Brian Horton, the art director working on the Tomb Raider reboot, believes that the video game world needs more female protagonists and has praised the way BioWare has treated the issue in its own Mass Effect series.
The developer tells CVG that, “I think that’s what’s really great about Mass Effect for instance: you can choose to be female Shepard. You can choose to make the protagonist a heroine, but that’s not the way they market the game, right? It’s marketed as the male Shepard.”
The fact that Lara Croft is alone on the cover of Tomb Raider means that there’s more pressure on the Crystal Dynamics team because there’s no male version of the protagonist.
Horton adds, “Before she was really just an expression of male energy in a female body. Now she’s both female and feminine, but at the same time very strong, has that inner strength, has those smarts – the things you associate with Lara Croft – but also with a little more texture.”
Lara Croft will only be vulnerable during the coming reboot game, not because she is a woman, but because this is her first adventure and she is just coming to understand how to explore the environment and how to deal with enemies.
The game developer also says that the rape controversy linked to the game earlier in the year is not affecting the team in any way because their intention was not to glamorize sexual assault but to show the situation Lara Croft was in.
The new game will see Lara Croft explore an island filled with enemies and get her first taste of both adventure and death as she evolves from a scared teenager to a strong capable heroine.
Tomb Raider will be out in March 2013 on the PC, the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.