Lara Croft’s Diminishing Appeal: A Little Less Crop-Top A Little More Practicality Please

I’ve been gearing up to write a comprehensive top 5 of Lara’s outfits in Rise of the Tomb Raider (which, screw it, I’m still going to post after this one), but during my research I happened upon an unexpected train of thought in the Tomb Raider fanbase.

Now, while I think Lara’s get-up in the latest game is badass, realistic, and practical-chic, a lot of people aren’t happy about it. When reading forums, reading YouTube comment sections, there still appears to be a large portion of the Tomb Raider community that hate her new style – they want ‘sexy’ Lara back.

It’s no secret, Lara Croft’s sexuality has long been part of her charm, and probably played a role in her initial success as a video game character. For me, as a little girl, her giant bouncing 2-polygon triangle boobs weren’t the thing that attracted me to this sassy, resilient hero. That said, I can see why her whole ‘sexy’ demeanour incited interest.

Let’s take a look at old, sexy catsuit Lara compared with ‘hobo’ Lara.

Catsuit Lara in Tomb Raider Chronicles (2000) featuring uncomfortable looking crotch-area
Lara’s ‘Expedition Jacket’ outfit in Rise of the Tomb Raider: looking very fit for purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I won’t insult you with a sarcastic paragraph about the outfits, the graphics, the fact there’s 16 years of gaming technology between the two photos: you know what I’m getting at.

“I won’t play this game until we can fully strip her down proper, otherwise it’s not worth playing” says one charming ‘gamer’ in the YouTuber comments section. I’m finding the voyeuristic nature of some players a little disturbing. Honestly, if you just want a pair of boobs flouncing about for you, you could play Dead or Alive. Or better yet, save yourself the £50 game and go get a girlfriend.

In all seriousness, are we still at the point where Tomb Raider is only worth playing if Lara is wearing booty shorts and grunting every time she breathes? Personally, I’m really proud of how far the character has come, of what Crystal Dynamics have done with her, and how Rhianna Pratchett has breathed so much life into Lara and made her even more of a joy to play. Many fans, including me, have grown with the gaming industry – developing an appreciation for the innovation of graphical detail and rendering as well as aesthetics. But lately, it seems like the same people that are saying there shouldn’t be female characters in the new Call of Duty because it’s factually inaccurate, are the same people complaining that Lara isn’t wearing a bikini up a Siberian mountain.

If you can’t enjoy a beautiful game with really fun combat, a great story, and a wonderful lead character, then that’s too bad for you. Lara is no longer here to perform for perverted eyes.

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