually pissed about this. i bet square enix commanded the devs to this. lara was perfect in underworld

    Avatar of alidan
    Comment by alidan
    20:09 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)


    i want game play

    she already looks sexier than ever, now give her uncharted 1 like game play (im not even thinking they could manage a 2 or what we have seen so far of 3 level game play, but 1 should be doable)

    give her some lines to say, possibly bitching about the current circumstances, not in a whiny way, but in a "the fuck was i expecting, now what" way.

    heres hoping they make a game i want to play.

    Avatar of Kitsunemimi6
    Comment by Kitsunemimi6
    13:04 03/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I would think that after Underworld that a simple wardrobe change would do the trick but I guess they had "other" plans...

    Oh well, didn't really find Lara that sexy in the games except the newer ones anyway so...

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:51 04/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    @Majineko and @ Lawence Codye while I personally thought that the Legend version of Lara was the best the two of you have a good point.

    And while Houselife's 19:09 comment makes some good points Lara was about seeking out mystical artifacts in her father's footsteps and finding out what happened to her mother among other things that is why Legend's storyline was so good (even if the game held your hand in true Japanese RPG style...).

    Tomb Raider Legend also gave Lara a bit of an archrival in Amanda while what Houselife said could make the "shipwreck" reboot cliche story bearable I seriously doubt the current developers will do anything but try to copy off of Uncharted.

    Avatar of Bazzyrick
    Comment by Bazzyrick
    20:09 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I never got into tomb raider anyway, although I only played the 1st, 2nd and maybe 3rd ones, during their time, when I was pretty young. I remember locking the butler in the freezer, then being able to shoot at him in another game (dam that bulletproof tray), running through the house to unlock the secret acquarium and secret trophy room and driving through the huge underground quad-bike course. My memory is useless but I am sure that probably covers whichever of the games I played :P

    If I know anything about western game markets though, unless this game has one of the most kick ass of kick ass stories and insanely good gameplay... its going to crash and burn. I trust SE to deliver neither of the above.

    Comment by Anonymous

    I want good story, designs, and BOOBs..

    Comment by Anonymous

    @Unsung's Lolita

    What so you like your women to look ugly as lara did in the past? Huge lips, big tits, no thanks.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:32 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    oh stop bashing the game before it came out . I like new version more , old one looked like some weird alien

    Avatar of etery
    Comment by etery
    18:46 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    agreed, the 'old' Lara has illogical waist size, she looks like some unknown humanoid creature rather than woman

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:34 03/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "illogical" waist size? Her waist is 24 inches. My waist is 23, perfectly natural and normal for some women. The fact she had a small waist and wide hips (35 inches) was something I adored about her. SO damn beautiful that waist and those hips.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:44 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    just now it hit me
    lara is a woman
    i always thought it was ETs cousin...

    Avatar of BloodLegacy
    Comment by BloodLegacy
    18:13 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I actually REALLY like the new realistic, athletic, girl next door kinda look. She has the body of a real female athlete, which Laura Croft's character is. But I dont like that she's missing her signiture dual drop-leg holsters.

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:54 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    people are just joining on the hate bandwagon here, SC says it's bad and everyone agrees with it, pretty simple formula

    why think for yourself? forget it, just let others decide...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:29 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    yea seriously those pants gotta go.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I'm loving this! Old Lara did have hueg lips and disproportional everything.

    I like a strong female lead in anything I play or watch and Lara has always done well in that role, but I didn't enjoy her old 'sex appeal' because I don't find hueg boobies as appealing as smaller ones. New, younger and fit Lara is much more desirable and closer to my age and perhaps the target audience in general so I'm giving a big thumbs up for this and I look forward to p.laying it regardless of how it's playstyle is

    That's not to say I wouldn't totally bone Angelina Jolie as Lara, but I'd much rather a version of her +/- 5 years of me.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:41 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    We hate her new look, so we're just going to ignore that fact that this has some of the best graphics in gaming history, right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:06 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I like the new look and to be fair, Crystal Dynamics did a lot of good with the series. So lets hope Squenix doesn't meddle too much and lets them work in peace...

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:34 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    She looks more like Tanya, from red Alert if they include Dual Bareeta.

    Just include the Flaming Apocalypse tank, and Huge Blimp in the background, and it will hard to tell the difrence

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:58 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Seriously I object to you guys, she looks much more hotter than before believe it or not. Those tight pants reveal her ass much more than those crappy shorts and the singlet phwor...

    The other ones were too stupid not much imagination and too straight forward, I rather this one more realistic more normal looking perfect waifu.

    Avatar of vanilka
    Comment by vanilka
    19:09 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree. I love Tomb Raider games. I grew up playing them. Lara was my "idol" for a long time and I still have respect for the character. But her appearance really improves with time. I like new Lara.
    And although I'm disapointed a little because the game won't deal with archeology anymore, I still think it may be a great game. From what I've read, it seems like they put a lot of effort to this one.
    I'm really looking forward to this game.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:50 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I agree. I think she looks nice here. Maybe even better then in the previous games.

