Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Lara could use a little less raiding

Given my last post about which was, in part, inspired by the writer of Tomb Raider (the 2013 one), now seemed to be an excellent time to talk about that game. As one of the very few game series featuring a lead female character (the only other franchises I could think of with more than a couple of titles to their name was Metroid, and she is in an armour suit most of the time). Lara Croft has been through many adventures and the games have all been at least pretty decent (except the terrible mis-step of Angel of Darkness). So how does this stack up?

It is an odd game, as there is the game that it thinks it is, and the game it actually is. It starts out being pretty damn harrowing. Lara is alone, injured and freezing on a mysterious island following a shipwreck, and it turns out that the island has plenty of people on it that would happily kill her. This is a young Lara that has not yet explored tombs and gunned down thousands of animals and men alike. She is has never had to be violent in any way, and at the beginning she finds a bow and kills a deer so she can eat and survive. It soon becomes clear that there are bad man who are out to get and this culminates in a scene where she has to kill or be killed (not raped as you may have heard).
This is a pretty emotional part that takes place about an hour or so into this game. Unfortunately, much like the needing to eat, the emotional punch of killing is soon forgotten as half hour later Lara had killed another 10 men without batting an eyelid. The game then turns into, a pretty good, action game in the tomb raider/uncharted mode, with Lara happily murdering hundreds of men. And as a game it is fine, despite some annoying quick time events and instant death sections, and I finished it having quite enjoyed.

But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to play the game it seemed to think it was. I wanted to play an open world Tomb Raider where I had to avoid enemies by climbing trees, where I had to kill and eat animals to restore health, were sneaking and distraction were more important than head-shots  An most importantly I wanted the game to only let me kill people as a very last resort. For it to be messy and brutal and hard to kill someone. The Tomb Raider I played was decent, the one I describe would have been amazing.

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