Game developer Eidos Interactive has denied that pressure to stand toe-to-toe with ultra violent games like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto led to the decision to make the new Tomb Raider title 18-rated.
Eidos president Ian Livingstone CBE said that the modern gamer's desire for gritty realism explains the removal of Lara Croft's 'armour-plated, teflon-covered' exterior in fighting scenes.
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He said: "A decision was made to make it 18 because of the combat involved, the graphics involved and that gritty realism. It's definitely the correct decision. There was no outside pressure to change."
Livingstone said that fighting elements of the game had always played second fiddle in previous adventures, but Eidos felt it was time to raise the stakes.
He added: "Audiences today want realism in their games. The pillars of Tomb Raider are exploration and adventure, puzzle-solving and combat. Combat had always been an afterthought in previous Tomb Raiders so we thought we want to raise the combat.
"To make that realistic she's going to have to sustain damage. Previously she'd been armour-plated, Teflon-covered and adventurous."
Some gamers will surely be disappointed to hear that the 18 rating is due to Lara taking a beating from bad guys rather than any Angelina Jolie-esque elongated shower scenes.