Duel-Wielding – breasts or guns? A review of Tomb Raider Box Art

The new Tomb Raider game box art is out! So, let’s take this opportunity to review how Lara’s image has changed over the years…for the better in my opinion.

So let’s start with the original image:

Ah…old graphics

So the original Lara image, gigantic cone boos and all. According to Tom Raider lore, creator Toby Gard “accidentally” increased her bust size by 150% and this was wildly embraced by the whole development team before the small “mistake” could be fixed. Clearly this version of Lara, like Barbie, would most likely snap in half if she was suddenly brought to human life. Despite her fantastical proportions, Lara does look fairly bad ass while she dual-wields pistols.

This image remains fairly stable through the next few Playstation sequels:


Except for Tomb Raider: Chronicles (which I had never heard of until recently), the boobs are definitely front and center in these games. But, there’s still the dual-pistols, so at leas she’s packing. Chronicles stands out as an outlier where Lara is not in her typical outfit, and her action stance covers her boobs up. Overall, all four are fairly similar, and stand in line with the first Lara image.

Moving on to Playstation 2, we get Tomb Raider: Angel of Darkness


Here we get Lara in a new outfit, fitting with the “angel of darkness” theme. Still fairly unrealistic in terms of graphics and breasts, and we  get midriff in this picture! Overall, probably one of my least favorite Tomb Raider covers, and I haven’t heard many people that have liked it. If you do, feel free to defend yourself and this game in the comments!

Next we have a compilation of Lara’s that steadily get a bit more realistic:


LegendsAnniversary, and Underworld represent a wide variety of Lara images. In Legends we get a close-up of Lara’s face, a bit more realistic than previously which is nice. Anniversary continues to update   Lara’s image. We get the obligatory tits and ass pose, but those features have been toned down and now conform to more realistic proportions. She’s still sexy, but now I’m not afraid to hug her for ear of being crushed to death by her knockers. Underworld continues the trend, and now we seem to be missing Lara’s head, which has previously been just as integral to her image as her attire and proportions. Despite the lack of head, and the midriff, she also seems to be more realistically attired in terms of the equipment she is carrying. Also, Lara is actually dirty in this picture! After years of excavating artifacts in dusty and remote locales, Lara’s image finally reflects this.

Finally, we have been blessed with the cover art for the upcoming 2012 Tomb Raider:


This image is by far my favorite yet. Here we are seeing Lara at a younger age, and of course the graphics are better than ever. I really enjoy seeing her in her environment and somewhat bedraggled at that. The only thing missing to me in this image is her pistols! How does Lara transition from bow and arrow to duel wielding? If this game doesn’t answer the question, I will be one seriously disappointed fan.

So, which game/image is your favorite so far? (You can choose the new game if you’re currently convinced it’s going to be the best thing ever)


  1. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing the Tomb Raider games, but it’s interesting to see the evolution of Lara Croft’s character design over the years. The graphics have definitely gotten better, and designers are trying to make Lara more realistic looking in terms of her breasts and body proportions.

    “She’s still sexy, but now I’m not afraid to hug her for ear of being crushed to death by her knockers.” Can I say that I loved this little bit of commentary? Best line ever! 😀

  2. I’m a dude, so I actually liked The Angel of Darkness cover 🙂

    Never been a fan of Lara really, but this was an excellent read! I did play the downloadable game with a buddy, and that was cool. I’m probably not gonna play the new one. Though her appearance is becoming more realistically proportioned, I hear there’s still a lot of fan service to be had, namely her grunting and gasping.

    I hope it’s a good game, though.

  3. I was never a fan of Tomb Raider until the more modern titles due to the horrible controls. But recently I have been noticing sexism in games and I have to tell ya Tomb Raider is the absolute worst. The only way that guys will play as a woman is if she is sex and over-proportioned? Horrible.

    While I was quite excited about young Lara and hopefully a better image for women, her persona and portrayal are almost worse. She is constantly attacked and hurt the entire game, getting beaten up by the environment and her enemies. The developers are quoted saying that they wanted the players to feel protective towards Lara. Because… you know… women need men to protect them.

    I love my wife and I feel protective of her, but she is no way is dependent on my protection. Lara Croft is a strong and powerful woman. Men should not need to feel protective of her, we should admire her and look up to her. She can be such an amazing role model for women gamers and men gamers alike, unfortunately she is reduced to a sexy avatar who almost gets raped.

    But I agree the art style is amazing 🙂

  4. Ahhh Lara, how I miss thee 😛

    I’ve played them all so far, and in all honesty I don’t think I’ve ever thought about the way she looked, not seriously anyway. The older I get though, the more I feel uncomfortable with the big-breasted, short skirt wearing female gaming characters that some developers seem unable to leave in the past. Quite apart from the fact that it’s unrealistic, it also shows a distinct lack of imagination on the part of gaming artists.

    Oh and thanks for reminding me about The Angel of Darkness by the way, that has to be one of the worst games I’ve ever played, and I’ve spent ever since trying to block the memory out only for this piece to bring it all back :’-(

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