Tomb Raider (2013) — review
Lara Croft has long been a recognised female character. For those who’ve played past Tomb Raider games, you will know that as a character, she is strong, adventurous and the lead of her own series.
In the past however, Lara Croft has come under criticism for her sexualised appearance, which focused on short, tight clothing and an exaggerated body. Crystal Dynamics’ new Croft however breaks her stereotype, choosing instead to adorn her several different styles of clothing (singlet and cargo pants combo, mountaineering suit, aviator gear etc.) and does not focus on her ‘assets’, rather choosing to picture her as a person capable of emotion and adventurous determination. New Lara expresses a range of emotions that are fantastically engaging, allowing the player to connect with her as a character rather than an object.
The gameplay is good fun, with Lara being capable of a variety of different adventuring skills. The story is somewhat predictable, but this does not take away from the fun of the game and the positivity of the ‘reborn Lara’. Strong, expressive and not unrealistically invulnerable, this new Lara is one that I would recommend to gamers looking for a new symbol of female power.
Strong females: Yes
Does it pass the Bechdel test? Yes