Crystal Dynamics’ Brian Horton, the art director of Tomb Raider, says that in an industry where games mostly have male leads, Tomb Raider stands out because it’s character is a female and feminine, and that she’s changed from the previous Lara Croft too, since now she’s much more vulnerable.
He praised what BioWare does with Mass Effect and allows you to play as a female rather than a male. Well, so does Pokemon, but whatever. “I think that’s what’s really great about Mass Effect for instance: you can choose to be female Shepard,” Horton said while speaking with CVG. “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. So for our game, Lara stands alone in an industry of AAA third-person action games, in that it has the female hero.
“The challenge for us is, that now we’re making it more realistic, it starts to conjures up different emotions in people. They’re playing as Lara and she’s struggling – you have a mixed emotion.
“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.”
When asked just how exactly Lara is all that different from other characters in the industry, and about the balance of vulnerability and being a female at the same time, Horton said: “We’re making her vulnerable because it’s her first adventure, and she happens to be a women. That’s the distinction.”
“As an industry we’ve grown up, but not enough to do everything you can do in films or TV,” Horton said, now talking about storytelling. ” We made a conscious decision to make a bold storytelling choice and gameplay choice, to give that scene more emotional weight. We don’t shy away from the choices we made.”
Tomb Raider is going to receive a full fledged trailer at the VGAs later this month. So stay tuned for more updates.