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The Many Faces of Lara Croft
Tomb Raider Cosplay Giveaway
  from HalloweenCostumes.com

Thank you Engene of the SURVIVOR REBORN for letting us use this image to depict Lara's 17 years of being awesome!

After 17 years of pillaging tombs and grappling with deadly foes, Lara Croft has evolved to inspire cosplayers far and wide. A dynamic character boasting equal parts of brawn, beauty and sultry femininity, the video game and movie vixen is often celebrated as a symbol for female strength in circles like LaraCroftCosplay.com.
Earlier Conception of Lara Croft
With the release of Tomb Raider  this year, fans everywhere caught a glimpse of a more human and far less confident 21-year-old Croft. Rekindling excitement and challenging past criticisms that Lara Croft served more as a sex symbol than an actual picture of female empowerment and bravery, the new Tomb Raider aims to round-out Croft’s character and personality to arguably deliver a more believable and multifaceted young hero.

In the game, Croft is marooned as a recent college graduate on a hostile island alongside a handful of survivors following a disastrous shipwreck. From there, according to TombRaider.com , publisher Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics set out to tell “the intense and gritty origin story of Lara Croft and her ascent from a young woman to a hardened survivor.”

New Face, New Experience?

Lara Croft Renders from 1996 to 2013 - "Change is good, even if we sometimes resist it at first"

This fresh twist on the cult-classic has generated a lot of buzz on the web, and for good reason.

Many suggest that the creators have reinvented Croft to deliver a more realistic protagonist – both anatomically and in terms of personality – better equipped to cope with the requisite complexities of a true 21st century female role model. Meanwhile, others have downplayed or even griped about the turn toward realism.

While early reviews run the gamut, much of the discussion revolves around what the reinvention of the gun-toting hero really means. Just a few comments from leading writers paint a pretty clear picture of the different points of the debate taking form.

Matt Miller of Game Informer speaks to the growth and evolution of Croft as a leading lady.

“Lara is a great lead.” writes Miller. “Emotional, nuanced voice acting and stellar animation for the character help make her believable, even if that focus on authenticity is at odds with Lara’s seemingly inhuman ability to suffer wounds, falls, stabs, and burns and still marshal on. Even so, few games have managed such a likeable and relatable protagonist, scaling up from vulnerable ingénue to hardened survivalist.”

Lara Croft in game screenshots 1996-2013
Tom Meltzer of the The Guardian perhaps put it best when he had this to say about the practicality of Croft’s makeover: “The physical makeover has been dramatic but also, arguably, necessary. In the hyper-real high-definition world of a modern console game, the old Lara Croft's proportions would simply have looked cartoonish.”

While Meltzer goes onto say, “the new Lara Croft is not so different from the old,” an expansion of his point about trending toward realism certainly plays into the introduction of the character into an increasingly realistic gaming landscape.

With modern console gaming shifting toward realism, the makeover and investment in character development perhaps serves to plant Lara Croft’s feet more squarely on the ground. But that remains for debate.

If nothing else, could this turn toward pragmatism help to make the character more believable, and thus, build out a stronger role model? We want to hear your thoughts!

Enter for your chance to win!
This costume includes:

• Cropped top
• Shorts
• Fingerless Gloves
• Shoulder strap
• 2 Holsters
• Belt
So What is Your Take?
Did game makers succeed at their task of reinventing Lara Croft for you? For the fans, gamers and cosplayers – the true target audience – did the adaptation ring true, renew your love for the character or perhaps (inversely) take away some of the fantasy and magic? We also want to know what Lara Croft means to you , and how she affected you as an individual.

Since your opinion is so valued here, if you give us your two cents in the comments section below, we’ll give you a chance to win the Tomb Raider costume pictured here.
Giveaway entries will be accepted through Friday, April 5th at 20:00 Est.
Since all we want is your opinion, there is absolutely no wrong answer!

One winner will be chosen from the pool of participants and will be the lucky recipient of a new costume for their cosplay collection!
Tell us below: