When Eidos unveiled their new take on Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot at E3 last year, the biggest change for the franchise was in the tone -- the gameplay demo showed us an intensely gritty new take on gaming's most recongisable heroine, with a much more down-to-earth and human quality about her.
We knew that we could expect more brutality as Lara battles to survive the elements, wildlife and human antagonists on this new island adventure, and that a much greater focus was being placed on character development and storytelling, so it was certainly within the realm of possibility that some romance elements could have worked into that formula.
However, in a recent community Q&A on the Edios forums
Crystal Dynamic's Brand Director, Karl Stewart, has confirmed Lara won't be getting any lovin' -- at least not in this first new outing.
I’ve read and fed into the script now on many, many occasions, and I can tell you that there is no love interest in this game. She is trying to survive. She is busy. Surviving the situation is all she can cope with right now; surviving a relationship would be a bit tough. In one of the next releases we could possibly see this more human Lara meet someone, but that is way over the horizon.
Interestingly, romance has factored reasonably heavily into some of Tomb Raider's recent genre competitors -- such as Prince of Persia and the Uncharted games -- but would the average gamer be as accepting of such an experience when the protagonist/love interest gender roles are reversed (Nate Drake and Sully's complex relationship
Regardless, we can't wait to get another taste of the new Tomb Raider, which according to the same Q&A should be a look at the combat system, closer to E3 in June.
Tomb Raider is in the works for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for a late 2012 launch.