Most videogames are power fantasies. Tomb Raider is no exception. Lara Croft has always been an action heroine, and this latest Tomb Raider is an origin story to get her to that point. However, the template this time is a horror movie instead of an action movie..
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A very interesting take on the brevity of Lara's arc from cringing violet to badass survior. It also exposes some of the minor hypocrisies of game commentators.
They demand that games not behave like cinema and not treat the audience like they've never played any other fiction than game fiction, and yet bemoan a game that's bold enough to say "This is how it goes, and you know at least part of this drill, so let's stick to the salient points and let you play rather than unsubtly harp on a point you're already aware of." If a game is going to hew to an archetype, it should at least be willing to cut out some of the fluff in service of the interactive element.
Giving Eli Roth credit for that template is an insult to the memory of Meir Zarchi's fine cinema.
I couldn't give a crap about any of the previous Tomb Raiders, but this one has intrigued me from the time it was announced, in large part because of the stuff you're talking about here.
Correction: When talking about The Hills Have Eyes, you said "skill" instead of "skull."
I hate to be this guy, but it's a crucial typo: you CAN'T make a transformative power of violence omelet without splattering some skulls.
Interesting article. I had written off this game since I've never been interested in Tomb Raiders past, and because this isn't the first game to be touted as a "Tomb Raider reboot". But now, it pretty much looks like I'll need to get this.
"hefting it into someone’s skill" -> skull
"Arkham Asylum" -> Arkham City
I realize I'll probably be turning over my gamer card, but what is the arrow in the knee referencing?
In the land of Skyrim, there patrol many guards. As you meet these guards, many of them will share with you the same story: how they used to be an adventurer like you, but their career ended when they took an arrow in the knee.
This story became a joke on the internet, the absurdity that so many characters would experience the same life-changing event. Such is the sad story of cut-and-pasted NPCs in an open world game.
Add Tomb Raider to the long list of games I should play because Tom Chick makes it sound pretty darned smart.
And Mr. Chick, do you treat organizations as singular or plural entities? It has to be one or the other; you can't have both!
"Crystal Dynamics know"
"Crystal Dynamics knows"
"For starters, it knows better than [to] mistake Eli Roth for a good horror director."
"she commences mowing down enemies in shooter gunplay gameplay [sic?] without ceremony"
"she care [sic] barely keep her feet on the ground"
Oh. Duh. Yeah, I've heard that lament from a few guards. I didn't realize it became an Internet sensation.
Where is the next update? :p
"And Nathan Drake, by the way, who has a much harder time narratively justifying the killing of 300 people". As is Lara Croft to be honest. She's still killing people no matter what little narrative justification there is for her off-the-bat weapon proficiency and survival skills. Most people in her situation would kind of die. Nathan Drake exists in a fantasy whereas Lara Croft doesn't is the only flattering thing I can say.
I feel like this is more talking about what the game WANTED to do than what the game DID.
At about 85% in someone sacrifices themselves to save Lara from a fairly winnable firefight while Lara ducks and yelps like a little girl at every wizzing bullet.
I enjoyed the game, but the amount of times I watched Lara fall and heard her voice actor moan and yelp was a bit too much. Maybe a more gradual growth for the character would have been better....
And I never did get the "Y'know what, I am sick and tired of this shit!" vibe from Lara. She went from capable girl to capable girl with better weapons. As opposed to BADASS girl...
There is a line in the game that goes a loooong way in showing what she is capable of doing and narratively justifies her progression. After she kills the first guy, she is talking on the radio and he says to her "that must have been difficult," and she replies, "no...it's surprising how easy it was."