Back in April 2009, Eidos was acquired by Japanese game company Square Enix and they decided on rebooting the famous game Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. They decided on making a prequel and um… well… show a more human side of Lara Croft.
Fast forward to E3 2012…we got the first glimpse of the new Lara Croft “Tomb Raider” game.
1st thought – Man… she looks good
2nd thought – she grunts a lot
3rd thought – awesome graphics
4th thought – Why the heck are they torturing her so much.
5th thought – Man… only if could protect her from all this.
Um… what? Protect her?
Well. That is exactly what the developers of the game wanted you to think
After crafting the biography, our goal was to make her as believable and relatable as possible. We wanted to make a girl that felt familiar, but still has a special quality about her. Something about the way her eyes look and the expression on her face makes you want to care for her. That was our number one goal. We wanted to have empathy for Lara, and at the same time show the inner strength that made clear she was going to become a hero.
Brian Horton, senior art director of Crystal Dynamics, on the second reboot
According to the executive producer Ron Rosenberg –
When people play Lara, they don’t really project themselves into the character. They’re more like, ‘I want to protect her.’ There’s this sort of dynamic of ‘I’m going to adventure with her and trying to protect her.
….. The developers of the game are way off the mark here. When we play the game we see ourselves in the shoes of the character. We protect ourselves, we fight and we win. When the character gets killed, we say – “S**t, I lost” or “I just got killed”. We definitely don’t think – “I want to protect her.” And gender does not come into it anywhere.
People are not cool with the human side of Lara Croft. And they are definitely against making Lara Croft suffer through her friend getting kidnapped, being taken prisoner by “island scavengers” … and an attempted sexual assault. (Check the damn video above)
This had led lot of people talking about woman empowerment, gender equality, the damsel in distress, the fighting f**k toy, sexed-up victim etc.
To all these people: It is just a video game, get over it.
To the gamers: This is a prequel. Lara Croft was not born badass. She was a simple, sexy, boring archaeologist. The hardship that she faces, the things that she has to do to survive makes her the Lara Croft that we all know and love. That tiny almost sexual assault – I guess that is the first time she kills a person. That assault was the tipping point, the justification that her conscience needed.
Just enjoy the game. It has great graphics and looks really fun.