Get Back Up

BrotherRool

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I agree, what's more I think this makes Lara a more interesting hero and this a more interesting story than in most games ever.

In the end it stops being brave or exciting or virtuous to see badass videogame protagonists survive yet another explosion, yet another helicopter crash landing. All it means is that in those universes, explosions don't mean much, conflict doesn't mean much, pain doesn't mean much. They're not tough, because being tough means that there is some genuine struggle going on there.

In the end, one of the most iconic heroes ever is Solid Snake/Big Boss etc and whilst they had their moments of awesome they spent a lot of time dealing with hardship as well. Big Boss was a badass because he got his eye cut out and it hurt but he dealt with it. Would MGS4 have been as great if it wasn't Snake being pushed beyond every limit he had and we could see that they were genuine limits. He almost didn't make it across the microwave chamber and that's what makes the difference and is a much more grown up and interesting story, when things really are difficult they really are hard.

And it means Lara will genuinely have an arc. Rather than being the generic protagonist whose a hero just because she is or Backstory! she'll become a hero because she was put in an impossible situation and she had to grow and survive or die. I've never cared about Ms Croft before (her 'personality' wasn't the most interesting character trait before) but now not only do I care, but if they pull this off, she'll be a turning point for gaming and iconic for a deserving reason
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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Another agreement here.

Most of the dissent I'm hearing comes from the folks that want to quietly keep the male-centric sexualization of female videogame characters... so they try to repackage that particular turd as newly-polished, and tell us how that was real empowerment and this is just wrong.

What's more, I'm hearing the same people try to tell us that this new material is a problem because it shows a weaker Lara. To this, I can only ask: what do these people think strength is, and where do they think it comes from?

EDIT: Also agreed that the "You want to protect her" comments are waaaay off base. Here's someone who, seeing a game do something right -- that is, present a strong, dynamic female character that anyone can relate to -- over-explaining things to the "usual" audience. In doing so, he undermines the potential triumph... and insults that same audience.

We, as male gamers, are capable of relating to a female character in most situations. Do we always prefer to? Probably not, just like I doubt most women prefer stepping into male shoes when they play games. But to behave as though we're incapable insults women (What? Are they aliens?) and men (What? Are we moronic cavemen?) alike.
 

Sis

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Apr 2, 2012
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I want to take this article, frame it and forever and ever hang it on the wall because it is so good.
 

Thatguyky

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It's really nice to read an article that does seem to get what this reboot is trying to convey. I myself was shocked at the negative fan response the trailer was getting. As you mentioned the in the article, I think a good handful of the people watching the trailer missed the main point of the trailer/game.

This game actually makes Lara look and act more human. Which is by far, more relatable than what she was like in previous titles. If anything this game makes Lara seem even more tough in a sense (and maybe not at first). Just thinking about the a situation like the one she's in; I'm not sure I could do it. It takes a lot of strength/courage to keep going when on the brink of death/intense pain. It makes Lara seem more like a true heroine that everybody can relate to. Before she was still a bad ass, but that's all she was ( that and eye candy for dudes ), I think this story will make her become a true heroine.
 

DigitalSushi

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Dec 24, 2008
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I get why people are upset, I really do. But I would rather not focus on what's knocking Lara down, and instead applaud the way she keeps getting back up.
I'm in awe, bravo Susan, bravo.

I was indifferent to the Tomb Raider reboot but after reading this I have a new perspective on it, and I'm optimistic of the outcome, might get it myself thanks to this article actually.
 

Sixcess

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This should have been a new IP. The story they're trying to tell might have merit, but it's a bad fit for Lara Croft, just as Mario would be a bad choice for a character to explore the effect of the economic downturn on Brooklyn plumbers. I'm a long term fan of the franchise, from the first game through to Underworld, and I've never expected more from the story than a fun b-movie narrative that lets Lara go to exotic locations and shoot dinosaurs. There's a distinct lack of dinosaurs in these trailers.

I also don't trust Crystal Dynamics to tell this story in a way that doesn't come across as crass and exploitative. This isn't the first E3 trailer - there was one in 2011 that was just as fixated on Lara in peril, Lara in pain, Lara frightened...

Here's a quote from the Penny Arcade interview

"You see that in the beginning of the game, where we begin to build her up and give her confidence to cross the ledge, cross the plane, she forages for food and she's feeling really successful. Then towards the end we start to really hit her, and to break her down. Her best friend is kidnapped, she's taken hostage, she's almost raped, we put her in this position where we turned her into a cornered animal."

'Towards the end', which reads to me like 'let's torture Lara' is going to be the running theme for most of this game.

