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What's Going On With Lara Croft's New Look In Her PS4/Xbox One Revamp?

Jan 12 2014, 11:36am CST | by

What's Going On With Lara Croft's New Look In Her PS4/Xbox One Revamp?

Photo Credit: Forbes

There will likely be many current-gen games reformatted for the next generation of consoles when all is said and done, but precious few have been announced to date. One of them is 2013′s Tomb Raider, which is getting an update release for Sony’s PS4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One later this year.

Square-Enix and Crystal Dynamics have just come out with a trailer for the “Definitive Edition” re-release, which you can see here. From the footage, it seems Lara Croft has a new look, which has resulted in headlines like io9′s “Lara Croft’s face is Sexier on Next-Generation Consoles,” referencing screengrab comparisons from NeoGAF like the one above, and this one below:

Their analysis:

“The first Lara Croft looks like an attractive, but ordinary young university graduate. The new one looks, well… a bit sexier. A bit less fresh-faced student, a bit more action heroine. A bit more like the Lara of old, the pin-up girl of 90′s video games.”

Not only do I disagree with the “sexier” classification, as neither face looks particularly more attractive than the other in my estimation, there’s a far less nefarious explanation for the change. As part of the switch to next-gen, it seems that the developers decided to implement a re-scan of their Croft face model, Camilla Luddington. The resulting changes aren’t meant to make her “sexier,” but simply more like the actual human modeling her.

Honestly, from this limited footage, I like the original face better, though I’ll have to reserve final judgement for when I play the game itself. There’s also a tangential critique about Croft not looking as “gritty and dirty” in the new footage, when the old version of the character was constantly covering in blood, mud and grime. Again, perhaps it’s just not visible in the few flashes we see of her, but it is somewhat apparent in the second picture. I doubt they did away with that concept altogether, however, and it might just look different or more subtle on the next-gen consoles.

But in terms of her face, the whole news item is rather misguided as A) Croft could accurately be classified as sexy before B) this is most definitely a modeling issue, not a “sexing up a character” issue and C) the bigger problem is the trailer itself. Seriously, they made Tomb Raider look like Bulletstorm, and highlighted the few problems the game did have, namely the over the top combat, which often didn’t feel right for the character.

There will never be a Tomb Raider game released (or re-released) without some sort of sex-based controversy, but this time around, this isn’t one, and we should stop treating it like such.  The game is fantastic, and if you missed it on last-gen consoles, you will absolutely want to pick it up for next-gen. I might do so just so I can re-experience the game and have something to use my new consoles for since neither have had more than a handful of truly phenomenal games in their catalogs yet. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition will launch January 28th.

Follow me on Twittersubscribe to my Forbes feed, and pick up a copy of my sci-fi novelThe Last Exodus, and its sequel, The Exiled Earthborn.

Source: Forbes

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