why I LIKE the new Lara Croft

hay guyz! wanna talk about gender politics!?

whats your stance of feminism? LOLOLOLOLOLOL

ok seriously

I know this topic is a dead horase and I know its been discussed to death

but frankly I'm not here to discuss the imaginary rape scene(which was the biggest fucking over-reaction of the century) weve all been there, done that

I want to explain why I actually like the new direction of Lara Croft, and why its not (as we can tell so far) sexist..and as far as I remember i havnt made a

1. peoples interpretation of "sexist" (usually in regards to women, varies as much as peoples veiw on politics and by that I mean is..when it comes to what can be considered "sexst" or "not"..especially when it comes to fiction...its a really really big grey area. And I think people need to keep that in mind more often...thats why you get people saying confused "well if you make her distressed its sexist! if you make her invincible its sexist!..what gives?" and it gets confusing

like some peopel belive Disneys beauty and the beast is bad in that it portrays an abusive relationship and re-enforces the Idea "I can fix him!"...where as others just see it as a gorgeous film with a smart female protag...(I'm in the gorgeous film catagory)

2. this is, as far as I know an "origin" story so no, Lara is not going to be confidently gunning down enemies and monsters or whatever as if she's been doing it since "like, forever" as far as I know she's a young women straight out of schoool/uni/college....going "indana jones" I imagine is somthing that takes a little practice

3. main reason, Lara's "struggle" is not ment to make her apear weak the most intense "edge of your seat" moments in any story are the ones where the hero is on the edge...when they are alomost defeated...both physically and mentally, and its the moment where they keep going even when they can't

this is what makes us empathise, theres a reason "invinvible" heros are seen as boring....

and somwhat unrelated but also in some fiction (not all..worst examples) where the female charachter does her "waif fu" thing and never gets a scratch...that may seem progressive in making her "strong" but in fact its actually patronising...the guys get the "real" fight..where the girl just does her silly little thing....as if the henchmen as "pre-planned it" to "give her somthing to do"

oposite example would be Alien/Aliens where Ripley is REALLY in danger

but I'm getting off track

so what do you think?

As a long time fan of the series the new Lara Croft is fine, though I do think they might be going a bit overboard on the whole 'super grim dark gritty' stuff. You can tell a mature story without resorting to gore and swearing after all! That aside however I'm all for it, could be fantastic story-wise.

My problem with the new Lara Croft game always has been and continues to be that it's not a Tomb Raider game, it's Uncharted: Lara Croft edition. I've watched the press events and video, I've read the preview, and so far it's shown none of the elaborate level design or platforming which made the original Tomb Raider games so fantastic.

Lara Croft was a neat character, I found her entertaining. But she wasn't the focus of the games (The good ones at least!) nor was the story, the focus was the environments. These huge massive spaces full of a unique combination of platforming, puzzle solving and exploration. Anyone remember the Greek section from the original Tomb Raider? It was brilliant, some of the best level design in gaming history. In the Anniversary edition is was made even better. That level is easily one of my favourites in gaming and there was nary a single fight or cutscene involved.

So whenever I see the new game and it's yet another ultra-grim cutscene of lara getting hurt or some gameplay of Lara dodging behind cover to kill dudes I just give a little sigh. It might turn out to be a brilliant game, a ton of fun, but it's also probably not going to be the Tomb Raider I for one knew and loved.

:(

I'm optimistic for what Lara will become after this. I was a little concerned at first by how much she gets hurt, but then we've only been shown the first part of the game, and the most actioney parts at that to make the trailers look good. Towards the end of the game, I imagine Lara will be incredible to play as. We'll just have to wait and see. She's always been strong to me, and the opportunity to play as a strong female character is hard to come by.

I like the direction of the new Lara, I think it's a good idea for developers to take some risks and make some changes.
I think the premise is good and I'm hoping that there's a strong survival aspect to the game. Some exploration would also be great.

Never really liked the old Tomb Raider games (although underworld looks interesting but thats not one of the old ones) and have never particularly liked Lara Croft but I am hopeful of this new game I havent really been following it much but I am actually looking forward to it and who knows they may even make Lara Croft into a character I actually like in this one (hope springs eternal and all that).

Also although I am getting tired of its formulae I really liked Uncharted 2 and 3 (1 was not that fun for me) so even if its just Lara Croft does Uncharted if its done well I will be happy.

