Tomb Raider 'doesn't feature rape'
Crystal Dynamics head of studio Darell Gallagher has addressed the growing discontent around what some claimed to be an attempted rape scene in the new Tomb Raider game.
The scene in question sees a bound Lara Croft assaulted by a burly male assailant, before she manages to fight him off, but only by killing him with his own gun.
There was merely a "threatening undertone" present, and the section was devoid of any rape connotations, said Gallagher.
He admitted the way the scene was sold to E3 attendees could have been better.
"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," he wrote.
"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 not a theme that we cover in this game."
Gallagher also dismissed claims that the new Tomb Raider is an Uncharted clone.
If anything, it was Uncharted that borrowed heavily from the Tomb Raider franchise, he said, adding that because both were action-adventure titles, some comparisons were unavoidable.
"I think when we show the game as a whole-when you get to experience it, start to finish-we believe there's a lot of differences between the two," he said.
"So, our tone is very different. Our storyline, our narrative. Our lead character is very different."
Game structure was also cited as a point where the titles diverged, with Tomb Raider's wider areas, hubs, allowance for re-traversal, and ability system being the main differentiators.
The Tomb Raider reboot is due out on March 5, 2013 on Windows PC, Xbox 360, and PS3.