Tomb Raider dev backing off 'attempted rape' comments

By Steve Watts, Jun 14, 2012 9:00am PDT

The new Tomb Raider marks a fresh start for Lara Croft, as less of a disproportionate sex bomb and more of an identifiable human character. But that reboot is running into some bumps, as the team at Crystal Dynamics tries to balance the tone of putting this younger, more innocent Lara in harm's way. A few comments, particularly revolving around a dire attempted rape, have been causing issues for the studio.

The issue of Lara's very first kill has raised eyebrows, as the company seemingly backpedals on talking about the attempted rape scene. Executive producer Ron Rosenberg told Kotaku that the threat of rape forces Lara to fight back and kill her attackers. "Rapists" are up there with Nazis and zombies in our society's collective "List of Okay-to-Kill Things," but Crystal D has since backed off that point when talking about the game.

A statement from studio head Darrell Gallagher stresses that the game never actively portrays a rape. "This is where Lara is forced to kill another human for the first time," he states. "In this particular selection, 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 is categorically not a theme that we cover in this game."

This comes hot on the heels of another controversial remark by Rosenberg, who said that gamers will want to "protect" the new Lara Croft. The statement has been met with some criticism from fans, who say that it undermine's Lara's strength as a character.

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