Lara Croft Shows Less Cleavage in Rise of the Tomb Raider – Did She Grow Up?

Crystal Dynamics changed the look of young Lara in Rise of the Tomb Raider from her revitalized début in 2013 with the Tomb Raider reboot. However, even between the original 2013 release and subsequent Definitive Edition, Lara’s look morphed which you can clearly see in our Lara Croft Tomb Raider vs Rise of the Tomb Raider comparison video. It’s interesting how a few subtle tweaks to her face can alter the appearance of the character. Interestingly considering the amount of attention the original game received about the portrayal of a strong willed and positive female lead character in video games, the introductory look of Lara Croft in Rise of the Tomb Raider sports noticeably less cleavage than what she did back in 2013 and no boob jiggle physics. It’s a minor element to focus on but we’re wondering why this obviously deliberate design choice has been made. Could it be a pandering to those who feel video game developers sexualize female characters too much and so Crystal Dynamics moved away from this area by subtly toning down Ms Croft’s appearance in order to remain inoffensive and neutral? Or is it a case of maturing the character (after so many years) having less focus on her physical form. That said, Lara Croft’s assets have been a mainstay in marketing the game right from the first offering in 1996 as you can see in the images below. Take a look at the video and see how Lara has transformed her looks from 2013 to now just to see how much has changed.

lara crofts evolution

Image courtesy of – Rivendell

You can also see how the marketing images of Lara has changed dramatically from her original in 1996, the 2013 reboot and Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Original Artwork for Tomb Raider:


The original reveal character artwork for the 2013 game:

tomb raider art work

Rise of the Tomb Raider Artwork:

rise of the tomb raider logo

Written by: Robert Cram

Robert Cram has hundreds of video game reviews and thousands of articles under his belt. He aims to remain objective and fair in his analysis. With years of experience, feels his gaming opinions are valid and worth sharing. Agreement is entirely optional.

  • tplarkin7

    Maybe they can rectify it with some DLC. It’s disgusting that Square is afraid of people that don’t buy their games. They could make a breast slider and outfits for those who want a more traditional Lara. Default Lara can be a flat chested feminist, but at least give the guys who buy the game an option.

    • ChatWraithShichi

      It’d get attacked by “i can’t believe this is even ingame!” people, who would think it worse that it was included specifically for that reason.

      In the future, no character is allowed to be well-endowed, because these are realistic, real people with real bodies on real, plausible adventures where real pseudoscience and magic happens. She really killed like 1000 guys with 6 kinds of weapons on her person at all times, and really climbed a radio tower in below 0 without getting hypothermia, all after being impaled on rebar.

      Come on though man, people don’t really have big boobs in real life.

      • tplarkin7

        I wish the guys who picked this model, made the game. It’s bait-n-switch marketing.

        • ChatWraithShichi

          The solution is to find a woman with large breasts, body-scan her and have her voice act.

          Then no one can say anything.

  • ThePokeMaster

    A better, modern Lara Croft model.

  • ChatWraithShichi

    Course since she sets out in a mountain landscape in this game, it doesn’t make a ton of sense for a “ton of cleavage’ to be showing through a parka, does it?

    Additionally, since characters were low-poly back then, they had to exaggerate Lara’s chest to emphasize the fact that she was female. You can see that her chest shrank to more realistic proportion as graphical power increased. “boob factor” kind of just stuck as part of her design.

    Personally, I think if Lara was, in fact, designed with “huge cleavage” in mind, it should stick, but then this is a “reboot”. Maybe in this entry she will be struck by some mystical something-or-rather that imbues her chest with, uh…………breast fat.

    • Rob Cram

      Clutching at straws there a bit as she’s wearing the exact same style top in both games which you can clearly see in the video.

      • J.j. Barrington

        Not the exact same top, for one. The straps stay further out on her shoulders in the reboot than in Rise of. There’s also an extra layer of clothing in that game, which appears to be a bra. That tends to have an effect on the shape and exposure of breasts, which obviously changes further still depending on the type of bra. With nothing similar evident in the Rise of footage, that makes two differences that could have an effect.

