13 June 2012

Tomb Raider reboot: One Less Game to Play

Back when a Playstation first came into our household, I played a lot of Tomb Raider.  Yes, Lara had silly proportions, but the puzzles were fun, she had unflappable attitude, said cool things in a neat accent, and it was a change to play a female character who could hold her own.  I played her through many different incarnations, and a while back I saw a little animation for a reboot origin story.

And it was kinda skeevy.  Doe-eyed torture porn skeevy.

Wait for the game, I figured.  Probably just a bad clip.  But then this interview surfaces:
But in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot, things will be different. She hasn't become that woman yet. And executive producer Ron Rosenberg says you'll want to keep her safe.

"When people play Lara, they don't really project themselves into the character," Rosenberg told me at E3 last week when I asked if it was difficult to develop for a female protagonist.

"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.'"

So is she still the hero? I asked Rosenberg if we should expect to look at Lara a little bit differently than we have in the past.

"She's definitely the hero but— you're kind of like her helper," he said. "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."

The new Lara Croft isn't just less battle-hardened; she's less voluptuous. Gone are her ridiculous proportions and skimpy clothing. This Lara feels more human, more real. That's intentional, Rosenberg says.

"The ability to see her as a human is even more enticing to me than the more sexualized version of yesteryear," he said. "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."

In the new Tomb Raider, Lara Croft will suffer. Her best friend will be kidnapped. She'll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape her.

"She is literally turned into a cornered animal," Rosenberg said. "It's a huge step in her evolution: she's forced to either fight back or die."
This is causing a bit of a furore, and I'm one of the many crossing this game off the play list.  Some say "wait for the game, it mightn't be as bad as it sounds", and to that I offer up a little word substitution game:

"When people play Master Chief, they don't really project themselves into the character," Rosenberg told me at E3 last week when I asked if it was difficult to develop for a male protagonist.

"They're more like 'I want to protect him.' There's this sort of dynamic of 'I'm going to this adventure with him and trying to protect him.'"

So is he still the hero? I asked Rosenberg if we should expect to look at Master Chief a little bit differently than we have in the past.

"He's definitely the hero but— you're kind of like his helper," he said. "When you see him have to face these challenges, you start to root for him in a way that you might not root for a self-reliant character."

The new Master Chief isn't just less battle-hardened; he's less muscled. Gone are his ridiculous proportions and all-covering armor. This Master Chief feels more human, more real. That's intentional, Rosenberg says.

"The ability to see him as a human is even more enticing to me than the more idealized version of yesteryear," he said. "He literally goes from zero to hero... we're sort of building him up and just when he gets confident, we break him down again."

In the new Halo, Master Chief will suffer. His best friend will be kidnapped. He'll get taken prisoner by island scavengers. And then, Rosenberg says, those scavengers will try to rape him.

"He is literally turned into a cornered animal," Rosenberg said. "It's a huge step in his evolution: he's forced to either fight back or die."

Would you wait for that game?  I think I'll pass.  Thanks.

2 comments:

  1. One less distraction for you to write ! Yeahhh ! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha - always a bright side, I guess.

    ReplyDelete

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