The Violence against Lara Croft in Tomb Raider 2013

Jusey1

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All I gotta say about "Tomb Raider 2013" that it is a terrible TR game and an insult to the once amazing video game series... (I am a huge fan of Tomb Raider since the first game and this one was just an insult to the series). They killed pretty much everything that made "Tomb Raider" - "Tomb Raider" and replaced it with a whole another thing...

The game itself is fine though and would be awesome if they didn't call it Tomb Raider and didn't used Lara Croft...
 

WildFire15

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The main impression I got of Tomb Raider is that Crystal Dynamics seemed to be trying to one up Naughty Dog in showing how much more punishment their protagonist could take. Frankly in both, the violence against the character meant little after a while as they'd already proved they could take it and keep marching forwards.
 

Ephidel

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I personally found Lara a much easier character to empathise with, due in no small part to the fact that she's English, and given that most of pop culture is dominated by Americans, hearing Americans in any situation, be it hero or victim, usually warrants no reaction at all from myself.

I mean, I've heard it all before and gender has nothing to do with it. Lara is and was a well designed character, and the story was told in a compelling and immersive fashion. The voice acting was spot on, the tone was well set and the adventure was overall written and performed magnificently.

I felt no more shocked about Lara's brutalisation than I did about Leon S Kennedy's in Resident Evil 4. That is to say, quite shocking, but not disproportionately so especially with shocking deaths in RE4 like the first time you get chainsawed.

Gender is irrelevant for me and a well crafted world adds to both immersion and player investment. When invested or immersed, people care.

If anything, this entire discussion/debate/question is a credit to the design and designers of the game, and I sincerely applaud their work, because it is one of the best games I've played on my 360.
 

Evonisia

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> Posts thread at night.
> Sleeps and wakes up to find it at 11 replies, has to leave before an opinion can be formed.
> Comes back, is in the 40s.

Well I'll be darned, Escapist.

votemarvel said:
Vault101 said:
I don't know...the game really seemed to be reveling in it
it is any worse than say what Marcus Fenix gets in any of the Gears of War games though?
I think the difference is that Gears of War deliberately exaggerates the violence to up the gore factor and in some cases it's done for comedic effect. Tomb Raider did it to show us how Lara Croft can overcome adversity. I don't think I remember Marcus Fenix suffering anything outside of the deaths (besides the typical slide down a rock and fall down a hole scenario) whereas Lara seems to get in-story wounds after every major segment of the game.

 

DefunctTheory

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8bitOwl said:
It's just like when Samus was made weak and insecure in that one game by those developers (help me out there)... and everyone hated it, not because the sexy chick at the order of a man was bad, but simply because Samus wasn't like that before.
No, people hated The other M because it made no sense, was poorly written, and Samus wasn't just different - she was two baby steps away from a submissive in a domination based pornography.
 

Ephidel

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AccursedTheory said:
8bitOwl said:
It's just like when Samus was made weak and insecure in that one game by those developers (help me out there)... and everyone hated it, not because the sexy chick at the order of a man was bad, but simply because Samus wasn't like that before.
No, people hated The other M because it made no sense, was poorly written, and Samus wasn't just different - she was two baby steps away from a submissive in a domination based pornography.
Exactly.

My goodness, I heard all about that after it came out.

I made a point to avoid it at all costs.

Bloody awful game.
 

Erana

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They explicitly made Lara in TR2013 out to be a sweet, educated young woman with a passion for learning, with her best buddy going on a science adventure. I don't have any Nathan Drakes in my life, nor Doom Guys nor Dovahkiin, or even a "classic" Lara Croft. But opening cutscene Lara from TR2013? I have a lot of those.

To me, her character was made out to be so much more normal, and between that, how easy it is to die in QTEs, and the fact that the technology is just so good lately, TR2013 is just more intense with its violence involving Lara. Take the male students from the same graduate labs that I see Lara parallels in and plunk them in the game, and it would be just as... Agonizing? at times as it is with Lara IMO.

The bigger issue is just that the games industry (and most entertainment industries in general) tend to default to a female character if they want a vulnerable protagonist. People don't generally like vulnerable male protagonists; a male character in Lara's position would likely garner criticism that they aren't being strong nor manly enough or some such bullshit.

I just have to point out now that this negative attitude against vulnerable men in media isn't just a disservice to men- it is a disservice to both sexes, as it implies that what is accepted as a "normal" trait in women is degrading when found in a man. It is not a men's issue, nor is it a women's issue. It is a societal issue. This negativity towards sensitivity and feeling in anyone needs to go, for everyone's sake.
 

Catfood220

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Vault101 said:
I thought it was hilarious

I mean first its a stick, and then the stagnant water and then the swim through the river of blood...oh and getting punched a lot in the face before that
To be fair it shows that Lara is tougher than the men. She gets impaled and walks it off after 10 minutes. Joel from The Last of Us gets the same injury and is laid up for weeks on end, he even gets an infection the big wuss.

But then again I reckon The Last of Us is set in a parallel universe where everyone is incredibly feeble and that's why the fungus won.
 

Dalisclock

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votemarvel said:
It's a simple fact that most people will care more about violence against women.

