From sex symbol to icon: How Crystal Dynamics saved Lara Croft


"Lara Croft faced one of her most deadly situations yet in 2008. Tomb Raider: Underworld, the eighth game of the series, had failed to meet sales expectations with just 1.5 million copies. After 12 years, it was uncertain if gamers were still interested in adventures from Lara."

_-EDMIX-_3119d ago

Lara has always been seen as an Icon, I would hardly say they made her that compared to prior. Those that continue to see here as an object, will continue to ignorantly do so.

What CD did for Tomb Raider was bring that series to the modern era of gaming which was a huge, huge undertaking considering the titles that released prior.

Hasswell-NeverCold3119d ago

I liked underworld, it had some glitches and controls could have been a bit more solid but still.

I do miss skimpy wetsuits and whatnot a bit but I'm glad Lara is doing fine. ^^
Just waiting to hear some news about pc release.

Articuno763119d ago (Edited 3119d ago )

If anything the character is less iconic now than she was before as she's less visually distinct and not as charismatic. In addition she's pushing a form of gameplay that many would consider derivative rather than trail-blazing.

The real issue with the older games wasn't really an issue with the games but the tendencies of mass market consumers to gravitate towards big budget action extravaganzas.

And that's not surprising: those games look amazing in trailers and adverts. Lara running around the the same room in circles, pushing and pulling random blocks in serene silence until she figures out what she needs to do isn't quite as easy to market (though it is very stimulating in its own way).

Although I can accept the new Lara is essentially a new character/reimagining that doesn't change the fact that, even taken on her own terms, the new Lara is poorly written, poorly acted, unconvincing and just a thoroughly unlikable protagonist (though TBF that was true of everyone in that game).

Which is to say I enjoyed TR 2013 in spite of her, not because of her.

But please, let's not act like the new depiction of Lara is somehow a revolutionary turn around of a character that was rapidly becoming some kind of relic, or that the old Lara had nothing but sex appeal going for her (if anything the reverse is true: outside of a pair of boobs the new Lara has no defining character traits).

TBH I respect Crystal Dynamics decision to reboot the series after Underworld as they had closed out Lara's story arc quite well and really pushed the boat out with all the moves Lara had at her disposal.

But the new direction isn't somehow inherently better -- there's still room for improvement, ESPECIALLY with regards to characterisation.

KiRBY30003119d ago

"If anything the character is less iconic now than she was before as she's less visually distinct and not as charismatic."

"let's not act like [...] the old Lara had nothing but sex appeal going for her (if anything the reverse is true: outside of a pair of boobs the new Lara has no defining character traits). "

So true mate. tons of people act like the new lara is this mature, well-written character when in fact she's just a younger looking version with absolutely zero charisma.

in the 1st tomb raider, lara was a great character, she knew who she was, she knew what she wanted and how to get it. in the reboot, they had the opportunity to tell how she becomes that person but nope, they just had her whine and moan in for an hour and then she becomes a killing machine. no character development, no tombs. facepalm.

still a good game, but a terrible Tomb Raider.

mad-dog3119d ago

She was iconic. Maybe the people from Polygon just aren't 13 anymore.

squeezx3119d ago

I'm really impressed with what they've done with the series and I'm proud to be a fan.

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Rhianna Pratchett on Challenges of Game Writing and Crafting Complex Female Characters

During the Game Developers Session (GDS) conference in Prague, we had the privilege of speaking with Rhianna Pratchett, an award-winning writer and narrative designer. Pratchett, who has penned some of the most memorable female protagonists like Nariko from Heavenly Sword, Faith from Mirror’s Edge, and Lara Croft from the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, delves into the challenges and freedoms of writing for different media, AAA and indie games.

-Foxtrot88d ago

Complex? She literally made Lara Croft whine and have father issues for an entire trilogy


Snookies1286d ago

"have father issues"

To be fair, that IS a complex... Just not the right kind, lol!

mixelon86d ago

The dad stuff wasn’t entirely her fault.. She was given outlines she had to flesh out and not full freedom. from the article…:

“ And there were things that we kind of butted heads more on, particularly with Rise [of the Tomb Raider] because I wasn't a fan of the dad plot. I didn't really like her motivation being her father because it felt like that's often the motivation given to female characters and it's also motivation that's very prominent in the previous movies as well. And I would have rather it been about her own experiences in the first game and how that had changed during the second game. But sometimes you just have to do your job, you just have to find peace with it. And I kind of played around with my relationship with my father and kind of put some aspects of that and then that just made me feel better about it. And sometimes this is what you have to do.”

