Lara Croft Trading Sexy Hot Pants For Gritty Torn Threads

Square Enix is rebooting Tomb Raider, and wiping the slate clean means no more 1990s-style sexy game heroine pandering. But what does that mean for Lara in 2010? Two words: ripped clothing.

According to Art Director Brian Horton, the goal isn't playing up the character's sexuality "for sexuality's sake".

"If for any reason we wanted to put her in a situation that would be alluring," Horton tells Game Informer, "it isn't to be alluring. It would be because the situation called for it."

Meaning? That Lara's sexiness is grittier. "Ultimately, what I think is going to be compelling about this – and what our version of sexy is - is the toughness through adverse conditions," Horton continues.

"Seeing her survive through these moments," he adds. "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." So the ripped clothing won't be about revealing skin, it will be about her surviving. Because in Tomb Raider, that's what torn threads are about: surviving.

"It's a way of saying that through these tough situations, there is a beauty and vulnerability coming through," says Horton. "I think that is sexy in its own way."

Torn clothing is always a trope for sexy and vulnerable. Even though Horton says "Lara Croft as a sex object isn't our goal", me thinks the lady doth protest too much. And the lady ain't Lara.

A Survivor Is Born: The New Lara Croft [GameInformer]


    You know... here's an idea. Maybe its time for a new character. I mean, really. Are we going to 'reboot' Marcus Fenix in 5 years to be a more sensitive, thoughtful philosopher type? 'Reboots' are getting on my nerves. They're euphemism for recycling old material to avoid originality and to capitalize on brand recognition.

    I *like* at least some of the description of this new character, but how is she Lara Croft? Seriously, let her go - or be consistent.

      Now thats an idea. Good man!

      Two Words:

      Brand Recognition.

        Yes, two words that he already used himself. We must all strive to think originally.

    I think you're being overly cynical Brian. If they'd been trying to play up New-Lara's sexuality they could easily have bumped up her chest or put her in shorts. As she is now, she's a lot less sexualised than 90% of women you'd pass in the street.

      "she’s a lot less sexualised than 90% of women you’d pass in the street."

      I'm sorry. I don't buy it. If they want their heroine to be taken seriously, start from the ground up. Don't build your game on the foundations of franchise whose primary gimmick was a sex object protagonist. Or better yet, just make her plain, or ugly, so she'll let her actions speak for themselves.

      “Lara Croft as a sex object isn’t our goal” is the Tomb Raider PR equivalent of gritty reboot. A term so exploited after Batman Begins it's practically cliche.

        Look, lets not pretend that it's as simple as saying "Y'know what, lets not do a Tomb Raider game after all." This is a business we're talking about and the decision to pass on using an established, popular franchise as a launchpad for a new game is as much a business decision as it is a creative one, probably moreso. It's up to us as rational people to put the franchise's past out of our heads and judge the new game on it's merits.

        As for your suggestions to make the new Lara 'plain or ugly'... come on, man. You can't seriously expect the designers to intentionally make their character visually unappealing just to appease a handful of people who insist on equating 'attractive' with 'sex object'.

    I never understood why she was in shorts... good to see they're going for cargo pants this time.

      As long as her arse still looks hot.

    They said the same goddamn thing 10 years ago. And Lara Croft STILL turned into a mediocre game starring a shameless sex object.

    Those implausibly skimpy hot pants are part of the character, whether we like it or not. Tomb Raider produced a good game since the turn of the century, how about let it go? 2 years down the track, they'll eat their words and do some lazy 'dark' Shadow The Hedgehog 'reboot.'

    I'm more tired about the 2000's being known for it's 'gritty reboots'. Are things really that grim that we can't make a colourful game about shooting wildlife and grave robbing?

    Aching for a return to classic games - where one does not need to right click to aim down the sight first and there's more to do than walk forward taking cover or collect 100 feathers/misctrinkets for achievements.

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