Lara Croft is arguably the most recognisable character – male or female – to emerge from the world of gaming, having cemented her place as a true pop culture icon over the last two decades.
Though she was immediately hailed as a fantastic antithesis to the overwhelming number of male leads in video games and a fine action star in her own right, there was always some debate as to her status as a feminist figure, given the overt sexualisation of the character’s image in spite of her obvious physical and intellectual prowess. A few years ago however, the series was rebooted, essentially scrapping the previous continuity and going back to basics, re-imagining Lara’s story for a new generation.
This ‘new’ Lara is a far more rounded character, beginning the series as a wide-eyed young woman eager to find adventure on her first expedition, only to survive a shipwrecking. Washed up and stranded on a remote island, she is forced to quickly adapt to her extreme surroundings and learn new, invaluable skills that she will need to evolve into the hardened warrior and adventurer she is destined to become. With a much bigger emphasis on Lara’s emotional drive and motivations, a clearer developmental arc, and a much grittier, more realistic and no longer sexualised image, her position at the forefront of pro-feminist gaming is now secure.
Brave, smart, strong, determined and compassionate, the new and improved Miss Croft is a force to be reckoned with; only one we can now all relate to on a far more human level.