Like I said, make it a new IP and I really woudn't care, but if they really want to revive the Tomb Raider franchise they should forget the gritty realism and psychological depth and give us a good game.

Preferably one that involves shooting dinosaurs.
 

Formica Archonis

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Nov 13, 2009
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Sixcess said:
This should have been a new IP. The story they're trying to tell might have merit, but it's a bad fit for Lara Croft, just as Mario would be a bad choice for a character to explore the effect of the economic downturn on Brooklyn plumbers.
Not to sidetrack your (valid, IMHO) point but that comment reminded me of the excrementous Mario Bros. II [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mario_Bros._II] where the brothers give up on plumbing and work for a thankless jerk making cakes.
 

Susan Arendt

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Jan 9, 2007
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Sixcess said:
This should have been a new IP. The story they're trying to tell might have merit, but it's a bad fit for Lara Croft, just as Mario would be a bad choice for a character to explore the effect of the economic downturn on Brooklyn plumbers. I'm a long term fan of the franchise, from the first game through to Underworld, and I've never expected more from the story than a fun b-movie narrative that lets Lara go to exotic locations and shoot dinosaurs. There's a distinct lack of dinosaurs in these trailers.

I also don't trust Crystal Dynamics to tell this story in a way that doesn't come across as crass and exploitative. This isn't the first E3 trailer - there was one in 2011 that was just as fixated on Lara in peril, Lara in pain, Lara frightened...

Here's a quote from the Penny Arcade interview

"You see that in the beginning of the game, where we begin to build her up and give her confidence to cross the ledge, cross the plane, she forages for food and she's feeling really successful. Then towards the end we start to really hit her, and to break her down. Her best friend is kidnapped, she's taken hostage, she's almost raped, we put her in this position where we turned her into a cornered animal."

'Towards the end', which reads to me like 'let's torture Lara' is going to be the running theme for most of this game.

Like I said, make it a new IP and I really woudn't care, but if they really want to revive the Tomb Raider franchise they should forget the gritty realism and psychological depth and give us a good game.

Preferably one that involves shooting dinosaurs.
Actually, the 2011 demo was more about showcasing the quick-time events...which are problematic, but for completely other reasons. (I really hope most of the gameplay isn't like that.)

I absolutely understand the concern that CD won't handle this well, especially when you consider Rosenberg's comments. He doesn't seem to understand Lara or her audience at all. However, the concept in and of itself is a fantastic one for Lara, so I disagree that this should've been new IP. The Lara we're used to - the Tomb Raider - has gotten a bit boring. She's so bloody perfect that there aren't many new directions to take her. She needed a bit of humanizing in order to make her interesting beyond merely someone exploring pretty locations and finding shiny treasure. Uncharted may have been imitating Tomb Raider when it came out, but it did such a damn good job of it - and providing us with characters to actual care about - that the Tomb Raider series need to respond in kind if it was going to be competitive with the Uncharted series.

I'm not guaranteeing that this reboot will be any good, because there's still plenty that could go wrong with the actual execution of the game. But I'm glad they're making the attempt.
 

Zhukov

The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
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Nice to see someone who gets it.

...

Who, in fact, seems to get it a lot more than I do. My reasoning had only got about as far as your third paragraph.
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

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Great article and I think everyone who has reservations about the game because of the scene in the trailer should read this.

It's nice to see that some developer at least is making an attempt to make a female character, albeit a rather famous one, fight for herself when shit hits the fan and become stronger for it. Probably why I love Heather Mason and Jade as much as I do, but it's cool how CD is trying to make Lara relatable.

I hope they don't screw this up, but points for trying.
 

Sixcess

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Susan Arendt said:
I absolutely understand the concern that CD won't handle this well, especially when you consider Rosenberg's comments. He doesn't seem to understand Lara or her audience at all.
Agreed.

However, the concept in and of itself is a fantastic one for Lara, so I disagree that this should've been new IP. The Lara we're used to - the Tomb Raider - has gotten a bit boring. She's so bloody perfect that there aren't many new directions to take her. She needed a bit of humanizing in order to make her interesting beyond merely someone exploring pretty locations and finding shiny treasure. Uncharted may have been imitating Tomb Raider when it came out, but it did such a damn good job of it - and providing us with characters to actual care about - that the Tomb Raider series need to respond in kind if it was going to be competitive with the Uncharted series.
I can see where you're coming from and it's a fair point. Lara is a relic of an era of gaming when characterisation in action-adventure games was minimal at best - usually limited to a few short cutscenes during the game. The idea that she needs to be updated a bit isn't a bad one. I'm just leery of the direction it seems to be going in as it feels more like a deconstruction of the character than a reconstruction.