The question goes to both genders here. You see a man getting attacked by two people and a woman by a single person. On your first instinct, who do you go to help?

I'm willing to bet that 99% of you are going to run toward the woman.

Considering the Walking Dead games liked to pull this trick a lot, it usually came down to two factors.

1.) Which one did I like more?(If one of them had been a dick towards the PC before, I'll go help the other guy first).
2.) Which one looks like they'd be able to hold off the attacker if I'm not there?(though with TWD, sometimes it doesn't matter).

Though considering some characters in TWD just like to be massive assholes, no matter how I treat them(the Older guy in Season 1), sometimes the choice is easy.
 

Darth Rosenberg

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First, cards on the table: I played the original Tomb Raider in the year it came out [on PS]. Played 1-3, bailed, came back for the Legend trilogy, and I think Tomb Raider circa Why The Hell Can't We Name Games Properly Anymore [This Isn't A Damn Remake] is the best game the IP's had, and it's one of my favourite games of this last gen.
Evonisia said:
When we change the character to a woman, suddenly this violence and her ability to overcome it is her defining characteristic
I can't speak for any of the Uncharted's, but TR's arc was her survival - it was really the game's raison d'etre. I don't think Lara's at all defined by that quality, however - it's simply a necessary part of this origin narrative.

The story and gameplay go hand in hand, reinforcing her progression (both the player and Lara getting two toys to play with, new skills to master, ergo becoming more capable). She suffered, sure, but I really didn't see it as gratuitous or exploitative, nor did I ever think Lara's key skill or motivation was Being Hurt And Not Dying. I found her relatable and sympathetic because she was allowed to be both weak and strong. If anything, her compassion (and willingness to keep saving the same person repeatedly... ) was her defining trait, along with her traditional will to keep going.

The only details I had any problems with were the death scenes, which were a tad much at times, especially if a certain section kept tripping you up. I ended up simply looking away, so, problem solved (I do hope they dial back the carnage with The Dark Lara Rises [In Yet Another Stupidly Named TR]).
 

Aiddon_v1legacy

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y'know, there were two thoughts going through my head the entire time with this game:

1) that the violence against Lara is so absurd at times it makes me wonder if the designers and writers are secretly getting off to it.

2) Pick a tone, woman. Are you a scrappy underdog trying to survive, or did you just have a bizarre badass inside you waiting to get out and this whole situation brought it out?

Seriously, the game tries to use "she's getting the crap kicked out of her, obviously you need to sympathize!" when in fact that's NOT how you do it. If you want to me to actually care about the person who is getting the crap kicked out of them, actually make them someone I can like. For example, Aerith's death in FFVII was so shocking because I had spent the last twenty hours with her not just from a gameplay perspective, but also from a character perspective as she had proven to be an empathetic, but also confident and fun woman who I sincerely liked. Another is Shin Megami Tensei where my moral choices were based around who I liked the most and who I related to. Thus, I was kinda pissed at myself for getting the Law ending instead of the Neutral one and wanted to replay so I didn't disappoint Isabeau who was my favorite of the supporting cast.

I think the thing is Tomb Raider got the order backwards: makes us sympathize with a character first, THEN have the horrible things happen because by this point we shouldn't WANT them to get hurt. I know I'm SUPPOSED to like Lara, but I'm mostly just weirded out by how much the designers love kicking her around.
 

DementedSheep

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It didn't really bother me. I found the insane amount of shit that just goes terribly wrong in this game more amusing than anything else especially the bit with the plane. Getting impaled in the river was cringe inducing because she is still alive and flailing for a few seconds before the load screen but that's about it.

votemarvel said:
Thanatos5150 said:
You are severly misinterpretting the reason I'd run to the woman first, though.
Its one guy. One. There is no numerical advantage, and my simple presence might cause the attacker to beat feet. It's the fight I have the better chance of winning, full stop.
After that dust-up is handled, I can then move on to the riskier proposition. Cold Calculus, not sexism.
Really?

If you were really that cold and logical you'd spend time looking who needs the help before rushing in but your first instinct is still to run to the aid of the female. No matter the logic you colour it with.

Now what if it turned out that she was a trained MMA fighter. However the guy being attacked had just recovered from a serious illness and didn't have the strength to defend himself.

Of course it is all hypothetical situations but you say you are cold and calculated in that situation but it still lead you to the woman first.
"I KNOW YOU REASONING IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION BETTER THAN YOU DO!"
Seriously why ask the question if your just going to reply by ignoring what the person said to insert your own logic?
 

Something Amyss

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Vault101 said:
BUT I get what they were going for, this was suppose to be a struggle and a struggle we god, we were meant to feel like an underdog
We were? Because I never beat the game, but I got a good chunk through it before I got distracted by something shiny, and I felt like a badass killing machine. There's maybe half an hour of game where I felt like Lara was vulnerable, then it was like "God mode enabled." If not for comments from the devs about how we want to protect her, I might have completely written it off.

Which brings me OT: If we are to believe the devs, it's not because she's the player we control.
 

Ramzal

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It didn't bother me in the least. I had fun with the game and that's all I tend to care about.
 

