The new Tomb Raider prequel is set to come out next Tuesday, and with the release date so close, a lot of information has started to come out about the game that we didn’t have before. The game has been mired in a bit of scandal since last year’s E3, when studio heads claimed there was a rape scene in the game, then that there wasn’t, and then that there is. (It was very confusing.) Early testers of the game also said it fostered a sense of protectiveness for Lara, and a lot of feminists (myself included), have been upset that the game has dumbed down one of gaming’s only iconic female characters. Not to mention the fact that rape is a horrible (and lazy) way to make a game “dark” and “edgy.”
Since last year, Crystal Dynamics has brought on Rhianna Pratchett (Terry Pratchett’s daughter) as lead writer, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the sexual assault was taken out of the final game entirely. Screenshots of the game have been pretty impressive, and now that I know more about the game play, I can say that I actually might want to play this game. There’s still a lot that could be problematic, but I do think it looks like Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics have done a very good job at making a game that I want to play. Let’s take a look at one of the “Guide to Survival” videos that details the combat and mechanics of the game.
I have to say, it’s a beautiful-looking game, aesthetics-wise. And I like the choice you have in your play style, and the choice you have in weapons, and the Assassin’s Creed-esque stealth and climbing mechanics. I like Lara’s redesign, because she looks like a normal human being. But holy crap, this game is not easy on her AT ALL. It is a very violent game, even for a video game, and I think especially for a Tomb Raider title. I can’t help but feel that because Lara is a woman, and because they want to be “edgy,” that a lot more horrible things and violent acts are going to happen to her, and I’m not sure how I feel about that. Like, this game looks like it is brutal on her, in a way that I don’t see with male characters.
Early reviews for the game have been overall pretty positive. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t curious to find out for myself what the deal is with this game, and the game mechanics make it something that I would play. Tomb Raider is being released on March 5th for Xbox and PS3.
Do you think you’ll find yourself picking this one up?