Gun-toting adventurer Lara Croft is back in the latest "Tomb Raider"
game to fight for new players but she comes gadget-free, without the
improbable curves and trademark plait, and with an adults-only rating.
company Crystal Dynamics, has stripped Croft of her previous history in
the game published by Japan's Square Enix, and
reinvented her as a 21-year-old novice with no experience of raiding
tombs, climbing or shooting.
Instead of the confident Croft seen
in previous games and in the two movies with Angelina Jolie, the first
"Tomb Raider" game in three years begins with the archaeologist as a
terrified woman who is unsure of her footing but is desperate to
The story of the new "Tomb Raider" (Review) was written by Rhianna
Pratchett, ex-gaming journalist and daughter of fantasy novelist Terry
Pratchett, who relished the challenge of rebooting and reimagining one
of gaming's few female protagonists.
"That's a real
once-in-a-lifetime thing, especially with Lara Croft, as pretty much
everyone knows who she is, whether they're into games or not. My mum
knows who Lara Croft is," Pratchett told Reuters.
Croft was devised after years of declining sales for "Tomb Raider" which
is now ranked at about 28th in a list of best-selling video game
franchises with sales of 35 million copies, according to "Tomb Raider"
The 11th "Tomb Raider" game is based on an island
where Croft and her team are shipwrecked while looking for a lost city.
They soon discover the island is inhabited by a mysterious cult who
will kill outsiders to protect their secret society.
Croft herself finds herself separated from the rest of her colleagues and vulnerable.
not just the character of Croft that has changed but also the
appearance of the female adventurer who was first unleashed
internationally back in 1996.
Her exaggerated curves are toned
down to almost normal proportions, her hair braid is gone, and the tight
shorts are replaced by more comfortable trousers.
of herself. She looks for others for help until she comes to the
realisation that she has to save herself and has to put one foot in
front of the other and get herself out of this," said Pratchett.
Hughes, creative director of the "Tomb Raider" project at Crystal
Dynamics, said they wanted to explain the mechanisms of Croft's
character to people.
"We felt in an origin story you could
actually get to know the character and bring her to life as someone you
could relate to and understand and then take her on this amazing
journey," he said.
As the game progresses, the characteristics of
the old Croft start becoming more tangible in the gameplay as the
hardening of her personality is brought about by a series of brutal
events. This explains the game franchise's first Mature 17+ rating.
denied reports that the game featured an attempted rape scene but said
there were scenes where she fights for survival and that is crucial to
her character development.
"Before she was fighting with guns, we
wanted to show her in a situation that was going to push her to that
extreme. How does a person get to the point where they're willing to
kill someone? And in Lara's case, it's a kill or be killed situation,"
"Tomb Raider" goes on release in Britain and the United
States on March 5 with early reviews saying that Croft is back on top of
© Thomson Reuters 2013