Tomb Raider: The Sexiest Videogames of All Time (03)

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
Matt Barton's picture

In Armchair Arcade's fun new series, we ask the provocative question, "What makes a particular videogame sexy?" Each week's feature will explore some of the many intriguing approaches game designers have taken over the years to make their games more sensual, not just with increasingly detailed graphics, but also with romantic and seductive gameplay. While some of the games we'll be looking at are unabashedly low brow, displaying their raw sexuality like a badge of honor, other games in contrast are remarkably subtle, often downplaying their suggestive themes.

This week's entry, written by Matt Barton, is on perhaps the most obvious game in our ongoing series, the legendary action adventure, Tomb Raider. Enjoy, help spread the word, and of course, let us know what you think:

Tomb Raider

Developer: Core Design Ltd.
Publisher: Eidos Interactive, Inc.
Release Date: 1996
Platforms: Many contemporary home platforms
Game Type: Action Adventure

Looking today at the crude, jagged polygonal graphics of the original Tomb Raider, it might be hard to believe how unbelievably sexy gamers found its protagonist: the dashing Lara Croft. Although much has been made then and now of Lara’s shapely legs and ample bosom, perhaps what really makes her sexy is her self-serving attitude and contempt for the men who vainly attempt to seduce or compete with her. Far from the eager-to-please but ultimately useless princesses and bimbos in other games, Lara needs a man like a fish needs a pair of matched pistols.

01 - Tomb Raider
Lara Croft guns down a pack of wolves without batting an eyelash. Care to hit on her?

Of course, Lara’s fame owes a lot to the design of Tomb Raider, a brilliantly crafted 3D platformer. The intricate levels take full advantage of the third dimension, sending Lara climbing, vaulting, and leaping across vertigo-inducing towers and rocks. The tombs Lara explorers are easily as dangerous as any encountered by Indiana Jones, with tons of deadly traps and creatures. The tombs are also full of secret areas, many of which require intense precision (or, more likely, luck) to find and access. In short, Tomb Raider would likely have been a fun game even with a certain Fedora-wearing, bullwhip-cracking man as the lead character. But Lara is a lot more than just the sum of her polygons. From the minute you pick up the gamepad and watch her make her first jumps and vaults, hear her grunt as she pulls herself up a ledge—well, let’s just say you won’t be the first gamer to fall for Lara Croft.

02 - Tomb Raider
In the remake, Lara gets a massive silicon breast implant.

And let’s be honest with ourselves, here. Who hasn’t tried abusing the in-game camera controls to look up Lara’s shorts or down her shirt? Even if doing so is about as erotically stimulating as Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, it’s worth a try. And what the graphics lack in realism and detail is more than made up for with our own fantasy, primed by the imaginative ambience of the game. The fact that the game allows you to play as Lara rather than just gaze upon her is remarkable as well; that verse from the bible about “the two becoming one flesh” has probably never been more accurate.

03 - Tomb Raider
Tomb Raider Underworld offers a stunningly beautiful Lara, and might be a fun game if you can stop fiddling with the camera to get a better look down her shirt.

There are, of course, plenty of Tomb Raider sequels and spinoffs, with the level of graphical detail rising even as the franchise’s popularity wanes. Perhaps the apex of graphical realism (and nadir of interactivity) was realized in the movie, in which no less a beauty than Angelina Jolie stars as Lara. Yet since so much of Lara’s beauty lies in our imagination, stimulated by the act of controlling her on screen, even Ms. Jolie fails to generate the same level of interest.

04 - Tomb Raider
No matter where Lara runs, jumps, swims, or crawls, there will be legions of horny fans right behind her.

In the case of Tomb Raider, what made the game and its character so sexy was not what was actually depicted on screen, but rather what was imagined as we guide the nimble avatar across chasms and fire her pistols at a tiger leaping towards her. None of us will likely ever get close enough to touch Angelina Jolie; but any of us can descend into dark and dusty tombs with the incomparable Lara Croft.

