Brian Horton, art director at Crystal Dynamics, has taken to the firm’s official forums to explain the design choice for Lara Croft in Edios’s upcoming reboot, after members expressed concern over Lara’s iconic blue tank top and shorts being scratched for neutral colored cargo pants and a layered tank.
According to Horton, the principle idea behind Lara’s new look was that it fit with not only her age in the game, but her appearance. Horton said Lara’s clothing matches that of the rest of her expedition, before her ship wrecks and her adventure begins.
“The idea behind the grey was something that the team debated for a while,” Horton explained. “As a fan of the classics we wanted to nod to the original outfit in some way, and our first concept was of a light blue tank. We lived with that for a while and decided that a more neutral color was more fitting the personality profile we are building for her in this origin story.
“We wanted to allow Lara to look understated. She’s not interested in standing out because she hasn’t yet achieved the confidence in herself. The grey also had an interesting side effect; depending on the lighting it changes color. For instance, in the Den her top reads as blue, which I really liked. We use color in the lighting throughout the game to express emotions so Lara’s outfit seems to change based on these color shifts. ”
As to her sex appeal, the team wanted to make her feel like she was a part of the expedition crew, and her outfit reflects this. The team felt her clothing struck “the right balance of attractiveness and practicality.”
“We didn’t want her to have a uniform, so designing clothes that could be purchased in a store seemed like the correct choice,” Horton added. “Layered tanks, khakis and boots felt right for her, and if you look at the original Lara it’s very close to that vision.
“The shorts were never a part of the equation for us, nor being an icon of fashion. It just didn’t feel right in context to her character or as a crew member on this expedition. If you feel this detracts from her sex appeal I understand, but that was not our main goal. Our goal was to create the most believable, grounded version of Lara we could, younger and more emotionally rich.”
Horton went on to say the team understands the changes are a “break from the past incarnations” of Lara, but said the team “designed her with love and respect,” not only for her, but the fans as well.
The next Lara Croft game is slated for a fall 2012 release on PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.