She never seemed that whiny to me given the circumstances.

-Foxtrot86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

If you’re a good writer you’d have been able to do that a little better but she didn’t

She was restricted sure but with what she had with an outline she didn’t do a good job

She’s not her father, she got work and into the industry a lot easier because her father was a great writer.

It’s nepotism basically

Knightofelemia86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

Female Commander Shepard is a way better female character then Lara Croft has been.

franwex86d ago (Edited 86d ago )

Yep, that’s because they wrote an interesting character first.

Christopher86d ago

It's actually because they let you write the story you want.

86d ago
Inverno86d ago

Meanwhile it seems that female characters across entertainment media are being dumb down. What they've done to the female characters in the Avatar adaptation is insulting.

86d ago Replies(1)
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It’ll Be Fine, Right? Five Games With Unfortunate Release Strategies

Mark from WellPlayed writes about five game launches that were impacted by unfortunate scheduling.

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jznrpg387d ago (Edited 387d ago )

Zero Dawn sold really well so I’m not sure this belongs. The second game released next to a big game again and it hurt it some I forget what it was though, oh yeah Elden Ring .
But a good game is a good game to me I don’t care when they release personally but they do have to think about it when you want to get more people to buy it.


The Tomb Raider Survivor Trilogy's Take on Lara Croft Deserved More Recognition

The Survivor Trilogy was a drastic reimagining of Lara Croft and Tomb Raider, and it provokes changes for the character that are truly fantastic.

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isarai501d ago (Edited 501d ago )

Deserves less IMO, i think the 1st in the new trilogy was a perfect 1st step for the new direction. The next 2 games were half steps at best. Not only that, every character in the series including Lara is just annoying and doesn't make sense in terms of motive, like yes they have a motive, but none of it seems proportional to the lengths they are willing to go through for it. The most annoying thing is every one of the games say "become the Tomb Raider" yet 3 games later and we're still not there? No thanks. Then there's the mess of the 3rd game, massive skill tree that serves almost no purpose as there's literally only like 3-4 short encounters in the whole game, and they took till the 3rd game to finally manage some decent puzzles even remotely close to previous games in the series. Nah, the trilogy infuriated me to no end as a long time fan of the series, i hope we get better going forward cause that crap sucked.

Army_of_Darkness499d ago

The first in the trilogy was my favorite. I thought they were going into the right direction with that one until the second one came out and seemed like a graphical downgrade but the gameplay was okay. As for the Third, Graphics were really nice but it was kinda boring me to death with its non-stop platforming and exploring with not enough action! Well, for me anyway...

DeathTouch499d ago

Graphics on the 3rd one were abysmal. It’s more colorful and has more variety, but everything else was a noticeable downgrade.

The more open world with NPC quests was also handled very poorly, to the point I missed Angel of Darkness.

thesoftware730499d ago

I know it is your opinion, but she did progress as a character in each game, she even got more muscular and seasoned.

That is the thing, people first complained that there was not enough platforming and actual tomb raiding in the first and second games. Shadow remedied that and kept the combat elements.

3-4 encounters? huh? did we play the same game? there was plenty of combat and, the skill tree did matter, like being able to hang enemies from trees, set explosives traps on bodies, being able to counter, and that are just a few of the combat skills. The skill tree also had things like being able to hold your breath underwater longer, crafting upgrades, zipline upgrade, and climbing upgrades that all changed how you can approach situations.

Not knocking your opinion, but we definitely had different experiences. I had 98% completion on the shadow.

SoulWarrior499d ago (Edited 499d ago )

Sorry but i'm with him about the low number of encounters, the game throws loads of weapons and skills you're way with a comparatively low amount of places to actually use them, so they felt under utilised.

-Foxtrot501d ago


It was awful, for THREE GAMES it was "become the Tomb Raider" where she went back to square one after each game. Not to mention after a huge reaction of killing someone for the first time she then becomes Rambo straight after and goes on a slaughter spree without a single other reaction. Her development was all over the place.

She was whiney, weak and in later game a little arrogant and selfish

Oh and the voice actress compared to the previous ones was not as good

Lara Croft deserved better and while they are decent games as they are, we deserved actual Tomb Raider games, we could have had better survival games if they just stuck with the original Lara Crofts origin about her plane going down. Surviving 2 weeks in the Himalayas...I'd have liked to seen that, who knows what mystical threat she could have faced in the mountains or underground some secret concealed cave.