Comments

Anonymous (not verified)
Hurp durp

A whole series of this? I thought this sight was better than this. Poor researched and lacking anything new or interesting. It is juvenile. I hope you will go back to writing better stuff soon.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Thanks for the feedback
Anonymous wrote:

A whole series of this? I thought this sight [sic] was better than this. Poor [sic] researched and lacking anything new or interesting. It is juvenile. I hope you will go back to writing better stuff soon.

Well, you know what they say, you can't please everyone. The response so far has been extremely positive overall and the fourth entry will hit on Tuesday (and then the fifth the Tuesday after that, etc.). Perhaps you'll enjoy that one, anonymous? If not, there's plenty of other content to occupy your time...

n/a
Anonymous (not verified)
Hurpadurps

Guy is a moron. Guess we know why, so desperate to see Lara pantys.

The idea that the game is sexier than Angelina is something only a hurp durp would say.

You guys need girlfriends bad. Too bad that is probably impossible for you durps.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Really?
Anonymous wrote:

Guy is a moron. Guess we know why, so desperate to see Lara pantys.

The idea that the game is sexier than Angelina is something only a hurp durp would say.

You guys need girlfriends bad. Too bad that is probably impossible for you durps.

Wow, I kind of thought you were a foolish child based on your use of the language earlier, now I'm sure you are based on your ridiculous assumptions and clear inability to grasp what has been written to this point in the series. And then there are the clumsy personal attacks... I hope one day you'll grow up...

n/a
Matt Barton
Matt Barton's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
I just wish I wasn't a moron

I just wish I wasn't a moron and could follow him. Hurp durp is not a word I can understand.

n/a
Anonymous (not verified)
Hush child grownups are talking

I don't usually comment on this site though I do read it. Thanks for a great site guys and podcasts, to.

To the child, please consider your audience. Coming on here and insulting people and using silly words will just make people think you are insipid.
To the adults:
I do not like this sexy articles either. I think that it is harming you guys' image and reputation, stinking to the lowest denominator. That is probably what attracted this kid anyway, googling for sexy Lara croft pics. I think you should consider other topics to be honest. I come to this site to avoid that stuff that is on all the rest. You guys should be a cut above that. This is not material I expect to see here and am disappointed by this and am sure others feel the same.

You guys are jumping the preverbial shark.
Sten

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Why take the easy path?
Anonymous wrote:

I don't usually comment on this site though I do read it. Thanks for a great site guys and podcasts, to.

To the child, please consider your audience. Coming on here and insulting people and using silly words will just make people think you are insipid.
To the adults:
I do not like this sexy articles either. I think that it is harming you guys' image and reputation, stinking to the lowest denominator. That is probably what attracted this kid anyway, googling for sexy Lara croft pics. I think you should consider other topics to be honest. I come to this site to avoid that stuff that is on all the rest. You guys should be a cut above that. This is not material I expect to see here and am disappointed by this and am sure others feel the same.

You guys are jumping the preverbial shark.
Sten

See, this is where I strongly disagree. We're not approaching this from a juvenile perspective, but an adult perspective. If we can't be adult in addressing the obviously sexual implications of these creations then we can't really consider videogames as an art form, can we? It's funny how discussing the idea of sexuality and how it's presented in videogames (and in many cases used as a selling point) makes some people so uncomfortable. It's like we're not sexual beings or anything, which is silly because that's how we all got here...

n/a
clok1966
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2009
I must admit Tomb Raider may

I must admit Tomb Raider may "fit" this the best. Nobody can deny when they decieded to go with a girl insteda of a INDY clone it had to have some small titilation value. I know the tradeshows sure used it to the extreme. The Tomb Raider games are probebly the best one to look at on how they increased the sex appeal not only through better graphics, but "physics engines and jiggle factor" it was never over the top.. and maybe I'm remebring it wrong, but she does start to have some lite jiggle in the later games (doesnt she?, or am i just so used the exagerated stuff of most games Im adding her in too?). One thing that can help.. she may have been slighlty sexy for a game character, but her real shine was she was attached to a GREAT game.. and that is one reason she is not just a footnote, but will always be rembered.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.