CaitSeith

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Evonisia said:
...snip
we're supposed to care when she gets hurt but not take note when Nathan Drake falls off a piece of ruins for the fiftieth time that week?
snip...
Who said that? I DO care about the poor Nathan. :) Now seriously, the game was, well, more serious, darker and more dramatic than Uncharted; and the death scenes had a dramtic style similar to Out Of This World (but with way better graphics and realism). The fact that Lara is a woman has pretty much less to do.
 

Thanatos5150

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votemarvel said:
Thanatos5150 said:
You are severly misinterpretting the reason I'd run to the woman first, though.
Its one guy. One. There is no numerical advantage, and my simple presence might cause the attacker to beat feet. It's the fight I have the better chance of winning, full stop.
After that dust-up is handled, I can then move on to the riskier proposition. Cold Calculus, not sexism.
Really?

If you were really that cold and logical you'd spend time looking who needs the help before rushing in but your first instinct is still to run to the aid of the female. No matter the logic you colour it with.

Now what if it turned out that she was a trained MMA fighter. However the guy being attacked had just recovered from a serious illness and didn't have the strength to defend himself.

Of course it is all hypothetical situations but you say you are cold and calculated in that situation but it still lead you to the woman first.
Yes. I am that cold.
I, however, assumed for the cases of the thought experiment presented that all variables were roughly equivalent.

You modify the apparent variables, you modify the outcome of the decision. You make the variable invisible to an impartial observer, however, and I can't modify my position. I'm just some schmuck, I'm not psychic.
 

votemarvel

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DementedSheep said:
"I KNOW YOU REASONING IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION BETTER THAN YOU DO!"
Seriously why ask the question if your just going to reply by ignoring what the person said to insert your own logic?
The extra to the situation was added simply because the other person is the discussion said he was going at it from a position of cold calculus.

Yet despite his position that there was no numerical advantage for the person attacking the woman, he'd still go their first. Surely cold logic would be to even the odds in the other fight, two against two and one against one. Surely without any other knowledge of that situation, that would be the cold and calculated thing to do?

So the point still stands. Whether by societal, or biological reasons, people's first instinct is to protect women. Thus why the reaction to violence against Lara is treated as worse than against male characters.
 

DementedSheep

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votemarvel said:
DementedSheep said:
"I KNOW YOU REASONING IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION BETTER THAN YOU DO!"
Seriously why ask the question if your just going to reply by ignoring what the person said to insert your own logic?
The extra to the situation was added simply because the other person is the discussion said he was going at it from a position of cold calculus.

Yet despite his position that there was no numerical advantage for the person attacking the woman, he'd still go their first. Surely cold logic would be to even the odds in the other fight, two against two and one against one. Surely without any other knowledge of that situation, that would be the cold and calculated thing to do?

So the point still stands. Whether by societal, or biological reasons, people's first instinct is to protect women. Thus why the reaction to violence against Lara is treated as worse than against male characters.
Again you are ignoring what they wrote. It gives you numerical advantage to go for the person only being attacked by one. It's logic based on the fact that if you turn a one vs one fight into two vs one fight you're more likely to be able to resolve it quickly with less risk to yourself and then move on to the other one. They are going for the fight they think they have the most chance of winning.
 

Rebel_Raven

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More or less, my being bothered by the injuries/deaths sustained by the played character is inverse to how capable they are, and how violent they are.

Lara Croft isn't really much different than Franklin from GTA. Lara is very capable from the get-go, and her ability is hand in hand with my ability to use those abilities. If she dies, it's my fault.
Of course I'm kinda squeamish in general, so some of the over the top stuff did bother me.

Now, in no more heroes 2, or what ever it's called, it's been a while, there's 2 women in bikinis that exist solely to be thrown at you, cut up, then ground up in a clash between the boss, and the protagonist. I'm all "Wtf?" The women are never seen before. They have no lines, their models don't even move, as far as I know.

A female pilot in a game helps transport you around. Can't play as her, she never fires a bullet as far as I know, but she gets blown up, and killed in the end, likely to help justify the ass beating on the final boss you were already going to beat up anyhow. I'm like "wtf?"
I guess it's so she can't air lift you out in the end, adding tension in the big escape, but it's kinda lame, still.

I don't like it when characters are arbitrarily thrown away in general, though. I don't need it as justification, my goal's to beat the boss no matter what.
 

Thanatos5150

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votemarvel said:
DementedSheep said:
"I KNOW YOU REASONING IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION BETTER THAN YOU DO!"
Seriously why ask the question if your just going to reply by ignoring what the person said to insert your own logic?
The extra to the situation was added simply because the other person is the discussion said he was going at it from a position of cold calculus.

Yet despite his position that there was no numerical advantage for the person attacking the woman, he'd still go their first. Surely cold logic would be to even the odds in the other fight, two against two and one against one. Surely without any other knowledge of that situation, that would be the cold and calculated thing to do?

So the point still stands. Whether by societal, or biological reasons, people's first instinct is to protect women. Thus why the reaction to violence against Lara is treated as worse than against male characters.
You misinterpret. Helping the woman first creates a numerical advantage on my side.