I'm not guaranteeing that this reboot will be any good, because there's still plenty that could go wrong with the actual execution of the game. But I'm glad they're making the attempt.
It's one of the only long running franchises I really follow so I'd love to see it make a triumphant return. I just wish CD would give me something/anything to cheer for.

Doesn't have to be a dinosaur getting gunned down. I'd settle for a living statue...
 

antipunt

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Nice article!

As I said in a previous thread, if Lara 'grows' in this game, and becomes an ultimate badass by end game, I think this game would be FANTASTIC.

I'm not too fond of her being weak/wary the whole way through though. Some about that rubs me the wrong way
 

ProtoChimp

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I genuinley never thought I would say "Lara Croft is an interesting/relatable character"... this makes me happy I was wrong.
 

bimon_1234567

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Did anyone else have "Press X to not be raped" pop into their mind, when they read the first sentence of the second to last paragraph?
Or am I just a horrible person?
 

PunkRex

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Feb 19, 2010
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Honestly, I understand why some might be a little ticked, but I watched the trailer and in the 3 seconds of looming sexual assult the

*SPOILER*

scumbag in question brushs Lara's thigh, to which she responds by BITING THE PRICKS EAR OFF!!! She then proceeds to wrestle with him, shooting him with his own gun, who dominates these seconds? I know its an uncomfortable subject but its not mean't to be comfortable, she could get raped. She seems desperate and human in these seconds which makes it all the more impressive that she comes out on top, thats what a badass is.
 

BrotherRool

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Sixcess said:
However, the concept in and of itself is a fantastic one for Lara, so I disagree that this should've been new IP. The Lara we're used to - the Tomb Raider - has gotten a bit boring. She's so bloody perfect that there aren't many new directions to take her. She needed a bit of humanizing in order to make her interesting beyond merely someone exploring pretty locations and finding shiny treasure. Uncharted may have been imitating Tomb Raider when it came out, but it did such a damn good job of it - and providing us with characters to actual care about - that the Tomb Raider series need to respond in kind if it was going to be competitive with the Uncharted series.
I can see where you're coming from and it's a fair point. Lara is a relic of an era of gaming when characterisation in action-adventure games was minimal at best - usually limited to a few short cutscenes during the game. The idea that she needs to be updated a bit isn't a bad one. I'm just leery of the direction it seems to be going in as it feels more like a deconstruction of the character than a reconstruction.
I've never been a big Lara Croft fan, so I was wondering if you could explain which direction it should have gone in in updating/giving Lara 's/a character?

I think they're working in quite a small space to be honest, Nathan Drake so curb-stomped the whole franchise that it would be very hard to just update her without being a Nathan Drake rip-off.

Although I admit I'm so enamoured with this story idea that I'm finding it hard to think straight on the issue. I tried to brainstorm ideas for a few minutes and I was struggling to think of any character that wouldn't have a huge hardship focus.

Which I think is maybe why I'm loving this so much, we've never really had a character in games ever. People pointed out in Uncharted how absurd it is that this wacky happy go lucky everyman also kills 800 people and strugs off every blow with ease. I don't think there's a character type in existence that would act towards events the way game protagonists do. Even if we imagine a complete embittered veteran, whose seen everything and has been completely numbed to his life style... there's still inherent in that a huge focus on the awfulness of the situation he's in that he's so numb too.

Indiana Jones isn't really a personality. What can you say about him? Humans are much more defined in the way they deal with problems and hardships yet in all this sort of thing, but these characters don't do that, instead the universe just pretends these things aren't a hardship.

The most character Drake's ever been given is when he was clutching at the bullet wound in his stomach struggling his way out of a train wreck in the frozen snow, trying just to go on.

So why not Lara? If every game in history (except MGS4) has failed to properly flesh out their characters (okay some exaggeration here, for instance in RPGs the protagonist generally has quite a hard time or hard points, the difference being the focus on RPGs is with the world and with action-adventure games the environment, leading to different types of hardship) why not use this one? Lara Croft was dead, her franchise despite producing very solid games was unable to attract people based on her alone. As Susan pointed out, and this is something that Lara has already done before.

Lara Croft was invented when people decided that instead of having this fairy-wish fulfillment fantasy plumber it was more interesting to have a human being. And whats more instead of the bog standard action hero, why not a women?

And this is just that again, if every gain has these fantasy badass tanks, why not have someone who actually struggles and has setbacks? And if Lara Croft was a women in a sea of macho-thugs why not capitalise on that and show that the weakness can be more interesting than Alpha Male strength?