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Crystal Dynamics clears up Tomb Raider 'Lara Croft rape' debacle

If we had to summarise the somewhat acrimonious response to Tomb Raider Crossroads trailer in one word it would be 'confusion'.

Suggestions that the re-imagined Lara Croft is going to undergo a softening up as part of her makeover have sparked criticism from feminists and fans of the franchise alike.

However, far and away the biggest confusion is over the allegation that, in the new game, Lara Croft will be subject to an attempted rape by a non-playable character (NPC).

The basic complaint from fans was that the scene was offensive and unnecessary - as well as being out of keeping with the Croft character in the past.

The confusion is over a scene from the game which emerged in the trailer, released earlier this month. Initially, Rob Rosenberg executive producer Ron Rosenberg described the scene in which she is taken prisoner by a group of scavengers as a transformative moment in Lara's character.

However, Crystal Dynamics' studio head Darrell Gallagher has since sought to stop the issue from snowballing any further, releasing an official statement in an attempt to rescue Lara from a PR disaster "before this gets out of hand".

"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'," he explained. "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."

Crystal also underlined that sexual assault of any kind will not be a theme in the new game, adding that the studio will take more care in the future to ensure there is no confusion.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801386273-ADNFCR