        More importantly, what does it have to do with her growing up? Especially when compared to the previous title?

        • Rob Cram

          Lara Croft’s design has been primarily aimed at men since her conception just look at the images of her above. However, as pointed out in the article there are more women players nowadays and so her design reflects this with a lesser focus on titillation – hence growing up – as in to be a more widely acceptable gaming character that can appeal to both sexes rather than just eye candy for male players.

          • J.j. Barrington

            Or, maybe, she changed as the series changed. The games got more serious, tried to have a real story, took on much darker tones, etc. Advances in technology and the graphics they power means the devs no longer had to go to ridiculous lengths to show she’s well developed in the chest area. It’s not inherently some attempt to make her more appealing to more people, unless you mean an attempt to make her seem like a more believable character.

            None of that, however, directly ties into maturity or a lack thereof.

      • ChatWraithShichi

        You can also see the parka.

  • Exare

    I think the best Lara models were the ones for 360. That was a perfect modern depiction of what she would have looked like if they had the tech they do now way back in the PSOne days.

    This new Lara is a great new take on the character though and diversifies the franchise, giving it a more serious face. I just hope it doesn’t stay like this forever. I got into Tomb Raider as a kid because of boob and I like my jiggly physics in games today. I’m a dude, what can I say? I tilt the camera just right and watch the idle animations as the boobies bounce. Don’t pretend like every last one of you hasn’t done that.

    Anyway, Lara’s boobs are the boobs of video games. Simple as that. Hopefully they make a comeback someday.

  • Rob Cram

    Actually the writer for Rise of the Tomb Raider and feminist Rhianna Pratchett has dipped her claws into moulding the portrayal of Lara Croft and takes great pleasure in the fact that she’s now less sexualized than before. This is despite the fact she’s been portrayed a certain way since 1996 up until 2013 (when Rhianna first pushed her feminist agenda). It’s a shame because rather than focus on writing a compelling story, she’s pushed her own ideals where others have rolled over and taken it in.

    • SmithDoc

      this is a little dishonest, isn’t it? tomb raider didn’t have insane cleavage or ‘physics’ in the 1996 game. and she’s still busty – just more realistically so. that said, these games appeal to many people for many reasons. somehow the tomb raider games have managed to keep the spirit of puzzle platforming alive (at least in part) for two decades now – so i’ve always been willing to give the game a pass when it came to its sexually retrograde presentation, because it delivered a gameplay style that i love. but it’s nice to see that the game has matured with its player base. i don’t want to have to feel embarrassed introducing my daughter to the games one day.

      • J.j. Barrington

        Frankly, when I read things like this article, I get the feeling they want people to be ashamed of the female body, whether being attracted to it, or having one that can be found attractive. There’s always all this talk about unrealistic proportions and such and how it sends the wrong image to girls… well, what about the image that wearing something revealing makes you a slut and reduces you to nothing more than something for men to drool over. How can you simultaneously support “free the nipple,” and yet speak out against the choice to wear something revealing.

        Lara can’t have big boobs in a tight shirt, but nobody complains about Kratos being musclebound and shirtless. That always gets brushed off as being nothing more than a male power fantasy… as if that’s universal for all men or something. Hell, the argument that Lara’s design is nothing more than a sexuality thing is the same: it assumes all men have the same preference, and that there’s something wrong with catering to it.

        I would not be ashamed. Why? Are you ashamed of every other suggestively-clad woman in the world?

    • jlenoconel

      Rise of the Tomb Raider was epic fail, so maybe someone else will get hired to write the next game (hopefully).

  • flankton

    I’ve played all the tomb raiders. A huge part of it for me was the sexiness of Lara. I found rise of the tomb raider seriously lacking in t&a compared to previous games… by far. and if they put her in another parka for the next game it will be the first TR game ever that I don’t play. Know your audience morons

    • Robert Cram

      Well said that man!