On one hand I'm happy to see them take a new direction, especially with a female character. On the other hand I'm disappointed they "gave in" and changed the old Lara, why not invent more female IP (yes I know risk and cost). But who knows what the future will bring.

I really enjoyed the older Tomb Raider games and found Legends to be good as well. I thought underworld was a copy paste clone of Legends with a different whackey stick to get at the end. As far as Lara herself goes I've always really liked her as a character, she is one of the few definitively strong female characters in gaming and yeah she's a bit over sexualised in the earlier games especially but it do fit with her personality. I think the whole hoo haa over the "rape" scene is silly, end of the day people can be shot, blown up, tortured and whatever else in a game but as soon as rape is implied people get all fussy about it. Yeah its a touchy subject but lets face it these are guys on a deserted island and clearly not nice people if a pretty young woman happens to fall into their midst what would you expect to happen? What I'm trying to say is so long as they handle the story properly and give her a good reason to be where she is and its not someone jumping out the bushes crying rape then I think it should be a good characterisation moment. This is after all a retelling of her story. I just really hope they do this game justice because I think it has the potential to be brilliant.

I think you should slap a spell check on that post.

I also think the new Lara Croft is fine, stupid developer comments aside, the game itself isn't sexist at all, a cruel mercenary/whatever sees a pretty young woman in the middle of nowhere and wants to have sex with her. Lara then kicks him in the balls and she escapes, the end.

I love the new direction for Lara. So many people screamed "Sexist!" when the trailer came out (including Warren Spector when he did a talk down here in Australia) but frankly I don't see it. The 'new' Lara comes across as FAR more three dimensional and realistic. Unlike the 'old' and depthless Lara, this ones bravery seems far more genuine.

The only complaint I've seen so far that doesn't reek of BS or ignorance is that the game appears to be Uncharted with a Tomb Raider skin and not a tomb raiding game.

Well you must admit the girl sure can take a punch.
And it wasn't Lara herself that was sexist, it was the trailer they put her in.

I think it's a bit too early to call.

I like the idea of playing an underdog for a change though. Nowhere near enough of that in games. You're usually a nigh-invincible supersoldier of some kind.

On the other hand, in the gameplay footage I've seen Lara does actually run around confidently gunning dudes down left and right, so there's that.

I like her too. She's young, attractive, emotionally insecure, in a fragile state physically, afraid, and completely under my control.

..wait that came out wrong...

Odd list of things to like about the game...

I like it because it's a game that is finally reaching the Deliverance point, i.e. they are starting to tackle mature topics.
Sadly their PR guys don't seem to know how to handle it, which will always leave this game with a bad mark in the outside world, but if they just stepped back and pointed to other mediums have been tackling these subjects eons ago this would be a far smoother ride.

I still won't play it, I'm glad we are breaking the "games is for kids lolz" shackles but watching people get tortured is not my idea of entertainment.

Vault101:
snip

You may have already seen this, but I believe it's relevant to this topic.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/9747-Get-Back-Up

But yeah, I like the direction the new Lara Croft is going. I generally am a fan of hard-boiled games and it's nice to see a protagonist that isn't omgINVINCIBLE for once. There are some complaints I can understand here and there, like the developer sticking his foot in his mouth, but their mostly overshadowed by everyone talking about a certain 2 second clip.

Start at 1:30.

No-one's mentioned the obvious change to Lara so ...

The original Lara Croft had ... and let's be polite, respectful and not in any way sexist here ... massive tits.

Now her new character model has had them considerably downsized. Is it because feminist doctrine says that having large breasts objectifies her and demeans her - so having much smaller ones makes her more "realistic" and "empowered" and all the usual drivel we get subjected to?

Or does it? Who knows? Feminists and their supporters like to act as if they are a coherent group with one aim in mind ... but they're really not. Why does having big breasts matter? I know plenty of women with big breasts and some cover them up and others work hard to expose as much cleavage as possible. Which is "right"? One feminist sees wearing as little as possible as empowering while another sees it as sexual objectification. Maybe they could work this out somewhere else and stop messing around with established characters?

From what I've seen making this new version of Lara, after a short intro, involves, (surprise surprise) the usual fantasy that a much smaller, weaker woman with limited experience and training can suddenly transform into a Buffy type arse kicker who can take on hundreds of bad guys in the same ludicrous way that Nathan "bullet sponge" Drake can in Uncharted (funny how the women complaining have no problem with that part of the fantasy). So where's the "realism"? Nowhere of course, it's a video game.

