Lara Croft has never looked better than she does in… Call of Duty?


Call of Duty’s current season has been a wild one so far, thanks to the addition of equippable dogs, the return of World War II veteran Snoop Dogg, and the option to play as Nicki Minaj in Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone. Season 5 of Call of Duty will also bring a welcome new surprise: Lara Croft from Tomb Raider as a new Operator.

Activision and Call of Duty’s developers teased Lara’s addition to the shooter last week, but on Monday they showed her in-game model. It’s one of the strongest interpretations of Ms. Croft ever, evoking her original 1996 design, but looking thoroughly modern. It’s certainly a more photorealistic take on the character than her more cartoonish appearance in Fortnite in 2021, and her most recent starring game, the mobile roguelike Tomb Raider Reloaded.

It’s a classic look: the throwback outfit, the braid, the backpack, the dual pistols, the glare — it’s certainly not the less assured, battle-scarred, bow-and-arrow-wielding Lara of the Survivor trilogy of Tomb Raider games (2013’s Tomb Raider, 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and 2018’s Shadow of the Tomb Raider). But the Call of Duty model does feature one notable facet of the Survivor games: Lara’s jade pendant necklace, a piece of jewelry she wore in those games and a memento of her first archaeological dig.

That combination — classic Lara with a nod to the Survivor era — has led some fans to ponder whether this will be her character design going forward in for the next Tomb Raider game. A new game in the franchise is in development at Crystal Dynamics, with Amazon Games set to publish, and is said to unify the timelines of Lara’s Survivor era and the Core Design-developed games (1996’s Tomb Raider

through 2003’s Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness). Crystal Dynamics hasn’t said much about the new Tomb Raider, other than that it’s being developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine 5.

Either way, Lara Croft will join the Operator ranks in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone on Sept. 9, alongside the Tracer Pack: Tomb Raider Bundle. That package includes three weapon blueprints: the Ice Ax melee weapon, the Mythic Defender SMG, and the Mach-5 dual pistols. That bundle also includes a vehicle skin for the Chop Top vehicle called “Tomb Buggy” and other cosmetics.

Joining Ms. Croft are a pair of Operators who look like anthropomorphic bunnies (MC Hips and MC Hops), rapper 21 Savage, and this skin for the Operator Fender that makes a whole man out of weed.

Artwork for the Blunt Finger Operator skin in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2/Warzone, featuring a man composed entirely of pot leaf Image: Activision

More details about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Warzone’s fifth season are available at the official Call of Duty website.