    Avatar of onitake
    Comment by onitake
    04:13 03/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    macho is good! as long as it's not a macho (i.e. a guy) who's being macho.

    but the rest of the game graphics don't look all that impressive... we'll see.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:07 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think they might be onto something. i didn't care for the original tomb raiders because of the horrible camera and clunky controls. a game that tries too hard to sell based on sexiness has a 50/50 shot at success. a game based on believable characters, competent controls, well written story line, and smooth gameplay has about a 90 percent shot at a big hit. the other 10 percent depends on whether or not people know it exists. this, a well known series has that extra 10 percent in its corner. if it is basically a female drake and it works, i'll play it.

    Avatar of Satonaka
    Comment by Satonaka
    09:18 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    "...considering the game is now in direct comparison to the Uncharted series in more ways than one"

    If the gameplay ends up ripping off the Uncharted series then to hell with them. Dont touch what's perfect, stay the hell away.

    The way I see it, Lara had her time in the spotlight, let her die somewhat of an icon from the days long past when she reigned.

    Avatar of Riiku
    Comment by Riiku
    10:39 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    I dunno what you guys talking about. This new Lara looks epicly cute to me, and her pseudo-machismo here is a wein. Think of Levi from Black Lagoon. Now that is one heck of a woman, and Lara just came closer to my ideal.

    My taste's doesnt include weak whiny girls. I love strong woman who enjoys fuckign the shit out of men and dont concern themselves of petty morals

    Avatar of Sylar
    Comment by Sylar
    04:30 03/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Well yeah, but as you said just look at Revy. Every single person who knows her will agree that she's a badass motherfucker who can kick the shit out of you and yet she ca still wear her short jeans and small T-shirt. Yes she's hot but certainly her awesome badass character is a stronger element than her boobs or ass.
    So why can't Lara be Lara without changing her style and becoming a different person like Revy is Revy?
    If they think her lips or boobs are too big then just make them a little smaller but keep her style with her shorts and her twin guns.

    Comment by Anonymous

    meanwhile at square enix headquarters:

    >hey, you remember all those things in our long running franchises that people liked all the time?
    >yeah, what about them?
    >let's... you know, just take them out.
    >FUND IT!

    those guys are fucking retarded and deserve to go down

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:47 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    No its more like,

    >hey, you remember all those things in our long running franchises that people liked all the time?

    >yeah, what about them?

    >that was 10 years ago, people dont like that anymore. Its time we make something that pepople do like.

    >fund it

    Avatar of chronomaster
    Comment by chronomaster
    17:18 01/01/2011 # ! Quality (+0.8)

    In other words, people who have the property forget that it was the combination of sex appeal and sheer badassery that made Lara Croft popular.

    Here's looking to another run-of-the-mill, woe-is-me character of 201X design.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:18 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Problem is, sex appeal and sheer badassery can only carry a series so far, and the franchise was indeed going stale.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:51 02/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Funny how the word "Macho" is so overused here. She looks completely fine anatomically. In fact, she has quite a beautiful woman body that many would want in real life because the proportions are actually realistic, which fits with how they are going with this game instead of the more over-the-top Tomb Raider.

    Avatar of 404mage
    Comment by 404mage
    14:21 02/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    She's gorgeous. My only issue is that her hair makes her look too much like a Square-Enix Final Fantasy character in these shots. I'll have to see more pictures, though. In the end, if the gameplay is decent none of her character design will really matter. A good game is a good game, despite all the nitpicky details.

    Avatar of ☆ БОSS ☆
    Comment by ☆ БОSS ☆
    17:05 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.7)

    Eventually, with time, she'll become loli croft

    Avatar of Noodlestein
    Comment by Noodlestein
    17:27 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    And I'm okay with that.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:32 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Who isn't?

    Avatar of Fox89
    Comment by Fox89
    00:50 02/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.6)

    I bet if this was published by anyone other than Square Enix, you wouldn't have the slightest issue with her reinvention.

    Lara is more believable now, obvious thought has gone into her redesign. And if you think she is now 'macho' then your perception of women has been warped by too much anime and internet porn.

    Crystal Dynamics are an excellent developer, I wish you wouldn't write it off because "OH NOES SHE DOESN'T HAVE MASSIVE TITS AND HAS SOME MUD ON HER!!!"

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:59 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    They failed. The new Lara is sexier than the previous versions because she no longer looks like a barbie doll and has a more organic realistic body.

    Avatar of Rehceel
    Comment by Rehceel
    03:47 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (0)

    Agreed. This might actually make her look good. Especially since they mostly took away the disgusting looking lips....

    Avatar of 21149315
    Comment by 21149315
    18:27 01/01/2011 # ! Good (+0.4)

    The design would work if it wasn't Lara Croft. Thing is... this is suppose to be her, yet I see nothing that reminds me of her!

    They even took out the braided ponytail! She looks like a person from Resident Evil... it just doesn't work well for such an established character.

    Funny enough her shirt has become lower cut and her shorts are now pants. *brain shut down*

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:17 01/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    i really like the new design though. makes her more... human? i'm expecting something like jill back when she was in RE 1. Still new to the game, but can already kick ass. hey, we have to grow from somewhere right? and i guess this is what this prequel(?) is about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:50 02/01/2011 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I fail to see the problem. She has believable proportions. She is a tomboy. Big deal?

    I find her quite hot and the new Tomb Raider looks fucking fantastic.

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