The new Tomb Raider game seems to be a far cry from those made in the past: Lara isn’t portrayed as a fearless treasure hunter capable of taking down ten grown men by herself any more.
The new Tomb Raider reboot features a younger Lara who’s yet to become the powerful figure from previous games, and you, the player, will be required to protect her.
Speaking to Kotaku, the game’s executive producer Ron Rosenberg explained:
“When people play Lara, they don’t really project themselves into the character, they’re more like, ‘I want to protect her.’ There’s this sort of dynamic of, ‘I’m going to this adventure with her and trying to protect her.'”
Rosenberg added: “She’s definitely the hero but— you’re kind of like her helper.
“When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.
“The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear. She literally goes from zero to hero. We’re sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again.”
Rosenberg went on to say that the game is going to be a more mature take on the character, and compared it to the origin stories of comic book characters like Spider-Man or Batman.
At one point in the game, Lara will face an attempted rape.
“She is literally turned into a cornered animal,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a huge step in her evolution: she’s forced to either fight back or die.”
It’s dark material, the type of content you might not expect from an action-adventure game like Tomb Raider. But Rosenberg isn’t worried about alarming people too much. He says players will see right away that this is a darker, “more mature” version of Lara’s story.
“We’re not trying to be over-the-top, shock people for shock’s sake,” he said. “We’re trying to tell a great origin story.”
The new Tomb Raider is in development by Crystal Dynamics and is going to release on March 5, 2013 for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.