Later, as-yet-unseen stages in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot will be less bleak than the game's opening section, developer Crystal Dynamics has promised.

The new, younger Lara Croft takes a battering in the adventure's opening hour, as she's turned from shipwreck victim to survivor. But players will eventually see a more confident heroine taking shape.

"You'll see a side to Lara that everyone's been waiting for," Tomb Raider global brand director Karl Stewart told Eurogamer.

"As she comes out the other side she's stronger for it," he added, discussing the impact of the game's first section.

"It's not purposefully going out of the way to break her down mentally - she'd never become the person we want her to. Every single twist or turn makes you feel like we're setting up motivation for her to become the character we want."

Controversy erupted after a Tomb Raider exec "misspoke" about a section of game footage shown at E3. But "nothing whatsoever" has been changed in the game since that build was shown.

"What I would say is - play it," Stewart explained. "We're trying to bring a specific emotion to the forefront where it becomes 'kill or be killed'."

Fans will see a more familiar Lara Croft by the end of the game - ready for whatever comes next in the franchise - but one that won't ignore the studio's new take on the character.

"She will be set up for the future," Stewart concluded, "but she still won't be like the Lara at beginning of Tomb Raider 1."

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Tom Phillips

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