You may start of wanting to protect the new Lara Croft, but at least one Crystal Dynamics employee hopes players will come to identify with the character’s strengths.
Speaking to EDGE, Tomb Raider art director Brian Horton said Crystal Dynamics doesn’t want to make a game “about a girl” just so male gamers have something to fancy.
“We’re making a game about someone who is inexperienced and who has to learn how to become a hero,” he said.
“Now, the fact that she is a woman is not lost on us, and that’s an important part of the dynamic of it being Tomb Raider, but it’s not our primary concern to distinguish that she is a woman. We are playing up the fact that she is human and believable.
“So far the reaction has been very positive from the people who have seen the game, they’re starting to care for her and I don’t think they’re as eager to objectify her, in fact I think they want to protect her.”
Horton’s message so far echoes that of director Ron Rosenberg, whose comment that players don’t want to project themselves on Lara Croft stuck in the throats of many fans. But the art director seemed to suggest that this protective feeling is just the first step of the emotional journey Crystal Dynamics is aiming for.
“I feel like some of those players might actually evolve their perspective. They might look at it in the beginning and say ‘I’m protecting her,’ but as they grow with her, become closer to her, they’d start to think ‘I am her’ giving them the fantasy and fulfilment of being Lara Croft,” he said.
Tomb Raider is expected on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in early 2013. An arguably sexually threatening overtone in media and demos out of E3 2012 sparked something of a furore among critics and fans alike, with Crystal Dynamics backing away from some comments made to press. We had a very civilised chat about it which may interest you.