UPDATE: Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics has just issued a clarifying statement regarding Rosenberg's comments.
ORIGINAL STORY: Players will want to "protect" an increasingly-battered Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, its executive producer has said.
The series' young heroine will lose her best friend, be beaten, bruised, kidnapped, and finally be subjected to an attempted rape.
"When you see her have to face these challenges, you start to root for her in a way that you might not root for a male character," executive producer Ron Rosenberg explained to Kotaku.
"When people play Lara, they don't really project themselves into the character. They're more like 'I want to protect her.' There's this sort of dynamic of 'I'm going to this adventure with her and trying to protect her.'"
The challenges facing Croft will allow her to appear more human, Rosenberg added.
"The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualised version of yesteryear. She literally goes from zero to hero... we're sort of building her up and just when she gets confident, we break her down again."
"She is literally turned into a cornered animal. It's a huge step in her evolution: she's forced to either fight back or die."
It's not the first time that developer Crystal Dynamics has explained how it wants players to notice Lara's youth and vulnerability. Art director Brian Horton revealed last year that the new Lara, by design, has "a little bit of that baby fat".
"We wanted to make a girl that was somewhat familiar, yet had a special quality about her - something in the way her eyes look and her expression in her face that makes you want to care for her."
"Her skin is still bare on the arms and there are going to be rips and tears on her clothes, but it won't be about being revealing. It's a way of saying that through these tough situations, there is a beauty and vulnerability coming through. I think that is sexy in its own way."