Showing her history, putting her in difficult situations, showing trauma and loss - all great story devices - and these can help make a much more rewarding game experience but why do we have to make changes purely to pander to women? Why not also change her colour or sexuality, give her a disability or make her transgender? Because we all know what Lara Croft looks like and who she is from all the games we have previously played. Rewriting her to suit some feminist based criteria is insulting.

All I want is a game that plays well with a good story.

Case in point - I haven't heard any feminist complaints about the recent announcement that violence to women is being taken out or "toned down" in the new God of War - how come women aren't demanding equality and changes there? Could it possibly be that they have no problem with male characters in games being killed (because that's absolutely fine) whereas exposing female body parts, or just being attractive, is just soooo sexist and offensive and much, much more important an issue? Oh, the hypocrisy.

FWIW - I agree with The Madman - Tomb Raider should be about exploring and puzzle solving

Wait, there's not going to be any exploring and puzzle solving??? I mean I've only seen the two or so trailers, and I get that at the start it's just a plane crash survival thing, but I figured she'd find some awesome tombs and catacombs and have to do all the old exploration, acrobatic climbing, puzzle solving, and wolf slaying... Hrm.

If they aren't going to have that, they should just give her her boobs and short shorts back.

LetalisK:
You may have already seen this, but I believe it's relevant to this topic.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/op-ed/9747-Get-Back-Up
]

I read that when it came out...and yeah, I was really glad because I was like "YES! somone gets it!"

Volan:
I'm optimistic for what Lara will become after this. I was a little concerned at first by how much she gets hurt, but then we've only been shown the first part of the game, and the most actioney parts at that to make the trailers look good. Towards the end of the game, I imagine Lara will be incredible to play as. We'll just have to wait and see. She's always been strong to me, and the opportunity to play as a strong female character is hard to come by.

I dont see whats so bad with getting her hurt....male protagonist take alot of damage...and in that situation so should she

DVS BSTrD:
Well you must admit the girl sure can take a punch.
And it wasn't Lara herself that was sexist, it was the trailer they put her in.

I really dont see what was sexist about the trailer...

Vault101:

Volan:
I'm optimistic for what Lara will become after this. I was a little concerned at first by how much she gets hurt, but then we've only been shown the first part of the game, and the most actioney parts at that to make the trailers look good. Towards the end of the game, I imagine Lara will be incredible to play as. We'll just have to wait and see. She's always been strong to me, and the opportunity to play as a strong female character is hard to come by.

I dont see whats so bad with getting her hurt....male protagonist take alot of damage...and in that situation so should she

I didn't say it was a bad thing - I'm really happy with the new Lara. The only bad thing is the constant moaning - I'm okay with it because it's realistic, but you know how other people view it.

I like the new character idea too, the thing is that no matter how you design a female character, someone somewhere will think it is sexist, because what one feminist finds appropriate another finds insulting. Very much a No True Scotsman situation.

If that producer hadn't been such an idiot in the interviews this wouldn't be so bad. Just realize the controversy didn't come out of thin air, the executive producer of the game came out and claimed that there were attempted rape scenes and that the player was going to want to 'protect' Lara from them.
Having looked at it in a different light I can agree that it's not that bad (though frankly I'm still not great about it, why is rape/attempted rape so often defining moments for female characters?) but frankly if the producer didn't want controversy he shouldn't have said that stuff.

Still I do actually like the idea of being someone stuck in a vicious environment and having to give up their old life and become stronger by the brutal world they are now stuck in. Maybe it'll be like a TPS- survival horror kind of deal, which I can get behind. It could still be interesting and there is potential for a great story and protagonist here, that's the one reason why I never committed completely to hating it like others have.

But I guess we'll wait and see, is it a feminist story of a young woman thrown into a dangerous world and emerging as a bloody and fearsome champion or is it the misogynist product of an audience gleefully watching a young woman get brutalized?
Have to wait and see, regardless hopefully this whole controversy has taught developers to be careful what they let people say regarding their games.

rjdjones:
No-one's mentioned the obvious change to Lara so ...

The original Lara Croft had ... and let's be polite, respectful and not in any way sexist here ... massive tits.

I too like that the new Lara has smaller tits!

 

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked