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Tomb Raider Developer Claims No Sexual Assault Scene in Reboot (Despite Previous Interview Remarks)

An upcoming scene in the 2013 Tomb Raider reboot is believed to see the game’s heroine Lara Croft more vulnerable than we’ve ever seen her before. Facing a traumatic rape attempt at the hands of scavengers, players will need to fight for the gaming heroine’s survival in a scene that many are now saying takes the realistic revision of the new Tomb Raider too far.

The new Tomb Raider, which has been postponed for release on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 until March 5th, is set in a much darke,r grittier world and retells Lara Croft’s origin story. With her surfacing from a plane crash in a savage land she must learn skills to outsmart traps and combat vicious villains in her fight to escape.

Addressing the mature scenes in an interview with Kotaku, Ron Rosenberg of Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics defends the inclusion of vividly violent scenes in the new game, claiming they will make players more involved and want to protect Lara from her ordeal, stating “It’s a huge step in her evolution. She’s forced to either fight back or die.”

Rosenberg goes onto say “We’re not trying to be over the top, shock people for shock’s sake. We’re trying to tell a great origin story” and continues to imply that female lead characters in video games are less compelling than their male counterparts, he attempts to justify the addition of such as extreme scene “When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character.”

We were impressed by the set-up promo which emerged from last year’s E3 expo, which showed off a much darker and realistic Tomb Raider world than the one that had become so cartoonish over the years, and the redesigned leading lady was quite a different Lara Croft than we’d become accustomed to. The developer says “The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear.”

Another development company recently had to address its highly-criticised trailer for Hitman Absolution which featured PVC-clad, gun-toting nuns. However, IO Interactive was more apologetic about the content it was using to sell its upcoming game.

[UPDATE:]
Crystal Dynamics has released a statement claiming that their reimagining of the Tomb Raider story will feature no attempted rape scene:

“Unfortunately we were not clear in a recent E3 press interview and things have been misunderstood. Before this gets out of hand, let me explain. In making this Tomb Raider origins story our aim was to take Lara Croft on an exploration of what makes her the character she embodies in late Tomb Raider games. One of the character defining moments for Lara in the game, which has incorrectly been referred to as an ‘attempted rape’ scene is the content we showed at this year’s E3 and which over a million people have now seen in our recent trailer entitled ‘Crossroads’.

“This is where Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time. In this particular section, while there is a threatening undertone in the sequence and surrounding drama, it never goes any further than the scenes that we have already shown publicly. Sexual assault of any kind of categorically is not a theme that we cover in this game.”

Interestingly, this follows other comments in the published interview which are quoted as saying “She gets taken prisoner by scavengers on the island. They try to rape her, and she’s literally turned into a cornered animal.”

Do you think these shocking video game moments make them more compelling , or are they an unnecessary move to gain publicity? Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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